Top Things to Do in Detroit

From the tip of its skyscrapers to its riverside green spaces, this major metro exudes energy. Check out our tips on what to do, where to eat and where to stay in Detroit.

Detroit International RiverWalk, Philip A. Hart Plaza
Detroit RiverWalk. Photo: EE Berger


Belle Isle Park

The 900-plus acre state park in the Detroit River delivers a lineup of next-to-nature moments, including an impressive new garden. The Oudolf Garden Detroit debuted with more than 2.5 acres of plants in front of the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon. Also on the island, discover the free aquarium with more than 1,000 fish, a marble lighthouse, beach, bike path and maritime museum. The 1904 domed conservatory, one of the most recognizable structures on the island, is undergoing a $10 million renovation and expected to reopen in May 2024.

The Belt

The alley's name (The Belt) comes from where it sits—the former garment district—in downtown. Murals, bars and restaurants line the public space.

Campus Martius Park Detroit
Campus Martius Park. Courtesy of Visit Detroit

Campus Martius Park

On downtown's Woodward Avenue, a green spot with lawn, gardens and beach caters to picnics, skyscraper gazing and entertainment.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Exhibits at the Charles H. Wright Museum cover 3.2 million years of African and African American history. And Still We Rise, the central experience at the museum, has more than 20 galleries that allow visitors to travel through time and around the earth.

Cranbrook Educational Community

In suburban Bloomfield Hills, this campus of buildings and institutions includes 40 acres of lovely gardens and an elegant 1908 house, plus an art museum with works by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The campus is a National Historic Landmark.

Dequindre Cut

The 2-mile paved trail stretches from the Riverfront to Eastern Market. Commissioned graffiti lines the walls.

Detroit Historical Museum

The Streets of Old Detroit, one of the most popular exhibits at the Detroit Historical Museum, provides a look at life in the 1840s, 1870s and 1900s. The America's Motor City exhibit tells the stories of how cars built metro Detroit and how metro Detroit built cars.

Detroit Institute of Arts
Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Detroit Institute of Arts

The institute's 66,000-piece collection, one of the nation's most significant, includes Diego Rivera's 1932–33 Detroit Industry murals.

Detroit International RiverWalk

More than 3 miles of riverfront link parks, gardens, a carousel and public spaces.

Eastern Market Detroit
Eastern Market. EE Berger

Eastern Market

On Saturdays year-round, 225 vendors sell flowers, food and art at Eastern Market. Seasonal Sunday and Tuesday markets feature crafts, music, demos and classes.

The Ford House

Detroit's first family, Edsel and Eleanor Ford, raised their four children in the impressive 60-room estate and gardens along Lake St. Clair (in Grosse Pointe Shores, 15 miles northeast of Detroit.

Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

Tour the 1904 building where the legendary Model T was created and first produced.

Greenfield Village
Greenfield Village. Andrew Maguire

The Henry Ford

The pioneering automaker amassed an astonishing collection of Americana, including the bus that Rosa Parks rode and a camp bed used by George Washington. See the museum and adjoining Greenfield Village in Dearborn, about 20 minutes west of Detroit.

Motown Museum

Explore label founder Berry Gordy's home recording studio, with original instruments. Currently undergoing a $65 million expansion, the museum reopened for tours in February 2023 while construction work continues.


Cheer on Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, or head to the $860 million Little Caesars Arena to see the National Hockey League's Red Wings or the National Basketball Association's Pistons. The National Football League's Lions play at Ford Field.

Grey Ghost Detroit
Grey Ghost Detroit. EE Berger

Eat and Drink

Buddy's Pizza

Locals have thronged to this former speakeasy for its signature Sicilian crust piled with fresh toppings and hand-grated cheese.

Eatori Market

Apps like Charred Shishito Peppers, Burrata and Fiery Grilled Shrimp make an ideal meal for a small group at this restaurant with a market.

Grey Ghost Detroit

Named for a rum-running pirate on the Detroit River, the Brush Park/Midtown spot delivers on cocktails with names like Monster Under the Bed (rum, kiwi, coconut). Pair your drinks with a cheeseburger.

La Lanterna

Neopolitan-style pizza and classic Italian dishes draw a loyal following to this family-owned eatery in Capitol Park.

Lumen Detroit

Dine on crab cakes, Michigan pork chops and burgers at Lumen Detroit, a glass-and-wood space overlooking Beacon Park.


The West Village butcher shop also serves a five-course dinner and a Sunday brunch with must-have garden hash.

Pegasus Taverna

It's all about Greek faves (moussaka, pastitsio, gyros) at this Greektown spot.

Penny Red's

Get a bucket of fried chicken at this downtown locale, which shares space with The Brakeman, a beer hall.

Prime and Proper

Top-notch service enhances dry-aged steak, chops and seafood at Prime and Proper in the 1912 Capitol Park Lofts building downtown.

Rattlesnake Club

Whether you get dinner or just cocktails, plan to sit on the Rattlesnake's patio along the river.

season market detroit
Valaurian Waller

Season's Market

Seasons Market in Midtown neighborhood lives up to its name. What you'll find on the store's shelves (think jams, honey, fresh-baked bread) and at the cafe varies, but you can bet it will be high-quality and locally sourced and produced.

Selden Standard

James Beard semifinalist Andy Hollyday specializes in small plates with fun flavor combos, such as scallops with pomegranate seeds, at Selden Standard. Pair with small-batch beers and wines.

SheWolf Pastificio and Bar

Contemporary Italian dishes (with pasta made from flour milled in-house) shine at the Midtown restaurant.

Sister Pie

Lisa Ludwinski's West Village bakery turns out heavenly pies with buttery crusts and other from-scratch treats.

Slows Bar BQ

Mammoth sandwiches such as the Yardbird—smoked chicken with mushrooms, cheese and applewood bacon—make the Corktown spot popular.

Detroit Foundation Hotel
Courtesy of Joe Vaughn/Detroit Foundation Hotel


Aloft Detroit at The David Whitney

A $92 million restoration preserved the 1915 building's four-story marble and terra-cotta lobby while creating 136 thoroughly contemporary hotel rooms.

Detroit Foundation Hotel

Vintage and modern touches blend to create a stellar experience at the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters. The hotel boasts 100 rooms and the Apparatus Room restaurant.

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

The 70-story downtown hotel offers views of the city and beyond through floor-to-ceiling windows.

El Moore

Guests find rooftop urban cabins, light-filled main-floor rooms and budget-friendly lower-level quarters in a renovated 1898 Midtown apartment building.

The Shinola Hotel

The Detroit-based company known for leather watches and bags teamed with urban-revitalization master Bedrock to create a 129-room boutique hotel in Midtown.

The Siren Hotel

A $22 million renovation turned the decaying 1926 Wurlitzer Building into a 106-room boutique hotel.

The Westin Book Cadillac

Though the exterior of the Westin Book Cadillac retains its Italian Renaissance styling, the guest rooms are modern.

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