Call us biased, but we think the Motor City is pretty darn amazing. While most Detroiters appreciate the chance to travel and experience other parts of the country, there are a few things about our hometown that simply can’t be outdone, no matter how far from the city limits we stray. If you’re ready to embrace that Motown pride, read about some of the best places in Detroit that stand out on a broader scale.
1. Motown Museum
It’s no secret that Detroit is known as the home of the Motown Sound, and there’s no better place to celebrate this legacy than the marvelous Motown Museum on West Grand Boulevard. During your visit, you’ll have the chance to experience the iconic Hitsville, U.S.A. for yourself, wandering the same rooms where Berry Gordy worked with stars from Diana Ross to Marvin Gaye. Music fans will be in paradise.
2. The Detroit RiverWalk
There are plenty of riverfront properties throughout the United States, but we firmly believe that the Detroit Riverfront is second to none. After all, our beloved RiverWalk is unique in that it provides visual access to an entirely different country, as visitors can gaze across at Ontario, Canada. If that weren’t enough, our carefully maintained bankside parks and attractions are chock full of charm and beauty in every season.
3. Belle Isle Aquarium
There’s much to love on Belle Isle, whether you’re visiting the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory or heading out for a stroll along the Blue Heron Lagoon loop trail. One of the best places to check out on Belle Isle, though, is the stunning aquarium. This amazing destination was first opened in 1904 and proudly boasts the title of America’s oldest aquarium. Today, visitors can stop by during limited hours to appreciate the building and its many maritime creatures.
4. Ford Piquette Avenue Plant
If you want to learn about the history of the automotive industry, there’s simply no better place than Detroit. After all, they don’t call us the Motor City for nothing – and a visit to the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant solidifies this longstanding history. During the early heyday of the Ford Motor Company, it served as an important venue for auto production and is widely known as the “birthplace of the Model T.” Today, curious guests can take a walk through history during guided or self-guided tours of the plant.
5. The Henry Ford Museum
While we’re discussing museums, we simply must mention the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. This is so much more than your standard museum – in fact, the Henry Ford actually operates as a full museum complex, offering an incredible array of artifacts and exhibits from across generations and a full-blown living history museum known as Greenfield Village. As the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in the entire country, it surely deserves a spot on your bucket list.
6. Lafayette and American Coney Islands
There’s nothing more delicious than a coney dog, and we firmly believe that Detroit does them best. While there’s plenty of debate as to which restaurant makes the greatest coney in the city, Lafayette and American regularly come out on top for their unassuming charm, delicious flavors, and long-standing deliciousness. Lafayette was actually opened by the brother of Constantine Keros, who established American Coney Island just next door in 1917. No matter where you snag your next Detroit coney, it’s tough to go wrong.
7. Pewabic Pottery
You don’t have to be a pottery enthusiast to find pure delight at Pewabic Pottery, which sits along East Jefferson Avenue and has operated since 1907 – making it one of the oldest potteries in the entire country. Pewabic is famous for its beautiful tiles and glazed pieces, many of which can be spotted at landmarks like the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Intrigued visitors can stop by for a self-guided tour of the studio space and even take home a few pieces of their own.
8. Buddy’s Pizza
One of the most hotly debated topics throughout the United States is the title of America’s best pizza. While Chicago and New York make worthwhile arguments for their respective causes, we can’t help but insist that Detroit’s square pizza belongs atop the list. Since 1946, Buddy’s has been delighting diners with its uniquely shaped pies, and you can still check out the original restaurant at Six Mile and Conant Street. It really doesn’t get much more delicious than this.
So, there you have it: eight of the best places in Detroit (and, in our humble opinion, the country). Have you spent time at any of these amazing destinations in and around the Motor City? Which of your favorites made the list? Let us know by leaving a Facebook comment or recommend other worthwhile spots for future articles by filling out our official nomination form here.