What to do in detroit?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 4, 2024

Detroit, also known as the "Motor City," is a vibrant metropolis with a rich cultural heritage, a burgeoning arts scene, and an array of activities that cater to every interest. Whether you're a history buff, art enthusiast, foodie, or music lover, Detroit has something to offer. Below is a comprehensive guide to the best activities and attractions in Detroit.

Explore Detroit's Rich History

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

Located in Dearborn, just outside of Detroit, The Henry Ford Museum is a testament to American ingenuity and innovation. The museum houses an impressive collection of historical artifacts, including the bus on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, the limousine in which John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the chair from Ford's Theatre where Abraham Lincoln was shot. Adjacent to the museum, Greenfield Village is an open-air museum that brings the past to life with historic buildings and reenactments.

Detroit Historical Museum

Situated in the Cultural Center Historic District, the Detroit Historical Museum offers exhibits that cover the city's past from its founding in 1701 to the present day. Highlights include the "Streets of Old Detroit" exhibit, which recreates the city’s streets as they appeared in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Motown Museum

For music lovers, a visit to the Motown Museum is a must. Housed in the original building where Berry Gordy founded Motown Records, the museum offers an intimate look at the rise of the Motown sound that forever changed American music. Visitors can see Studio A, where artists like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross recorded their hits.

Immerse Yourself in the Arts

Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA)

The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the premier art museums in the United States. With over 65,000 artworks, the DIA's collection spans from ancient to modern art and includes masterpieces by Van Gogh, Picasso, and Diego Rivera. Rivera's "Detroit Industry Murals" are particularly notable and offer a powerful depiction of Detroit’s industrial history.

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)

For those interested in contemporary art, MOCAD is a dynamic space that hosts ever-changing exhibitions, lectures, and performances. Housed in a repurposed auto dealership, the museum itself is a piece of art that reflects Detroit's spirit of reinvention.

Heidelberg Project

An outdoor art environment on Detroit's East Side, the Heidelberg Project was created by artist Tyree Guyton. Featuring houses and lots transformed into colorful, thought-provoking art installations, it serves as both a social commentary and a beacon of community resilience.

Discover Detroit's Culinary Scene

Eastern Market

As one of the oldest and largest year-round markets in the United States, Eastern Market is a haven for foodies. Here, you can find everything from fresh produce and artisanal cheeses to unique spices and gourmet foods. The market also hosts food trucks, restaurants, and cafes that offer a diverse array of culinary delights.


Detroit's oldest neighborhood, Corktown, has recently become a hotspot for food and drink. With its historic architecture and trendy eateries, Corktown offers everything from upscale dining at restaurants like Lady of the House to casual bites at Slows Bar BQ. Don't miss the local breweries and cocktail bars that make this area a must-visit for any food lover.

Detroit-Style Pizza

Detroit is famous for its unique style of pizza, characterized by a thick, chewy crust and a rectangular shape. Buddy's Pizza and Loui's Pizza are iconic spots to try this local specialty. The crispy edges, caramelized cheese, and tangy sauce make Detroit-style pizza a culinary experience not to be missed.

Experience Detroit's Music Scene

Fox Theatre

A historic gem, the Fox Theatre is an architectural marvel that hosts a variety of performances, from Broadway shows to live concerts. The grandeur of the venue, with its opulent decor and excellent acoustics, makes it a fantastic place to enjoy a night of entertainment.

Jazz and Blues Clubs

Detroit boasts a rich jazz and blues heritage, and there are several clubs where you can experience this musical legacy firsthand. Cliff Bell's is a renowned jazz club that offers live performances in a stylish, vintage setting. For blues enthusiasts, the Blues Café is a popular spot that showcases local and national talent.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO)

Founded in 1914, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest in the United States. Performances are held at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, a state-of-the-art venue that provides an exceptional listening experience. The DSO's repertoire includes classical masterpieces as well as contemporary works, ensuring a diverse program for all music lovers.

Outdoor Activities and Recreation

Belle Isle Park

Belle Isle is a 982-acre island park located in the Detroit River. It offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking trails, picnic areas, and a beautiful conservatory. The Belle Isle Aquarium and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory are additional attractions that make the park a perfect destination for a day out.

