Museums have become a way for patrons and casual observers to connect with history, art and culture without having to leave the state. The two major museums include the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Historical Museum. -Christopher Nadeau


Detroit Institute of Arts

5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202-4094
(313) 833-7900

This “cultural gem of Detroit” was founded in 1885 and features over a 100 galleries contained within 658,000 square feet. The DIA’s collection is among the top six in the U.S. To tour the DIA is to tour the world both past and present. The multi-cultural collection ranges from Africa, Oceania and the Indigenous Americas to American to Asia and the Islamic World and, of course, Europe. They don’t stop at painting and sculptures, either. There’s plenty of performance art to be seen, especially during “First Fridays.” Plan to spend many hours at the DIA, especially if it’s your first visit.


Detroit Historical Museum

5401 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 833-1805

One of two museums run by the ever-diligent Detroit Historical Society, the Detroit Historical Museum is described on its website as “one of America’s oldest and largest museums dedicated to metropolitan history.” And what a rich history! The museum comprises three floors of Detroit history ranging from the turn of the century to the automotive period. Most popular is its “Streets of Old Detroit” exhibit located in the basement with its cobblestone floors and actual artifacts from the late 1800’s all the way to the early Twentieth Century. Try to go when there are guided tours because you’ll have a better chance of actually going inside the stores as opposes to staring through the windows.  Other exhibits change seasonally but be sure to check out the various short films being shown throughout the museum.

Christopher Nadeau is a published author of fiction and news articles who has written extensively on Metro Detroit Area museums for the Examiner. He knows there are museums he omitted from these lists but felt it important to include those he’d actually visited or with whom he’d corresponded. Check out Christopher’s blog and book.