17 Best Things to Do in Detroit
Detroit: A Midwestern Gem

The famous "Motor City" has long been known for its auto manufacturing industry, contributions to the early music industry, and beloved sports teams. Detroit has gained new appeal as a result of its revitalization. When you visit The Motor City, you can celebrate Motown, eat delicious food, visit art galleries and museums, go on outdoor adventures, and so much more. 

One thing is certain: there's never a dull moment in Detroit, with so many diverse and engaging things to do. Here are Red Roof's recommendations of the best things to do in Detroit, whether you're visiting for a day, a weekend or more.

motown museum
Explore the Motown Museum

The Motown Museum must be included on any list of Detroit tourist attractions. The Temptations and other iconic American artists can trace their roots back to Detroit. 

At the Motown Museum, you can see how important Detroit, Michigan, is to the larger story of popular music. The Motown recording studio, where countless classic soul songs were recorded, is the highlight of your hour-long tour. You'll also get to see the home of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.

belle isle park
Visit the Belle Isle Park

Belle Isle, located in the Detroit River, is a small island only a mile wide and 3 miles in length; however, there is plenty to keep visitors entertained on the island. The parkland on the island is beautiful and ideal for hikers to enjoy a long walk; the island also has facilities for a variety of other sports. 

After you've had your fill of the terrain and scenery, stop by the island aquarium or the Great Lake Museum, which features models and other artifacts from the history of commercial shipping on the Great Lakes.

detroit art institute
Discover the Detroit Institute of Arts

A 130-year-old museum in the middle of Midtown, the Detroit Institute of Arts has something to offer each and every visitor. Over 100 separate galleries house more than 65,000 pieces of art, ranging from traditional to more modern and contemporary works. It's a huge area! 

Even though you may easily spend hours here, if you decide which galleries you want to visit in advance, you can visit them all in two hours without rushing.

henry ford museum
Visit the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

A visit to Detroit would be incomplete without a stop at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation! This sprawling, 250-acre museum in Dearborn is dedicated not only to showcasing the achievements and legacy of one of America's most prominent businessmen but also to innovation and advancement on a much larger scale.

The Driving America exhibit features early inventions such as the Model T car and the 1865 Roper. The Rosa Parks Bus pays immortalizes a different kind of innovation, a crucial moment in the American Civil Rights movement and the Wright brothers' accomplishments are laid out through life-size planes and captivating education exhibits.

campus martius park
Take a stroll through Campus Martius Park

Campus Martius Park is a city park in the heart of the city! It's a great place to spend a day, especially if you enjoy being outside. This incredible park has it all and is a Detroit must-see. In fact, USA Today named it the "Top Public Square" in 2021. 

Although Detroit is hundreds of miles from the ocean, a large part of Campus Martius Park features sand areas, and people flock to the "urban beach" in the summer. There's also a large lawn where fitness classes, movie nights, food and wine festivals, and live music are held throughout the year. With the city’s skyline as a backdrop, enjoy the water features, beautiful gardens, benches and food trucks. If you're in town during the holidays, you must see the Christmas tree, holiday lights, and ice skating rink.

Sample some beers at HopCat

If you enjoy beer, HopCat should be on your list of places to visit when in Detroit. HopCat has Detroit's largest draft beer selection, as well as a full menu of entrees, appetizers, soups, sandwiches, salads, and much more. They also have several vegan and vegetarian options. 

Fritts Lager, Wolverine Premium, Grand Rabbits and Campin' Beer, are some of their most popular beers.

detroit ford field
Discover the Secrets of Ford Field

The Detroit Lions play their games at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Across the street is Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball.

While there is obviously a lot of action on the field, you may be surprised to learn that there is also a lot of exciting activity going on behind the scenes. The Ford Field Behind the Scenes Tour can help with that. 

You'll be able to see the Hall of Heroes, which is filled with historical football photos from the past, during the Behind the Scenes tour. Explore the entire stadium, snap photos, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

museum of art
Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit

If you're looking for new age and mainstream artwork, go to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, which is not like a traditional museum or art gallery. This museum provides insight into the city's art scene. 

