Things to see and do in Detroit

I am SO EXCITED about TestBash coming to Detroit! I wrote up a big ol list of things to see and do while you’re here. I can’t wait to show y’all my city!

You can always use https://visitdetroit.com/things-to-do/ and the many articles on cool things to do in Detroit to find ways to spend your free time when you’re here for TestBash Detroit. But I asked some friends and co-workers, and of course added my own two cents, of where they would go with someone new to the city to show them around. So here’s a huge list!

Getting Around Without a Car

  • Of course there’s rideshares like Lyft
  • Rental bikes (including electric ones!) from MoGo
  • Rental electric scooters (Lime, Bird, Spin)
  • QLine goes in a 3-mile loop up and down Woodward Ave, from Downtown up to New Center. It’s $3 per day, or $1.50 for 3 hours
  • The Detroit People Mover does a loop around Downtown - sometimes not the most efficient but the stations are all pretty cool and it’s a neat way to see the city! $0.75 each ride.

Art, Architecture, and Culture

  • Check out the outdoor art exhibit The Heidelberg Project
  • Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts - amazing art museum, take the QLine to Midtown (a stop right in front of the museum!)
  • Take a tour of The Guardian Building - this is my favorite building in Detroit!
  • Take a tour of The Fisher Building - another really cool building; take the QLine to New Center area
  • Check out Historic Detroit for other historic buildings and tours
  • Visit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; a short trip on the QLine and a short walk will get you right there
  • Visit our island Belle Isle! There’s a conservatory, aquarium, a small zoo, and a really cool historic fountain! It’s a bit far for a bike ride unfortunately
  • Of course Eastern Market always has something going on! Not too far for a rental bike
  • Visit the Motown Museum to learn more about the history of Detroit’s own Motown music! A quick trip on the QLine and a short walk will get you there
  • Pewabic Pottery has beautiful art tile, and some classes and tours! This is a bit far for a bike or scooter ride, but worth it if you’re a ceramics fan!
  • While it may sound strange, The Z Garage is a parking garage that is full of amazing graffiti art from artists around the world! And between it and some other buildings is The Belt, also full of really cool art!

Food and Drink

  • When in Detroit, you HAVE to have a coney (if you can)! There’s a rivalry between Lafayette and American Coney Islands (they’re nextdoor to each other). Try them both just to be fair :smiley:
  • Want to have a coney, but you’re vegan? You can go to Chili Mustard Onions! They’ve got the Detroit classic just for you!
  • Fancy a drink or some interesting food, but you want to access the place from an alley filled with art? Check out The Standby or The Skip!
  • One of my personal favorites, Vicente’s is THE spot for Cuban in Detroit!
  • Do you love coffee? You can’t miss Roasting Plant with their unique methods - this is the best place for non-latte type coffee in my opinion. Want a latte or another fancy coffee drink? You don’t want to miss Dessert Oasis! Their honey cinnamon latte is soooo goood!
  • There are usually a bunch of food trucks all over by the end of April, so keep an eye out for those - lots of variety, go for the ones with the long lines :wink:
  • Venture into Cork Town for Bobcat Bonnies! It’s a really cool gastropub with very good pub food!
  • A Detroit classic in Greektown, Astoria Pastries has a huge variety of baked goods.
  • So many other places, and lots more popping up all the time! I’ll keep updating this list :smiley:

Leisure and Sport

  • You cannot miss the Riverwalk! Rent a bike or scooter, or just go for a stroll. This is a great long path to see the Detroit River and our neighbors, Ontario!
  • The Dequindre Cut is an old highway that’s now green and ready for activity!
  • Do you like riding bikes? You might love The Lexus Velodrome - an indoor year-round velodrome!
  • If you like to gamble, there are a few casinos nearby, with the closest being Greektown.
  • You can take the tunnel bus (if you don’t have a car) over to Windsor, Ontario, Canada for a day trip! Just don’t forget your passport!
  • A bit of a hike (so you need a car or rideshare there), learn all about Henry Ford and the history of the automobile, plus lots of other cool stuff, at The Henry Ford! In the same area is Greenfield Village, a working historic village where you can ride on a classic Model T or a steam engine, with real working artisans!
  • If you love arcade games, then you’ll love Ready Player One! It’s a bar and arcade in one!
  • And how about soccer (football for those not from the US :D)! Our home team Detroit City Football Club starts up around the beginning of April, and those games look like a great time!
2 Likes

Hope your Testbash goes well, if I was crossing the Atlantic for it I’d want to make a pilgrimage to see the Grande Ballroom, being an MC5 fan…:star_struck: For those not familiar with the Five, they recorded their debut album “Kick Out the Jams” at a gig there in late 1968, and I rate it as one of the best live albums ever released.

1 Like

For food, Detroit is also great for BBQ! Check out Slows. A few other spots to check out for libations include the firebird tavern, or detroit brewing company. I’d put in a link, for the last, but apparently as a new user I can only do two :slight_smile:

1 Like