The A-Z Guide to Visiting Metro Detroit
Story By: Sarah Bence
Planning a visit to downtown Detroit or the metro area? Get to know Detroit a little bit better with our A-Z guide.
From coney dogs to the Detroit Zoo, Eastern Market to the Qline, Ford Field to the Nautical Mile, this fun guide will take you through the alphabet featuring metro Detroit’s finest attractions and events – including some you might not have heard of before!
A is for American Coney Island, the best restaurant to order a famous coney dog in Detroit. The restaurant has been run by the same family for over 100 years and is indisputably home to Detroit’s original coney.
B is for Belle Isle, a beautiful island in the middle of the Detroit River overlooking Windsor, Canada, and downtown Detroit. Visit the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Belle Isle Aquarium, or just spend a day enjoying the parks or paddling in a kayak around the island.
C is for Corktown, the historically Irish neighborhood west of downtown Detroit. Spend a day exploring new and old businesses alike. Stay at Trumbull and Porter, catch a live show at Corktown Tavern, and take a distillery tour at Two James Spirits.
D is for the Detroit Institute of Arts. This art museum is regularly voted as one of the best art museums in the entire United States and is a must-visit in Detroit.
E is for Eastern Market, the largest outdoor farmer’s market in the United States. No trip to Detroit is complete without visiting the iconic Saturday market.
F is for the Free Press Marathon. Each year, the Detroit Free Press hosts a marathon and half marathon race that is unlike any other race in the country – in most years, the racecourse crosses an international border via the Ambassador Bridge to Canada and back.
G is for Greenfield Village, where you’ll find 80 acres of buildings honoring American history, created by Henry Ford. Take a ride in a vintage Model A car, tour historic homes (including the restored birthplace of Ford himself), and more. And of course, check out the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation while you’re there.
H is for the Heidelberg Project, an internationally-renowned outdoor art installation like nothing you’ve seen before. The project spans Heidelberg street in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood and includes the childhood home of Tyree Guyton, the project’s creator. It is constantly evolving and often includes an artistic critique of current events.
Photo Credits: Eastern Market Partnership, Two James Spirits
I is for ice – and not just because it gets cold in Detroit in winter! Head to the Plymouth Ice Festival in Metro Detroit each February where you can be stunned by live ice sculpting.
J is for the Joe Louis Fist. The statue – officially called the Monument to Joe Louis – was gifted to Detroit by Sports Illustrated in 1986.
K is for kid-friendly. There are a lot of family-friendly attractions and events in Metro Detroit. Check out the Detroit Zoo, Legoland Discovery Center, catch a Detroit Tiger’s baseball game at Comerica Park, and so much more.
L is for the Lions, Detroit’s professional football team. Spend a fall weekend tailgating and catch a game at Ford Field downtown.
M is for Motown – a rhythm and blues music style that was invented right here in Detroit in the 1960s. Pay homage to the music of Motown at Detroit’s Motown Museum when it reopens, and spend the night at the 1911-built, Motown-themed MotownBNB.
N is for the Nautical Mile, a lakeside street in St. Clair Shores in Metro Detroit. Stop by in the summer for ice cream, lunch, and boutique shopping, before renting a boat for the day.
O is for opera, which you can see live at the Detroit Opera House. This gorgeous theater was built in 1922 and is home to the Michigan Opera Theatre.
P is for the Pistons, Detroit’s NBA basketball team. You can see the Pistons play at Little Caesar’s Arena in downtown Detroit’s The District.
Photo Credits: Jake Vorkapich and Detroit Lions
Q is for the Qline, Detroit’s streetcar line which launched in 2017. The 3.3-mile route includes 20 stops and is popular among commuters and tourists alike.
R is for Red Wings, the Detroit National Hockey League team. Check out one of their games at Little Caesar’s Arena.
S is for science or more specifically the Michigan Science Center in midtown Detroit. With over 200 hands-on exhibits for the whole family, this is the best place in Detroit for STEM lovers and learners!
T is for Thanksgiving Parade, Each year (for 93 years!) the Parade Company hosts much-loved America’s Thanksgiving Parade on the streets of downtown Detroit – which is streamed in homes across the country!
U is for the United We Stand sculpture. Visit the sculpture, which commemorates the 1967 Detroit riots, before spending an afternoon at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
V is for Valentine Distilling in Ferndale. This distillery, cocktail lounge, and tasting room are set up like a speakeasy and make for a perfect Detroit date night.
W is for a winter wonderland, which is what downtown Detroit turns into each December. Go ice skating at Campus Martius, shop the holiday markets in Cadillac Square, catch a movie at the Monroe Street drive-in, and grab a custom hot chocolate at the Cadillac Lodge.
X is for Xochimilco Restaurant and Xochi’s Gift Shop – one of the very best restaurants in Mexicantown, the Latinx neighborhood within southwest Detroit. Stop by to try the best fajitas in Detroit, or check out one of Detroit’s many other great Mexican restaurants.
Y is for yachting, Charter a yacht for the day – or for a super special event – with Infinity & Ovation Yacht Charters in Metro Detroit. Cruise the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair for an unforgettable event.
Z is for Z Lot, a 1,275-space parking garage in downtown Detroit that doubles as an outdoor street art museum, filled with over 100 murals. Park on the top level for one of the best views of Detroit’s skyline.
Photo Credits: Vito Palmisano, Bill Bowen
Mentioned Attractions And Venues
Get Directions (313) 961-7758
Since 1917, the distinctive taste of a specially seasoned hot dog, secret recipe chili, fine…
Get Directions (313) 821-9844
Accessible by a bridge at the foot of East Grand Boulevard, this 982-acre island park…
Get Directions (313) 821-5428
The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, featuring a collection of exotic plants, is one of the…
Get Directions (313) 402-0466
Zoo, (313) 852-4083; Aquarium, (313) 852-4141. The aquarium is open all year and houses freshwater…
Get Directions (313) 496-1400
Detroit's newest boutique hotel - Trumbull & Porter boasts 143 completely renovated guest rooms, Red…
Get Directions (313) 964-5103
Neighborhood watering hole with upstairs showcasing live bands.
Get Directions (313) 964-4800
Detroit's first licensed distillery since prohibition uses local ingredients to produce the finest quality spirits…
Get Directions (313) 833-7900
The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), among the top 10 museums in the country, offers…
Get Directions (313) 833-9300
The largest outdoor farmers market in the nation, encompassing more than 43 acres and founded…
Get Directions (313) 982-6001
3 must-see attractions. 250 acres of unexpected. 1 awe-inspiring experience. At The Henry Ford, discover…
Get Directions (248) 541-5717
The Detroit Zoo is now open. Timed tickets are available online only by visiting their…
Get Directions (248) 409-6001
Legoland Discovery Center Michigan is the ultimate indoor Lego playground where families with young children…
Get Directions (313) 471-2000
Comerica Park is the new home of the Detroit Tigers. State-of-the-art facility hosts ball games…
Get Directions (313) 262-2222
Experience Detroit Lions football at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Visit Detroitlions.com for information on…
Get Directions (313) 262-2000
Ford Field is an industry-leading sports and entertainment venue. In addition to Lions football, Ford…
Get Directions (313) 875-2264
Long known as Hitsville USA, the museum is home of the world-famous Studio A, where…
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