What to Pack for a Trip to Detroit

Modified: January 30, 2023 | Story by Biba Adams

Coming to visit for a vacation in Detroit? Good for you! We are so excited to have you. There’s so much in Detroit to see and do. But, as you stand before your empty suitcase, you seem perplexed. “What should I pack for a trip to Detroit?” Well, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered on both the tangible and intangible things to bring with you for your amazing trip to one of the greatest places in the world! See you soon!


In some ways, Detroit is still like a small-town masquerading as a big city. We are accustomed to our ever-present potholes and traffic snarls. Traffic and transportation are still growth areas for us. So bring your patience and a sense of humor as you navigate our small, but effective downtown train, The People Mover, and our Q-Line streetcar. Our public transportation system, D-DOT has infrequent scheduling, but it sticks to those times. So, when taking a bus in Detroit, have the schedule close by. Check out our transportation guide to get a lay of the land.

Detroit Apparel

Our city pride is maybe just a tad more pronounced than most. Detroiters are almost always adorned in some attire that features our sports teams, slogans, or just the name of our city emblazoned across it. If you want to fit in with real Detroiters, pack some D gear or plan to buy some when you arrive. We have amazing retailers like Detroit vs. Everybody, Detroit Hustles HarderPure Detroit, and Made in Detroit that have tons of cool stuff for you to choose from to rep The D just like a native. We think by the time you leave, you’ll want to do so anyway.

Detroit vs. Everybody T-shirt, sold near Eastern Market

Detroit vs. Everybody T-shirt by Michelle and Chris Gerard

Fancy Clothes

Did you know that Detroit has over 30,000 seats of theater seating? That means at any given time, you could enjoy a play at Fisher Theatre or The Fox. You could also see an opera at the Detroit Opera House or Michigan Opera Theatre. Our three major casinos also feature shows and events where putting on a little sparkle and shine are also recommended. So, pack up something slinky and a pair of high heels, ladies. Guys, dust off your Sunday best and a really cool tie and dress up during one of your evenings while you visit Detroit.

Your Appetite for Detroit Restaurant

Detroit features delicious dining from high to low-end. We are known around the world for our Coney dogs and our amazing cuisine has become national news. There are lots of ways to navigate Detroit’s food scene and we have prepared an entire Detroit Restaurant Guide for you to find and taste some of the best food Detroit has to offer. Check it out before you head to our city, and don’t forget to pack your special, stretchy, eatin’ pants.

Buddy's Pizza

Seasonal Clothing

Have you ever experienced all four seasons in one week? No? Well, then you have never lived in Michigan. Depending on when you’re planning to visit, make sure that your clothing (and especially outerwear) choices are varied. Long-sleeve shirts are great recommendations for three-quarters of the year. They can keep you warm, and amazingly, when needed they can also keep you cool. Jeans are always a good choice, as well as shorts for spring and summer. As far as jackets, we recommend peacoats for much of the year. If you choose to visit in winter, bring a down coat, gloves, scarf, hat, the whole shebang. Coming in summer, hey, don’t worry about it. Let it all hang out. It’s going to vary between hot and unbelievably hot. But, a word of caution, NEVER complain about the summer heat to a Detroiter. You have no idea what we went through in winter to get here.

An Open Mind

We know that our beautiful city hasn’t always had the greatest reputation. And we don’t know what you may have heard before coming to visit us. But, we know that once you visit Detroit, and see all that we have to offer, you will fall in love with her as much as us. Detroit has amazing views, a sparkling river with walkable spaces, and a bustling downtown. We also have historic spaces, museums, and neighborhood sights to see. So, bring your open-minded, optimistic, best self to visit us in Detroit. We promise we will make every moment worth it.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Detroit People Mover (Detroit Transportation Corp.)
    535 Griswold St., Suite 400, Detroit, MI 48226
  2. 2
    Detroit vs. Everybody
    400 Monroe St., Ste. 340, Detroit, MI 48226
  3. 3
    Pure Detroit - Downtown
    Guardian Building, 500 Griswold St., Ste. 250, Detroit, MI 48226
  4. 4
    Fox Theatre
    2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  5. 5
    Detroit Opera House/Michigan Opera Theatre
    1526 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226