Michigan, United States
Cadillacs blaring Motown once lined these streets, but Detroit is moving on from its Motor City days with turnpikes turned to bike trails, pioneering urban farms around Eastern Market, and bargain dining and drinking in interethnic Greektown—a far cry from the 8 Mile urban jungle of Eminem rap fame, though you can still find Tigers in Comerica Park and Lions in Ford Field.
Getting Around Detroit
The best way to get around Detroit is on the Detroit People Mover (DPM), an automated light rail system in downtown Detroit that operates every 3 minutes. Fares are $0.75 per ride. Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 6:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and noon-midnight Sunday. Hailing a cab from the street is nearly impossible; reserve one instead (try Checker Cab Detroit: 313-963-7000). Taxis charge $2.50 per trip plus $1.60 per mile.
Nearby Airports
  • Detroit Metro Airport-DTW
Airport Taxis
  • $45
Things to Do and See in Detroit
Palmer WoodsSouthwest DetroitNew CenterWarrendaleCapitol ParkCampus Martius ParkMexicantownFinancial DistrictBricktownGreektown
Palmer Woods has a suburban even though it's sandwiched between the urban sprawl of west and east Detroit. This neighborhood is an urban oasis with trails for biking and hiking, and the city's most diverse architectural styles along tree-lined streets. Community amenities include playgrounds, tennis courts, and a public golf course. It also has a lively gay and nightlife scene, including Woodward Cocktail Bar, the oldest gay bar in Detroit. Entertainment options abound on either side of Woodward Avenue, but keep your GPS or directions handy—a wrong turn here can steer you into no-man's land.
Experience Motown's sports scene in Downtown Detroit. Once a commercial district lined with extravagant movie theaters and huge department stores, this area has recently become a residential area packed with professional sports venues. Besides Joe Louis Arena, home of the NHL's Red Wings, Comerica Park baseball stadium was inaugurated in 2000 to replace Tiger Stadium, and Ford Field became the home of the Detroit Lions in 2002. In the center of the sports action is an area that maintains its old-town charm, with art deco landmarks such as swanky Fox Theatre, the Pewabic-tiled Guardian Building, and comic-book-Gothic One Detroit Center. Catch a game or slide into Hockeytown Cafe for a pitcher of beer, HDTV sports, and deep-fried "red wings."
Located in Uptown Detroit, New Center is a thriving commercial district and heavily populated residential community. Iconic edifices here include the Fisher Building, an early skyscraper that's a historical landmark, and Cadillac Place, former headquarters of General Motors. Catch a Broadway-style show inside the legendary Fisher Theatre, or find free concerts, festivals, and art exhibitions along Grand Boulevard.
Tucked into the far west corner of the city, Warrendale is one of Detroit's largest and most culturally diverse neighborhoods. A steady influx of Arab immigrants in the 20th century has given the neighborhood its flavor, from the Middle Eastern grocery markets on Warren Avenue to the gas-station sandwich shops on Joy Road. Warrendale is also well known for its collection of karoake-themed lounges, Coney Island hot-dog joints, and burlesque bars. This area is among the city's least tourist-oriented neighborhoods and can be rough around the edges, so only adventurous visitors who know where they're headed make the trip here.
Located in Downtown Detroit just west of Woodward Avenue, Capitol Park is a neighborhood as unique as its structure. This historic district is essentially a triangular piece of land that's home to a public park and a network of classic buildings that are more comparable to mini skyscrapers than the massive towers in neighboring districts. Join the regulars in daily routines like feeding the pigeons or conversations on disheartening subjects such as Detroit Lions history. Any activity carried out in this neighborhood is best conducted under the watch of the sun. Once it goes down, Capitol Park goes from a warm slice of tranquility to a forsaken land haunted by the homeless.
The historic neighborhood of Campus Martius Park underwent a major redevelopment phase that wrapped up in 2004. Its renovation was key in convincing suburban residents and visitors to return downtown for entertainment. Campus Matrius features an outdoor movie theater, lush flower gardens, and mesmerizing waterfalls flowing from finely sculpted foundations. Groove to the smooth sounds of the Detroit International Jazz Festival and a slew of concerts in the summertime. Put your earmuffs on snug and indulge in the icy, family-oriented fun of Winterfest during winter months.
Nestled within the borders of southwest Detroit, Mexicantown is a vibrant Hispanic neighborhood with a stellar reputation for Mexican cuisine. Evie's Tamales, Xochimilco and Mexican Village are Detroit's bargain gourmet mainstays. The downside is Mexicantown's recent gang activity—keep directions to your destination handy, and steer clear of altercations.
Grand skyscrapers, municipal facilities and the city's banking industry are all located in this historic neighborhood. Head here for taste adventures at local eateries, upscale shopping and partying at clubs. Hart Plaza is the place to be in summer, when this event venue along the Detroit River hosts culturally diverse festivals and the Movement electronic music extravaganza. Come early: the Financial District is often jam-packed with vehicle and foot traffic, especially during events.
Bricktown divides Greektown from the Renaissance Center, world headquarters for American auto giant General Motors. This historic district is home to the Wayne Country Courthouse, the Wayne County Building, and Detroit's oldest church St. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church. Bricktown knows how to have a good time, with nationally touring musical acts at St. Andrew's Hall and the Shelter. Just around the corner is Jacoby's German Biergarten, a vintage 1904 saloon that features aspiring music acts and a fortifying German sausage soup to accompany your beer.
On the eastern border of downtown, Greektown is the capitol of the Detroit nightlife scene. This bustling neighborhood is known for its nightclubs, upscale Mediterranean restaurants, kitchy classical temple-inspired architecture and gambling and live entertainment at Greektown Casino. Some of the hotter spots include Pizza Papalis for deep-dish pizza and Fishbones Rhythm Kitchen for Creole seafood and weekend brunches.