Hello, Detroit! What do I do? Where do I go?

Hello, Detroit! What do I do? Where do I go?

I made a quick trip out of town this weekend to see friends in Detroit. As my previous postDetroit is the number one of the top ten cities people should visit in 2018 according to Lonely Planet – the largest travel guide book publisher in the world.

Therefore, I found a cheap ticket, and thought, “Why not? I’ve got snow boots.” It was FREEZING. It was actually below freezing, at -14 degrees with wind chill factored in. No wonder the ticket was cheap!

Detroit was beautiful though, even if I saw most of it from a car window. We did go to a few cathedrals, checked out the Eastern Market (which is a really cool farmers market that sprawls across a few buildings), threw some snowballs and I played with my friends’ two dogs (who are adorable). I felt extremely lazy when I was staying with them. They’ve got a whole routine that I can’t wrap my head around: Wake up early on the weekends. He makes waffles at 6 am, they dance around with dogs in the kitchen, and then head out to explore the city for the afternoon.

We checked out some old record shops and thrift stores, and I had to stop myself from buying everything—it wouldn’t have fit in my suitcase (the thrift store shopping and antiquing is fantastic in Michigan, I should have known).

I’m told that in the spring, “spring cleaning” actually exists, and if you want new furniture, just spend a couple hours driving around town and looking at the curbs. My friends moved here last year and furnished half their house with the furniture in friends’ garages and brand-new curbside pickups. To furnish their entire house, they spent a total of $19.00—on one fantastic and perfect condition antique chair at a thrift store.

And their rent in a cute part of Detroit Metro is $840 for a two bedroom house with a massive yard, in walkable distance from a ton of new restaurants, bars, and cute little shops. I don’t want to talk about how much I pay in rent for comparison. I’m not going to lie—I kind of want to move there myself… and maybe head back to California for the winter.

I was only there a few days, but here’s a list of some awesome things in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs to check out:

Eastern Market


The Eastern Market is open on weekends, even in the winter, and hosts local farmers and shop owners that are selling their goods. While there are fewer stalls open in winter, we were able to get information about every product and choose fresh ingredients for dinner that night—all costing less than I thought they would. Bring cash, since not all vendors accept the card.

Detroit Fleat

Detroit Fleat is a great little bar/restaurant in Ferndale, MI, about fifteen minutes from downtown. The restaurant has three food trucks there every day, and in the spring through the fall, there are rotating menus with different food trucks coming in. It’s a cute little restaurant with GREAT food, I highly recommend it. And you’re in Ferndale, so if you go up 9 Mile Road, you end up in an up and coming area with a ton of great places to check out.

Mabel Grey


This restaurant is by reservation only (unless you’re really lucky to walk in on a slow night). The menu changes daily, and the food is unbelievably good. It was one of the top-rated restaurants in the nation in 2016, and The Joe Bar next door is a great place to get fancy craft cocktails after dinner (just make sure to check out the bathrooms—the murals are fantastic).

The list is short, but it was so cold I thought I’d turn into a popsicle. I have every intention of flying back again in the summer when my friends have promised me lake camping trips and some stellar hiking in the Upper Peninsula.

Belle Isle island

This island locates in the Detroit River Belle that was discovered by French explorers in the 1600s. Even though this island is small that is about 3 miles long and up to 1 mile wide, there are many sports activities, hiking trails, and beautiful parks. I plan to visit the Belle Isle Conservatory that is a greenhouse and a beautiful botanical garden. Moreover, we can find an aquarium, a and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, with numerous ship models and other exhibits illustrating the history of shipping on the Great Lakes

Detroit Institute of Arts

This is my favorite place that I must visit because you can see a representative cross-section of man’s artistic creation from the earliest cultures to the present day. There is no about that Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the best art collections in the United States. Its valuable collection includes the art of Africa, Oceania and the Indigenous Americas; the art and culture of the Near East and classical antiquity; collections from medieval Europe; and American art and culture. Moreover, the most significant part is the collection includes many masterpieces of European painting, including works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh (self-portrait), Matisse, and Picasso. If you are the fan of General Motors (GM), you should visit the General Motors Center for African American Art. The Center’s goal is to enhance public knowledge of African-American contributions to the art community.

Comerica Park

This is a combination theme park, ballpark, and baseball museum it features huge statues of tigers, a Ferris wheel, carousel (with tigers, of course) and a fountain that celebrates each home run with colored lights and music. The giant tigers out front are hard to miss but there are lots of little touches too like the drain grates and the tires on the history displays that put it over the top. Be sure to take some time to walk around to read the displays, see the statues, and watch part of the game from the outfield wall by the fountains.

The Guardian Building


We can catch free tours of the Guardian Building based on the scheduled time. The Pure Detroit docents are amazingly knowledgeable about the history of the building, its construction and the materials and decorative/artistic elements intrinsic to the original and surviving structures. If you have any interest in history, architecture, art or the ethos which created, destroyed and is now restoring and recovering this unique structure this is something you should NOT miss. It says as much about the human spirit and the renaissance of downtown Detroit as about a beautiful building.

The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village


If you are the fan of General Motors (GM), do not miss these places where the automobile manufacturer Henry Ford was born. In 1929 he established two exhibition complexes as memorials to himself: the 12 acre Henry Ford Museum, and an open-air museum called Greenfield Village. Moreover, you can find a lot of the technological and industrial inventions and achievements of the United States throughout history.

There are many remarkable exhibits such as the first Ford and the car in which John F. Kennedy was assassinated; the Fokker in which Admiral Byrd made the first flight over the North Pole in 1926; and the Junkers W 33 in which Hermann Kohl, Freiherr von Hanefeld, and James Fitzmaurice made the first east-west crossing of the Atlantic in 1928.

Greenfield Village is an open-air museum with some 100 historic buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries from all over the United States. Among them are a school, a railroad station and other public buildings, the house in which Henry Ford was born, Edison’s laboratory and the Wright brothers’ bicycle factory. The numerous shops in the Village Craft Center sell the products of the various workshops in the village.

Author

Amy Nguyen

Amy Nguyen

I feel happy to share my experiences with you about Travel - Food - Life around the world. I hope to inspire you to Live-Love- Laugh :)

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