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Best Tourist Attractions In Detroit Worth The Hype

November 23, 2013 7:00 AM

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Greenfield Village's Main Street. (Credit: michigan.gov)

Greenfield Village’s Main Street. (Credit: michigan.gov)

Greenfield Village's Main Street. (Credit: michigan.gov)

Greenfield Village’s Main Street. (Credit: michigan.gov)

There are plenty of places around that shout “come see us,” but very few ever live up to the hype. But these five offer views of the past, the natural world or the present that cannot be matched. So if you are in the mood for a day of learning or fun, head on out to one of the attractions below. 

Greenfield Village
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 982-6001
www.thehenryford.org/village

A walk through Greenfield Village is literally a walk back in time with over 83 historic buildings in place and resorted to their original condition. But beyond the history of the buildings, there are displays and programs that show the way each of the individuals who resided in the homes lived. There is a blacksmith demonstration where iron is forged into tools to make meals over a fireplace as was done in the past. The entire Menlo Park laboratory of Thomas Edison is in place along with some of his greatest inventions. In fact, it was Thomas Edison who joined his friend Henry Ford to dedicate the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village when it opened in 1929.

Related: Best Weekend Getaways In The Detroit Area

The Henry Ford Museum
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 982-6001
www.thehenryford.org/museum

Since its founding in 1929, the Henry Ford Museum has been one of the most popular attractions in southeastern Michigan. The museum itself offers a look at the world of industry and transportation from its very beginnings along with artifacts that can be found nowhere else. From the bus Rosa Parks took her stand against segregation to the limousines of past presidents and some of the largest locomotives ever made, there is more to see than a single day will allow. Each year there are special exhibits and programs making the museum a unique visit each time visitors arrive.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 E. Warren Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 494-5800
www.thewright.org

There are museums across the world, but the Charles H. Wright Museum is the largest dedicated to the experience and history of African Americans and their origins. The standing and core exhibit, “And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture,” explores the journey of African Americans from their roots, beginning in Africa to the quest for freedom on the underground railroad and on into modern day. The museum is one that is a must see for everyone to better understand the rich culture and history of African Americans.

Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 541-5717
www.detroitzoo.org

With millions of dollars in upgrades and new exhibits opening, the Detroit Zoo is a destination well worth all of the hoopla. From the new Frank Warchol Beaver Habitat at the Cotton Family Wetlands where you can watch nature’s engineers at work to the Arctic Ring of Life that offers a walk through an underwater tunnel to see the polar bears swim by, the Detroit Zoo is definitely on the must-do list of attractions in Southeast Michigan. One of the truly interesting exhibits, the Australian Outback Adventure!, allows visitors to walk through the habitat and see kangaroos as they hop up to give the humans a good look.

Ford Rouge Factory Tour
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 982-6001
www.thehenryford.org/rouge

You’re in Detroit, the Motor City, and what better to see than how these automobiles are built that have put the city and region on the map. At the Rouge Factory Tour, there is a multimedia presentation that takes visitors from the time of the first Model T rolling off the assembly line to the construction of the modern day auto. The tour includes a look at the eco-friendly “living roof” of the visitor center to a walk above the production floor of the Rouge Plant where workers are assembling the F150 Ford pickup truck. This tour offers a look at the past of automobile production and the present day work that goes into keeping America and the world on the road.

Related: Best Flying Adventures In The Detroit Area

Award winning freelance writer and photographer Lawrence DiVizio is based in Southeast Michigan and works to convey in words and images the world around us. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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