Detroit Riverwalk

The Detroit Riverwalk is a scenic promenade that stretches for 5.5 miles along the Detroit River. It's an ideal spot for walking, jogging, or cycling, and it offers stunning views of the river and the city skyline. Along the way, you'll find parks, plazas, and pavilions that provide opportunities for relaxation and recreation.

Dequindre Cut Greenway

The Dequindre Cut Greenway is a 2-mile recreational path that connects the Riverwalk to Eastern Market. Once a former railway line, it has been transformed into an urban greenway adorned with colorful murals and graffiti art. It's a popular route for cyclists, runners, and walkers who want to explore a unique part of the city.

Shopping and Entertainment

Detroit's Casinos

For those looking to try their luck, Detroit is home to three major casinos: MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Greektown Casino-Hotel. These venues offer more than just gaming; they also feature restaurants, bars, live entertainment, and luxurious accommodations.


Greektown is a lively district known for its vibrant nightlife and dining options. The area is packed with Greek restaurants, bakeries, and cafes, making it a great place to enjoy authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Greektown Casino-Hotel is also located here, adding to the entertainment options available.

Woodward Avenue

Woodward Avenue is one of Detroit's main thoroughfares and a prime shopping destination. The area is home to a mix of high-end boutiques, retail chains, and unique local shops. Don't miss the Shinola Detroit flagship store, known for its handcrafted watches, bicycles, and leather goods.

Special Events and Festivals

Detroit Auto Show

Also known as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), this annual event attracts car enthusiasts from around the world. Held at the TCF Center, the Detroit Auto Show features the latest automotive innovations, concept cars, and industry announcements.

Movement Electronic Music Festival

Detroit is the birthplace of techno music, and the Movement Electronic Music Festival celebrates this legacy every Memorial Day weekend. The festival takes place at Hart Plaza and features performances by top electronic music artists from around the globe.

Detroit Jazz Festival

Held annually over Labor Day weekend, the Detroit Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in the world. It takes place in downtown Detroit and features performances by renowned jazz musicians, as well as up-and-coming artists. The festival offers a fantastic opportunity to experience world-class jazz in a vibrant urban setting.

Detroit is a city of contrasts, where history meets innovation, and tradition blends with modernity. Its diverse offerings make it a fascinating destination for every type of traveler. The question isn't what to do in Detroit, but rather, what to experience first?

Related Questions

Who owns the detroit lions?

The Detroit Lions, a storied franchise in the National Football League (NFL), boast a rich history that dates back to 1930. Initially founded as the Portsmouth Spartans in Ohio, the team was later purchased by a Detroit radio executive named George Richards in 1934. This marked the beginning of the Lions' journey in Detroit, which has been characterized by both triumphs and tribulations.

Ask Hotbot: Who owns the detroit lions?

Where is detroit?

Detroit is a major city situated in the southeastern part of the state of Michigan, in the United States. Specifically, it is located along the Detroit River, which serves as a natural border between the United States and Canada. The city is approximately 280 miles east of Chicago, 170 miles north of Cincinnati, and 230 miles west of Toronto. Detroit's coordinates are roughly 42.3314° N latitude and 83.0458° W longitude.

Ask Hotbot: Where is detroit?

What is detroit style pizza?

Detroit style pizza is a distinctive and cherished variety of pizza that originated in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Known for its rectangular shape, crispy yet airy crust, and unique layering of ingredients, Detroit style pizza has carved out its own niche in the vast world of pizza.

Ask Hotbot: What is detroit style pizza?

What happened to detroit?

Detroit, often referred to as the "Motor City," has a storied history that begins with its incorporation in 1701. As a strategic trading post, it evolved into a bustling metropolis known for its industrial prowess. However, it was the automotive industry that truly defined Detroit's identity and fueled its rapid growth in the early 20th century. Companies like Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler established their headquarters and major manufacturing plants in the city, attracting a massive influx of workers and fostering a middle-class boom.

Ask Hotbot: What happened to detroit?