Visit Detroit | Things to Do, Restaurants & Hotels
Offical Detroit tourism site. Check out events in Detroit, things to do, restaurants and hotels. From distinctive cultural institutions, new casino hotels and a transformed riverfront, to championship sports, exciting nightlife and delectable dining options, The D is an active area with the utmost in hospitality.
For those not already aware of this stronghold community, Detroit’s best kept musical secret remains: the city that automated the world and gave us the sweet, smooth sounds of Motown, also created dance floor euphoria for the masses with the birth of techno.
Comerica Park is a beautiful ballpark to watch a game. Nestled among Ford Field and Little Caesars Arena, Comerica is located in “the most compact sports district in America” according to Forbes. This area, known as The District, is in the midst of an over $1 billion renovation and revitalization project that will continue into 2020.
The area surrounding Comerica is full of trendy restaurants, swanky hotels and dazzling casinos. Baseball fans rejoice at the availability of parking and entertainment around the ballfield. Tigers fans will enjoy a game in style in the District. Keep reading to get the ins and outs of catching a game in Detroit.
Downtown Detroit Hotels
Downtown Detroit has many wonderful options for lodging. With the People Mover, staying at any downtown hotel and getting to the game is easy.
If you’d like to stay downtown in a beautifully restored historic building, you’ll be pleased with the renovations of Detroit’s gems from the 1920s. The Detroit Foundation Hotel, Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney, and The Siren Hotel all fit the bill for exquisite boutique hotels. 234 Winder Street Inn is a cozy B&B in a Victorian-style mansion overlooking Comerica Park.
Check out these great places to eat or enjoy a drink that are within walking distance to Comerica.
Elwood Bar & Grill: Located just steps from Comerica, Elwood Bar and Grill is a favorite of Tigers’ fans. Located in a fully restored 1930s building, this Art Deco diner features burgers, paninis, salads, Michigan brewed beer and more.
Detroit Beer Co.: Head to the Detroit Beer Company for a true taste of Detroit. Handcrafted beer and specialty pizzas and burgers make it a favorite of baseball fans.
Downtown Louie’s Lounge: Downtown Louie’s Lounge features chef-inspired burgers and American fare with a European twist. Ingredients sourced locally when possible and local brews make it a Detroit favorite.
Hockeytown Café: Pregame at Hockey Town Café and check out the Tigers and Red Wings Hall of Fame, 30 HD TV’s and great food and drinks.
Brass Rail Pizza Bar: Pregame favorites like pizza, burgers, tacos and more are just some of Brass Rail Pizza Bar’s specialties. Try out a new beer or find your old favorite with 52 beers on tap.
Rusted Crow: A new, trendy gastro-lounge featuring burgers, sandwiches, a new take on PB&J, signature cocktails and more.
Old Shillelagh Irish Pub: Detroit’s most famous Irish pub is a favorite for Tigers fans with 20 beers on tap and “The Best Burger in Wayne County.”
Eats in The D - Rusted Crow Distillery Detroit - Episode #14 - YouTube
Parking in Detroit
Parking couldn’t be easier in the District parking garages. Parking is $25 for a spot in a garage just steps from Comerica. Pay with cash or credit and make sure you get a spot by reserving one online ahead of time. The District parking garages are located at the following addresses:
The D Garage at 90 E. Fisher Service Dr.
The Henry Street Garage at 134 W. Fisher Service Dr.
The Little Caesars Arena Garage at 165 Sproat St
Extend Your Visit in Detroit
Come to Detroit for a game but stay a few days and explore all the city has to offer.
The Henry Ford is a state-of-the-art experience with 3 attractions spread over 250 acres. Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village and Ford Rouge Factory Tour come together to create what The New York Times described as, “One of the world’s coolest museums.”
Many are surprised to learn that Detroit’s theater district is the second largest in the country – second only to New York City. While in Detroit, catch an award-winning show or concert. Dive into the local music scene and discover a new band. Check out the array of theaters and shows in Detroit.
The Monument to Joe Louis was a gift from Sports Illustrated Magazine to the city in 1986. It was created to honor the 1938 boxing match between Detroiter Joe Louis and German Max Schmeling. At the time, Nazi Germany was working to overthrow Austria and the events that followed lead to World War 2. Louis’ win was a perfect way to disrupt the Nazi’s propaganda about a superior Aryan race.
