1. Greektown Detroit
Greektown in Detroit is a great place to start if you want to see the city. Located in the heart of Downtown it has a lot of history and old-world charm to offer visitors. During the day it is very active place as people check out the boutiques and various restaurants located along Monroe street. At night the area buzzes with excitement as it turns into of the more popular night life locations in the city. Restaurants stay open late and the Greektown Casino offers additional entertainment. If you are going to Greektown for the food there are a lot of options. From traditional Greek food to BBQ, the options are endless depending on what you are looking for. Regardless of the restaurant, we recommend checking out Astoria Bakery for desert. They have a large selection of great pastries and ice cream. The line is sometimes out the door but it moves fast and it is worth the wait.
2. Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts is home to some great art exhibits and well worth the trip. Located in downtown Detroit their collection is among the top six in the United States. The museum has 658,000 square feet of space and includes more than 100 galleries. Check out their calender to see what exhibitions and events are being held during your visit.
3. The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford is a great place to visit with a lot of different activities. They are located in Dearborn, MI which is only about 15 minutes away from the airport. While you will not get the chance to see downtown Detroit, it does offer some great things to see and do. They offer different exhibits, demonstrations, programs and reenactments with various schedules. They have five main attractions that they highlight with different offerings. These attractions include Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center, and an IMAX Theater. Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum are our favorites but it is worth checking them all out if you have the time.
4. Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoo is situated on 125 acres with many different naturalistic habitats. It houses over 1000 animals and 300 different species. It is the largest paid family attraction in Michigan with more than one million visitors annually. Located in Royal Oak, MI it is the farthest location on our list as it is 45 minutes away from the airport. General admission prices run from $9 for children to $14 for adults. The Giraffe encounter is a favorite among visitors as it allows you to feed the Giraffe’s from an elevated viewing platform.
5. Renaissance Center / Riverfront
The GM Renaissance Center is the cities most recognizable landmark. Rising 73 stories above the Detroit River, it defines the Detroit skyline. It has a lot to offer with different dinning and shopping options. Some of our favorite dinning options are Joe Muer Seafood, Granite City Brewery and Andiamo. The building offers some great views of the city and of Windsor which is just across the river. Just outside the doors of the building is the Detroit Riverfront. With the cities new 3 mile RiverWalk completed it is becoming a popular place and it is a great way to see the city on foot.
Regardless of the option you choose we recommend getting out and seeing what you can in Detroit. In the past few years there has been a lot of changes in downtown Detroit with new restaurants, hotels and venues being added every day.
If you have a suggestion for a place to visit on a Detroit Airport layover, leave a comment below.