Detroit is a dynamic city with a rich history. In recent years, the city has even experienced quite a bit of resurgence. If it’s you’re first time to Detroit, you are in for a treat! With so much to do and see in the Motor City, our team at DriveTheNation.com has compiled a “Quick Guide to Detroit” to help get you started with your itinerary planning.
Detroit acquired the nickname “Motor City” as a result of its longstanding recognition as the historic heart of the American automotive industry. At the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, visitors have the opportunity to take a step back in time and gain a first-hand look at the birthplace of the 1909 Model T automobile. While you’re there, walk the same plank floors “worn smooth” by hundreds of workers and learn more about Henry Ford’s successes and set backs. Admission is free for children under 12.
Nicknamed a “playground for grown-ups,” the Eastern Market has been a valuable keystone of Detroit for more than a century. It is also recognized as the largest historic market in the country and features more than 150 vendors during peak months. Every Saturday, residents and tourists enjoy browsing the market for fresh fruits, vegetables, antiques, pottery, vintage clothing, artisan jewelry and more.
The Guardian Building is a landmark skyscraper located in Detroit’s downtown financial district. Considered an architectural work of art, the building was first constructed in 1929. The main frame of the skyscraper stands 36 stories, but it’s the inside of the building that will surely take your breath away. The Guardian Building’s lobby and promenade are adorned with Art Deco styling, while an array of red, blue, and gold colors lines its walls. A café and gift shop is also accessible, and entry to the building is free.
During your travels to the Motor City, be sure to make time for a trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). The DIA’s mission is to, “create experiences that help each visitor find personal meaning in art.” The museum boasts a variety of world-class collections, featuring more than 100 galleries totaling 658,000 square feet, according to DIA’s website. The museum is also home to a 380-seat lecture/recital hall, an art reference library, and a state-of-the-art conservation services laboratory.
Ready for some fresh air? Make your way to the Detroit International Riverfront, a tourist attraction and landmark of Detroit. Extending 5.5 miles from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle, the Detroit Riverfront is more than just a walk down by the riverside. It is a stroll into the future of Detroit. Along Detroit’s popular Riverwalk, visitors will enjoy exploring public art, The Detroit Princess Riverboat, cafes, and more. Visiting with the family? Rent bikes for the afternoon at one of the bike rental stations located along the riverfront.
What must-see destinations in Detroit would you add to our list? Share your favorite spots in the comment section below.