Antique Fords to Paddle Boards: Detroit Tours that are Actually Cool

Modified: April 02, 2019 | Story by Sarah Bence | Photos by Antique Touring, Vito Palmisano

Detroit is bursting with unique tours you won’t find anywhere else. Forget traditional Detroit walking tours, and take in the city in a way that’s as innovative as the city itself.

These five tours offer authentic connection to the city, from honoring local ingredients to local industry. Each one provides a unique perspective, too – you won’t just be blindly following a tour guide. There’s nothing more boring than that! Instead, jump in a kayak, on a bike, or even into an antique Ford with these tours. See Detroit the way it deserves to be seen.

5 Unique Detroit Tours

1. Antique Touring

Tour Belle Isle in a genuine Ford Model A with this social enterprise that gives back to the community. Starting from the Ford Piquette Plant, climb into a refurbished Ford Model A and receive the historical tour of a lifetime from Detroit locals. Antique Touring hires drivers at livable wages and supports those in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

2. Riverside Kayak Connection

Paddle around Belle Isle and see where the term ‘canoodling’ originated with Riverside Kayak Connection. Just try not to get blown over to Canada. Grab a kayak from one of the summer rental locations on Belle Isle or in Trenton, Michigan. Take your time and enjoy the Michigan nature, all within view of the Detroit skyline.

3. The HandleBar

Take this bicycle-powered pub out on the streets for a rowdy city tour or private party. A HandleBar tour guide will lead you through the city, but you’ll be put to work pedaling. This tour puts a new spin on the classic pub crawl. Guests can even bring their own drinks and snacks aboard.

The HandleBar in Detroit

The HandleBar

4. Wheelhouse Detroit

Rent a bike and explore Detroit on two wheels – either on your own or with a tour guide. Stop by Wheelhouse Detroit, and begin your ride near the scenic Detroit Riverwalk. Ride up through William G. Milliken State Park before making your way into the city. Just be wary of traffic!

5. Batman v Superman

As a bonus, movie buffs may want to try this free Batman v Superman tour that can be downloaded via the App Store. The block buster movie, which premiered in 2016, was largely filmed in Detroit. With the app, you can explore the city, stopping at prime filming locations.

Whether you are a Detroit native or a traveler passing through, these unique Detroit tours have something to offer everyone. Each one lets you become an active participant in seeing Detroit, supporting its creative businesses, and honoring its history.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues





  1. 1
    Belle Isle State Park
    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
    313-821-9844
  2. 2
  3. 3
    Antique Touring
    461 Piquette St., Detroit, MI 48202
    313-333-5833
  4. 4
    Riverside Kayak Connection
    4016 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte, MI 48192
    734-285-2925
  5. 5
    The HandleBar
    190 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
    586-960-5851
  6. 6
    Wheelhouse Detroit - Rivertown
    1340 E. Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
    313-656-2453