5 Bucket List Items To Cross Off In Detroit

By Lori Melton

Everyone’s bucket list is different and so is every city’s list of “must-see” and “must-do” items. Detroit is a city filled with industrial and cultural history. Here’s a look at five essential “must-do” bucket list items for anyone making a trip to Detroit.

Henry Ford Museum
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 982-6001

There’s a reason Detroit is nicknamed “The Motor City.” It’s the birthplace and nationwide hub of the automotive industry. Therefore, no trip to Detroit is complete without a trip to the museum which celebrates automotive pioneer Henry Ford. The Henry Ford Museum houses some of the earliest automobiles including the Quadricycle, the Model A Runabout, Model T, and a progressive history of cars through the years. The museum also displays all sorts of other innovations including steam engines, pocket watches, airplanes and so much more. Overall, Henry Ford Museum boasts 250 acres of innovation, 300 years of history and 26 million artifacts. So, visitors can prepare for a fascinating and informative day.

Motown Museum/Hitsville U.S.A.
2648 West Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48208
(313) 875-2264

Detroit music legend Berry Gordy is renowned for developing the “Motown Sound.” You can learn all it with a visit to the Motown Museum in Hitsville, U.S.A. Visitors travel from all over the world to stand in “Studio A,” where iconic artists and groups like Marvin Gaye, the Contours, the Four Tops, and the Jackson 5 recorded albums that changed the face of the music industry. You’ll see records, costumes, photos and more artifacts that hail from Motown Records and the Motown Era, as you get a vibrant, musical Motown history lesson.

Eastern Market
2934 Russell St.
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 833-9300

Detroit’s Eastern Market is one of the biggest and oldest year-round markets in the United States. You’ll find a little bit of everything from more than 225 vendors in the Saturday market, selling fresh fruits, vegetables and a wide array of foods. The Sunday Street Market showcases products from local artisans including jewelers, musicians, cooks, and more. The Tuesday Market features produce, baked goods and meats and special attractions such as cooking lessons, Zumba and yoga classes, a Detroit Public Library Bookmobile and more. The Eastern Market is also a popular place for Detroit Lions fans to tailgate on game days. Holiday markets host special exhibits geared toward holidays in November and December.

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American Coney Island
114 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-7758
If you want to “taste” a part of Motor City history, this Downtown Detroit relic restaurant is over 100 years old and is known as “Detroit’s Original Coney.” If you order a Detroit coney dog, you’ll get a specially-seasoned, natural casing hot dog from Dearborn Sausage and a secret family recipe chili (aka coney sauce) that was developed decades ago. You haven’t had local, Detroit-specific cuisine until you’ve had a coney dog and American Coney Island’s historic Motor City status makes it the only logical “go-to” destination to try one. (Diced onions and mustard are traditional recommended toppings in addition to the coney sauce. But, of course these extras are optional.)

400 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48243
(313) 567-3126

A visit to Detroit wouldn’t be complete without visiting General Motors’ towering 727 ft. skyscraper, the Renaissance Center (aka GMRenCen). The one-hour tour is free and outlines General Motors history and visits the GM Plaza and Promenade, the GM Wintergarden, which is a five-story glass atrium that overlooks the Detroit River, the GM Borealis Glass Structure – which is the tallest glass structure in the world, and the unique “Circulation Ring” which is a circular, suspended glass walkway that connects to several locations in the building as well as the Detroit People Mover. Dining at the restaurant at the top of the building provides a breathtaking view of the entire city. Plus, you can also walk along the scenic RiverWalk, which stretches for 3.5 miles.

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