Detroit Has Something for Every Type of Traveler… What Does it Have For You?

Story By: Sarah Bence

Photos By: Vito Palmisano, Christian Harder, Bill Bowen, Noah Fecks, Michelle Gerard, Chris Gerard, Justin Milhouse, Mark M. Gaskill


Detroit goes by many names… Motor City, Motown, the D, and Hockeytown, to name a few. It’s also known for its foodie scene, classic and modern art, urban development, sustainability initiatives, and more. In other words, there is a lot going on here in Detroit.

Detroit skyline

All this is to say, there is something in Detroit for everyone! Sure, you could plan your trip to Detroit around a cookie-cutter itinerary, full of the top things to do in Detroit for first-timers. Or… you could tailor your visit to the D to your own unique interests, travel style, and personal priorities.

Let’s dive into Detroit’s best sights, tastes, and places to lay your head for every type of traveler.

Fans of culture will find plenty to do in this historic city, known for its world-famous art museums, varied history, and art deco architecture.

Arts, history, and culture lovers

Hotels: If you have an eye for design, consider staying at one of Detroit’s downtown boutique hotels. The Shinola Hotel, a luxury hotel with a curated style and its own art collection is a great pick. The Siren Hotel in the historic Wurlitzer Building is another top option, particularly for those who appreciate art deco design.

Restaurants: Looking for a special touch of art and design in your restaurants – and their menus? Some must-visits for a decadent dinner are The Whitney, Grey Ghost, San Morello, Freya, and Barda. And be sure to stop by Candy Bar – the pink cocktail lounge in the Siren Hotel – for a well-designed nightcap.

Activities: Any art lover in Detroit should spend some time at the Detroit Institute of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Some more off-the-beaten-path artsy spots include the Heidelberg Project and Dabls’ MBAD African Bead Museum. Walk around downtown, particularly The Belt alley, and Eastern Market area to see some stunning street art. Finally, drop by the Detroit Historical Museum to put your visit to Detroit in context.

Those who value time outdoors may be surprised to find there is much for them in Detroit. From over a thousand community gardens to sustainable hotels and urban farms, Detroit has a lot to offer.

Nature and greenspace travelers

Hotels: The best hotel in Detroit for nature and sustainability-loving travelers is El Moore Lodge in Midtown. The historic, sustainably renovated building includes touches like solar panels, reclaimed features, rainwater harvesting, and a community garden with native Michigan plants.

Restaurants: The farm-to-table scene in Detroit is thriving, with many options for travelers who value this type of experience. Coriander Kitchen and Farm in particular is a pure Detroit farm-to-table experience. The canal district restaurant sources its produce from their own nearby one-acre urban farm by Eastern Market. Other Detroit restaurants with farm-to-table practices include Folk, Detroit Farm and Cider, Marrow, Table Number 2, Saffron De Twah, and Chartreuse Kitchen and Cocktails.

Activities: Within the city, you will find many parks and green spaces. Walk down the Detroit International Riverwalk to the Robert C. Valade Park and the William G. Milliken State Park. Alternatively, spend the day at Belle Isle State Park, a 982-acre island park with plenty of gardens, trails, and the Belle Isle Nature Center. Check out Eastern Market, the largest outdoor farmer’s market in the country, to browse local produce…or head to one of Detroit’s many urban farms.

Looking for a little adrenaline rush? Even the more adventurous travelers will find something for them in Detroit.
Detroit Foundation Hotel - Apparatus Room


Hotels: Adventurous travelers might feel at home at the Detroit Foundation Hotel, the former headquarters of the Detroit Fire Department. Trumbull & Porter in Corktown is another great choice: a modern, edgy hotel with local Michigan furnishings, bonfire pits, a 24-hour fitness center, bikes, and an on-site restaurant.

Restaurants: If you’ve got adventurous taste buds, then there are quite a few restaurants in Detroit that may pleasantly surprise you. Pie Sci puts some pretty bizarre (but delicious) spins on classic pizza toppings. At Sid Gold’s Request Room you’ll have a live piano bar with your meal – and may be inspired to do some impromptu karaoke.

Activities: Why not start off your trip to Detroit with some light axe throwing at Detroit Axe? If that’s your thing, you might also enjoy fowling (combination football bowling) at the Fowling Warehouse. In metro Detroit, try ziplining and treetop-high obstacle courses at TreeRunner Adventure Park. For those who prefer to adventure closer to downtown, rent bikes from Wheelhouse Detroit, or rent kayaks at Belle Isle from Riverside Kayak Connection.

