Detroit, America’s home of the automobile, has ridden the highs and lows along with the U.S. auto industry. But it has also been a hotbed of creativity and the birthplace of ideas in the music industry, from jazz and blues to punk and funk, with Motown in between.
For Music Lovers Only
Everyone who loves the soul and R&B that came from Detroit in the 1960s will want to visit the Motown Museum in downtown Detroit, which is housed in the original Hitsville U.S.A. building where studio head Berry Gordy once lived.
But Motown is not the only music to come from Detroit. Blues, jazz, funk, hard rock, punk, hip hop, and house music all have roots in this city. Detroit’s Metro Times has put together a list of the sites that made music history in Detroit so visitors can stand where Aretha Franklin, Berry Gordy, John Lee Hooker, Alice Cooper, Eminem, and J Dilla once performed.
Bring the Kids
Kids who love cars and machinery will love the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, as will anyone with an interest in American history. The Henry Ford Museum focuses on the history of the automobile, while Greenfield Village shows 300 years of American history through an open-air village complete with Model T Fords, a railroad junction, and a replica of Thomas Edison’s Idea Factory. Plan to spend an entire day here with the family.
Switch from four wheels to two and participate in the Monday night Slow Roll, a group bike ride through the city for all ages. Check out Wheelhouse Detroit for bike rentals, or purchase a chic locally made Detroit Bike.
The weekly Eastern Market is the largest historic public market in the United States, and well worth a visit for its local produce. The market sometimes opens for special holidays as well, so check their website for a current schedule.
Where to Stay
Detroit offers lots of options for finding family lodgings. You can stay in an apartment or house in one of Detroit’s nicest neighborhoods for less than it would cost for a hotel room for the family downtown through Airbnb. Stumped for what to look for in family accommodations? Check out these tips from travelers about how to find great family-friendly lodgings on the road.
What brings Detroit to life are its citizens, and living like a local among them can give you a great experience you can’t find anywhere else.
Corktown, the oldest neighborhood in Detroit, offers charming boutiques and cafes along tree-lined streets. Woodbridge is a Nationally Registered Historic Neighborhood near Wayne State University’s campus. Royal Oak, a western suburb near the Detroit Zoo, has lots of modern development moving in on its rock and roll vibe. Boutiques, restaurants, music venues, and festivals bring visitors and locals together to see and be seen.
Digging Detroit’s Roots
Visit Detroit to see the roots of American industrialism and culture on proud display in a city that has played witness to it all.
This post was produced in conjunction with Hipmunk for their #HipmunkCityLove project.