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Old 05-26-2017, 09:32 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,299,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverfield View Post
I've been hearing about Detroit's efforts to make a come-back, and I'd like to take a weekend trip there this summer. I'd like to see things that give me a sense of history; what Detroit once was, as well as what it is now, and what it will be. Which neighborhoods or attractions would you recommend checking out?
FOR HISTORY:
1. Ford Piquette Avenue Plant – tour the plant where the famed Model T was first made – it was the most popular car in the world. Tours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10, 12 and 2 pm; $12
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant | Birthplace of the Model T

2. Second Baptist Church of Detroit (Underground Railroad Tour) – This church in downtown Detroit is the oldest African-American church in the Midwest and was the site where escaped slaves made their final stop in the Underground Railroad before crossing over to Canada. Tours are on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. See website for schedule
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TOURS & THE HISTORY OF SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH


Tours
1. Preservation Detroit Tours – 10 am Saturday guided walking tours, 2 hours, $15, 3 options: Downtown, Midtown/Cultural District, and Eastern Market
Tours - Preservation Detroit

2. Detroit Experience Factory - free walking tours of downtown, the Cultural Center, Eastern Market and the Riverfront. Check their tour schedule below:
Detroit Experience FactoryPublic Tours


FOR THE EXPERIENCE:
1. EASTERN MARKET on Saturdays between 8 am and 2 pm – compare our Market District to your native Cleveland’s Westside Market and surrounding Market District

2.BELLE ISLE – AQUARIUM, DOSSIN GREAT LAKES MUSEUM, AND GENERAL SIGHTSEEING (It costs $11 to drive onto the island now that the state took it over; biking in is free)
a. Aquarium is small and you will be done in a 30-45 minutes, but it is the oldest aquarium in the nation and has cool old school architecture inside and outside; free
b. Dossin is dedicated to the maritime history/industry of the Great Lakes and is a great example of Midcentury Modern architecture; free
c. Compare the view of downtown from Belle Isle to the view of downtown Cleveland from Edgewater Park. Also views of Canada, Detroit’s Gold Coast, and Lake St. Clair

3. DETROIT-STYLE PIZZA - Nikki's in Bricktown has the best Detroit-Style Pizza downtown; the old pioneers of this style of pizza include Buddy's on the northeast side, Loui's in Hazel Park & Cloverleaf in Eastpointe

If you have a passport:
-Head to Windsor, Ontario and eat dinner at one of the establishments along West Wyandotte in the Olde Walkerville neighborhood and then spend the evening partying in downtown Windsor, which has an impressive density of nightclubs and bars along its main drag, Oullette Avenue.


FOR THE FUTURE:
Ride the 3.3 Mile long QLine streetcar; It is $1.50 for one-way fare

Last edited by usroute10; 05-26-2017 at 09:44 PM..
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,275,780 times
Reputation: 3605
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
And so do I! Also from Northern Ohio.

I was wondering if anyone ever visited the Motown Hall of Fame? (Hittsville)
I did once. Ended up being the only local in the tour group that day. It's nice and pretty cool for anyone interested in music or specifically Motown Music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
Glad CF decided to ask this. I too plan to visit for a weekend at some point this summer. My question was more specific. If I were here on a weekend to check out some architecture (historic/modern/etc.) which buildings would I be able to walk right in, without a tour? (Regular business hours aren't in effect, so I don't know). For example, could I get into the Fox, or the Guardian for free? Or at all?
The Compuware (technically One Campus Martius but that's what most people remember it as), the Ren Cen, the Guardian Building, the National Building, the David Whitney Building, and the Fisher Building all have open lobbies. Usually all of them have a store or restaurant in them. The Ren Cen has about a dozen.

