Visit Belle Isle Park
Belle Isle Park only became a state park in 2014. This beautiful 982-acre island has some of the best views of Detroit, and has many entertainment options if the nature isn’t enough. Home to an aquarium, a conservatory and majestic memorial fountain, Belle Isle Park is a great place to come and relax and get away from the city.
Go to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
As the world’s largest museum dedicated to the rich history and culture of African Americans, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is an important place to visit while in Detroit. Home to multiple collections of historical artifacts, like the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection and the Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, the museum is also home to the General Motors Theater, a fantastic place to catch a live performance or lecture.
Eat Barbecue at Union Woodshop
Despite Detroit’s location north of the Mason-Dixon line, barbecue is taken seriously here, and there are many Detroit-natives that could easily say why. Union Woodshop in Clarkston is a great stop for everything smoked, grilled and tender. Offering a variety of meats and even wood-fired pizza, Union Woodshop is one of the many places to find real barbecue in The Motor City.
Union Woodshop, 18 S Main St, Village of Clarkston MI, USA, +1 248-625-5660
Tour the Detroit Institute of Arts
Originally founded in 1885, the Detroit Institute of Arts boasts a magnificent collection of art, and is one of the finest art museums in the US. This 658,000-square-foot facility has 100 galleries inside, in addition to a large auditorium and a medium-sized lecture hall. With works by such notable authors as Diego Rivera and Vincent van Gogh, the Detroit Institute of Arts is a great place to visit in Detroit.
Walk Inside Sainte Anne de Detroit Catholic Church
The Sainte Anne de Detroit Catholic Church has a long history in Detroit. Originally established in 1701, from the efforts of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the church had a tendency to be set aflame, due largely to conflicts with Native-Americans, and was a point of contention for the English who soon conquered the French settlers in the area. Today, the church stands in much of its original glory, with many relics from its former days.
Tour Motown Museum
From an $800 loan from his parents, African-American musician Berry Gordy founded the “Motown Records Corporation”, arguably one of the most successful music labels in American history. With over 180 number one songs worldwide, his company became a cultural force of its own, employing the likes of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye. Visit the Motown Museum to learn more about this essential Detroit history.
Motown Museum, 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit MI, USA, +1 313-875-2264
See a Show at the Fox Theatre
The Fox Theatre is perhaps one of the grandest venues in the Midwest. Its lavish, art-deco architecture is complimented by its oriental details, and features a truly beautiful set of columns and an even grander ceiling. See the theatre website to check its upcoming shows and performances.
Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave, Detroit MI, USA, +1 313-471-3200
Have a Drink at Café D’Mongo’s Speakeasy
There aren’t many self-professed speakeasies around anymore, but Café D’Mongo’s Speakeasy cracks the period style perfectly. This hopping Detroit venue always has live music playing, cocktails pouring and a smile on its proprietor’s face. This bar is a prime example illustrative of the city’s comeback scene; no totally on the up and edgy in the extreme!
Tour the Henry Ford Estate
Few men have made such significant contributions to modern society as Henry Ford. His innovations on the Ford auto assembly line and the living wage brought prosperity to the middle classes of America, and inspired a culture of mass consumerism. His house is a great place to learn more about the life of this remarkable man.
Catch a Roller Derby Game
With a league of five home teams hungry for the championship trophy, the Detroit Derby Girls always put on a great show. Their rough, though stylish standard of play makes the flat track roller derby some of the best live entertainment in Detroit. Be sure to visit the website to find out where the next game will be played.
Canfield Ice Arena, 2100 Kinloch St, Dearborn Heights MI, USA, +1 313-444-4841
By Benjamin Smith