This huge suspension bridge connects Detroit to Canada. Anyone visiting the Motor City should grab a selfie with the bridge in the background. It’s the only privately owned border crossing between the U.S. and Canada. If you want to take a drive across, make sure you have your passport or you won’t be able to get back into Detroit!
This enormous, rectangular building with many windows stands out in Detroit. It was the former rail depot from 1914 until 1988. It sat empty for years but is now being renovated by Ford. Grab a photo any time of this retired train station or when it’s aglow in multicolored lights.
An outdoor art environment that’s been a part of Detroit since 1986. Here, art is created from vacant lots, abandoned houses and more. The Heidelberg Project has received national and international attention. There’s a lot to take in and definitely something for your Instagram followers.
Stand under the paw of an enormous tiger that guards the gate at Comerica Park. This 15-foot tall tiger helps to celebrate the other teams in town during the offseason. Take a stroll around the park and see if you can find all nine of the tiger statues in and around the park. It’s thought that the nine tigers might represent the nine players on the field at one time.
This landmark skyscraper is another notable Albert Kahn architecture in Detroit. Step inside to snap a pic under beautiful vaulted ceilings, gilded sculptures and paintings. Take one of the facade that has been a key image of Detroit since the 1920s.
The GM Renaissance Center (AKA RenCen) is the world headquarters for General Motors. You can’t miss it in the skyline and when you snap a selfie with it in the background, everyone will know you’re in Detroit.
The Belle Isle Aquarium is the oldest in the nation. This free attraction is known for the signature green glass tile vaulted ceiling. Most of the architecture has been kept in line with the original design by Albert Kahn completed in 1904.
The murals around the Eastern Market make for perfectly Insta-worthy shots. Whether you want the photo for the bright colors and beautiful artwork or the specific statement the piece makes, it’s perfect for the feed.
This iconic symbol of Detroit was created in the 1950s and was meant to represent hope, progress and “the spirit of man.” When it was built, it was the largest cast bronze piece made since the Renaissance. If one of Detroit’s teams wins a championship, check in to see if the statue is donning a special jersey.
If brunch in Detroit were a multiple choice quiz, there’d be no wrong answers. The restaurant scene in The D is a brunch-lover’s dream. So choose “all of the above,” wear your stretchy pants and savor your favorite meal of the week!
In an unofficial poll of family and friends, Hudson Caféwas the most mentioned brunch destination. It’s easy to understand why. This place was built for brunch, offering decadent dishes like red velvet pancakes, s’mores French toast, sweet or savory crepes, catfish & waffles, and five kinds of eggs Benedict. Locations of sister restaurant The Jagged Fork can be found in Grosse Pointe Farms and Rochester Hills.
At Dime Store, brunch is what they do, self-proclaimed as “an American brunch bar specializing in breakfast, lunch and booze.” Caramel apple bacon French toast? I’m there! Plus, they validate parking at the Financial District Garage.
Corktown Brunch Spots
Bobcat Bonnie’s is the kind of place where you sneak peeks at the food on other people’s tables on your way to your own table to help you decide what to order. Alas, everything looks delicious on the weekend brunch menu, including the build-your-own Bloody Mary and mimosa bar. Try the wild mushroom hash with added eggs over easy.
Fuel up on weekend brunch at Brooklyn Street Local with an omelet, quiche, breakfast hash, banana walnut pancakes, scones, poutine or — if need be — The Hangover Special. The menu features local, seasonal, organic ingredients, many sourced from urban farms in Detroit.
Lady of the House is a culinary event. The menu is fresh and creative, with brunch dishes like steak tartare and eggs, bruleed grapefruit with yogurt and fermented honey, or cinnamon roll with foie gras frosting. Nominated for Best New Restaurant in the Country by the James Beard Foundation, along with other national accolades.
Parcoffers a palate pleasing brunch menu with a view of Campus Martius Park, at the center of downtown. Why settle for one dish when you can order the Grand Assortment, a selection of breakfast favorites, small bites, pastries, salads, meats and cheeses, seafoods, pasta and more…now we’re talkin’!
