Welcome to Detroit, the motor city. Explore a revitalized city rich in history, from the music revolution of Mo-town to the bustling factory of Ford’s Piquette Plant. Being the world headquarters for the big three automakers, “The D” is a Gearhead’s dream destination. The question is, where do you start? Fear not! We have curated this Detroit travel guide with a list of several places and experiences to help pre-plan your Detroit adventure.
Belle Isle State Park
Nestled on an island in the Detroit River is Belle Isle Park. Here you will find over 900 acres of pure Michigan natural wonder. This historic park boasts the Great Lakes Museum, The Belle Isle Aquarium, and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. This park is the perfect place to have a picnic!
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant / Model T Automotive Heritage Complex
Cruise into the Motor City and dive even further into automotive history at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant. This Factory was built in 1904 and served as the second center of automotive production for the Ford Motor Company. Walk the wooden planks of the factory floor and take a trip back in time to Ford’s humble beginnings. The walls wear a hearty patina contrasted by the beautiful brass era Fords on display. Guided tours are available and strongly recommended!
Giant Uniroyal Tire
No trip to Detroit is complete without a pilgrimage to the Giant Uniroyal Tire. Located just off Interstate 94 in Allen Park, this tire stands eight stories tall and weighs in at 11 tons. This giant tire originally served as a Ferris wheel for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. When the fair ended in 1965, the tire was dismantled and moved to Michigan in 1966. Over the years the tire has served as an eye-catching static display around Allen Park. Don’t forget your camera; every car looks cool with the Giant Uniroyal Tire as a backdrop!
The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
This massive museum highlights a myriad of technological innovations of the past. Gearhead’s will especially appreciate the Driving America exhibit, featuring historically significant vehicles from the oldest surviving American to a 2002 Toyota Prius. Driving America tells the story about how the automobile has impacted our lives and influenced American Culture. This is just one of many thought-
Motown Museum: Hitsville U.S.A.
Take a musical journey back one of Detroit’s most popular museums. Find out what’s going on with Motown by visiting their original world headquarters located on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. Learn about how Motown founder Berry Gordy changed music forever with just an $800 investment. Hitsville has automotive ties as Berry also juggled working on the assembly line for Detroit’s Lincoln and Mercury plant when he was starting the record label. Tour the hollowed grounds where music greats like the Supremes, Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye recorded their hits.
Places to re-fuel
The Inn at St. John’s – 5ive Steakhouse
5ive Steakhouse offers a great place to kick back and enjoy a great meal without having to leave the action and excitement of the Concours. Up for a drink? 5ive Steakhouse is the place serves up fine craft cocktails at their outdoor terrace. Looking for something more substantial? 5ive specializes in delicious Brunch and lunch options and scrumptious Steak dinners. Reservations are strongly encouraged!
Detroit Style Pizza – PizzaPapalis
In the mood for pizza? PizzaPapalis is a locally owned chain of pizza joints specializing in signature Detroit and Chicago style pies. They have been serving up pies for over 33 years and they are favorite of visitors and Detroiters alike. Sit back and talk cars in a relaxed atmosphere over pizza and beer. Is there honestly a better pairing out there?
Ocean Prime Detroit
Located in the nearby town of Troy is Ocean Prime Detroit, an up-scale award-winning modern American restaurant and lounge. Boasting an impressive array of both seafood and USDA prime cut steaks, Ocean Prime offers a premium dining experience. It’s the perfect spot to socialize with your fellow Gearheads. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made online or over the phone.
DriveShare Detroit Top Pick: Coney Island Challenge – American Coney Island vs Lafayette Coney Island
Looking to eat on the Cheap? We have you covered! Who has the best Coney Dog is a question has divided Detroit households for years. Take a drive down W. Lafayette Blvd. where we have two Coney Island restaurants situated right next to each other. American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island both offer a similar fair but with two distinct flavor differences. Have a Coney dog from each location and gain some Detroit street cred by deciding which Coney reigns supreme. This is both a fun and tasty challenge. Be sure to bring cash as Lafayette Coney Island is a cash-only establishment.
Located right on Woodward Ave; this Michigan-based brewery has been a Beer Lover’s destination since 2014. Kick-back and have a cold one from an expansive beer list. Come Hungry and try their Cosmik Fries. They are out of this world! Hop Cat is open from 11 AM-11 PM Sunday through Monday, and 11 AM to 12 AM Friday and Saturday.
Places to stay
Embassy Suites by Hilton Detroit – Troy Auburn Hills
Conveniently located in the nearby city of Troy, this newly renovated Embassy Suites offers a modern and laid-back lodging experience. Enjoy complimentary breakfast, an indoor pool, and convenient, roomy suites all at a budget friendly price!
Sheraton Detroit – Novi
Located in Novi just minutes from downtown, this newly re-modeled Sheraton boasts several room layouts. After the show, guests can kick back and enjoy a drink at the NoVI Craft House. Hungry for breakfast? A full American breakfast buffet is available in the morning.
Detroit Marriott – Livonia
Looking to shop until you drop? Connected to the Laurel Park Place mall, Detroit Marriott Livonia offers spacious upscale modern rooms within a quick 15-minute drive of the concours. Guests can also enjoy a casual dining experience at FINS Kitchen & Bar, specializing in delicious American cuisine paired with craft beer and cocktails. Other available amenities include laundry and dry-cleaning facilities, an indoor pool, and a 24-hour market and fitness center.
MGM Grand Detroit
For the ultimate Motor City experience, treat yourself to a stay at the MGM Grand Detroit. This Hotel has something for everyone: a TopGolf Lounge, an infinity pool, and a casino and sports betting lounge. Looking to re-fuel after the show? Choose from five different dining venues ranging from a Fusion buffet to a dining court. When you are ready to turn in, luxuriate in grand style in your own personal sanctuary. MGM Grand Detroit is located right in the heart of the Motor City and welcomes guests 21 years of age and older.
Rent a set of wheels
The Motor City is best experienced cruising the gut behind the wheel of something fun. Park the crossover and head to DriveShare.com and find yourself a car you actually want to drive. For more travel guides visit our travel guide introduction page.