Who doesn’t love a list of reasons why it makes perfect sense to take the leap when feeling curious about something? From fine art to dining, Motown music, ancient culture, and more, here are 24 rock-solid points that will have you booking a trip to Detroit. We’ll see you soon!
For the Love of Art
Afrofuturism in Costume Design
Bear witness to the genius exceeding three decades in film, television, and theater. Visit The Wright to see the incredible exhibition, Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design now through March 31, 2024.
Experience the history-making Afrofuturistic pieces that empower the female form, honor ancient cultures, and invoke a deep sense of representation unlike any other costumes experienced on screen in iconic films from Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X to Coming 2 America, Black Panther, and Wakanda Forever.
“Carter became the first Black person to win in the costume design category, also earning Marvel Studios their first Oscar. She is also the first Black woman to win two Oscars and the first costume designer to win an Oscar for a feature film and its sequel.”
World-Class Art to Admire
“The town square of our community, a gathering place for everybody. Art is for the community.” At the Detroit Institute of Arts, commonly referred to as the beloved D-I-A, the world-class collection intends to inspire curiosity and spark creativity. “The DIA connects people to art with programs, resources, and a diverse collection—among the top six in the nation with over 65,000 works.”
Choose Your Own Art Adventure
Located in Detroit on Grand River Avenue, The Coloring Museum presents coloring for a purpose – improving mental health and quality of life while also helping [minority] artists advance in their careers. Enjoy a vibrant variety of coloring products and services, such as coloring books, coloring pillows, coloring/painting toys, and personalized coloring walls/murals where consumers can color black and white murals with washable crayons and markers on the walls. Let your imagination run wild as your inner artist soars at The Coloring Museum in Detroit.
Bring Your Best Appetite
The Golden Now of Detroit
Tucked inside the Detroit Foundation Hotel is home to The Golden Now of Detroit: The Apparatus Room. The crossroads of now and nostalgia intersect here with immaculate taste at every turn from rich woods to textured leather accents. Shareable tavern fare and hearty entrees delight inside this timeless, all-day dining destination in Detroit.
Jackpot: All-You-Can-Eat Treat
This award-winning buffet will impress every palate. Located inside the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, Assembly Line features the best in American and international cuisine with freshly prepared offerings packed with flavor featuring premium ingredients. Classic comfort food, such as MotorCity fried chicken, creamy baked macaroni & cheese, and house-made collard greens are notable favorites. Prime rib and whole turkey every night, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and teacup rolls. Savory stir-fry, steamed dumplings, fried rice, and freshly rolled sushi. Then there’s stone-fired pizza, lasagna, tamales, enchiladas, shawarma, stuffed grape leaves, hummus… Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Soft-serve ice cream, pies, tortes, cookies, trifles, cheesecakes, and warm brownies await. Bring your best appetite to the Assembly Line!
Date Night in the D
If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind date night in the D, Cliff Bell’s is the place to be. Dinner and a show beyond expectation – prepare to feel fully impressed by this! Live music in a luxury atmosphere with fine dining and fantastic service – Cliff Bell’s is a Detroit staple with a signature of true craftsmanship. This is one to write home about!
The Apparatus Room
Credit: Brittney Schering
Music is Alive Here
All That Jazz and Beyond
Located in the Music Hall, Aretha’s Jazz Café transcends time in the most musically iconic way, honoring the Queen of Soul’s wish for a central downtown venue that bears her name and carries on her legacy of commitment to up-and-coming Detroit talent.
Aretha’s Jazz Café offers a spotlight for local artists in a steady sampling of the sounds and vibes that make this a global music city. It’s a space for jazz, as well as blues, soul, and rock ‘n roll. It’s a place of poetry, hip-hop, and funk. The Café also features periodic theatre, musical theater, and dance performances.
Live Music Lovers Unite
Catch a concert right along the iconic Detroit River at The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre. This sweet sound bath of a venue is recognized as one of the top 100 concert venues in the world. “A cultural jewel, it is a destination of choice for major recording artists and entertainment superstars from around the world.”
World’s Largest Free Jazz Festival
The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation celebrates the city’s rich history of jazz music with concerts and educational programming all year round, all while continuing to organize the World’s Largest Free Jazz Festival. Enjoy four days and six stages of the best jazz, blues, and soul sounds across two million square feet of nonstop music in the heart of Downtown Detroit over Labor Day weekend.
Credit: Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation
Culture-Rich City of Ancient Abundance
Behold the Basilica
An absolutely stunning site to behold, the Basilica of St. Anne de Detroit is the second oldest operating parish in the United States. Originally founded in 1701, built in 1886. It is the third church in Michigan to hold the honorable, prestigious title of minor basilica.
Minor basilicas receive a special designation by the Holy Father, granted for architectural beauty, historical significance, liturgical renown, or any combination of these attributes. A minor basilica shares a relationship with the Holy See of Rome and with the Holy Father.
