The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Midtown Detroit

Photo of Kate Harrington
9 February 2017

Midtown Detroit is a cultural epicenter, especially when it comes to contemporary art. However, there are numerous activities huddled in one place, especially when it comes to museums, restaurants, and bars. Follow our guide to know what not to miss in this area of the city.

Detroit skyline | © Mike Boening Photography/Flickr

Motown Historical Museum

Detroit being home to Motown, one of the most influential musical genres, the Motown Museum was properly established in its founding city. Renovating the former home of Berry Gordy, Hitsville U.S.A. has now evolved into a historical museum that captures how Motown was founded. With open hours and tour guides, the Motown Museum can be a laid-back perusal or a real cultural immersion.

The Flower House

Pot & Box, a local flower studio that specializes in locally sourced flower creations, invented a hefty goal of an art installation that will occupy an abandoned home near Midtown Detroit. The Flower House is a project in the works, planning to re-purpose the abandoned home with locally grown flowers. After the temporary installation, the home will be redesigned into a flower farm. Again, this project is in the works; therefore, if you’re looking for a do-good project this summer, volunteer at the Flower House. Or, if you’re around in the third weekend of October 2015, check out the installation.

Pot & Box, 3756 Plaza Dr, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, +1 734-368-2130

Detroit Institute of Arts

Art Gallery, Museum
The Fowler Museum at UCLA, from the south-west side
The Fowler Museum at UCLA, from the south-west side | © Fuzzy901/WikiCommons
The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has one of the finest collections of art in Detroit (and surrounding areas). Mothering works by Rembrandt, Diego Rivera, Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, and many others, the DIA is a reliable activity for a cultural day. After the DIA, be sure to check out its neighbor, the Detroit Institute of Bagels, for artistically liberal bagel sandwiches.

Old Miami

Originally established in 1975, Old Miami was a bar intended for Vietnam veterans. This dive bar hosts, and has hosted, thousands of artists during its existence. The bar is decked out with pool tables, vintage couches, and a dance floor. Old Miami is one of the best dive bars in Midtown and the greater Detroit area. A perfect spot for a casual and boozy afternoon or evening.

Old Miami, 3930 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-831-3830

Bronx Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, American
Midtown’s infamous watering hole, the Bronx Bar has been serving the community for over three decades. For cheap drinks and Midtown’s best burgers, the Bronx Bar is a guaranteed good time. Their French fries are an important aspect of this bar, too. Casual, dive bar décor, the Bronx is the perfect place for a relaxed social outing.

Detroit Historical Museum

Detroit Historical Museum
Detroit Historical Museum | © JasonParis / Flickr
A museum that captures the history and heart of Detroit, Detroit Historical Museum has been around since 1928. With exhibits like the Kid Rock Music Lab and the Gallery of Innovation, this museum offers an entertaining presentation of Detroit’s unique automobile and musical history. Each exhibit is different in theme, and there are several tours available.

Motor City Brewing Works

A small, cozy brewpub that specializes in seasonal beers and brick-oven pizzas. Motor City Brewing Works serves their awarded beer in a friendly atmosphere – brick walls and wooden seating. It is located across the street from stores like Shinola and Willy’s that could be a pit-stop before or after the beer and pizza.

Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W Canfield St, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-832-2700

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MoCAD) is a space dedicated to exposing and encouraging contemporary art in the local Detroit community. Inside the warehouse space are gallery exhibits and MoCAD’s Café 78. The café is a great spot with a liquor license; enjoy a light meal and a drink while perusing the museum.

What Pipeline

What Pipeline is a contemporary art gallery in the Midtown area. Like other contemporary museums in the area, What Pipeline was established to donate and stir the artistic community. What Pipeline is a small space, hosting usually one exhibit at a time. They have pretty exclusive hours, though: Saturdays from 2 pm-7 pm only (or by appointment).

What Pipeline, 3525 W. Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI, USA

Detroit Riverwalk

The Detroit Riverwalk has been completely renovated and repaved over the course of the past few years. It spans over five and a half miles, and it’s a fantastic view of the Detroit River. Throughout the path, there are shops, restaurants and even a hotel.

Detroit Riverwalk, Detroit, MI, USA

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