Detroit is known as Motor City. It’s also known as the only city in the United States that houses all four professional sports teams within the downtown area. Basically, sports and car fans will find a lot to love in Detroit!
Detroit is one of the best U.S. cities to visit

Sports and Auto fans

Hotels: You’ll want to stay right downtown, or close to the District Detroit. One ideal option is staying at the Detroit Marriott, located within the iconic GM Renaissance Center. By staying here, you will be right where the action is.

Restaurants: Chances are, you’ll want to focus on restaurants close in proximity to Ford Field, Comerica Park, and Little Caesars Arena – bonus points if there are big screens showing the game. Some great options include Bookies Bar and Grille, Coaches Corner Bar and Grill, Elwood Bar and Grill, Hockeytown Café, Buffalo Wild Wings, and The Town Pump Tavern.

Activities: Depending on the season, catch a Detroit Tigers baseball game at Comerica Park, tailgate and attend a Detroit Lions football game at Ford Field, or cheer on the Detroit Pistons or Redwings at Little Caesars Arena. Auto lovers will definitely want to check out The Henry Ford and the Ford Piquette Plant, and even take a tour in a real-life vintage Model A car with Antique Touring. Try to time your visit to match with one of Detroit’s famous auto shows – such as the Woodward Dream Cruise, Chevy Detroit Grand Prix, or North American International Auto Show.

Do you let your stomach lead your travel decisions? The food and beverage scene in Detroit is worth planning your itinerary around.
Inside of the Brakeman

Foodies and Craft-anything seekers

Hotels: Foodies won’t regret a reservation at the Shinola Hotel. Order from their full-service in-room dining options, or dine at one of the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and bars: San Morello, The Brakeman, Evening Bar, Penny Red’s, and Mister Dips. The Detroit Foundation Hotel, home to The Apparatus Room restaurant and cocktail lounge, is another great pick.

Restaurants: There are so many award-winning restaurants in Detroit that it is going to be difficult to choose just a few. Grey Ghost is often on lists of the best food and cocktails in Detroit. Some hot new restaurants include Barda, Midnight Temple, and even Mom’s Spaghetti (Eminem’s restaurant… yes that Eminem). Craft beer lovers should stop by Founders Brewing Co., Batch Brewing Company, Atwater Brewery, Motor City Brewing Works, 8 Degrees Plato, and Brew Detroit. Those who prefer wine and cocktails should bookmark The Sugar House, The Skip, Standby, House of Pure Vin, and Detroit Vineyards Tasting Room. Prefer something a bit harder? Metro Detroit distilleries include Valentine Distilling, Detroit City Distillery, Two James Spirits, and more.

Activities: Your Detroit itinerary is going to be pretty packed with restaurants, cocktail lounges, breweries, and distilleries. If you want to add some structure, join a Motor City Brews Tour or a pub crawl with The Michigan Pedaler. The brand new Detroit Brew Trail is another great way to guide your time in Detroit.

The whole family can easily enjoy a weekend in Detroit. Choose from family-friendly restaurants and activities across the metro area.
Polar bear at the Detroit Zoo

Family travelers

Hotels: There are many family-friendly hotels in Detroit to choose from. If you want to spread out in a suite, stay at Atheneum Suite Hotel in Greektown, or Embassy Suites in Troy (complete with a pool and not far from the Detroit Zoo).

Restaurants: Both adults and kids will love a meal at Buddy’s Pizza, home of the original Detroit-style pizza and with multiple locations across the downtown and metro areas. For brunch, make a reservation at the Hudson Café on Woodward Avenue. Kids will love the red velvet or chunky monkey pancakes (adults will, too). For something sweet, stop by the famous Sister Pie and browse the range of pies and other desserts.

Activities: Plan your weekend around some of Detroit’s best-ranked activities for families. There is something for everyone at the Henry Ford, Sea Life Michigan Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, and the Detroit Zoo.

Are you a student pinching pennies, or a budget traveler? Don’t worry, there is still much for you to see and do in Detroit.

Budget travelers

Hotels: For the classic budget travel experience, stay at Hostel Detroit in Corktown where beds start from as low as $35/night in a dorm room. The Hamtramck Hostel is another good option for budget travelers. You can also often find good deals on Airbnb, VRBO, or last-minute on or

Restaurants: Most budget travelers will prefer to buy low-priced groceries and prepare their own food at their accommodation. However, if you want to dine out in Detroit on a budget, a good place to start is to check out some of the city’s food trucks. One meal you should splurge on is a Detroit coney dog – often relatively low priced so a good bang for your buck for travelers on a budget.

