Welcome to Detroit, Michigan!
Detroit is known for many things--especially the popular Detroit Lions, or the real animals at the Detroit Zoo--but for some, it is a less glamorous destination to visit. We will work on changing your opinion if you are one of these people. Detroit is located on the Detroit River and nearby Lake Michigan. Historically, it was founded as a fort by French fur traders, and because of its location on the river and access to the water, later on, Detroit became an important city for trade and commerce in the United States.
Detroit became one of the biggest cities in the country with massive skyscrapers, a bustling theater district, and a music scene, that was unrivaled, at the time. It was the birthplace of Motown and had large jazz, blues, and later on, techno influence in the music world. It was also the home of Chrysler, GM, and Ford, giving Detroit its nickname “the motor city.” Detroit may have fallen on some hard times in recent years, but the city is now on an upswing, and a worldwide local knows that that’s the best time to experience a city.
Worldwide Local Tip: Despite the improvement of crime with rates going down, Detroit remains a little dangerous in some parts of the city, and some areas are suffering from large amounts of urban decay. Instead of walking around town, find other ways to appreciate the Detroit weather. When traveling through the city, stick to major roads and avoid carrying too much money around with you.
Detroit and Cars
Detroit’s coming-of-age began in the early twentieth century when the motor car started being put together on the assembly line in the Ford factory. The city experienced an explosion of wealth in the local economy during this period, and as such many of the buildings in downtown Detroit are vast, with grand Gothic and Art Deco-inspired skyscrapers. For the architecture lover out there, Detroit has a wealth of beautiful old buildings. The Guardian building, for example, was built in 1929 and is a historic landmark with a beautifully colorful ornate lobby.
Worldwide Local Tip: Perhaps one of Detroit’s most famous examples of Gothic architecture is the Masonic Temple. The largest of its kind in the U.S is on Temple Avenue and was built from limestone. Built in 1926, it’s home to several theaters, ballrooms, large halls, and a chapel. It is well worth a visit on its own, even if you aren’t seeing a show.
There are a lot of museums in Detroit worth checking out, but a worldwide local knows that if you’re short on time you should see the most important ones. Arguably, one of the most important things to ever happen to the city of Detroit is its music scene. Almost every genre of music has once dipped its toe in the Detroit sound, but it’s the homegrown Motown sound that calls Detroit home. Check out the Motown Museum, and learn the history of the iconic sound at the record label’s first building. Learn how a man took an 800 dollar loan and turned it into one of the world’s biggest record labels. You’ll explore a truly authentic Detroit music experience.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re looking to keep the Detroit music theme going then you’re going to need to pay your respects to some local jazz legends. Head to Cliff Bell’s Jazz Club, a legendary club established in the 1930s that still have live music and classic cocktails.
If you’re going to live like a local for a little while, you’re going to want to go where the locals go. For a run-of-the-mill experience and look into the daily life of Detroiters, check out the Eastern Market. The market is one of the oldest continually running markets in the U.S and is open all year round. It’s open every Saturday with locals picking up groceries and goods from the various stalls. Eat some local food, check out the art, and pick up a souvenir to remember your time in Detroit.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re looking for a real taste of Detroit, you’re going to want to eat a Detroit Coney Island Hot Dog. A staple in the Detroit community, a Coney Island Hot Dog is a hot dog topped with onions and covered in chili. Two of the most famous Detroit restaurants where you can get one are the American Coney Island and Lafayette, which are coincidentally located right next to each other, so you can head into both and compare.
Have an Incredible Time in Detroit!
Detroit may not be what it once was, but that may not be a terrible thing. Detroit, despite everything, has remained and is still an amazing city, with so much to see and do. A worldwide local knows that the opinion of a city need not be determined by its past, alone, because there is much more to consider when placing your final judgment. Detroit is authentic and unique, and the motor city stops for no one.