Mention Detroit and most people think of the thriving automotive industry of the mid-20th century and the pioneering sound of the Motown record label. Economic challenges have seen the city’s fortunes wax and wane, but today, vibrant energy combined with rich history make for a fascinating destination.
Get to the heart of Detroit’s “Motor City” identity with a visit to the Henry Ford Museum. This impressive exhibition includes unique vintage cars, steam trains and aircraft prototypes, as well as many key historical artefacts, all based on the world-famous automotive industrialist’s personal collection.
No visit would be complete without a tour of legendary Hitsville USA, now home to the Motown Museum. Step into the recording studios once used by stars such as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.
The city’s regeneration drive is best symbolised by the towering skyscrapers of the GM Renaissance Center. As well as serving as the headquarters for General Motors, this complex is an entertainment hub, with boutiques, restaurants and hotels. You’ll get the best panoramic views of the city from the top-floor observation point.
You’ll also discover a thriving cultural scene in the city. The Detroit Institute of Art is home to one of the best collections in the country, including masterpieces from every continent dating back over 3,000 years. Enjoy world-class productions at the beautifully restored Detroit Opera House, offering a programme of everything from ballet to Broadway musicals.
Families with children have loads of choices. The interactive exhibits, planetarium and IMAX Theater at the Michigan Science Center will keep even the busiest minds occupied. Or head to Detroit Zoo to see lions, tigers and polar bears, and even have a go at hand-feeding a giraffe!
You can also enjoy your visit at a more leisurely pace. Wander amongst the stalls of the Eastern Market and sample some local gourmet treats, or leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and spend the day at Belle Isle, a vast island park in the middle of the Detroit River, and the perfect place to contemplate this complex, dynamic metropolis.