Activities: The great news for budget travelers is that some of Detroit’s most iconic activities are free! Take a stroll along the Detroit International Riverwalk, twice voted as the #1 riverwalk in the country. Peruse the stalls of Eastern Market or window shop along Woodward Avenue. For $11 (with an annual Michigan recreation pass) you can also get onto Belle Isle for an entire day and explore all the state park has to offer.

Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Shinola Hotel
    1400 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  2. 2
    The Siren Hotel
    1509 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226
  3. 3
    The Whitney
    4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  4. 4
    Grey Ghost Detroit
    47 E. Watson St., Detroit, MI 48201
  5. 5
    San Morello
    1400 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  6. 6
    Candy Bar
    1509 Broadway, Detroit, MI 48226
  7. 7
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  8. 8
    Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
    4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  9. 9
    The Belt
    Between Broadway and Library Streets, linking Gratiot and Grand, Detroit, MI 48226
  10. 10
    Detroit Historical Museum
    5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  11. 11
    The El Moore Lodge
    624 W. Alexandrine St., Detroit, MI 48201
  12. 12
    8044 Kercheval Ave., #1B, Detroit, MI 48214
  13. 13
    Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails
    15 E. Kirby St., Suite D, Detroit, MI 48202
  14. 14
    Detroit International RiverWalk
    1340 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
  15. 15
    Robert C. Valade Park
    2670 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
  16. 16
    William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor
    1900 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
  17. 17
    Belle Isle State Park
    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
  18. 18
    Eastern Market
    Russell Street between Mack Avenue and Gratiot Avenue, 2934 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
  19. 19
    Detroit Foundation Hotel
    250 W. Larned St., Detroit, MI 48226
  20. 20
    Trumbull & Porter
    1331 Trumbull Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  21. 21
    Fowling Warehouse
    3901 Christopher St., Hamtramck, MI 48211
  22. 22
    TreeRunner Adventure Park at West Bloomfield
    6600 West Maple Road, West Bloomfield Twp., MI 48322
  23. 23
    Wheelhouse Detroit - Rivertown
    1340 E. Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
  24. 24
    Riverside Kayak Connection
    4016 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte, MI 48192
  25. 25
    Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
    400 GM Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI 48243
  26. 26
    Bookies Bar & Grille
    2208 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  27. 27
    Coaches Corner Bar & Grill
    220 Bagley Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  28. 28
    Elwood Bar & Grill
    300 Adams Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  29. 29
    Hockeytown Cafe
    2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  30. 30
    Buffalo Wild Wings
    1218 Randolph St., Detroit, MI 48226
  31. 31
    The Town Pump Tavern
    2233 Park Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  32. 32
    Detroit Tigers
    2100 Woodward Ave., Comerica Park, Detroit, MI 48201
  33. 33
    Ford Field
    2000 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226
  34. 34
    Little Caesars Arena
    2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  35. 35
    The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
  36. 36
  37. 37
    Antique Touring Co.
    461 Piquette St., Detroit, MI 48202
  38. 38
    The Brakeman
    22 John R St., Detroit, MI 48226
  39. 39
    Evening Bar
    1400 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  40. 40
    Penny Red's
    1445 Farmer St., Detroit, MI 48226
  41. 41
    Apparatus Room
    250 W. Larned St., Detroit, MI 48226
  42. 42
    Batch Brewing Co.
    1400 Porter St., Detroit, MI 48216
  43. 43
    Atwater Brewery
    237 Jos. Campau Ave., Detroit, MI 48207
  44. 44
    Motor City Brewing Works
    470 W. Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48201
  45. 45
    8 Degrees Plato
    3409 Cass Ave., Detroit,
  46. 46
    Brew Detroit
    1401 Abbott St., Detroit, MI 48216
    313-974-7366 Ext
  47. 47
    Sugar House
    2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  48. 48
    The Skip
    1234 Library St., Detroit, MI 48226
  49. 49
    225 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  50. 50
    House of Pure Vin
    1433 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  51. 51
    Detroit City Distillery
    2462 Riopelle St., Detroit, MI 48207
  52. 52
    Two James Spirits
    2445 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  53. 53
    Atheneum Suite Hotel & Conference Center
    1000 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226
  54. 54
    Embassy Suites - Troy Auburn Hills
    850 Tower Drive, Troy, MI 48098
  55. 55
    Buddy's Pizza - Detroit
    17125 Conant St., Detroit, MI 48212
  56. 56
    Hudson Cafe
    1241 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  57. 57
    Sea Life Michigan Aquarium
    4316 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
  58. 58
    Legoland Discovery Center Michigan
    4240 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
  59. 59
    Detroit Zoo
    8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067
  60. 60
    Hostel Detroit
    2700 Vermont St., Detroit, MI 48216