14 What to See and Do in Detroit in 2020

Because the Coronavirus has halted travel for over four months, I thought I’d begin to share more posts about destinations within america. True, we shouldn’t be performing a lot of travel right now but you can always utilize these pointers for later! Today, my Creative Director Raimee of most Abroad shares her advice for visiting Detroit, among the country’s most underrated cities!

Just north of Lake Erie’s western end, Detroit, Michigan, is a sprawling metropolis home to over four million people. Haunted by the echoes of its past, the town is often overlooked or ignored by domestic and international travelers alike.

Having developed in the Detroit area, I could understand why those unacquainted with its charm consider Detroit a blighted city, burdened by debt, crime, and a fleeing population. I assure you, though, this preconception couldn’t become more wrong.

The famed “Motor City” has historically been known because of its auto manufacturing sector, its contributions to the first music industry, and its own beloved sports teams. Today, through its revitalization, Detroit has taken on a fresh appeal.

From its world-class museums and its own incredible range of eateries to its culturally-inspired dive bars and eclectic garage-like music scene, Detroit is probably the most exciting cities in the us to both explore and become a part of at this time. Its population is motivated, its folks are proud, and the suburbs’ rekindled interest in downtown has helped open the entranceway to a fresh era of prosperity and an evergrowing young population.

To greatly help motivate you to plan a vacation, here’s my curated set of what to see and do I’d recommend to anyone visiting Detroit:

1. Have a Free Walking Tour

Start your visit with a free of charge walking tour. You’ll get an introduction to the town and its past, find out about its evolution and recent developments, and start to see the main downtown sights. You’ll also access a specialist local guide who can answer all of your questions.

Detroit Experience Factory offers daily free tours (in addition to more in-depth paid tours) that may provide you with a solid introduction. Just be sure to tip your guide by the end!

2. Go to the Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts is a 130-year-old museum situated in the heart of Midtown and has something to provide every visitor. There are a lot more than 65,000 artwork here, which range from classic to newer and contemporary pieces, disseminate over 100 different galleries. It’s an enormous space!

When you could easily spend hours here, in the event that you choose your galleries beforehand, you may be in and out in two hours without rushing.

5200 Woodward Ave., +1 313-833-7900, dia.org. Open weekdays 9am-4pm (10pm on Fridays) and weekends 10am-5pm. Admission is $14 USD.

3. Relax at Belle Isle

You could easily spend a whole day exploring Belle Isle, a 982-acre island park with a number of activities and attractions. It’s a favorite destination for locals to assemble on a sunshiney day for picnics and barbeques, for going out at the beach, or for walking along its various nature trails.

Below are a few of my other favorite things you can do at Belle Isle:

  • Wander the conservatory – The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is a peaceful botanical garden stretching over 13 acres, with a large number of walking paths and greenhouses to explore. Admission is free.
  • Hit the number – Belle Island Golf Range is driving range with repetition areas for driving, putting, and chipping. A bucket of balls is merely $5.50 USD.
  • Benefit from the beach – There’s over half of a mile of beach where one can swim, lounge, or rent a kayak or paddleboard and absorb sunlight.

4. Explore the Eastern Market

The Eastern Market is an enormous marketplace with local foods, art, jewelry, artisan crafts, and more. It covers 43 acres and may be the largest historic public market district in the usa, dating back over 150 years.

There are three different market days through the week: Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays. It really is particularly busy on Saturdays when farmers have a tendency to generate their poultry, livestock, and fresh produce on the market.

2934 Russell St, +1 313-833-9300, easternmarket.org. Check the web site for market days and times. Admission is free.

5. Walk or Bike Along the Dequindre Cut

The Dequindre Cut Greenway is a two-mile urban recreational path that provides a pedestrian link between your East Riverfront, the Eastern Market, and many residential neighborhoods among. Along the road, you’ll find all sorts of street art, and also buskers in the summertime. It’s a nice spot to walk or jog and ingest the town.

In the event that you anticipate visiting the Eastern Market and the Riverfront (that you should!), consider renting a bike (they’re just $8 USD each day from mogodetroit.com).

6. HAVE A LOOK AT Among the Largest Bookstores on the planet

Maybe it’s because I really like all bookstores, but that is one of the best places to explore in Detroit. John K. King Used & Rare Books, situated in a vintage glove factory, can be an enchanting host to over one million books.

I really like hanging out wandering through the rows of strange titles and marveling at the rare editions they have in stock – some are so rare, you must make a scheduled appointment to be permitted to view them.

901 W. Lafayette Blvd., +1 313-961-0622, johnkingbooksdetroit.com. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.

7. Go to the Fox Theatre

The Fox Theatre may be the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s. Built-in 1928, and with over 5,000 seats, it continues to host various live productions and events (like concerts, standup comedy, and children’s performances).

The building is a National Historic Landmark, the best honor distributed by the National Park Service, and is open for tours in the event you can’t catch a performance throughout your trip. The interior is completely stunning!

2211 Woodward Ave., +1 313-471-7000, foxtheatredetroit.net. Tours happen on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and continue sale two weeks beforehand. Tickets are $20 USD for tours; ticket charges for performances vary. Check the web site for details.

8. Have a Tour of the Guardian Building

You’ll find many architectural beauties around Detroit, however the most prestigious may be the 36-floor Guardian Building downtown, situated in the Financial District. Completed in 1929, this is a National Historic Landmark and just about the most important Art Deco skyscrapers on the globe!

