Detroit’s must sees

Belle Isle – Our beautiful island park, designed by the same man who created Central Park. Gives you amazing vistas of Canada and downtown Detroit, family reunions and church picnics in the summertime, fishing most of the year, a reopened aquarium and much more.

The DIA (Photo: Vickie Elmer)

The DIA (Photo: Vickie Elmer)

Detroit Institute for the Arts (DIA) – An amazing museum housed in a spectacular building. Original paintings and sculptures from around the globe. Check for special events including Friday evenings with music.

Eastern Market – All kinds of food businesses and on Saturday a huge bustling farmers / local food market with street performers. In the summer, it’s open Tuesday afternoons too.

Guardian Building – Beautiful Art Deco building downtown. Go inside and have coffee and admire the lobby.  While downtown: Go see the Fox Theater and the David Whitney Building (on Woodward, currently under renovation).

Heidelberg Project – Trash to treasure, eclectic folk art mixed with community saving. Get out of the car and wander this world renowned multi-block art / community space. On the East side.

Murals on Hastings Street (Photo: Vickie Elmer)

Murals on Hastings Street (Photo: Vickie Elmer)

Packard Plant – This historic wreck has become a symbol of Detroit’s decay, but inside are some beautiful murals and graffiti arts. It’s huge and often there are fires or people living inside, so proceed with caution.

Palmer Woods / Sherwood Forest – Beautiful historic homes, mansions, some now quite affordable. See the glory and then stop at Palmer Park to commune with nature. Then go a bit down Woodward to Dutch Girl Donuts, which are amazingly sweet day or night.

The Redford Theatre –  Beautiful historic theatre that often shows movies from bygone eras. A nonprofit is in the middle of renovating it. Arrive early to enjoy Sweet Potato Sensations or see the art installations.

*Renaissance Center – Free tour shows you an amazing view from the top. It’s a great way to start your travels around Detroit. Built by the Ford family, now the General Motors world HQ. The building itself is not that special but the view is spectacular.

Southwest Detroit.  This area is also known as Mexicantown, though it has a wide variety of Latinos living here. Go see The Alley Project, a community art area. Pick up some snacks at the Honey Bee Market. Stop by one of the taco restaurants.

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