Nestled just north of Lake Erie, Detroit, a city of over four million, tells a story of resilience and revival. While some may only recall its challenges, those of us who’ve called it home know there’s much more to the tale. Detroit, with its rich history in cars, music, and sports, is buzzing with energy, culture, and a spirit of renewal.

Having grown up here, I’ve seen firsthand how Detroit has blossomed. It’s not just about cars and music anymore; it’s a city reborn, with something for everyone. From cool museums to tasty eats, and funky music spots, Detroit is a happening place. The vibe here is upbeat, the people are spirited, and there’s a fresh buzz as the downtown area draws folks back in.

Ready to check out Detroit for yourself? Here’s my personal list of must-dos and sees that’ll show you the best of what the Motor City has to offer:

1. Hit the Streets with a Walking Tour

Get to know Detroit on foot with a walking tour. It’s the perfect intro, giving you the lowdown on its history, its comeback, and all the cool spots downtown. Plus, chatting with a local guide means you get the inside scoop on everything. I always kick off my visits this way; it’s the top method to get your bearings straight.

If you happen to be near my restaurant Savannahblue, I would be very glad to see you as my guest.

2. Dive Into the Eastern Market

The Eastern Market is a must-see, sprawling over 43 acres. It’s not just any market; it’s the biggest historic public market district in the US, with a 150-year legacy. Whether it’s food, art, or handmade goods you’re after, Saturdays are the day to go for the freshest finds.

3. Marvel at the Detroit Institute of Arts

This 130-year-old gem in Midtown packs over 65,000 artworks in more than 100 galleries. It’s vast, but picking your must-see galleries ahead of time lets you soak in the art without rushing through.

4. Cruise Along the Dequindre Cut

The Dequindre Cut offers a cool, two-mile path linking the East Riverfront to the Eastern Market, decked out with street art and live music in the summer. Walking, jogging, or biking, it’s a fab way to enjoy the city. Tip: Rent a bike for under $20 to cover more ground.

5. Lose Yourself in a Bookstore Wonderland

If, like me, you adore bookshops, you’ll be in heaven at John K. King Used & Rare Books. Housed in an old glove factory, this place is a treasure trove of over a million books. I learned about this place from enthusiastic writers on Once I ordered an article there about the best book spots in the states, and one of them was this place – Bookstore Wonderland. As soon as I found out, I headed there immediately, and I don’t regret it one bit. Some finds are so unique, you’ll need an appointment just to see them.

6. Chill at Belle Isle

Belle Isle is a dreamy 982-acre island park, ideal for a day out. Whether it’s picnics, beach time, or exploring nature trails, there’s plenty to do. Don’t miss the free-entry conservatory and the golf range for some laid-back fun.

7. Admire the Guardian Building

Detroit’s Guardian Building is a sight to behold. This Art Deco masterpiece in the Financial District is both a historic landmark and an architectural marvel. Stepping inside, you’ll feel more like you’re in a cathedral than an office building.

8. Wander Campus Martius Park

This little oasis in the heart of Detroit sprang up after a fire in 1805 and now hosts cafes, bars, and food trucks. It’s a lively spot year-round, with a giant Christmas tree and ice-skating in winter, reflecting on Detroit’s growth.

9. Capture Memories at The Belt

The Belt, a reimagined alley in the old garment district, is now a canvas for public art. With pieces by artists from around the globe, it’s a snapshot of Detroit’s creative soul. It’s proof that art can transform spaces.

The Fox Theatre, with its 5,000 seats, is a throwback to the 1920s movie palace era. Catching a show here is magical, but even a night-time glimpse of its lit-up facade is worth it. It’s a piece of history, still vibrant today.

Detroit is waiting with open arms, offering slices of its rich history, culture, and spirit of innovation. Each visit reveals something new, so why not dive in and see for yourself? The Motor City is on the move, and it’s a journey you won’t want to miss.