Detroit is big. We’re talking 139 square miles big. And our metro area is even bigger, but we don’t want to intimidate you. Detroit is the Motor City, so it’s easy to drive from place to place. But if you need to narrow your focus, let’s explore some of the places to visit in Detroit.
Corktown started as an Irish immigrant neighborhood, but now it’s the ultimate hip foodie destination. Lots of unique restaurants, bars and shops have popped up over the years, and have stood the test of time. Come here for drinks, dinner and views of Michigan Central Station.
Drive up Jefferson Avenue past the Renaissance Center and you’re in Rivertown. Obviously, you get great views of the Detroit River, Canada and Belle Isle from here, but you’ll want stay for the beautiful parks, restaurants, and boats that ride between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.
Midtown is definitely the place to be. Aside from being the home of Wayne State University and most of Detroit’s hospitals, here you can find a ton of theaters, boutiques, and restaurants serving craft beer and unique eats here.
If you like to party, Greektown is the area for you. Anchored by Greektown Casino Hotel, you’ll find a slew of bars, Greek restaurants and late night activity. Grab your friends, have some drinks and explore Greektown underneath the lights that hang from building to building.
Mexicantown is the one and only place you need to go in Detroit for authentic, flavorful and affordable Mexican food. Take your pick from any of the restaurants along Vernor Highway. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’re a bit of a hipster (don’t worry, it’s okay to admit it), you’ll find dive bars galore in Hamtramck. And eat some yummy Polish food before or after the bar.
Indian Village/West Village
For the history buffs and architecture-obsessed, Indian Village and West Village are must-sees. The homes in these neighborhoods were designed by Detroit’s best architects (think Albert Kahn), and were built for some of the most prominent Detroiters (think Edsel Ford and Bernard Stroh). This neighborhood is also starting to see a lot of unique bakeries and restaurants opening up.
For those seeking the true culture of Detroit, look no further than Eastern Market. Saturdays are flooded with market-goers.You can buy your food for the week, listen to live music, eat at the surrounding restaurants and, of course, shop! This area is full of diversity, culture and fresh, local food. This is the place to be to see authentic Detroit street art, too. Every year they change the murals in the market – just an excuse for you to keep coming back!
- ShoppingDDMeet Me at the Market | Eastern Market Detroit
- CultureDD6 Ways Corktown Detroit Keeps Us Coming Back
- ShoppingDD6 Tips for Eastern Market’s Flower Day
- CultureDDDiscover Detroit’s Midtown and More
Aside from Detroit and the Grosse Pointes, majority of Wayne county runs south along the Detroit River. This is a large region with rich character in Mexican, Arab-American, Polish and Italian neighborhoods. You’ll find Middle Eastern culture in Dearborn, along with a bustling downtown filled with boutiques and restaurants. Wyandotte and Trenton both have charming downtowns and parks along the waterfront – perfect for a night out with family (or a date night!). You’ll find Grosse Pointe north of Detroit along the water. All of these quieter communities are great for a break from the hustle and bustle of the Motor City.
If you prefer to shop-till-you-drop on your vacation, we have the place for you. Whether your style is independent boutiques (see Plymouth and Northville) or big name brands (head right to Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi), you’ll find all of the shopping you need to fill your time in this trendy area. Greater Novi also has awesome restaurants and nightlife to experience.
If you love being by the water, then you’re in luck in Michigan. Of course, we’re surrounded on three sides by the Great Lakes. But in metro Detroit, we’re blessed to have access to two awesome lakes – Lake Erie and Lake St Clair. Find the latter in Macomb, where there are parks, restaurants and bars along the water for lazy afternoons. This laid back, nautical area will help you truly experience the feel of Michigan.
Oakland is upscale and cultured area north of Detroit is where you’ll want to go if you’re looking for sweet cafes, tree-lined streets and shopping and nightlife. Oakland is full of fun downtowns, friendly people and even the Detroit Zoo. Ferndale has a thriving LGBTQ community, and nearby Royal Oak is great for dining and a night on the town.
Campus Martius Park
Campus Martius Park is without a doubt the center of Detroit. It’s like our Times Square, but not so touristy. It’s where we light up our tree in the winter. It’s where every walk of life comes down to skate and shop during the holidays. And it’s the most happening place in Detroit during lunch hour. With a trendy restaurant right in the middle of the park and a beach in the summertime, this destination has plenty to offer.
Woodward Avenue cuts through the city and takes you all the way into Oakland County and beyond. Three Detroit neighborhoods were recently connected along this road with The QLine streetcar. In downtown, you will find shopping, restaurants, theaters and two stadiums along the strip, so there’s never a dull moment. Moving into Midtown, you’ll find our cultural district and college kids exploring the little shops and eateries.Beyond that, you can get connected to the Amtrak train and catch a show at the Fisher Theatre.
Capitol Park is an up and coming area of downtown Detroit. If you’re into supporting local businesses (please do!), stop by these restaurants, coffee shops, markets and boutiques. There is a lot of renovation going on in this area as well, so you can see our comeback in action.
The District is the talk of the town. Everyone is excited to see what’s next for this 50-block area between downtown and Midtown, anchored by the brand new Little Caesars Arena. Even if you aren’t a sports fan, you have to check out this area to see what Detroit is all about. We love our sports, and there’s no denying it in The District. Filled with sports bars, opening day celebrations, tailgates and entertainment galore, you won’t be bored here. Trust us.
No matter who you’re traveling with, everyone enjoys the Detroit International RiverWalk. With views of our neighbor Canada, the Ambassador Bridge and the GM Renaissance Center, you’re in for a great afternoon. Walk down to the carousel or the butterfly garden, play in the fountains, and take in the Michigan sunshine.
Belle Isle is perfect for you outdoorsy folk. Located directly in the middle of the Detroit River, take a bike or your car over the bridge for a picnic, or just to explore. There’s a conservatory and nature center on the island for the science lovers, and the island is beautiful in the fall for photos. Belle Isle also offers a great shot of the Detroit skyline. Instagram photographers rejoice!
The Cass Corridor is thriving right now. From shops and breweries (we’re pretty excited to see when Founder’s opens up here) to brand new development, the Cass Corridor is Midtown’s most exciting place to be right now. Another great area for those who enjoy the hip and trendy things in life.
- CultureDDA City Turned Canvas | Detroit Street Art
- CultureDDDetroit Block by Block: Cass Avenue Edition
- CultureDDExplore Detroit Block by Block: Woodward Avenue Edition
- CultureDDDetroit Block by Block: Michigan Avenue Edition