After a weekend back in Michigan for Thanksgiving, I’m back with a new mini travel guide (that came highly requested!) for you all. For any new followers, I’m from Traverse City, Michigan but my mom’s family is from the suburbs of Detroit and it’s where I have spent almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas. While the holidays are usually spent relaxing at my Mimi’s eating lots of Italian food, the last few years we have tried to explore more of the ever evolving Downtown Detroit. The last few years downtown has been revived and amazing businesses, restaurants, bars and events have moved in and it’s incredible to see the city growing.
For anyone visiting Detroit soon, I wanted to share five things to do and visit while in town. And for any locals, what are your favorite spots?!
Visit Campus Martius Park: One of my families favorite thing to do at the holidays is visit Campus Martius Park and visit their Winter Village. From the ice rink to their Christmas market to the heated tent with cocktails and board games, there’s something to do for everyone. Our favorite thing to do is head for cocktails and games in the tent, where there’s fireplaces, leather couches and cozy fur rugs, where you can play giant Jenga and sip on a hot toddy before dinner. They also transform the space into a “beach” for the summer so there’s always something going on all year long.
Bar And Restaurant Hop: Detroit has become a huge foodie town and it’s been one of my favorite things to try out new restaurants and bars when in town. The city also is still bustling with old local favorites, especially when it comes to Coney Islands and Detroit Style Pizza. A few favorites below:
Wright and Company: Located on top of the old Wright-Kay jewelry store, this gorgeous building now has an amazing restaurant and bar. The menu is filled with lots of small plates to try and share, as well as incredible cocktails, and has a chic and relaxed vibe.
Gold Cash Gold: Located inside an old pawn shop, my family and I had dinner here over the holiday weekend and it was perfect for all sixteen of us. The menu is American with a twist, with a menu always changing thanks to the local ingredients and produce. They also make amazing cocktails, which I had an Autumn Gin and Tonic on draft.
Leo’s Coney Island: Nothing fancy but there’s nothing better than a lunch or late night meal at a local Detroit Coney Island diner. Whether a classic Coney dog or my personal favorite of a chicken finger pita, this is one of the spots my friends and I miss the most back in New York!
The Siren Hotel: This gorgeous boutique hotel caught my eye when Vogue recently shared about it and it was on my must visit list when I was home last weekend. The hotel features a pretty sitting area, with velvet couches and a coffee bar and gift shop but it’s their “Candy Bar” that steals the show. This tiny pink bar is tucked behind a velvet curtain where you can get a fancy drink underneath their giant chandelier and disco ball. The dreamiest!
Buddy’s Pizza: The last two years in NYC have all been about Detroit-style square pizza, so it’s a must to visit or order from the original pizza spot.
Deluxx Fluxx: For a fun night out, head downstairs to this underground neon covered bar. Complete with fun cocktails, 70’s music, arcade games and neon coated walls, its a fun alternative than a cocktail or sports bar for the night.
Shop The Local Businesses: A lot of amazing businesses have come out of Detroit and I love being able to support them, especially when shopping downtown. The biggest one of course is Shinola, which is known for their watches and leather goods. They have grown tremendously the last few years, both around the country and in Detroit, where they are building a boutique hotel right downtown. Other favorites include Detroit Is The New Black, Detroit Vs. Everybody and Signal Return Press. Eastern Market is another favorite to visit and shop the local produce, baked goods and vendors in one spot from all around the Detroit area.
Catch A Sports Game: Well I’m clearly not the sportiest person around, heading downtown and catching a sports game is always guaranteed to be fun. Whether a Red Wings or Pistons game in the winter, Lions game in the fall or Tigers game in the spring or summer, there’s always something going on no matter the time of year you’re visiting.
Take A Tour At The Motown Museum: Motown music has always been one of my favorite genres of music, from the Jackson 5 to Diana Ross to Stevie Wonder to Marvin Gaye, there truly is nothing better. My family visited the Motown Museum this past weekend, which is inside the founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy’s former home and recording studio. It’s a quick and easy guided tour through the home where you can learn all about the start of so many legends that were discovered there and even see the studio they all recorded in. Very interesting and fun for any age.
For more travel guides, head to my travel guide page for them all!