You'd have to set up a tour to see the Fox Theatre. You'd be better off going to a show or concert that they have every couple of weeks. It might be easier to get a tour at the Masonic Theatre, but you have to call a week in advance and a tour guide has to be available (though I'm sure they get enough inquires to have tours somewhat often).
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,776 posts, read 65,692,477 times
Reputation: 32973
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
Glad CF decided to ask this. I too plan to visit for a weekend at some point this summer. My question was more specific. If I were here on a weekend to check out some architecture (historic/modern/etc.) which buildings would I be able to walk right in, without a tour? (Regular business hours aren't in effect, so I don't know). For example, could I get into the Fox, or the Guardian for free? Or at all?
IN addition to the others listed I spent about an hour wandering around the three interconnected penobscott bbuildings one day during lunch. A lot of it is being renovated, but there was nothing telling me to stay away, So I got to see some neat parts.

You can go up to the old wayne county building and look in the windows on the doors (the other windows too, but there i sothing to see).

YOu can go into the lobby of the David Whitney which is spectacular. You might et a tour of a borderick apratment if you are good at pretending to be rich.

Leeland is pretty easy to wander around in, and it is pretty intersting. Just be careful.

The Whitney is an amazing mansion converted to a resturaunt. Go for a drink or dessert (or an $80 steak if you wish) and look around.

Detroit Public LIbrary main branch is also historic architecture and open for wanderers. Wayne State's old main building is also usually open.

You could spend a week of sundays visting amazing churches of all denominations and never get bored.. Some are open mid day for a lunch time prayer service. Someimte you might get lucky and catch a staff member who haas time and is willing to show off their amazing architecture.

Fisher building you can get into the lobby I believe. HHopefully someone else can confirm this.

I seem to remember wandering around the lobbies fo the Detroit oper house before I had to show my ticket to enter the theater area. Not sure about that one either. Maybe someone can confirm.

Small scale architecture but really nice buuilding - visit Wright & Company (and have an amazing meal, or very well made drinks).

There is a place along woodward (downtown) That offers free guided tours with various focuses. One they had on the board last week said "Architecture Tour"
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,776 posts, read 65,692,477 times
Reputation: 32973
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
Glad CF decided to ask this. I too plan to visit for a weekend at some point this summer. My question was more specific. If I were here on a weekend to check out some architecture (historic/modern/etc.) which buildings would I be able to walk right in, without a tour? (Regular business hours aren't in effect, so I don't know). For example, could I get into the Fox, or the Guardian for free? Or at all?
IN addition to the others listed I spent about an hour wandering around the three interconnected penobscott bbuildings one day during lunch. A lot of it is being renovated, but there was nothing telling me to stay away, So I got to see some neat parts.

You can go up to the old wayne county building and look in the windows on the doors (the other windows too, but there i sothing to see).

YOu can go into the lobby of the David Whitney which is spectacular. You might et a tour of a borderick apratment if you are good at pretending to be rich.

Leeland is pretty easy to wander around in, and it is pretty intersting. Just be careful.

The Whitney is an amazing mansion converted to a resturaunt. Go for a drink or dessert (or an $80 steak if you wish) and look around.

Detroit Public LIbrary main branch is also historic architecture and open for wanderers. Wayne State's old main building is also usually open.

You could spend a week of sundays visting amazing churches of all denominations and never get bored.. Some are open mid day for a lunch time prayer service. Someimte you might get lucky and catch a staff member who haas time and is willing to show off their amazing architecture.

Fisher building you can get into the lobby I believe. HHopefully someone else can confirm this.

I seem to remember wandering around the lobbies fo the Detroit oper house before I had to show my ticket to enter the theater area. Not sure about that one either. Maybe someone can confirm.

Small scale architecture but really nice buuilding - visit Wright & Company (and have an amazing meal, or very well made drinks).

There is a place along woodward (downtown) That offers free guided tours with various focuses. One they had on the board last week said "Architecture Tour"
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:49 PM
 
4,224 posts, read 3,403,975 times
Reputation: 2928
Repped all 3. Wonderful posts. Super excited for visit.
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Old 06-06-2017, 12:51 PM
JPD
 
12,159 posts, read 15,538,264 times
Reputation: 7922
I just returned from a weekend visit, and I'll share my experience.. I'm certainly no expert, but I hope I will answer a few of the questions that have been asked.

