A Quick List of Touristy Things to do in Detroit Mi
With a few that aren’t so touristy
If you have some time, I think that you’d enjoy my article on: Is Detroit that bad? In addition I have a photo essay of some pictures that I took while in Detroit. Detroit is a unique America city because of its past. Detroit was a pinnacle in American manufacturing for many years, but now it is experiencing the downside of what happens when things don’t go so well economically speaking. Detroit now has some of the poorest neighborhoods in America. It is also home to rows of abandoned houses. Detroit is a good example of a singular economy.
I don’t typically harp on ‘touristy things’ to do, but here is a list of a few things that you might enjoy doing while in Detroit. Then, I will give you a few additional suggestions for things that I did when I was there.
- Greek Town – Greek Town is a small area just inside the downtown area. Greek town is nothing more than a couple of authentic Greek restaurants pulled together, but there is some great food. If you truly enjoy Mediterranean cuisine, then I bet you’ll enjoy Greek town in Detroit. I was impressed with the food I received. It was quality and filling for a reasonable price.
- Coney Island – Coney Island is famous for being famous. It is a glorified hot dog stand in the heart of downtown Detroit just a few minutes walk from the bus station. Coney Island has good hotdogs, and they offer a few other services as well. It is affordable as well.
- Walk downtown – Just walk around downtown to see the differences in buildings and regions. Parts of downtown seem almost abandoned while others seem to be flourishing. Take a stroll and see what you think.
- Catch a game – If you are in town for season, check out a football or baseball game. The Detroit Lions play in Ford Stadium. The Detroit Tigers have a nice stadium as well. Both are in the downtown area.
- Heidelberg Project – The Heidelberg project is probably the least ‘touristy’ thing to do in Detroit. The Project is an artist’s attempt at making art from waste. He is using the artwork to raise awareness about certain topics relevant to Detroit, such as education disparities. It is definitely unique to say the least.
- Get your picture taken with Hardcore Pawn – This was a guilty pleasure of mine. I like visiting places that I have seen on TV before. So, I thought that it would be cool to visit the place where all the magic happens. I checked out the store and got my picture taken with the owners.
- Walk to Canada – This was one of the things that I didn’t actually get to do. I wish that I would have. It was described to me as being the ultimate contrast between Canada and the US. I did walk across the border between Niagara falls, but not when I was in Detroit. If you get the chance, I think that it would be worth your time.
- Check out the farmer’s market – The farmer’s market is said to be one of the best around. The farmer’s market is located just a short walk from downtown Detroit and takes place a few times a week (I think). Find out when the market is open and check it out.
- Visit an urban garden – Urban gardens are like no other in Detroit. Detroit is in many ways, at the forefront with urban gardens. At least with respect to other cities that I have visited. I recommend stopping by and checking out one of the operations. Many of the local cafes offer produce from these gardens.
Additional suggestions for things to do in Detroit that you won’t find in the tourist books:
- Take a bus around the city. This isn’t necessarily a tourist thing to do, but take a spin around the city by bus and see all the different regions of Detroit. You will travel through a combinations of neighborhoods. A see the major contrasts that exist within the city.
- Stay a night in the ghetto or abandoned neighborhood. Now, don’t take this too lightly. I stayed with a host via Couchsurfing. A group of people living in abandoned houses in the west of the city. I don’t recommend staying just anywhere, but try to experience life up close and personal in some of the worst areas of the city. It will give you a better appreciation for the situation in Detroit. Don’t stay in uncertain conditions.
- Talk with a local. Find someone who has been in the city their entire lives. If they are willing, as them to give you an idea of how much the city has changed in the recent 20-30 years.
What are your thoughts?
Have you visited Detroit before? What were your thoughts on Detroit? If so, which was your favorite thing to do in Detroit?
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