Angela Melendez, MJ Editor
We’re a city full of Artists like Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Eminem, Smokey Robinson, Aaliyah, and Kid Rock. We’re a city full of innovators like Henry Ford and Berry Gordy. A city of Entrepreneurs like Dan Gilbert and Mike Ilitch, yet we’re still so overlooked.
When people hear Detroit, they tend to think the worst. After growing up in the downtown area, I’m here to tell you when it comes to going downtown Detroit, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, there is so much to see and do in downtown Detroit, that if you live your life in fear of it, you’re really going to be missing out.
- Check out a sporting event: Okay, so we may not win every game, but we sure as hell yell like we do. When it comes to passion and dedication, nobody has that fire like a Detroit fan. The environment is wild, the crowd becomes your family, and even if we take it to the 13th inning (which we have) we’ll still have you at the edge of your seat loving every minute of it. Not a Hockey fan? It’s because you’ve never been to Hockeytown. Can’t get into baseball? You’ve never witnessed a Tiger’s August comeback. Football isn’t your thing? You’ve never tailgated with Lion’s fans. Come to Detroit, we’ll make a real sports fan out of you.
- Make your way to Greektown: Whoever thought Detroit was run down, has never made their way to this beautifully lit strip on Monroe Street. The streets are filled with Greek music, only the best Greek restaurants like New Parthenon, Pegasus, Santorini, Plaka Cafe, and some of the hottest bars in Southeast Michigan. This strip is full of great nightlife from roof top bars like Level Two and Exodus, to martini bars like Deluxe, and fun dive bars like Old Shillelagh. You haven’t had a real Saturday night out until you’ve spent it here.
- Head to the Casinos: Yes, Casinos, because we have three. If you’re feeling lucky, head to all of them. Their within close proximity. There’s Motor City Casino, MGM, and Greektown. Each casino contains a different vibe and different atmosphere, but all of them are equipped with great restaurants, awesome people, and very friendly staff (even when you don’t hit the jackpot.)
- Need transportation: While Uber runs in Detroit, and I suggest it to guests trying to get around outside of the people movers proximity, I highly, highly recommend taking the people mover at least once. If you’re staying Downtown, you can take almost anywhere, from your hotel, to your restaurant, to the sporting event, to your night out on the town, and back to your hotel. It’s like the subway system, only better.
- Next stop, Mexicantown: Ever been to Cancun? Well, it’s kinda the same concept. Mexicantown is a cluster of Mexican restuarants in a predominately Mexican neighborhood with real, authentic, Mexican food. Growing up Mexican, this is the only place we went for Mexican food. The food is amazing, the atmosphere is so culturally rich, and the Margarita pitchers are gold in a glass. If you need a tropical escape from the office but can’t exactly take the time off, THIS IS WHERE YOU GO.
- Speaking of food: When it comes to food, Detroit knows their stuff. Nobody does food like we do. First, you have to try a Detroit Coney. Hot dog, chili, onions, mustard and all. Whether you go to Lafayette or American, the choice is yours but this is A MUST. Detroit is filled with such great, unique restaurants. There’s Green Dot Stables, a restaurant that serves every slider you can think of and nothing on the menu is over $4. Or Ottava Via, an Italian restaurant that’s so authentic it takes you back to Italy. Or Joe Muer, an elegant seafood restaurant located in thebeautiful Renaissance Center. Then there’s The London Chop House, an old school classic rich with history and an atmosphere to match. Looking for something simple? Sweetwater Tavern has the best wings money can buy, and Grand Trunk has the best burgers. Did I mention Sunday morning Brunch? From the Whitney, to 24 grille, La Dolce Vita, and Cliff Bells, Sunday Brunch in Detroit is like Christmas morning to a foodie. The list of great food in Detroit alone could go on for days.
- Like Museums? We have plenty: Museum district is one of my favorite places when I’m feeling nostalgic. There’s so much culture and so much to learn. We have the Science Center, which is really fun for kids or the kid at heart, the Detroit Institute of Arts, holding so many beautiful pieces, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Charles Wright African American Museum, and even the famous Motown Museum. There’s always really cool events going on at each museum and discounted prices for students and seniors. Maybe I’m biased and just love learning about the City I love, but this area is truly one of kind.
- You have to check out the Eastern Market: Eastern Market is such a great place on a Saturday morning. It’s a Market full of amazing Detroiters selling raw juices, fresh produce, beautiful flowers, baked goods, and even beer. There’s mom and pop restaurants surrounding the area, making it the perfect Saturday day trip. This area is always filled with friendly, great people, and the atmosphere is just a happy place to be. Eastern Market is also always holding seasonal events that are great to check out, like Oktoberfest for example.
- Be sure to stop by Campus Martius: Campus Martius is located right in the heart of Downtown on Woodward Ave. Like Eastern Market, they’re always holding fun seasonal events. They hosted Oktoberfest all September and October long. They had a German Biergarten, German beer and of course, german brats. In the Summer they host a “Beach Bar” with sand in the middle of the city, beach balls, beach themed cocktails, D.J’s and live music. They even offer morning “yoga in the park.” For the holidays they hold a beautiful Tree lighting, set up an ice rink, and have warmed tents for food, drinks, and music hosted by local food vendors. Each week different vendors participate, and each week proceeds from the event are given to a different charity. It’s a great place to be, young, old, family, or friends. And it’s a great thing to be apart of.
- Lastly, but certainly not least, go to the Theatre: Detroit is filled with beautiful, classical, old Theatres like the Detroit Opera House, The Filmore, The Fox Theatre, The Fisher Theatre, and The Gem Theatre. The settings take you back to the 1920’s with immaculate ceilings, velvet red seating, and all the gold trimmings. You have to see a show at least once in these beautiful buildings to really appreciate the History and beauty of Detroit.
Even with a detailed top ten list, there are still so many things unmentioned. For example, Belle Isle, the Riverwalk, and our incredible Fourth of July Fireworks on the water. The list of things to do in Detroit is really endless. Please, do yourself a favor and check some of these things out. Come to Detroit, come see what we’re about.