We arrived on Thursday (from Atlanta). We rode the people mover to Greektown and to get a look at the various parts of Downtown along the way, then when we got back to the area near our hotel we went to Grand Trunk Pub, a lovely bar/restaurant in an old railway ticketing office (I later read that this is where Grand Funk Railroad got their band name.)

After dinner and a few drinks, we walked over to the Guardian and, assuming it was closed, we looked in some windows to see the interior. Someone walking by said we were allowed to go in, so we did, and were totally blown away by the ornate interior. It was probably 10PM at that time, so yes, you most definitely can go into the Guardian.

The next day we rode the Q-Line (which is free until July) towards Grand Boulevard, but we got off the train earlier than we should have and wound up having lunch at Z's Villa (this feels like the middle of nowhere, but they had an excellent corned beef sandwich, great service, good drinks, and a beach volleyball court) before walking the rest of the way to Grand Blvd. We went into the Cadillac Building and had a look around. Nobody bothered us, so chalk that up as another building you are free to enter.

Then we walked over to Motown (a fairly long walk). Their tours begin on the hour and we missed one by a couple minutes, so we went to Northern Lights Lounge to kill some time until the next tour.

After Motown we went back to Greektown for dinner at Pegasus Greek restaurant, and walked back to our Downtown hotel and saw the beach they've set up on Woodward Avenue. Very cool to be able to have a drink and put your feet in the sand.

The following day we took the Fisher Building tour (free, 45 minutes long, well worth it, offered on Saturdays and Sundays) which is offered by Pure Detroit (they also do free tours of the Guardian). Like the Guardian, we were knocked out by how beautiful the building was. Totally different styles of decoration, but both were astonishing.

After that, we went back to Northern Lights, since our first visit was just a quick pit stop. I really like that place.

Then we went to DIA, which is one of the best art museums I've ever been to. The Diego Rivera murals are so incredible it's ridiculous, but the rest of their collection is very impressive, as well.

That evening we went to a concert at the Masonic Temple, with a quick stop into Temple Bar beforehand, then rode the Q back to the general vicinity of our hotel.

A couple of stray observations about Detroit:

An awful lot of y'all smell like extremely strong weed. Not that I mind. I just haven't noticed that anywhere else. Not even in Amsterdam.

Despite Detroit having a reputation as a dangerous city, at no time did anyone in our group feel unsafe.

There's far more to do in Detroit than you can do in a weekend.

Shade is impossible to find in certain parts of Detroit during the middle of the day. The sun reflecting off the sidewalk was so bright I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, and it started causing me physical pain. This sunlight turns some of the Q-Line stops into ovens.

While there, the Tigers destroyed the White Sox two nights in a row, and there was a Formula One race on Belle Isle. I assume that contributed to the good cheer of the folks in the city.

All in all, we had an amazing time and were super impressed by how pleasant and welcoming everyone was. We're looking forward to another visit.
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Old 06-06-2017, 12:59 PM
JPD
 
12,159 posts, read 15,538,264 times
Reputation: 7922
Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post


FOR THE FUTURE:
Ride the 3.3 Mile long QLine streetcar; It is $1.50 for one-way fare
It's free until July, and the $1.50 is good for three hours of travel.
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Old 06-06-2017, 01:29 PM
 
292 posts, read 205,069 times
Reputation: 309
You mean you came all the way from the forest of Atlanta and didn't even go to the riverwalk or look at the Detroit river or one of the lakes with clear water? That is the most disappointing thing about Atlanta, no clean water in sight.
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Old 06-06-2017, 02:19 PM
JPD
 
