Unique Things to do in Detroit

As far as Michigan goes, there’s more to do there than you might think. Detroit, in particular, has dozens of museums, art, and history than anywhere else in the Wolverine State. A mere lake-breadth away from Canada, Detroit has a rich history from its ties to the automobile industry to being the birthplace of Motown. As well as Detroit’s solid musical legacy that includes names such as Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye, it’s a city that’s still ripe with its own unique sense of culture. You’ll never run out of things to do in Detroit.


01Marvel at the Heidelberg Project

Heidelberg project, an outdoor museum created to make the city's first indoor and outdoor museum as an attraction

Since the disbanding of industry, some parts of Detroit have fallen into a state of disrepair. However, to judge a unique city by its past is to miss out on the sense of community, bringing it back together. The Heidelberg Project is an art project on the east side of Detroit. Created in 1986 by one man who saw beauty in the rundown neighborhood in which he grew up, this outdoor art installation covers an entire block.


02Immerse Yourself in Literature at John K. King Used and Rare Books

Detroit Bookstore Ian Muttoo on Visual Hunt CC BY-NC-SA

In a city esteemed for its culture, there's one treasure trove of a bookstore that takes the crown. John K. King Used & Rare Books is an independent bookseller that has more than a million books in stock at all times. According to Salon magazine, the store has one of the biggest and strangest collections in the country. Whether you're keen on romantic novels, French philosophy, or art, John K. King has the book for you.


03Take a Day Trip into Canada

The Ambassador Bridge links Detroit, Michigan, USA with Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Steven_Kriemadis / Getty Images

Did you know that you can see Canada from Detroit and Detroit from Canada? It's true, and not only that, but it also might be worth taking a day trip across or under Lake St. Clair. There are two ways to get to Ontario from Detroit, one of which is the almighty Ambassador Bridge. Your second choice is the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. There are plenty of reasons you might decide to get oot and aboot in the Great White North. Be it for Tim Horton's, an exceptional Canadian beer, or an adventure around Point Pelee National Park. Remember, however, to take your passport to cross the border.


04See Live Music in a Totally New Way

Detroit, United States All of the Lights Photo by Josh Hammond on Unsplash

For the birthplace of Motown to not have a thriving music scene would be ludicrous. Thankfully, the streets of Detroit are still alive with the sound of music. All kinds of music, even. As well as being home to the infamous Fillmore, there are hundreds of bars across town that have seen the likes of hometown heroes The White Stripes play their stages. From jazz to soul to the blues and rock 'n roll, music aficionados will be in heaven in Motor City.


05Take a Trip to the Eastern Market

Eastern Market, Detroit, United States Photo by Jorge Flores on Unsplash

If you're visiting Detroit for some time, you should absolutely head to the Eastern Market. People from all over the world visit the city just to experience one of the state's oldest urban farmer's markets. For more than 150 years, the Eastern Market has offered shoppers farm-to-table produce, blooming bouquets of flowers, live music, and most importantly, community. The neighborhood around the market has also exploded with hip eateries and bars you don't want to miss.


06Try Out Some World-Class Mead

Bar scene in downtown Detroit ZoobiePhoto / Getty Images

Have you ever tasted mead? If not, Detroit is the perfect place to indulge in the sometimes sweet honey-tinged drink of the past. Oddly enough, Michigan's mead industry is booming. Where most cities in the US have their own craft and specialty beers, in Detroit, it's all about mead. In fact, Detroit is the premier region for mead, and there are dozens of meaderies just waiting to have their produce tried out. What are you waiting for?


07Visit the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle Island Park in Detroit, Michigan

Once known as the Belle Isle Conservatory, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory does a lot to live up to its former name. Located in a small island park of the same name, set on the Detroit River, the park exists to protect and preserve the unique character of Detroit's surrounding nature. While you might not immediately think of green spaces in the same breath as Detroit, this botanical garden and its greenhouse are a stunning reminder of the beauty of Michigan's land.


08Get a Photo Taken of Your Aura

Detroit, USA Photo by Kahari king on Unsplash

Those of us who like the truly unique might love the option provided by Detroit's Aura Aura. What started as an experimental photography project has now become one of the most sought after things to do in Detroit for the influencer generation. As well as offering its patrons the chance to have a photograph taken of their aura, Aura Aura also sells vintage clothing, records, and more.


09Munch Through the Best Soul Food in the Country

Rusted Crow - Detroit Michigan Photo by Stanford Smith on Unsplash

A lot of cities around the country will argue for the top spot when it comes to soul food. That being said, Detroit is up there with the best of them. Its streets are lined with incredible soul food restaurants that will have you wanting to eat nothing else. Soul food is, after all, one of the biggest parts of Detroit's food scene. You'd be depriving yourself if you didn't try Savannahblue or Sterling's at least once. Trust us.


10Go Urban Exploring in the Grande Ballroom

Grande ballroom detroit summersetretrievers / Getty Images

Although it closed its doors in 1972, Detroit's Grande Ballroom is still a huge part of the city's history. In its time, Michigan's greatest rock venue saw the likes of Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and Led Zeppelin take to its stage amongst hundreds of others. The building is now in disrepair but has found a second life as a hotspot for urban explorers. One search for photographs of this stunning piece of architecture and you'll want to see it for yourself. Additionally, the venue recently passed restoration tests, meaning we might also get to see gigs there in our lifetime.


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