Breakfast specialties (blueberry sourdough pancakes!) are joined by sandwiches and salads at the “chic yet approachable”Apparatus Room at the Foundation Hotel, converted from Detroit’s former fire department headquarters (built in 1929). Save room to share a rhubarb tart with vanilla custard for dessert.
The restaurantGrey Ghost is named after the folk legend of a rum running pirate on the Detroit River during the prohibition era. So it’s fitting that there’s a balanced focus between brunch main course offerings and brunch-inspired craft cocktails. Pork schnitzel sandwich, anyone? Yum.
Eats in The D - Grey Ghost - Episode #8 - YouTube
At the stylishTownhouse, try the Power Bowl—the new breakfast of champions — with scrambled egg, red quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, chickpeas, basil spinach pistou, roasted seasonal vegetables, arugula and hot sauce — wowsa! There’s also a Birmingham location.
Brunch with a Little Extra
At swanky Cliff Bell’s, brunch is served with a side of live jazz. Not a bad way to start your day.
The three course Mansion Brunch is a most memorable meal at The Whitney— Detroit’s iconic landmark and former home to a lumber baron.
Bottom line: There are 52 weekends in a year. Carve out some time to discover why brunch is a verb in Detroit.
Detroit Vineyards has been making wine in Detroit since 2014 and selling it through select stores and restaurants. On May 3, they’ll open their first tasting room, located in the former Stroh’s Ice Cream factory.
Whether you’re a fan of sweet wine or dry, you’re a wine newbie or expert, there’s something for you to enjoy at Detroit Vineyards Tasting Room. A tasting will provide the chance to learn more about wine from an educated staff. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming for wine novices to comfortably learn and expertly executed for wine connoisseurs.
Shoppers have been able to purchase a selection of dry wines in certain stores and restaurants. The tasting room will offer a wider variety for a range of palates. There will be at least 15 selections ranging from wine, to cider, to mead. Detroit Vineyards traditional favorites will be available along with new varieties including a line of sweet wines.
Renovations have been underway for months transitioning the former ice cream factory into a high-end tasting room. Instead of gutting the building and starting fresh, the owners decided to give a nod to the past and leave certain elements from the ice cream factory. The mixture of exposed pipes, polished concrete floors, and rough cinder block walls give it a decidedly industrial chic feel.
Inside you’ll find sleek floating tables suspended by black industrial pipes. A large piece of old machinery has been repainted, surrounded by a polished stone bar and accented by a cascade of lights overhead. With friends, you’ll be able to enjoy a new wine favorite, share stories of the week’s events, and dream of the creamy cold froth that was churned by the industrial fossils about the room.
Wine, mead and cider will be available when the tasting room doors open to the public in May. Soon to follow, Detroit Vineyards’ will begin offering a small menu including charcuterie. Food trucks will be available on certain dates. Plans are underway to host private parties and tours once the tasting room is up and running.
Detroit Vineyards does more than just make wine in Detroit. They’re working to turn empty lots throughout the city into vineyards. The goal is to work with residents to grow the grapes, giving it a truly Detroit taste. They’ve already helped residents to plant about two acres of vineyards and that will soon be expanded to 10 acres. Detroit Vineyards provides the vines and trellises. They then instruct interested residents on how to maintain the plants. The residents tend to the vines and sell the fruit back to the vineyards for a premium. Until Detroit grape production is in full swing, Detroit Vineyards is purchasing grapes from other parts of Michigan. The honey for the mead is produced from beehives within the city.
With the tasting room tucked between Eastern Marketand the Entertainment District and overlookingFord Field, it’s the perfect place to stop before or after another event. Make sure to add a tasting time to the itinerary for your next night out in Detroit.
From family fun to nightlife, shopping and restaurants, Royal Oak sizzles with energy and excitement–and it’s only fifteen minutes from downtown Detroit. High profile special events keep Royal Oak at the center of attention all year long.
Places to Go in Royal Oak
Most metro Detroiters share fond memories of school field trips or summer family outings at the Detroit Zoo. Where else can you feed a giraffe, watch polar bears plunge, kangaroos jump and penguins waddle all in one stop? Fun spring special events include Zoo Brew on May 3, with more than 100 Michigan craft beers, live music and zookeeper talks, and a Mother’s Day Brunch May 12.
