Detroit Riverwalk, Campus Martius, and DIA Win USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

Plus, the Michigan Science Center came in third place for Best Science Center and the Motown Museum came in fifth place for Top Music Museum.
Photograph courtesy of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

USA Today has begun revealing the winners of their annual 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards — an annual contest that ranks destinations around the country by asking their readers to vote for their favorite travel destinations in categories like food, lodging, and travel — and this year, two Detroit spots came out on top.

The Detroit Riverwalk was voted the best riverwalk in the country for the third year in a row, beating out riverwalks in cities like Tampa, Louisville, Cincinnati, San Antonio, Boston, and Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, Campus Martius Park took the number one spot for Best Public Square in the country. This is the second time Campus Martius was nominated for the award but was the first time the park took first place. Last year, it came in fourth.

The Detroit Institute of Arts, which is home to more than 65,000 pieces of art, also took the top spot in for the Best Art Museum category. It beat out the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and the Getty Center in LA, among others.

The Michigan Science Center and Motown Museum were nominated for Best Science Museum and Best Music Museum. Both locations placed in their respective categories, coming in third and fifth, respectively.

To decide on the winners, USA Today asks a panel of urban planning experts to nominate different destinations in different categories. The general public gets to vote on those nominations to determine the winners in each category.

These announcements come at a particularly exciting time for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy as they celebrate 20 years of work to make the Riverwalk a public space filled with parks and greenways.

“This is a big year for the Detroit Riverfront,” Mark Wallace, the President & CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, said in a press release. “People from throughout the community have helped shape this riverfront from the very beginning, and now, 20 years into the project, we can all celebrate our many successes. We have a lot of fun plans for this year and are looking forward to celebrating this milestone all year long.”

Among the 20-year celebratory plans are:

  • The May grand opening of the Southwest Greenway, which connects the riverfront to Michigan Central Station.
  • Free summertime boat cruises on the river.
  • The grand opening of the Uniroyal Promenade, which complete the east riverfront by linking Mt. Elliott Park and Gabriel Richard Park and providing a pathway to Belle Isle.

and much more.

“We are thrilled to be named America’s Best Riverwalk once again,” Matt Cullen, Chairman of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, added. “The transformation of our riverfront over these past two decades has been tremendous. To go from a blighted and underused riverfront to one that is recognized as the best in the country three years in a row is a testament to how much people love the riverfront and to what our community can achieve when we all work together.”

For more information, including the winners in other 10Best categories, visit — and find even more information on the Detroit Riverwalk revitalization project and other community development projects at