12,159 posts, read 15,538,264 times
Reputation: 7922
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekman243 View Post
You mean you came all the way from the forest of Atlanta and didn't even go to the riverwalk or look at the Detroit river or one of the lakes with clear water? That is the most disappointing thing about Atlanta, no clean water in sight.
Agreed. That is my least favorite thing about Atlanta, and if I ever relocate it will be somewhere near water. We stayed at Crowne Plaza by the river, so we saw it and walked along it for a few minutes, but never got to spend much time at/on the river. That's something I definitely want to remedy on my next visit.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:33 AM
 
3,006 posts, read 3,158,214 times
Reputation: 2598
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
I just returned from a weekend visit, and I'll share my experience.. I'm certainly no expert, but I hope I will answer a few of the questions that have been asked.

We arrived on Thursday (from Atlanta). We rode the people mover to Greektown and to get a look at the various parts of Downtown along the way, then when we got back to the area near our hotel we went to Grand Trunk Pub, a lovely bar/restaurant in an old railway ticketing office (I later read that this is where Grand Funk Railroad got their band name.)

After dinner and a few drinks, we walked over to the Guardian and, assuming it was closed, we looked in some windows to see the interior. Someone walking by said we were allowed to go in, so we did, and were totally blown away by the ornate interior. It was probably 10PM at that time, so yes, you most definitely can go into the Guardian.

The next day we rode the Q-Line (which is free until July) towards Grand Boulevard, but we got off the train earlier than we should have and wound up having lunch at Z's Villa (this feels like the middle of nowhere, but they had an excellent corned beef sandwich, great service, good drinks, and a beach volleyball court) before walking the rest of the way to Grand Blvd. We went into the Cadillac Building and had a look around. Nobody bothered us, so chalk that up as another building you are free to enter.

Then we walked over to Motown (a fairly long walk). Their tours begin on the hour and we missed one by a couple minutes, so we went to Northern Lights Lounge to kill some time until the next tour.

After Motown we went back to Greektown for dinner at Pegasus Greek restaurant, and walked back to our Downtown hotel and saw the beach they've set up on Woodward Avenue. Very cool to be able to have a drink and put your feet in the sand.

The following day we took the Fisher Building tour (free, 45 minutes long, well worth it, offered on Saturdays and Sundays) which is offered by Pure Detroit (they also do free tours of the Guardian). Like the Guardian, we were knocked out by how beautiful the building was. Totally different styles of decoration, but both were astonishing.

After that, we went back to Northern Lights, since our first visit was just a quick pit stop. I really like that place.

Then we went to DIA, which is one of the best art museums I've ever been to. The Diego Rivera murals are so incredible it's ridiculous, but the rest of their collection is very impressive, as well.

That evening we went to a concert at the Masonic Temple, with a quick stop into Temple Bar beforehand, then rode the Q back to the general vicinity of our hotel.

A couple of stray observations about Detroit:

An awful lot of y'all smell like extremely strong weed. Not that I mind. I just haven't noticed that anywhere else. Not even in Amsterdam.

Despite Detroit having a reputation as a dangerous city, at no time did anyone in our group feel unsafe.

There's far more to do in Detroit than you can do in a weekend.

Shade is impossible to find in certain parts of Detroit during the middle of the day. The sun reflecting off the sidewalk was so bright I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, and it started causing me physical pain. This sunlight turns some of the Q-Line stops into ovens.

While there, the Tigers destroyed the White Sox two nights in a row, and there was a Formula One race on Belle Isle. I assume that contributed to the good cheer of the folks in the city.

All in all, we had an amazing time and were super impressed by how pleasant and welcoming everyone was. We're looking forward to another visit.
Very nice report and am glad you enjoyed Detroit... Indeed, the City is really coming back strong and there are a ton of things to do. I think the Q-Line will help sharpen New Center/Cultural Center even more -- this area was advancing considerably during our last visit 6 years ago and I can only imagine what it's like now. We loved the Motown-Hitsville tour and I understand the museum is the process of expanding considerably, which is great. I can't wait till my next visit to Detroit which hopefully will come this fall, if all goes right.
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