Spend Your Unused Vacation Time in Detroit

Modified: February 19, 2019 | Story by Biba Adams | Photos by Bill Bowen

There’s nothing like a 4-day weekend. Kicks off on Thursday and doesn’t end until late Monday night. That’s enough time for a great vacation that recharges the batteries and gets the blood pumping.

Finding the balance between having it all and being it all is hard for some folks. Climbing the career ladder can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be exhausting and draining. For folks who have salaried careers, most employers offer PTO — Paid Time Off.

The best thing about PTO is that an employee can use it any way they want.

So, what should you do with a few of your paid time off days? What about a trip to Detroit? Fodor’s travel guide has already named Detroit as a “Top Travel Destination” for 2019. Citing the development of businesses, opening of restaurants, and redesign of public park spaces, Detroit has a lot to see and do.

Detroit is Closer than you Think

Only a quick four-hour drive from many cities in the Midwest and a short flight from almost everywhere else. Built in 1929, Detroit Metropolitan Airport is one of the largest airport hubs in the country. And it’s a major hub for your favorite airline, Delta. Over a dozen airlines operate out of Metro, virtually guaranteeing that you can get a flight in and out any time. With dozens of dining options, gift shops, and free WiFi, even waiting for your flight back home will be pleasant when you leave.

Detroit Metro Airport McNamara Terminal

Detroit Metro Airport McNamara Terminal.

Ultra Cool Hotel Options

The new Shinola Hotel is sure to be one of Detroit’s most attractive hotel options. Situated in the Central Business District, the hotel has been designed in a way that combines sleek modern finishes and fixtures with comfortable and unique furnishings. The Shinola Hotel also has great restaurant options managed by NoHo Hospitality.

 

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The Element Hotel is located inside the Metropolitan Building formerly the jewelry hub of the city. This Starwood property is an extended stay hotel with 110 guest rooms and retail space. A stay at the Element has to include a visit at the rooftop bar that is perfect for 360-degree views of the city.

The Siren Hotel rounds out this strip of luxurious places to stay in Downtown Detroit. The art deco Wurlitzer Building has been updated with a vintage chic decor with pops of color everywhere and plush fabrics that make for a very cool, totally Instagrammable stay. The Siren Hotel also features a number of very cool retro-styled eateries. Populace Coffee features delicious roasts and fresh pastries, Candy Bar is an exquisitely-styled cocktail lounge, Albena is an exquisite 8-seat eating experience, and The Siren Hotel has even more to offer to make your visit to Detroit memorable.

The Foodie Experience

Our Definitive Guide to Detroit’s Newest Restaurants features some of the best picks for great food in The D. There are so many amazing food choices in the city, that there will be no way to hit them all during your visit. But, cheers to trying. One of the coolest trends in Detroit restaurants is local sourcing. Many of the newest Detroit restaurants are getting their cherries, apples, and poultry from Michigan farms which makes for fresh tastes and cool way to support the state’s economy.

Public Parks in Detroit

Belle Isle State Park is the crown jewel of Detroit. The beautiful 1000-acre park sits in the middle of our downtown and has recently undergone extensive renovations. Belle Isle is home to the Belle Isle Aquarium and the Belle Isle Nature Center, both free to park visitors. The park also features picnic spaces that are perfect for recreation and a man-made beach with a water slide.

Kensington Metropark is a quick 30-min drive from Detroit and offers great amenities for a day on the Kent Lake. Biking, golf, fishing, equestrian trails, and a splash park are just a few of the fun things to do at Kensington which is a part of a larger community of Metroparks around the state.

Heritage Park in nearby Farmington Hills is an ideal getaway for the rest and relaxation PTO is perfect for. Heritage offers an archery range, golf and driving range, and a fishing pier. Heritage also features the beautiful Stables Art Studio for your creative inspiration and beautiful amphitheater with frequent outdoor entertainment.

Belle Isle

Belle Isle State Park.

Museums in Detroit

A city with such a rich heritage and history naturally is home to tons of museums. During your visit to Detroit, learn more about our past by taking a stroll through them. At the top of the list is the Motown Museum celebrating the most recognizable music brand name in the world. Take a tour through the hallowed halls of Studio A and make sure you visit the gift shop for a souvenir to take home. After Motown, no trip to Detroit is complete without a visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts which has a number of beautiful classics to enjoy, a movie theater, and regular rotating exhibits. Lastly, make your way to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation which houses incredible artifacts of America’s past. Visit our Guide to Museums in Detroit for a few more must see museums.

Detroit Theaters

Detroit is home to dozens of fantastic theaters that offer all kinds of shows from Shakespeare to Broadway to small original productions. The Fox Theatre is the most remarkable of them all with a beautiful restored interior that wows. The Fisher Theatre regularly runs Broadway performances that are a pure delight with the amazing acoustics. For a different kind of theater experience, try the Detroit Repertory Theatre.

The marquee at the Fox Theatre

Fox Theatre.

Detroit Spas

After your whirlwind long weekend of Detroit adventure, cap off your trip with a relaxing visit to a spa. Downtown, the Woodhouse Day Spa features all of your favorite treatments in a relaxing environment that makes you forget you’re in the middle of a metropolitan city. Immerse Spa inside of the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino is also a great option. Spa Book Cadillac is another is located inside the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, services are available in-room for guests and by appointment for everyone else. A really great low-price, high-quality option is a massage at Irene’s School of Myomassology. Featuring reasonable priced massages by senior students located in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Irene’s a great option. Be sure to book in advance, as appointments at all of these spas tend to fill up quickly.

Detroit may not have been the first place you thought of to spend a few days of your PTO, but we feel pretty confident that once you visit, you’ll love it. Go back to work rested and rejuvenated with cool stories to tell about your time in the Motor City.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues





  1. 1
    Detroit Metro Airport
    2500 World Gateway Place, I-94 at Merriman Road, Detroit, MI 48242
    734-AIR-PORT (24
  2. 2
    Element Detroit at the Metropolitan Building
    33 John R St., Detroit, MI 48226
    313-306-2400
  3. 3
    The Siren Hotel
    1509 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226
    313-277-4736
  4. 4
    Belle Isle State Park
    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
    313-821-9844
  5. 5
    Belle Isle Aquarium
    Belle Isle State Park, 900 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit, MI 48207
    313-402-0466
  6. 6
    Belle Isle Nature Center
    Belle Isle State Park, 176 Lakeside Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
    313-852-4056
  7. 7
    Motown Museum
    2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI 48208
    313-875-2264
  8. 8
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
    313-833-7900
  9. 9
    The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
    313-982-6001
  10. 10
    Fox Theatre
    2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
    313-471-3211
  11. 11
    Fisher Theatre
    3011 W. Grand Blvd., Fisher Bldg., Detroit, MI 48202
    313-872-1000
  12. 12
    Detroit Repertory Theatre
    13103 Woodrow Wilson St., Detroit, MI 48238
    313-868-1347
  13. 13
    Woodhouse Day Spa
    1447 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
    313-965-6270
  14. 14
    MGM Grand Detroit
    1777 Third Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
    313-465-1777
  15. 15
    The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
    1114 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
    313-442-1600