Best Things to do in Detroit

Looking for a list of things to do in Detroit Michigan?

Detroit is truly a city filled with so many attractions and things to see that you won’t be able to see it all in just a few days! Whether you’re just visiting on a day trip from nearby Windsor Ontario, or just passing by for the day, we’ve highlighted below the must-see attractions and cool things to do in downtown Detroit:

Places of Interest & Fun Attractions

Sightseeing is one of the best things to do in Detroit without a doubt, and with so many points of interests, the arts district in downtown Detroit and the suburbs; you’ll be definitely spoiled for choice! Some of the must-see places and attractions to visit in Detroit include:

-Detroit Institute of Arts Museum: also known as DIA is one of the best art museums in the USA, and one of the most best attractions in town! If you love art, you’ll love admiring at world-class art works such as Vincent Van Gogh's Self Portrait.
Best Things to do in Detroit
Best Things to do in Michigan
Having said this, if you’re not interested in art that much, you’ll still love spending time at the Detroit Institute of Arts since the museum boasts many educational exhibits such as the ‘Fakes’ exhibit where you can learn cool information about forging paintings.

- Deaborn Heights: the suburb of Deaborn Heights (located about 20 minutes drive west of downtown Detroit) is one of the most popular suburbs of Detroit and home to two of Detroit’s top attractions – Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford Museum).

The Henry Ford Museum boasts lots of interesting artifacts on display such as Lincoln Chair and JFK’s Presidential Limousine; while Greenfield Village is a beautifully reconstructed 1800’s village where you can catch live arts and crafts demonstrations, and even enjoy a ride on antique vehicles.
Things to do in Detroit

There is no doubt that a visit to Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum are easily two of the best things to do in Detroit with family or friends, and don't forget to book a tour of the Ford factory to see how vehicles are assembled!

-Motown Museum: is another gem of attraction in Detroit that can’t be overlooked, especially if you’re a fan of Motown classics!

-Detroit Science Center: is located in Midtown Detroit and it’s another great family friendly attraction that you can’t miss passing by! There are lots of cool educational exhibits and playing areas for the little ones, as well as a planetarium and IMAX Theatre.

-Detroit Historical Museum: is also located in Midtown Detroit and it’s a great place where you can spend easily 2-3 hours exploring exhibits such as “Streets of Old Detroit”, which is a beautifully restored 19th century street.

Visiting the Detroit Historical  Museum is without a doubt one of the best things you can do in Detroit with the family so be sure to check it out!

-Detroit Zoo: if you’re traveling with the family, visiting the Detroit Zoo is another of the best things to do in Detroit with kids, especially since the zoo boasts cool exhibits such as an aviary, a chimpanzee habitat and a penguinarium.

-Detroit Riverfront: is another great place to spend a nice afternoon while marveling the beautiful Detroit River and taking in the views of Windsor’s skyline just across the river.

Along the Riverfront, you’ll find many green spaces; children's play areas, art fairs, side-walk restaurants, art fairs, bands playing and a few must-see attractions such as:

-Hart Plaza: a visit to Hart Plaza is definitely one of the best things to do in Detroit in winter since the plaza boasts an ice rink where you can do ice skating for free.

Hart Plaza is also one of the best places in Detroit to catch summer events such as Marshall Field's Target Fireworks in late June, Ribs and Souls Fest, and Caribbean Fest in August.

-Renaissance Center (Ren-Cen): is home General Motors HQ, GM’s vehicle showroom and a small movie theatre and shopping center.

-Tricentennial State Park: is a great spot for picnicking, fishing and launching your boat.
Belle Isle

-Belle Isle: is must see place to visit in Detroit since it boasts other attractions such as the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and Belle Nature Zoo.

Entertainment & Events

When it comes to evening entertainment, you can catch everything from exciting Broadway shows, concerts, and theatre performances at either Fisher Theatre or Fox Theatre, as well as opera concerts at the Detroit Opera House.

In fact, if you’re planning to visit Detroit Opera House, and would like to see what the place is like behind the scenes, you can enjoy a backstage tour (for around $10) of the Detroit Opera House.

The Fisher Theatre features mainly Broadway-type shows such as the “Miserables” and “Chicago”, while the Fox Theatre is a great music venue where you can catch live performances.

Events-wise, catching a game of hockey and baseball is one of the best things to do in Detroit, especially if you’re a sports fan.
Comerica Park

Even if you don’t love sports, the experience of being at a live game next to a fan and soaking in the electrifying atmosphere is truly a memorable experience!

You can either see the Red Wings hockey team play at the Joe Louis Arena, or see the Tiger’s play at Comerica Park.
Things in Detroit

Besides catching a sports event, the North American International Auto Show is another great event worth checking out when in town, especially if you’re car enthusiast.

The North American International Auto Show happens annually in early January at the COBO Center.

Exploring Detroit’s Neighborhoods

Exploring Detroit’s multicultural and historic neighborhoods is one of the best things to do in Detroit hands down. Below is a list of Detroit’s main neighborhoods and attractions:

-Downtown Detroit is home to Greektown, Mexicantown, Corktown, Pewabic Pottery, Tricentennial State Park, Comerica Park, Ren-Cen, Fox Theatre, Belle Isle, etc.)

-Midtown is home the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), Motown Museum, Detroit Historical Museum, Fisher Theatre, and the Detroit Science Center.

-Islandview is home to the Indian Village and the Pewabic Pottery

-Boston-Edison is one of the best historic districts in Detroit where you can see well preserved period homes and houses, and exploring the district on a organized guided tour is one of the best ways to go about it since you’ll get access inside some of these houses.
fun Things to do in Detroit

The Boston-Edison Historic Association organizes annual tours of the district during the Holiday Season, and you can book guided tours (for around $20) with them.

Besides guided tours of Boston-Edison district, you can take a driving tour of the district and check out the houses yourself (you can get a copy of all the historic houses from the Boston-Edison Association)


Whether you’re planning or not on renting a car while in Detroit, one of the best ways to get around and explore Detroit’s attractions is on Detroit’s People Mover.
Free Things to do in Detroit

If you’re planning to stay or visit downtown Detroit for the day, taking a day trip to nearby Windsor Ontario to admire Detroit’s skyline is one of the best things to do in Detroit.

In fact, Windsor Ontario is just minutes across the river from downtown Detroit and you can get there by driving across the suspension bridge, or on a sightseeing cruise along the Detroit River.

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