The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Detroit

The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Detroit
In recent history, Detroit has indeed had its fair share of misfortune. Despite filing the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history, the city is on the up and up, due to the efforts of its residents and the flocks of people bringing new life to its streets. Its original museums and landmarks are well-worth visiting, and in fact are some of the finest in the country!
Jefferson Ave, Detroit © paul bica/Flickr

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.

Belle Isle Park, Detroit MI, USA

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.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Wayne State University, 315 E Warren Ave, Detroit MI, USA, +1 313-494-5800

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

Art Gallery, Museum, University
Detroit Industry Murals
Detroit Industry Murals | Detroit Industry Murals
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.
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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.
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Tour Motown Museum

The Fox Theatre
The Fox Theatre | © DDohler/Flickr
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.
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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!

Café D’Mongo’s Speakeasy, 1439 Griswold St, Detroit MI, USA

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.

Henry Ford Estates, 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores MI, USA, +1 313-884-4222

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