Metro Detroit

 About Metro Detroit

Metro Detroit, also known as the Detroit metropolitan area, is one of the most renowned places in Michigan. Consisting of Detroit and its surrounding area, Metro Detroit is known for its cultural impact on Michigan, particularly its automotive background. However, Metro Detroit is also renowned for other aspects of the area, such as art, entertainment, music, and sports. In Metro Detroit, there is one of the strongest business economies in America with over 17 Fortune 500 companies, but nature is also prevalent, with a variety of natural landscapes, beaches, parks, and a recreational coastline linking the Great Lakes. 

Top Attractions in Metro Detroit …

The D.I.A. is one of Detroit’s gems and features art from ancient Eastern and African cultures, classical Greece, medieval and Renaissance Europe, and contemporary America. The museum boasts impressive original paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso.

Address: 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202-4094.

Photo credit: The New York Times

The Ford Heritage

Dearborn, the Detroit suburb where Henry Ford was born, is home to both the Henry Ford Museum and the open-air museum called Greenfield Village, both founded by Ford himself.

The Henry Ford Museum offers an overview of American technological advances, displaying such innovations as George Stephenson’s first steam locomotive (1829); the first Ford car; the Fokker airplane in which Admiral Byrd flew over the North Pole in 1926; and the Junkers W 33, another early plane, famous for making the first east-west crossing of the Atlantic in 1928.

Address: 20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124-4088.

Photo credit: Henry Ford Museum 

Greenfield Village is a sprawling outdoor historical park featuring around 100 real buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries from all around the United States. These include a railroad station, a school, Thomas Edison’s laboratory, the Wright brothers’ bicycle factory, and the house where Henry Ford was born. Greenfield Village employees create and sell the products of various workshops in the park.

Address: 20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124-4088.

Photo credit: Peter Reinold

Pop open the hood on game-changing technology, sustainable design and sheer American grit at America’s greatest manufacturing experience. Get an inside look at the making of America’s most iconic truck, the Ford F-150, and immerse yourself in modern manufacturing’s most progressive concepts. Experience the awe-inspiring scale of a real factory floor as you rev up your inner engineer. This is where big ideas gain momentum.

Address: 20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124-4088.

Photo credit: Peter Reinold

Located in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Fair Lane is the sprawling former residence of automaker Henry Ford and his wife Clara. The Fords settled into their new home in 1915 and lived there until their deaths in 1947 and 1950, respectively. The grounds of Fair Lane include a hydroelectric plant, which made the estate energy independent for heat and light.

The estate also included a summer house, man-made lake, staff cottages, gatehouse, horse barn, skating house, greenhouse, root cellar, vegetable garden, peony and gardens, a “Santa’s workshop” and hundreds of birdhouses.

Address: 4901 Evergreen Rd., Dearborn, MI, 48128

Photo credit: www.facebook.com/henryfordestate

Photo credit: www.motorcities.org

You can take a guided tour of Edsel Ford (Henry Ford’s only child) and Eleanor Ford’s impressive mansion on the shore of Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Shores. It was built in 1929, but looks and feels like a European country estate. In fact, Edsel Ford imported many of the stones and furnishings from England in order to make it resemble those homes. The guided tours of the estate bring you face to face with unusual features of the house, offering a window onto the interior life of the Ford family. Lectures on topics ranging from art, history and astronomy are often held at the Ford House, as well.

Address: 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236

Photo credit: www.motorcities.org

You can take a tour of the factory where Henry Ford designed and built the famous Model T car, beginning in 1908. A nonprofit group, The Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, purchased the building in 2000 to prevent it from being demolished.

Address: 461 Piquette Avenue, Detroit, MI, 48202

Photo credit: www.motorcities.org

The Cranbrook

Cranbrook’s collection surveys a wide range of 20th and 21st century art movements, including Art Deco, Arts & Crafts, Modernism, and Post-Modernism. It features work from artists like Eliel Saarinen and Duane Hanson. Temporary installations and exhibits display the work of emerging contemporary artists, including work from Cranbrook Academy of Art students. The museum highlights, too, the Academy’s profound involvement in important contemporary art movements.

