"No Place Like Home" Top 5 Page for this destination Detroit by bilgeez

Detroit Travel Guide: 671 reviews and 1,482 photos

No Place Like Home

Like Dorothy said; "There's no place like home." Granted, Detroit doesn't have the best reputation. And I concur, it is not the prettiest city in the world, or the most hip or a tourist mecca, but it has a lot to offer, if you look and know what you are looking for. Many people look at Detroit as a rotting shadow of itself, the prototypical "Rust Belt" city of the American midwest.
But as one who grew up and has lived most of his life here, I can say that Detroit has many things going for it if one looks past the urban decay and the crime rate.
We have many beautiful museums, parks, and other attractions in the area. We have a whole Island that is a city park! How many cities in the world can say that? Belle Isle is beautiful. It has fountains, an aquarium, a mueseum and deer!
We have several waterside parks along the Detroit River and Lake St. Claire. We have the Detroit Institute of Arts with one of two of Auguste Rodin's original copies of "The Thinker" in front . Detroit put the world on wheels, and of course we pay tribute to the automobile with the Henry Ford Museum but attached to that is Greenfield Village which has many 19th Century buildings and artifacts, among them the Wright Brothers bicycle shop from Dayton, Ohio, and the lab where Thomas Edison developed the first practical incandescent light bulb from New Jersey. We have a beautiful zoo, a fort from the early 19th century and a world class library.
Detroit is also known as "Hockeytown". While the Red Wings hockey team is very popular with the locals, other sports are also well attendended both by spectators and participants. Our basketball team, the Pistons, has done very well recently, our baseball and football teams haven't, but the new management of these teams are trying to bring them back to past glory and the locals show unfailing loyalty to the Tigers and Lions.
Detroit is also "The Home of Rock and Roll", as Bob Seger proposes. We have many concerts in the area, at Ford Field, Comerica Park and Detroit Energy Theater. We also have a world-class symphony that plays at a new orchestra hall in downtown Detroit during the normal season, and at Meadowbrook on the Campus of Oakland University in the summer. It is a beautiful setting and also on the campus is the mansion of the Dodge-Wilson Estate which is open for public tours of this gorgeous Tudor-style estate.

The Spirit of Detroit

Detroit was founded on June 24, 1701 by Conte Antoine de la Monthe du Cadillac. He wanted to set up a fort and trading post at the narrowest point on the the north-west bank of a straight, about where the foot of Woodward is now, for France and to enrich himself.
Detroit has had many growing pains. It has suffered two major fires, from where it's motto, "We shall rise again from the ashes", comes.
It bounced back and forth in the late 18th and early 19th centuries between the French, British and upstart Americans before finally settling into American hands for good in 1815, and Detroit was part of the new State of Michingan in 1838.
Detroit was a small town until the late 1800s when steel and machinery production increased here, and Detroit became a major tobacco processing center, believe it or not. At one time Detroit had the most cigar and cigarette factories in the US!
Then in 1904 Henry Ford started his mass-production, moving assembly line and Detroit was on it's way to becoming the Motor City it is still known as today.
It is the center of the "rust belt", the degenrating manufacturing mid-west.
The city's population has shrunk by more than 50% since the 1967 riot caused major damage, stopped growth and ruined Detroit's reputation and killed interest in the city to invest in, as have high taxes and crime driven people to the friendlier suburbs.
But Detroit hangs on, as the phoenix, trying to rise anew from it's ashes.
The Statue below is the Spirit of Detroit, he holds the sun so it always shines on the city and illuminates it for the people. We also call him; "The Jolly Green Giant". When the Wings win the Stanley Cup, he can be seen sporting a Red Wings Jersey. Likewise, a Piston's Jersey when they win the NBA Championship, which will hopefully happen again this year.

Woodward Corridor

Woodward is the Main Street of Detroit and where many important places are found.
Starting at the River are GM/Renaissance Center, Hart Plaza, Cobo Center and Joe Louis Arena. Crossing Jefferson, the Coleman Young Municipal Building, further north, Compuware Headquarters and The Hard Rock Cafe, a little further north, The Fox Theater-Comerica-Ford Field-Hockeytown area. About a mile north of that, the Detroit Institute of Arts-Detroit Historical Museum-Detroit Public Library-Wayne State University area.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:There IS something to do here!
  • Cons:Three Cs: Cold, Crime, Crumby Public Transit
  • In a nutshell:Don't Judge a book by it's cover!
  • Last visit to Detroit: May 2006
  • Intro Updated May 8, 2006
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Reviews (27)

Comments (5)

  • Dec 26, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    The DHM is not and NEVER considered closing. It is still funded by the city, but is run by the Detroit Historical Society. It is a great museum! They even have curator nights where you can met the curator of the different exhibits!

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2008 at 9:51 AM

    Great tips and photos. Concerned about the high crime rate. However, someday I hope to visit. Best from New Jersey, Bill

  • dtownkitty's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2006 at 5:17 PM

    And I wasted all that time on the Metro park website....

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2005 at 7:01 PM

    Of course, the best views of Detroit are from Windsor!

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2005 at 11:48 PM

    Goodness Detroit certainly has heaps to do Bill. Love thos frozen shots!! Oh and the jazz festival sounds great too!! Cheers, Ann :o)

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