Get away to Detroit this winter for a weekend escape. The city is filled with holiday events and pop-ups all season long.
This continues into January and even February and March with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the winter season.
Whether you’re on a stay-cationing or vacationing, a weekend getaway to enjoy winter seasonal activities and quality time with loved ones is just what the doctor ordered. This itinerary has all you need to maximize 48 hours in our winter wonderland.
Where to Stay
For this winter weekend itinerary, it is best to choose a hotel close to downtown Detroit.
The Atheneum Suite Hotel is a great option in Greektown. Enjoy valet parking and a five-minute walk to Woodward Avenue.
For something a bit further away (but with free parking and filled with Detroit-made décor), stay at Trumbull & Porter in Corktown. You’ll be a 30-minute walk or a seven-minute Uber or drive to downtown.
Photos Courtesy of: The Siren Hotel Lobby Photo Credit Christian Harder, Ice Skating Rink photo by Charles D Falsetti
Start your winter weekend in Detroit by cozying up indoors at one of the city’s great breakfast establishments. Choose a restaurant downtown, close to Woodward Avenue, to position yourself for the rest of the day’s activities.
Hudson Café on Woodward Avenue is a classic option with an extensive menu of mouth-watering pancake creations.
Another nearby option is Dime Store, also downtown. This restaurant has a reputation as one of Detroit’s best brunch spots.
Avalon Café and Bakery is yet another downtown Detroit must-visit for its baked goods. This is a more casual stop – you could even pick up a coffee and fresh-out-of-the-oven bagel to go.
Dime Store Detroit, image courtesy of Dime Store
Next up is window shopping along Woodward Avenue. There are some great shops located here, including national brands and local Detroit businesses alike.
Check out Nike, Madewell, Lululemon, Detroit is the New Black, and more. Better yet, popping in and out of the shops will keep you warm on a cold winter day!
Downtown Festive Activities
If you’re visiting in December or January, spend the afternoon enjoying some of downtown Detroit’s festive activities.
Holiday markets will be happening in Cadillac Square through December 31. You can even grab a bite to eat at Cadillac Lodge, run by Bea’s Detroit (known for their choose-your-own-adventure drinks).
Campus Martius will also be home to their annual ice skating rink all the way through March 6. Tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for children or seniors, with an extra $5 for skate rental.
Make a reservation at one of Detroit’s downtown restaurants for dinner on your first night.
Maru Sushi is a small Michigan business and a favorite option for those who love cocktails and Japanese food. In the winter, you can even reserve a heated outdoor igloo to dine in! This is best for groups, and you must spend at least $300 on food and drinks.
Central Kitchen and Bar is a popular American cuisine restaurant that is very conveniently located for those coming from Campus Martius. For a more elegant ambience (without feeling stuffy), try Wright & Co, which is host to a James Beard nominated chef.
Late Night Fun
If you’ve got the energy to keep going, extend your evening in Detroit at one of the city’s great cocktail bars. The Skip, a whimsical bar located inside The Belt (an art-covered alley in downtown), is hosting a winter pop up bar. Through December 31, the bar is transformed into a kitschy Christmas wonderland with an extensive Christmas-themed cocktail menu, available for both drink-in and to go.
Alternatively (or after December 31), spend your night enjoying a weird yet iconic Detroit activity: fowling! You can experience this unusual football-bowling combo sport at the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck.
Photo Courtesy of: The Hudson Cafe, Pure Michigan, Maru Restaurant, The Dime Store and the Hannah Symanzik (photographer) and Mother of Pearl Design (decor)
Begin your second morning in Detroit at Eastern Market – a Detroit institution and the nation’s largest outdoor farmer’s market that, yes, operates in the winter, too!
On Saturdays from 6am-4pm, Eastern Market hosts their much-loved Saturday Market, filled with local vendors.
Around the holidays, Eastern Market also hosts special Sunday Holiday Markets. Here, you can pick up gifts made locally by Michigan Artisans.
After leisurely strolling Eastern Market, grab a late brunch or early lunch at a restaurant in the area. If you didn’t eat at Cadillac Lodge yesterday, this is a great opportunity to check out Bea’s Detroit’s brick-and-mortar location.
For dinner on your second night in Detroit, choose one of Detroit’s best known cuisines. Either try a Detroit-style pizza (Buddy’s Pizza serves the original, but Luigi’s and Cloverleaf are beloved too), or a Detroit coney dog (American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island have a long-running rivalry… why not try both and decide for yourself?).
Catch a Show
End your winter weekend in Detroit by catching a show. Both the Fox Theatre and Fisher Theatre in downtown are open for business, with plenty of live shows on the schedule, including Broadway tours.
If you’re not in the mood for live entertainment, then watch a film at the Monroe Street Drive In Powered by Emagine. This pop up drive-in movie theater has shows through the spring. The cost is $20 per vehicle, or free for the walk-in outdoor heated seating pods.
Photo Courtesy of: Amy Boyle for Rent 20th Anniversary Tour and The Ford Piquette Plant