The Royal Oak Farmers Market has been a local institution for more than 90 years, with Friday markets May through Thanksgiving and Saturdays year-round. On Sundays, the market features antiques. Food truck rallies, craft shows, artist markets and other special events round out the calendar. Don’t miss the Spring Fever Beer Festival April 27, one of four in a seasonal series.
Catch a movie at Emagine Royal Oak, with its Dolby Atmos EMAX Theatre, a ginormous movie screen that viewers can watch comfortably from their power-reclining, heated seats. Or support award-winning community theater at Stagecrafters.
The constantly evolving culinary scene in Royal Oak draws diners for new experiences and old favorites. The challenge is deciding which of several delicious restaurants to choose. In warmer weather, dining and people watching al fresco is the popular pastime. Mix it up with some patio hopping to explore your options.
Some to try: HopCat, Inn Season Café, Lily’s Seafood, Jolly Pumpkin or the newest addition: Diamonds Steak & Seafood. Enjoy featured wines and signature hors d’ oeuvres from downtown restaurants during the The 2019 Wine Stroll on May 18. Watch for the annual Royal Oak Restaurant Week, held in March.
Funky salons, vintage boutiques, art and antique galleries, record shops and specialty stores like Ewe-nique Knits, Made in the Mitten and Noir Leather make Royal Oak the ideal destination for an afternoon of retail therapy.
Nightlife & Entertainment
If laughter is the best medicine, a night out at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castleis sure to cure what ails you. For 40 years, the club has showcased the best comic talent in the country. Wednesday is open mic night.
The historic Royal Oak Music Theatre is an awesome club-style venue with a full calendar of live events, from concerts to comedy.
Royal Oak offers several bar and lounge options. For a nightclub vibe, check out SCL Royal Oak or Fifth Avenue. Make your way to The Morrie for live music. For a more chill atmosphere, go to O’Tooles or The Rock on Third. Coming this spring, Pinky’s Rooftop Bar, a new upscale cocktail lounge with seasonal outdoor seating will make its way to the scene.
For the ultimate Motor City experience, mark your calendar for the Woodward Dream Cruise, which happens the third Saturday in August. The cruise course covers a 16 mile stretch of Woodward Avenue, which runs through Royal Oak. This celebration of car culture draws 1.5 million visitors and more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, collector and special-interest vehicles.
Labor Day weekend’s Arts, Beats & Eats is heavy on the beats, with performances by local and national acts from a variety of music genres. Stroll through rows of paintings, sculptures and photography by talented artisans, let the kids enjoy some games and rides, then grab some grub in a food tent or one of several local restaurants.
Pronto! is a popular restaurant and bar that has served the LGBTQ community for decades with a simple menu of sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts plus Sunday brunch. Pronto video bar offers live entertainment, including Broadway-style cabaret nights. Drag Queen Bingo, hosted by Five 15, is held in the space next door, along with Sip, Swish and Stroke guided painting and wine events.
Gay-owned and -operated Café Muse is a downtown restaurant that serves a European-style menu with fresh, local ingredients.
Parking in Royal Oak
Your best bet is to park in one of the parking structures in Royal Oak. The first two hours before 5 p.m. are free and the parking fee is just 75 cents an hour afterward, with a flat rate of $5 after 5 p.m. Metered parking on the street and in surface parking lots is free until 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday, all day Sunday and on civic holidays.
Insider’s Tip: BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike!) Royal Oak is not only highly walkable, it is bike-friendly, with a shared bike lane going north to south on Washington Avenue and plenty of bike racks.
Love. We are all either in it, wishing for it, or recovering from it. No matter where you are in your love journey, coming up with great date ideas can be challenging. If you are looking for more than the same old dinner and a movie, try these unique date ideas for a night out on the town in The D.
Detroit Mixology 101
The Detroit Mixology Bartending School has an awesome idea for a date night. How about a 2-hour course where you learn to mix amazing signature cocktails? A ticket package is $60 and includes three cocktails each, light refreshments and a certificate of completion. Offered on the 3rd and 4th Saturday of every month, Mixology 101 has a theme spirit for each class. Whether it’s vodka, cognac, or tequila each class is sure to leave the participants smiling. So, schedule a ride-share service and head over to the Detroit Mixology Bartending School for 2-hours of fun and libations.