Get Your Greek On
Treat yourself to the exclusive Greektown “OPA” Package at the Atheneum Suite Hotel for a true taste of traditional Greek culture and cuisine. Each suite features traditional décor with modern Greek flair, plus the signature oversized marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs or whirlpools. The Greektown “OPA” Package includes a phenomenal Greek dinner at the iconic Pegasus Tavern. Enjoy this delightful experience!
Bookstore Lovers’ Paradise
Detroit is home to some of the dreamiest bookstores I’ve ever stepped foot in. From the iconic John K. King Used & Rare Books packed with incredible gems, to the more modern, yet magically nostalgic 27th Letter Books, the city is full of phenomenally local, deliciously delightful bookstores awaiting your curiosity and passion for the way the pages smell when flipping through a new find. (Happy reading!)
27th Letter Books
Credit: Brittney Schering
Nature Thrives Here
Plant People Welcome
Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is scheduled to reopen in May 2024 following renovations. Come admire the formal perennial garden, seasonal floral beds, lily pond garden, and vibrant variety of flora. This incredible collection of exotic plants is housed inside the ever-beloved Belle Isle Park.
Coffee Connoisseurs, Too.
Cool beans aplenty pair with creative vibes alive and well at Detroit’s finest, Anthology Coffee. Straight from the source, roast, and brew masters themselves: “Coffee is more than just a drink, it’s an experience.” They went on to reveal, “What makes our espresso truly unique is our omni-roasting process. We believe that any coffee can be brewed as espresso, and our carefully curated selection of beans allows us to deliver a consistently delicious cup every time.” Cheers!
Cafe Vibes On Point
Bring your work or a good book along and hang out at one of the countless cafes in Detroit where the remote office vibes could not be more on point. Feel like you are in an exclusive coworking space right at The Red Hook in Midtown. If you’re looking for a drink recommendation, my go-to is the Oat Miel.
Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory
Credit: Brittney Schering
Holy Ship! Experience Detroit By Boat
Passenger Pedal Powered Boat
Say that five times fast! Michigan’s first and only 16-passenger pedal-powered boat is ready to rock and roll with your participation requested in 2024! Detroit Cycle Boat is brought to you by Sindbads Restaurant and Marina in Detroit. Grab 15 friends and get ready to enjoy this exclusively unique experience!
Don’t Miss the Boat
One boat you’ll want to get aboard while in the D is the iconic Detroit Princess Riverboat. From dreamy views all up and down the international riverfront to delicious food and divine entertainment, this is a certified bucket list experience. Don’t miss the boat!
Alternative Transportation in the Motor City
Skip Parking with the People Mover
One challenge we all face in any big city is parking. Where to park, how long you can park there for, and how much it will cost to stay parked for a lengthier event are all common struggles that accompany parking anywhere popular. Skip the stress of it altogether when you ride the Detroit People Mover instead. Plus, it’s much more fun!
Join the Premier Rolling Pub Club
Have you really done Detroit fully without first experiencing the Detroit Rolling Pub? Previously called the Detroit Cycle Pub, Detroit’s premier pedal bar has been cruising the city while having the most fun since 2015! Highest rated, most followed, and most talked about pedal bar in the state backed by 200,000+ passengers to date. Enjoy!
Rest in Luxury on the River
No Better Place to Stay
There is simply, truly no better place to stay than the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. Situated right in the heart of the downtown city center, while also nestled along the international Detroit Riverwalk, this hotel lives inside a dreamy oasis all its own.
Credit: Brittney Schering
Have It Your Way
Tour the D Your Way
Embark upon your own, exclusively private tour of Detroit. Whether you have an itinerary in mind or would like to have one created, custom tours are available with City Tour Detroit. Ready to rock with a set tour? Check out the offerings led by locals, like “See The D: Downtown Detroit Walking Tour” and “Incredible Journey to Midnight: Detroit Underground Railroad Walking Tour.” Plenty more options, including food, music, art, and even true crime tours will be added to the calendar, as well.
Throw Axes For Fun
The fun does not stop at the most unique event space in Detroit called The Yard. Throw axes, and indulge in tacos. Play a plethora of games from pinball to shuffleboard and even giant beer pong. This is not yet a yard boasting milkshakes, but who’s to say they won’t add them to the menu?
Casino & Country Hop
With so many major casinos right in downtown Detroit, why not enjoy them all? Hop from MotorCity to MGM Grand and Hollywood Casino to triple your lucky penny in the D! Feel like going international? Take a quick ride over to Windsor in Canada for a visit to Caesars, too, while you’re in town. Best of luck to you!
Bear Witness to the Spirit of Detroit
Not many places hold heart and soul so highly as Detroit. The resurgence of this city is a sight to see, feel, hear, and taste all its own. Experience the sound of Motown. Feel the Motor City rev its engine. Bear witness to the Spirit of Detroit. This is a grand moment in time – be here for it! We’ll see you soon. Detroit Trip: Booked!
Credit: Brittney Schering