Hopefully you enjoyed the first five of the top ten things to do in Detroit. This list concludes the top ten with five places in Detroit that exemplify the great things the city has to offer. This top ten list is not exhaustive and it must be noted that Detroit has many great things to offer for people of all ages. And now, the final five:
5. Lafayette Coney Island- No top ten list is complete without something to curb your hunger and Lafayette Coney Island in downtown Detroit is the perfect fix. If you have ever had a conversation with an eastsider about their home and the joys of Detroit, anyone and I mean anyone will tell you to eat a coney dog from Lafayette Coney Island or their metro Detroit competitors. Coney dogs in Detroit are just about as American as you can get, with delicious hot dogs covered in the best toppings you can imagine, in a city that works harder than most just to get back on top. The cultural collision that takes place in Detroit is culminated in one bite of the delicious dogs from Lafayette Coney Island and sure to please any hungry visitor to the city. Lafayette Coney Island is located in a logical location at 118 W Lafayette Blvd in downtown Detroit. For more information visit http://www.americanconeyisland.com.
4. Ford Rouge Factory Tour- Nothing can prepare you for the gigantic magnitude of the Ford River Rouge plant in Dearborn. The Ford Rouge Center is Ford’s largest manufacturing center in their entire company and at one point stretched over a mile long and a half mile wide. The factory is now a part of The Henry Ford, a complex look at all that Henry Ford contributed to Detroit. Inside you will find a magnificent look at the plant, how cars are made, and the sheer intensity of working for the Ford Motor Company. It isn’t often that a look at such a process is allowed and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour has been providing people with that look for the past several years. Inside you will find a history of Ford, car manufacturing, the plant itself, and a comprehensive look at the assembly line of modern car manufacturing. The factory tour takes off from The Henry Ford in Dearborn and is limited to a certain number of guests. However, there are tours Monday through Saturday from 9:30-5:00 with the last tour leaving at 3:00. When you think of Detroit, you think of cars and Ford, and there is nothing more iconic than Ford’s River Rouge Plant. Prepare yourself for a wonderful tour and glimpse at cars from a brand new angle. For more information visit http://www.thehenryford.org/rouge.
3. The Eastern Market- There are farmer’s markets and there are farmer’s markets. And then there is the Eastern Market in Detroit. When I was first dragged to the Eastern Market with my parents sometime in late high school, I did not enjoy the idea of driving to Detroit for a farmer’s market. Low and behold, even in high school, my experience at the Eastern Market was a fantastic one that has always made me excited to go back. The Eastern Market is home to far more than a few farmer’s stands and shops, it is home to a plethora of fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, and more. You can find all the fruits and vegetables you want including free tastes from some vendors with the most delicious tastes you can imagine. I distinctly remember the first bite I had of a juicy peach that tasted so sweet and delectable that I had to purchase some even though I was there for tomatoes. The Eastern Market also has many plant and flower vendors, meat vendors, and shops filled with interesting spices and exotic flavors to add to your kitchen. The explosion of cultures that shapes Detroit is evident in the shops and vendors that assemble at the Eastern Market from Monday through Saturday. While the market is open from 7 to 5, I recommend coming earlier in the morning to get first pick of the freshest produce. I also recommend the atmosphere of a Saturday market. Nothing beats bargaining and picking through fruits and vegetables while the next shopper is looking to snag the juicer fruit from under your nose. If you have not experience the Eastern Market in Detroit, it is highly recommended that you do, you will not be disappointed. For more information visit http://www.easternmarket.org.
2. Detroit Institute of Arts- When people think of art and culture many places often come to mind far from Michigan. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Chicago Institute of Arts, and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. are often first on the list of avid art-goers, but the truth is that Detroit has a very adequate and interesting collection of art in their very own Detroit Institute of Arts. Located in downtown Detroit, the DIA is a wonderful collection of arts from a variety of periods and places from American and European pieces, to Egyptian and Native American pieces. You will also find the famous piece by Diego Rivera entitled Detroit Industry, in the main lobby of the museum. The mural stretches across all the walls and ceiling of the lobby throwing the viewer into the grit of Detroit and the industry that powered America. The mural is a wonderful piece that could easily take much of your time spent in the museum. However, I find it best to view the mural when you are tired and need to sit for a while. There are so many other excellent pieces in the museum that even amateur art viewers can enjoy the beauty and appreciate the work that each piece demands. The museum also features Friday nights at the DIA called Friday Night Live!, when great musicians and art workshops are available for everyone to enjoy. The Detroit Institute of Arts is an excellent stop for all to enjoy and appreciate art right here in Michigan. For more information visit http://www.dia.org.
1. The Henry Ford- Formerly known as The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, The Henry Ford has transformed into a compellation of great attractions highlighting Michigan and its place in history. The Henry Ford is composed of The Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, the IMAX Theater, and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. If you have never been to the museum and village or have not been in some time, it is certainly worth the trip. Located in Dearborn just outside of Detroit city, The Henry Ford is one of the most exciting and interesting museums that can be visited. The museum has exhibits loaded with history from all periods of the United States and captures the essence of American ingenuity. There are of course many cars in the museum including the Kennedy Presidential Limousine. The museum is always home to interesting travel exhibits as well and the IMAX Theater with shows ranging from stories of the sea to Lewis and Clark to Harry Potter. At Greenfield Village you can be transported to earlier times to see American life in a simpler view. There are homes and buildings showing Henry Ford and his new Model T to Thomas Edison and the unthinkable light bulb. The Henry Ford truly has it all and rounds out the top ten things to do in Detroit. For more information visit http://www.thehenryford.org.
And so that concludes my brief look at Detroit. As I stated earlier, the list is not exhaustive and is certainly not comprehensive. One thing can be certain: despite the hard times that Michigan and Detroit have seen in recent years, the state and city have continued to shine through it all. Based on the variety of entertainment that our largest city has to offer, I can only reflect that the people of our state have the ability and desire to recover. And just as the ingenuity that built our state pushed us forward then, it will again now.