Is Detroit, Michigan, on your travel list for 2016? If not, it probably should be. Known as the “Comeback City,” Detroit has proven that it intends to make good on its nickname. It has added a new park, restaurants, hotels and has a rail system (M1 Rail) in the works. Those are just some of the noteworthy additions and renovations. Even so, with all of the new additions already underway, the city is holding on to its roots. This surprising city is a destination worth visiting.
3 Main Reasons to Visit Detroit
The city has recently been popping up across the news as a “must see” travel place for 2016. As a frequent visitor to the city, I believe that the credit is due. Detroit has been making some huge adjustments and noticeable improvements over the years. But these three reasons are what really makes Detroit shine once again as a travel-ready destination.
1. Growing Community
The growing sense of community far surpasses that of any new businesses, which are taking off like wildfire. On my recent trip into the city, even a wind chill in the low 40s didn’t scare people away. They were in the streets shopping, playing, walking to and from work and coming together at a temporary ice skating rink set up in the center of town.
Nearby were pop-up tents renting ice skates and selling hot chocolate. Every one was bustling with patrons. Next to the city’s giant Christmas tree at the base of the rink, people waited in line for a chance to take a ride on one of the decorated horse-drawn carriages that offered a restful holiday ride through the city.
The holidays are just one example of Detroit’s community. More can be found all throughout the city, including these:
Bike Sharing Stations. Popping up in locations around the city, these bike sharing booths allow private groups, residents and tourists to borrow a bike for a right around town. Bikes can be rented for around $5 per day and are accessible through the Zagster app.
The Eastern Market. Minutes from the center of downtown is an historic and bustling center of commerce made up of several large sheds and hundreds of local vendors. This community attraction sees upwards of 45,000 people on any given Saturday – and with good reason. Each covered pavilion contains different markets selling everything from fresh produce to handmade goods. Entrance into the markets is free and can provide for many hours of family fun and entertainment.
2. A Place for Families to Have Fun
The metro area has quickly become a favorite destination for my family because of its diverse attractions. It has something for everybody, all within a short distance drive.
The Detroit Zoo – The Detroit Zoo in nearby Royal Oak is one of Michigan’s largest family attractions, situated on 125 acres and housing around 2,500 animals. While being large and impressive, the Detroit Zoo is nicely laid out and offers several food, beverage and shopping opportunities. Also, the zoo regularly offers special holiday events throughout the year which have been known to bring in crowds.
The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village – Looking for a historic and retro look at Detroit? The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village In Dearborn offers a chance to experience the past in a very hands-on way. The Henry Ford Museum is geared more toward viewing the past and the artifacts left behind. The attached Greenfield Village is all about experiencing life in history. You can walk down dirt-covered roads, go inside vintage homes and converse with residents reenacting daily life from the era.
Another great place to check out for family fun is the Michigan Science Center in Detroit.
3. Experience Art & History Renovated
Through Detroit’s renovation many businesses have embraced the past and incorporated it into the future. Throughout the city you will find once-abandoned buildings renovated into new usable space. Many of the businesses have allowed graffiti artists to decorate their buildings. The final projects are amazing and worth seeing.
Other “Must See” Places When Visiting Detroit:
- Art painted businesses surrounding the Eastern Markets.
- Joe Louis “Fist” memorial, Spirit of Detroit statue, and other public art (most of which is located near Hart Plaza)
- The Heidelburg Projects – a residential art exhibit featuring abandoned stuffed animals, graffiti and handmade structures.
- Motown Museum – the birthplace of Motown.
- The Detroit Riverwalk
- The Ambassador Bridge – the bridge that connects Detroit to Windsor, Canada.
- Abandoned Michigan Central Station – off limits to visitors, but worth driving by to experience its architectural design and incredible size.
- Comerica Park – where the Detroit Tigers play.
- The Detroit Institute of Arts
- GM Renaissance Center
- The Fisher Building