The MOCAD, which is housed inside a former car lot, hosts some fascinating exhibitions such as "Robolights Detroit" and "Crossing Night." This museum keeps you up to date on the ever-changing art world.

eastern market
Check out the Eastern Market

Check out the Eastern Market, which is adjacent to Dequindre Cut, if you enjoy going to classic outdoor markets. The place is named after a 19th-century market that used to be in the same site, and there are over 200 vendors selling their wares here. 

You will have a terrific time at the Eastern Market whether you are shopping for groceries, premium meats, drinks, or anything else.

detroit river tour
Take a tour along the Detroit River

Diamond Jack's River Tours is a family-run riverboat tour company that provides the most entertaining and memorable cruises. The company was founded and is based in Detroit, and the family gives back to the community as much as they can. 

The tour will take you along the Detroit River to see the sights, and it is also available for private events.

fort wayne
Visit Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne is one of Detroit's most important historical attractions. Tours of historical sites definitely need to include a stop in Fort Wayne. The attraction, which dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, showcases Detroit's military importance. 

Fort Wayne has a remarkable history as the city's first defense built entirely by American citizens. It was eventually used for a variety of purposes, including training and lodging, but not combat. This demonstrates how important military sites can be, even if they are not used for actual combat. 

Today, Fort Wayne belongs to the city, and Detroit has done an incredible job of preserving it for future generations to enjoy.

michigan science center
Discover the Michigan Science Center

The Michigan Science Center is a must-see for science enthusiasts and those with inquisitive minds. You can find entertaining exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages here.

MiSci has over 220 interactive exhibits, a 4D theater, a Planetarium, live stage shows, and an IMAX Dome, so there is plenty to see, do, and explore.

Children will enjoy the STEM Playground, where they can become engineers as they walk across their Mini Mac Bridge, discover the importance of good nutrition in the Health Gallery and learn about space travel in the Space Gallery. The exhibits listed above are just a few of those available at the Michigan Science Center. It's a fantastic place to learn through hands-on activities and play.

Detroit Zoo
Spend a day at Detroit Zoo

If you enjoy animals, you should pay a visit to the Detroit Zoo. This zoo was instrumental in the development of zoos in the United States because it was one of the first to abandon the use of bars in animal habitats.

There are many fascinating animals to see at the zoo, including bison, gorillas, lions, rhinos, giraffes, and penguins. There are also birds, amphibians, invertebrates, and other animals. Don't miss the 70-foot-long Frederick and Barbara Erb Polar Passage on the Arctic Ring of Life. It is one of the biggest polar bear habitats in America, with 4 acres of indoor and outdoor space.

detroit fox theatre
Catch a show at Fox Theatre

Looking for some indoor entertainment? The Fox Theatre in Detroit is a majestic venue that always puts on a spectacular show. 

This historic building in Midtown has been restored and transformed into one of the city's most popular party spots thanks to world-class performances ranging from Broadway shows such as Wicked and The Lion King to live concerts by Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, and Bette Midler. Simply check the schedule and purchase your tickets ahead of time, as the Fox Theatre frequently sells out.

detroit food tour
Take a food tour

Detroit is quickly becoming a culinary destination. There are numerous delicious restaurants and breweries here that have been putting the city on the food map. Take a tour if you want to learn more about Detroit's food and drink scene. There are numerous food and brewery tours available that will provide a comprehensive introduction to the culinary and microbrewery scenes. 

Detroit Foodie Tours and Detroit History Tours both provide excellent and informative food tours to the best restaurants in town, while Motor City Brew Tours will introduce you to some of the best brews Detroit has to offer. You'll get to eat some delicious food, sample some tasty drinks, and meet the chefs who make it all possible!

detroit library
Visit the Detroit Public Library

When the Detroit Public Library opened in 1865, it had a collection of 5,000 books housed in a room within the old Capital High School building. The library has since relocated, almost a century ago in 1921. 

Since then, it has been one of Detroit's prides and a popular tourist attraction. The Library houses an incredible number of books, but the main reason to visit is the building itself, which is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. The Detroit Public Library is duly listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Coney Dog
Enjoy a Coney Dog
This iconic Detroit food is a must-try for anyone visiting the city. Although you have most likely eaten a hot dog before, Coney Island is the birthplace of this famous food and has arguably the best Dogs in the world.
guest room
Stay with Red Roof

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