I just returned from an outstanding trip to Detroit and you might be wondering why.
Well, the real question should be, “Why not?”
Detroit may not be at the very top of your bucket list (yet), but this blog post will probably change that.
I spent a weekend eating way too much mouth watering food, cheering on the Tigers baseball team, dancing to techno music, sipping on craft cocktails, learning about the city’s history and experiencing a taste of Midwestern hospitality. I love when a destination surprises me, and the Motor City did just that.
In the words of my city guide, Detroit has been a “hub of innovation and ingenuity since its inception, and it hasn't gone anywhere. As the blackest city in America, this place is important. It’s not forgotten. It’s not coming back. It’s never left.”
If that doesn’t convince you to visit, here are five more reasons why you should visit Detroit:
1. It’s A Foodie Paradise
From home-cooked soul food to authentic Greek dishes, there’s no shortage of mouthwatering options to enjoy in Detroit. In fact, you’ll probably have a hard time fitting everything in, I know I did. You can’t leave without feasting on brunch at Dime Store or on Cuban food (with a side of salsa — the dance, not the dip) at Vicente’s. Don’t forget to stroll through the Eastern Market, the country’s largest open market which takes place every Saturday. And it’s not a visit to Detroit if you didn’t cast your vote for the winning Coney hot dog in the ongoing battle between American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island.
2. Friendly People
In my personal opinion, the people are what take a destination from good to great. Detroit has no shortage of friendly locals who are happy to welcome you to their city. One of my Uber drivers revealed that he recently moved from Houston for work. “The people are much nicer. Everyone wants to have a conversation, and it’s always genuine,” he said. I definitely found this to be true during my short stay. I could strike up conversations with strangers without fear of being ignored or looking like a complete weirdo. The locals were beyond happy to give me the rundown of Detroit, and I honestly can’t think of a better welcome.
3. Stunning Architecture
There’s no doubt that the city has its fair share of older buildings, but there are plenty of masterpieces still standing. I went on an Arts & Architecture tour of downtown Detroit, which led me to many of the city’s greatest architectural gems. The Guardian building absolutely blew me away, and I couldn’t put my camera down once I entered historic First National building. Don’t sleep on downtown Detroit’s architecture!
4. The Music Scene
Did you know that techno originated in Detroit? This was news to me! It’s also home to the Motown sound that so many of us know and love. Needless to say, if you love music, then you’ll love Detroit. The Motown Museum provided incredible insight into Motown’s origins, so it’s definitely worth a visit. Be sure to plan ahead if you want to attend Movement Electronic Music Festival in May, which is one of the largest electronic festivals out there!
5. African American History
More than 80 percent of Detroit’s population is African American, making it one of the “blackest cities in America.” Due to its close proximity to Canada, the Midwestern city was the last on the underground railroad to the pursuit of freedom. The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world’s largest institution dedicated to black history in America, and it’s an absolute must-see. The museum is extremely engaging and informative. It brought me to tears, and I learned so much about my own history. There’s so much to say, but it’s something that you must experience for yourself.
Don’t even get me started on the craft cocktails, sports teams, nightlife scene or Belle Isle! Let’s just say, there are endless reasons to visit Detroit. You’ve just gotta give it a shot. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be planning a return trip before you even leave. Check out my complete city guide to Detroit to see everything that I got up to because this barely scratches the surface. I didn’t get to see and do everything on my list, but that just means I’ll have to return, right?
Thanks to Visit Detroit for a showing me a good time. As always, all opinions are my own.