Published April 01, 2013
Redevelopment and renovation are sparking new excitement over the home of General Motors and Motown.
Catch a sports game, live music event, and taste delicious dishes in the historic Greektown district. Visit the Detroit RiverWalk Conservancy and discover the organization’s effort to beatify the river area with family-friendly attractions.
Here are five things to do and see in Detroit, Michigan.
A trip to Detroit is not complete without visiting the GM Renaissance Center, showcasing the rich history of General Motors. Free guided tours are available Monday through Friday from noon to 2 PM. Tour the building yourself, but be sure to allow for the recommended hour and a half it takes to enjoy the various attractions.
Tour groups meet at the GM Wintergarden, a five-story tropical glass atrium overlooking the Detroit River. Next stop is the center’s outdoor plaza featuring a world map carved in granite and more magnificent views of the city. The building’s lobby has it’s own attraction; the Borealis is the tallest vertical glass structure in the world. Make your way to the circular glass walkway, suspended from stainless steel cables to visit additional shops and restaurants.
The center’s main attraction is the 44,000 square-foot GM Showroom, which offers visitors an interactive look at GM's Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC brands. Vintage cars are also on display and a special exhibit includes a ‘turn by turn’ demonstration within a car.
After touring the Renaissance Center, ride up to the 72nd floor of the Marriot Hotel for a 360 degree view of Detroit.
4…Detroit River Walk
The non-profit Detroit RiverFront Conservancy was created in 2003 with the goal of bringing public access and economic development to the area. Currently, three of the five and a half miles have been completed and pavilions, parks, shops and art line the east Riverfront.
While much is yet to be built, there is still plenty to see on a walk down the riverfront. Children will enjoy the Cullen Family Carousel and Butterfly Gardens. Cast a line and hopefully catch some fish at various locations across the area. Rent a bike or take a boat tour the Detroit River. Don’t forget to see the Gateway to Freedom, a sculpture memorializing Detroit’s role in the Underground Railroad.
3…Good food and fun
Visit the Greektown Historic District, named for the large Greek immigrant population that moved to the neighborhood during the 20th century. Known as one of Motor City’s more vibrant areas, Greektown features casinos, bars and restaurants. Before you gamble away your money at the Greektown Casino, visit Fishbone’s for seafood, steak sushi, Creole and classic American dishes, including prime steaks and chops, fresh fish, pastas and daily specials.
Take the People Mover to downtown Detroit to visit the elegant Fox Theatre. The 1928 theater features a variety of events including Broadway, drama, comedy, music and the fan favorite annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes.
2… Sports fan rejoice
Detroit is home to several major league sports teams; the Tigers play at Comerica Park, the Lions at Ford Field and the Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena. A state-of-the-art facility, Comerica Park hosts more than baseball games; it also has concerts and private events throughout the year. Home of the Detroit Lions, Ford Field houses a variety of sporting events, corporate meetings and special events. Named for Detroit’s own heavyweight champion, Joe Louis, the 20,000-seat arena is the home of the city’s hockey team, the Red Wings.
Check each facility’s website for a list of games and ticket prices.
Finally, visit the Motown Historical Museum near Detroit’s downtown. The museum is home of the famous Studio A where Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and many more Motown musicians recorded their music. Founded by Esther Gordy Edwards in 1985, the museum is one Detroit’s most popular tourist destinations. Listen to music and view an extensive collection of Motown artifacts and memorabilia at the non-profit organization aimed at preserving the history and legacy of Motown Records Corporation. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from September to June and Monday through Friday during July and August from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.