Detroit Itinerary: Ways to Spend A Day or Two in the 'D'

Adventures aren’t limited to faraway vacation spots. From tours and sightseeing, dining and shopping, to hotels and cultural activities, there’s a whole lot to see and do right in our own backyard. So make a day (or a weekend) of it with this trek of Motown. Just remember to bring a pair of comfortable shoes.


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ACCOMODATIONS: The Westin Book Cadillac, MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Greektown Casino Hotel, The Atheneum Suite Hotel, Courtyard Marriott, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Hilton Garden Inn, Roberts Riverwalk Hotel & Residence, DoubleTree Guest Suites — Fort Shelby.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Get happy at Roast’s happy hour (at street level in the Westin Book Cadillac). Burn calories on the way to dinner at Andiamo Detroit Riverfront in the RenCen by first strolling along the RiverWalk. Live jazz? Ride the People Mover to Cliff Bell’s, where shows start at 8 p.m. Nightcap? Walk to the Town Pump. Bedtime snack? The Bucharest Grill in the nearby Park Bar. Then cab it back to the hotel for lights out. (Night owls can always seek out casino action before turning in.)

SATURDAY: Coffee, snack, and newspaper at the hotel. Then, head back to the RiverWalk, rent bicycles at Wheelhouse Detroit, and pedal to breakfast at Le Petit Zinc in Corktown. (Alternate plan: Bike the Dequindre Cut north to Eastern Market.) On the return ride from Corktown, page through the voluminous inventory at John King Books and grab lunch at the storied Anchor Bar, a fabled haunt of journalists. Return your bike and embrace the tradition of siesta time, followed by a spa treatment at Immerse, Woodhouse Day Spa, D.Tour Spa, or Spa 19. The evening lineup: Casual dinner at Angelina Bistro, Tiger baseball at Comerica Park, and a nightcap at Small Plates.

SUNDAY: Start the day with a workout and a dip in the hotel pool/fitness center or order a light breakfast in bed. Then explore some of the nearby historic churches: St. Aloysius on Washington Boulevard, Fort Street Presbyterian, and Most Holy Trinity on Porter. What’s a leisurely Sunday without brunch? Try Mudgie’s in Corktown.



ACCOMODATIAONS: Inn on Ferry Street

FRIDAY NIGHT: Grab a Chinese dinner at Shangri-La on Cass Avenue, then head over to the DIA Friday Night Live for live music and a drop-in art workshop. Cap off the night with a trip to the Whitney’s third floor for live music and drinks.

SATURDAY: Start off the day with a crêpe and coffee at Good Girls Go to Paris Crêpes in the Park Shelton. Then cruise over to Eastern Market for an early lunch at one of the several market-area restaurants. While there, visit antiques shops (Russell Street Antiques, Marketplace Antiques Gallery on Gratiot, and the huge emporium on Market Street called Eastern Market Antiques). Snag a reasonably priced bottle of wine from Cost Plus Wine Warehouse and a chunk of cheese from R. Hirt Co. to take back to the hotel for a private happy hour. While you’re feeling flush, stroll Midtown proper and shop on Canfield for Detroit- and Michigan-made products at City Bird and home goods at Bureau of Urban Living. Explore the Main Detroit Library and don’t miss the Pewabic fireplace in the children’s area and the third-floor murals. Drop by the Traffic Jam & Snug, a Midtown mainstay since 1965, for a house brew. Later, lace on your bowling shoes and knock down some pins at Garden Bowl, the nation’s oldest operating bowling alley. Continue the fun with a concert at one of the venues within the Majestic complex. Grab a late-night slice of pizza from Sgt. Pepperoni’s while you wait for the cab to take you back to the inn.

SUNDAY: Begin the day in elegant fashion with brunch at The Whitney, once home to lumber baron David Whitney. Later on, catch a matinee flick at the Detroit Film Theatre in the DIA. Browse the museum gift shop while you’re there. Head north to the New Center and cap off the day with dinner at Cuisine, housed in a splendid old home on Lothrop behind the Fisher Building.

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