Detroit Experience Factory offers a few free walking tours, including a skill and Architecture tour that covers the Guardian Building if you wish to learn more throughout your visit.

500 Griswold St., +1 313-963-4567, guardianbuilding.com. Open 24/7. Admission to the building is free.

9. Walk Around Campus Martius Park

After a devastating fire in 1805, Campus Martius was made as the de facto center of Detroit’s rebuilding efforts. Covering just over an acre, the park features outdoor cafés and bars, a mini beach, green space, food trucks galore, monuments, and a bunch of weekend festivals and activities.

In the wintertime, you’ll look for a giant Christmas tree, an ice-skating rink, and a Christmas market. Each time I visit this area of town, I think about what lengths the town has come during the past a decade.

To go to the park, take the light rail to the Campus Martius station.

10. Snap Photos at The Belt

The Belt, named following its location in the former downtown garment district, is a culturally redefined alley in the heart of Detroit. Public art may be the driving force behind the redevelopment of The Belt, which includes murals and installations by local, national, and international artists. It really is part of Library Street Collective’s continuous effort to make certain artists have an area to create and build relationships the general public.

To go to the Belt, take the light rail to Broadway station.

11. Start to see the Motown Museum

Motown Records can be an R&B and soul record label located in Detroit credited with advancing the racial integration of pop music in the 1960s and ’70s. Best-selling artists just like the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Miracles, the Supremes, and many more were on the Motown label. (Motown is a portmanteau of “motor” and “town” since Detroit is called Motor City.)

Its main office, named Hitsville U.S.A., was changed into a museum in 1985 to highlight the important contributions of Motown to the higher American music scene. It has a variety of records, awards, and costumes from famous musicians (including Michael Jackson). Also you can see among the recording studios where lots of the label’s classic hits were produced.

2648 W. Grand Blvd., +1 313-875-2264, motownmuseum.org. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm (8pm on Saturdays). Admission is $15 USD.

12. Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Henry Ford, a Michigan native and founder of the Ford Motor Company (and prominent anti-Semite), was in charge of kick-starting the auto industry in america in the first 1900s.

Today, you can tour the company’s massive museum and find out about the history of the auto and how it evolved from a novelty to a staple of society. The museum has numerous cars (including presidential automobiles), along with exhibitions on trains, power generation, plus much more.

Additionally, next to the museum is Greenfield Village, a semi-separate museum that hosts a myriad of science and agriculture exhibitions that Ford collected over his lifetime. It’s an excellent spot to visit with kids, as much of the exhibits are interactive and educational.

20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, +1 313-982-6001, thehenryford.org/visit/henry-ford-museum. Admission is $25 USD.

13. Go to the Museum of African-American History

Opened in 1965, this can be the world’s biggest permanent assortment of African-American culture. There are over 35,000 items and artifacts highlighting the annals and culture of African-Americans through the entire ages. The museum has exhibitions on civil rights, art, film, plus much more.

315 E. Warren Ave., +1 313-494-5800, thewright.org. Open Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm and Sundays 1pm-5pm. Admission is $10 USD.

14. Have a Food or Brewery Tour

Detroit is fast learning to be a foodie destination. You will find loads of delicious restaurants and an increasing number of breweries here, kickstarting a foodie renaissance that’s putting the town on the map. If you’re looking for an introduction into Detroit’s drink and food scene, have a tour. There are many food and brewery tours that may provide you with a mouthwatering or thirst-quenching introduction to the culinary and microbrewery scenes.

Detroit History Tours and Detroit Foodie Tours both offer excellent and insightful food tours for some of the greatest restaurants, while Motor City Brew Tours will introduce you to the very best beers Detroit provides. You’ll reach eat some wonderful food, try tasty drinks, and meet up with the chefs and restaurateurs rendering it all possible!

Where you can Eat

If you’re looking for a few places to seize a bite to consume, below are a few of my favorites:

  • The Peterboro – Mouth-watering and inventive Chinese food paired with craft beer and cocktails
  • SheWolf – Trendy and upscale Italian cuisine
  • Selden Standard – Locally grown and seasonal plates
  • Gold Cash Gold – Local food meets Mediterranean-inspired dishes
  • Bronx Bar – A classic dive bar with greasy eats
  • Sugar House – A romantic craft cocktail pub
  • Brooklyn Street Diner – A cozy diner with local food and a lot of vegetarian options


Detroit is probably the best up-and-coming cities in the united states. With a developing food scene, an inexpensive cost of living, and increasingly more things opening every month, I suspect tourism here’s only going to continue steadily to grow. Come and visit when you can and beat the crowds. I promise Detroit will surpass your expectations!

Raimee may be the creative director for Nomadic Matt and runs the remote work and travel blog, All Abroad. She spent days gone by 4 years working remotely from cities all over the world after leaving a marketing job in her hometown beyond Detroit, Michigan. She now resides in LA, California where she actually is social distancing but hopes to someday enjoy each of the comedy shows, live music, beaches, and hikes around the state! You can follow her remote work adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

Book Your Visit to america: Logistical Guidelines

Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite se’s, because they search websites and airlines around the world which means you always know no stone has been left unturned.

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Looking to find out more on visiting america? Have a look at my in-depth destination guide to america with more tips about what things to see and do, costs, methods to save, and much, a lot more!

Photo credit : 2 – David Wilson, 3 – sj carey, 4 – Sean Marshall, 5 – Fox Theatre, 7 – wiredforlego, 8 – Ted Eytan, 9 – Jasperdo, 10 – Chuck A

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