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

Detroit Lions Watch Party at Beacon Park

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

Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit

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

  1. 1
    American Coney Island
    114 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
  2. 2
    Belle Isle State Park
    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
  3. 3
    Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory
    Belle Isle State Park, 900 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit, MI 48207
  4. 4
    Belle Isle Aquarium
    Belle Isle State Park, 3 Inselruhe Ave, Detroit, MI 48207
  5. 5
    Trumbull & Porter
    1331 Trumbull Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  6. 6
    Corktown Tavern
    1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  7. 7
    Two James Spirits
    2445 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  8. 8
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  9. 9
    Eastern Market
    Russell Street between Mack Avenue and Gratiot Avenue, 2934 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
  10. 10
    The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
  11. 11
    Detroit Zoo
    8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067
  12. 12
    Legoland Discovery Center Michigan
    4240 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
  13. 13
    Comerica Park
    2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  14. 14
    Detroit Lions
    2000 Brush St., Ford Field, Detroit, MI 48226
  15. 15
    Ford Field
    2000 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226
  16. 16
    Motown Museum
    2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI 48208
  17. 17
    2702 W. Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208
  18. 18
    Detroit Opera House/Michigan Opera Theatre
    1526 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226
  19. 19
    Detroit Pistons
    Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  20. 20
    Little Caesars Arena
    2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  21. 21
    Detroit Red Wings
    Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  22. 22
    Michigan Science Center
    5020 John R St., Detroit, MI 48202
  23. 23
    The Parade Company
    9500 Mt. Elliott St., Studio A, Detroit, MI 48211
  24. 24
    Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
    315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  25. 25
    Campus Martius Park
    800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  26. 26
    Xochi's Gift Shop
    3437 Bagley Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  27. 27
    Xochimilco Restaurant
    3409 Bagley Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  28. 28
  29. 29
    Two James Spirits
    2445 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216, USA
    (313) 964-4800
  30. 30
    Plymouth Ice Festival
    West Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth, MI 48170, USA
  31. 31
    5 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226, USA
  32. 32
    The Nautical Mile
    St. Clair Shores, MI, USA
  33. 33
    Valentine Distilling
    161 Vester Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220, USA
    (248) 629-9951
  34. 34
    Z Lot
    1234 Library St, Detroit, MI 48226, USA