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  • Writer's pictureMarie A.

How to spend three days in Motor City

Image of We heart DET in Detroit

Day 1

Fly into Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and head into the city. Downtown Detroit is a great home base and is nicely situated near major attractions and is easily walkable.

Image of Buddy's Pizza slices of pizza in Detroit

Drop your luggage and satisfy your travel hunger with lunch at Buddy’s Pizza.

Considered the birthplace of Detroit-style pizza, Buddy’s has multiple locations around the city. You can make your own pizza or try one of their signature “squares.”

Image of chocolate

Spend the rest of your afternoon exploring Midtown. Hop on the Q-Line streetcar to Canfield Station and check out the wide-variety of indie stores (City Bird, Nest Housewares, Source Booksellers), fun dessert options (Bon BonBon, Cold Truth, Avalon on Canfield), and diverse food scene (Detroit Shipping Company Food and Beer Hall, Grey Ghost Detroit, Royale With Cheese) that line the Cass Corridor. Shinola, an upscale lifestyle brand founded in Detroit also has their flagship store here.

After you’ve had your fill, head back to the hotel to get ready for your evening. Downtown is a hub for the four major sports, so take your pick from the Detroit Tigers, Pistons, Redwings, and Lions.

Image of Detroit Tigers Stadium

Day 2

Image of Detroit People Mover

Start your morning at Madcap Coffee. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Madcap has a convenient Downtown location connected to Parker’s Alley. Check out their rotating seasonal specialties and try something new.

Take your coffee to go and grab a ride on the Detroit People Mover for an aerial view of the city. This elevated light rail system does a convenient and quick loop around the Downtown area.

Image of the Detroit Riverwalk

Hop off at Riverfront Station for easy access to the Detroit Riverwalk, a 3-mile walkway that lines the banks of the Detroit River. Peek across the water for panoramic views of Windsor, Canada.

Image of Detroit monuments: 'The Fist' and 'The Spirit of Detroit'

From there, walk towards Woodward Avenue to see two famous Detroit monuments: “The Fist” honoring boxer Joe Lewis, and “The Spirit of Detroit” which is an easily recognizable symbol of the city and honors the families who call Detroit home.

Take a quick afternoon break at the hotel and recharge for an afternoon in Corktown.

Regarded as the oldest neighborhood in Detroit, Corktown is named after Country Cork in Ireland due to the large number of Irish immigrants who originally settled there. Grab lunch at Bobcat Bonnie’s or Cork & Gabel after a walk down Michigan Avenue.

Make your way back to Downtown can grab a cone of custard from the to-go window at Huddle Soft Serve.

The evening is up to you! Spend the night at MGM Grand Detroit for some casino-fun, check out the offerings at the Shinola Hotel, including San Morello and the Evening Bar, or spend the night in with local take-out and a movie in your room.

Day 3

Image of Coffee Roasters iced coffee

Jump start your morning with an espresso from Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters.

Don’t forget to grab a piece of their homemade cheesecake for a treat later (or now – you’re on vacation!). Enjoy your treats across the street at Capitol Park which is filled with lots of fun seating and is surrounded by historic Art Deco style architecture.

Today is all about exploring Detroit’s world-renowned museums. Head to Dearborn for the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, explore the “Home of Hitsville U.S.A” at the Motown Museum, or visit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which is one of the world's oldest independent African American museums. It is easy to spend a few hours exploring, so plan accordingly!

Image of American Coney Island building

Afterwards, make a pit stop to check out a decades’ old rivalry between two Coney Island restaurants: American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island. History suggests that the food normally associated with New York City may have roots in Detroit. Try both and see where your loyalty lies.

Finally, take a walk to Campus Martius Park and spend a little time exploring seasonal pop ups, greenspace, and photo ops in the area.

When you’re ready, head back to your hotel and make your way back to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport to fly home.

Ready to see what Detroit’s all about? Nonstop flights from MSP run through mid-November.


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