How about a fun date to one of the most unique event spaces in the city, Willis Show Bar features a gorgeous Art Moderne style that centers around a stage which is visible from every seat in the house. Featuring DJ’s, comedians, cabaret performers and more provide engaging entertainment every Wednesday through Sunday. Willis doesn’t offer a food menu (except on special occasions like their highly-anticipated Valentine’s Day event), but they feature one of the very best cocktail menus in the city. Reservations are a must at Willis Show Bar, so be sure that this date is one that you plan in advance.
Early morning dates are underrated. How about meeting up for coffee and a doughnut at this unique coffee shop near the theater district? If your date is a music fan or history buff, Dilla’s Delights is a great date pick. This cozy coffee and doughnut shop is filled with memorabilia celebrating the famed hip-hop producer and Detroiter, James “J. Dilla” Yancey. The organic doughnuts are named after influences and sounds of Yancey and other Detroit legends. An early morning date to Dilla’s Delights is a great date for any music lover.
Third Man Records
Another fun idea for a musically inspired date is a trip to Jack White’s Third Man Records in Cass Corridor. The White Stripes founder/rocker shows a lot of love around his hometown and Third Man is one of fun walk-in locations to purchase vinyl, take a tour of the record pressing plant and pick up cool novelties. Record a song right inside the store and get a copy on a seven-inch vinyl single. This date night is one of our favs because it comes with its own souvenir. If you want to add another layer to this date, sign up for a tour at the Masonic Temple which was saved from bankruptcy by Jack White. The main theatre is aptly dubbed The Jack White Theatre.
Mirepoix Cooking School
Wielding knives isn’t usually a good sign on a date, unless it’s during a super cool cooking class at Mirepoix. Located inside Holiday Market in Royal Oak, Mirepoix is a great excursion into the world of culinary arts. Classes like Wine Pairing, Make and Take Pasta, and other themed events are available for booking on the school website. Taking a cooking class with a date is a fun way to get to know someone in a light, casual atmosphere surrounded by people who are also there to have a good time. Most classes include a signature cocktail and are led by trained chefs in the warm, welcoming space.
Friday Nights at the DIA
Friday Nights are free at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Walking through the DIA means enjoying the vast art collection, specially curated exhibits and special events. Kresge Court is great for a casual bite and on Friday evening features tapas and a full-service bar. Don’t forget to pick up a memento from the DIA Shop on the way out. If you enjoy this museum trip, try the monthly After Dark event at the Michigan Science Center.
This unique, inclusive yoga studio is cooperatively-owned and features affordable classes at a variety of skill levels. Iyengar offers specialty workshops, beginner classes and sessions that study the philosophy of yoga. Located in Hamtramck, Iyengar is a great first stop as there are tons of other great restaurants and coffee shops to visit in Hamtramck.
One of Detroit’s newest gaming venues offers food and bar service on every level, over 50 board games, arcade games, and… wait for it… axe throwing! Detroit Axe is a very busy spot with 12 lanes of axe throwing fun, so it’s best to book a reservation. This is a fun destination for a group date if you are too shy to hang out with that special someone one-on-one. Detroit Axe could also be a great date to take that ex who keeps wanting to get back together.
The Aretha Franklin Amphitheater
Summer love is always fun. The recent renaming of Chene Park Amphitheater after the Queen of Soul will certainly make it a most powerful experience when the Summer Series of concerts kicks off there. Set on the edge of the Detroit River, “The Aretha” has a great view all around the venue. Some of the greatest artists in history have graced the stage and the famous “blue drink” is known to help get the party started. Tickets to shows at the park start at only $25 making a great date spot for you and your love.
The Siren Hotel
One of the most beautiful new additions to the downtown Detroit hotel strip, The Siren Hotel is a boutique hotel with cultural attractions that distinguish it from its competitors. Guest rooms are currently featuring the photography of Bill Rauhauser, a Detroit native photographer whose rich images captured the spirit of Detroit in the 1950s and 60s. Paramita Sounds record shop is open on the first floor and the unique Siren Shop features local art gear, and ceramics. But, the showplace of the Siren Hotel is the eight-seat dining experience Albena, where reservations are limited, so book in advance. The Siren Hotel features unique rooms that are sure to bring any great date night to a beautiful end.