Everyone loves a good comeback story—and Detroit, Michigan has a big one. After spending years in financial ruin, Detroit is on the mend, and the energy pumping through the city is electrifying. Now is an excellent time to visit and witness for yourself the transformation Detroit is enjoying.
From Henry Ford to Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, Detroit has long been a city of innovative visionaries. That spirit of ingenuity has returned with an influx of entrepreneurs, artists and inventive chefs. Vacant lots and abandoned buildings are finding new life as urban farms, cafes and museums. The street art scene is exploding. There’s a new streetcar in town moving residents and visitors through the city center. And a new sports and entertainment venue is attracting legions of hockey, basketball and music fans. Wash all of this down with the knowledge that Detroit is poised to be the next great international craft beer city. Here are some of the city’s highlights.
One of Detroit’s newest attractions is the spectacular 20,000-plus-seat Little Caesars Arena—I’m sure you know the pizza. Home of Detroit Red Wings hockey and Detroit Pistons basketball, this state-of-the-art facility includes a unique covered atrium called The Via with a street-like vibe offering entertainment, shopping and dining.
The new Q Line Streetcar is the first to roll through the streets of Detroit in 60 years. With its 12 shiny new stations, the Q Line runs along Woodward Avenue through gentrified Midtown all the way to the river. The streetcar has already proven its value as an easy, attractive and economical way to connect people to shops, restaurants, work, cultural attractions and more along the 3-mile-plus stretch.
If you prefer to pedal your way around the city for a little exercise, check out MoGo, the city’s first public bike share system. MoGo offers 430 red-orange bikes that people can rent from 40 kiosks (with more stations coming) in several sections of the city. Isn’t MoGo the absolute best name for a bike system in the city where Motown was born?
Speaking of Motown, Detroit is where it all began in a modest house that served as the world-famous Studio A where The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and countless others recorded with the Funk Brothers. Long known as Hitsville USA, the house is now the Motown Museum and plans are underway for a $50 million expansion—that should have you dancing in the streets.
Those streets are likely to be adorned with street art—which is booming in Detroit with Murals at the Market being the latest addition. Located in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market, the murals have provided a creative platform that inspires and encourages community engagement using public art as a vessel.
From laid-back breakfasts to comfort food and craft cocktails, the last few years have seen an explosion of Metro Detroit dining options. Midtown’s variety includes the popular tapas bar, La Feria and Selden Standard, a farm-to-table favorite. Named for a local Prohibition rumrunner, Grey Ghost is another Midtown favorite offering unusual fare like fried bologna on a waffle along with more tradition items like dry-aged rib eye.
At Corktown’s Onassis Coney Island you can eat your fill of Detroit’s classic Coney dog, a hot dog loaded with chili sauce, onions and mustard. If craft cocktails are your thing, be sure to check out the Rusted Crow. And the many tavernas of Greektown are serving up ethnic favorites like stuffed grape leaves, souvlaki, and moussaka.
Nothing helps bring a city back like a burgeoning craft beer scene and Detroit’s is rapidly growing. The latest addition is the Founders Brewing Co. The Grand Rapids-based company has announced it will open a 14,000-square foot fully operational brewery, restaurant and retail taproom in the Cass Corridor this winter. The location will conveniently be a short walk from Little Caesars Arena.
Founders won’t be alone, just a block away, 8 Degrees Plato Detroit offers a top-notch craft beer bar and store. Nearby you’ll find a 120-tap Hopcat gastropub and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, which offers food and Jolly Pumpkin sour beers as well as brews from North Peak Brewing Company
Have you been to Detroit lately?
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Terri Marshall is a New York City based freelance writer whose work includes travel, spirits, and all things chocolate. Terri's work appears in several publications. She has been a featured guest on Peter Greenberg's Worldwide Travel radio program and Denver's KZKO Radio Morning Express show. Terri will not hesitate to go to the source for great chocolate - even if that means hiking through the jungle and picking cacao pods herself.
Happiest when she's globetrotting, Terri has covered destinations all over the United States, Europe, and into Central and South America. Favorite adventures include reindeer driving in Norway and fishing for piranhas in the Amazon jungle of Peru. You can keep up with Terri's adventures on her website www.TrippingwithTerri.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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