Address: 39221 Woodward Avenue, P.O. Box 801, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801

Photo credit: www.cranbrookartmuseum.org

Cranbrook’s collection surveys a wide range of 20th and 21st century art movements, including Art Deco, Arts & Crafts, Modernism, and Post-Modernism. It features work from artists like Eliel Saarinen and Duane Hanson. Temporary installations and exhibits display the work of emerging contemporary artists, including work from Cranbrook Academy of Art students. The museum highlights, too, the Academy’s profound involvement in important contemporary art movements.

Address: 39221 Woodward Avenue, P.O. Box 801, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801

Photo credit: www.housegardens.cranbrook.edu

Aside from the standard zoo attractions – in this case, 125 acres of habitat for 2,500 animals ranging from aardvarks to zebras – the Detroit Zoo also hosts such popular events such as “Wild Lights,” an opportunity to see the zoo illuminated by over five million LED lights, and “Sunset at the Zoo,” which includes dinner, cocktails and live entertainment to visitors.

Address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067

Photo credit: Detroit Zoo 

Judge Augustus Woodward (1774-1827) envisioned this park as being the center of Detroit’s downtown, commercial district. It is at the heart of a two-square block zone that features the Compuware and Quicken Loans headquarters, as well as the landmark Penobscot Building. The park is the point of origin for all of the city’s major avenues. In the winter it is home to majestic ice sculptures like the seven that are currently there. It also hosts seasonal events.

Address: 800 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Photo credit: Campusmartiuspark.org

Meadow Brook Hall is another lavish mansion constructed by the heir of an auto-industry executive. Matilda Dodge, widow of John Dodge (of Dodge car fame), built the hall between 1926 and 1929. It contains 110 rooms and expensive furnishings and artworks from the 1920’s (“The Gilded Age”). Guided tours are offered.

Address: 480 South Adams Road in Rochester, MI 48309

Photo credit: meadowbrookhall.org

Belle Isle is an island park in the Detroit River, between the Canadian and U.S. shores. It is approximately 3 miles long and up to 1 mile wide, and features protected forests, hiking trails, and sports facilities.  Also on the island are a 1904 aquarium (still in use), a historic greenhouse (also still in use), a golf course, a zoo, and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, with numerous ship models and other exhibits illustrating the history of shipping on the Great Lakes. Belle Isle is also home to Detroit’s only public beach.

Photo credit: https://www.belleisleconservancy.org

The Detroit Public Library formally opened to the public on March 25, 1865. The initial collection included 5,000 books and was located in a room in the old Capitol High School. The library’s main branch, on Woodward Avenue, opened on March 21, 1921. There are currently 10 departments within the main library and 23 branches. The majestic building itself is the main attraction and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cass Gilbert, the same architect who designed the Woolworth Building and the U.S. Supreme Court, designed the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Guided tours (public and private) offer more insights into the dozens of hidden facets of the library’s main branch.

Address: 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202-4093, United States

Photo credit: https://detroitpubliclibrary.org/

Comerica Park is a combination ballpark, theme park, and baseball museum. A carousel, a ferris wheel, a huge water feature in center field and a museum of baseball history on the main concourse are some of the attractions. The park is most famous as the home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. Dining options include the Big Cat Food Court, which offers traditional stadium foods like elephant ears, pretzels, gyros, ice cream, lemonade, daiquiris and hot dogs, as well as the Brushfire Grill and the Tiger Den Lounge (available only to members of the Tiger Club).

Address: 2100 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-3470, United States

Photo credit: www.mlb.com/tigers/ballpark

The Eastern Market area is named for the 19th-century market operating here, with vendors selling everything from tacos to colorful produce every Saturday. Sundays see the space packed with local jewelers and artists. Hip cafes and places serving classic Coney Island hot dogs dot the district whose warehouses are being revitalized with murals. There is live jazz and Motown music at relaxed Bert’s Warehouse Theatre.

Photo credit: https://easternmarket.org/

The mission of the Michigan Science Center is “to inspire curious minds of all ages to discover, explore and appreciate science, technology, engineering and math in a creative, dynamic learning environment.” The Center features a planetarium, an IMAX Dome Theater, over 250 hands-on exhibits, lab activities and temporary exhibits. Planetarium show titles include “Our Place in Space,” and “Stories in the Sky”.

Address: 5020 John R St, Detroit, MI 48202

Photo credit: https://www.mi-sci.org/

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