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Would you Like to Vacation in Detroit?

Updated on April 1, 2015
Downtown Detroit, taken from Windsor, across the Detroit River.
Downtown Detroit, taken from Windsor, across the Detroit River.

DETROIT: Motor City, MoTown, and More

There are many interesting things to do in Detroit.

Yes, we love our cars. There is no doubt about that.

Look closer, and you will find that we are a very artistic community also. Music, Art, Theatre are all alive and thriving in Detroit.

My boyfriend came up with the idea to vacation in our own town. I thought it was a great concept. To see the area you were born and raised in from the viewpoint of a tourist. We spent a couple of days sightseeing and walking around downtown. It was great!

That is what gave me the idea for this lens. Interesting things to see and do in, and around, Detroit. That's my hometown. I have lived and worked in and around Detroit my whole life.

I took this photo from across the Detroit River, in Windsor, Canada.

Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) - And the Detroit Film Theatre (DFT)

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit MI
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit MI

We Began Our Vacation at the DIA

My day started out at the DIA, Detroit Institute of Arts.

You need to allow a lot of time for this one. It is a huge museum with lots to see and do.

The day I went, the Art Museum had an exhibit of Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus. I had not been to the exhibit yet. The event I went to was the lecture introducing this exhibit. The lecture and slideshow were excellent. The speaker was a DIA curator emeritus. He was instrumental in bringing this exhibit to Detroit. I did get a chance to enjoy the exhibit before it ended on February 12, 2012.

This lecture was held in the Theatre within the DIA. The theatre is a gorgeous old auditorium. You enter the theatre through large brass covered doors which have decorative wrought ironwork located above the doors. It is a beautiful building, and one ought to go there to see the architectural beauty, even if they are not interested in seeing the films or lectures given there.

I returned to the same theatre the next day to see a Movie entitled World on a Wire. It was a German film with English subtitles. This film was over 3 hours long, but it was a fantastic movie. The subtitles were easy to follow and the storyline was about a society that was a simulation of real life. This reminded me a bit of the story line of the Matrix, but this film came out first and was originally created in the early 1970s. Very original for it's time and I enjoyed it very much. If the opportunity ever comes up to see this film, I would recommend it.

The DFT shows movies that you would not normally find at the neighborhood theatre. They show a very eclectic mix of media.

This theatre is one of the Detroit's jewels.

Have you visited the Detroit Film Theater yet?

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Are you into Sports? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Detroit has some major league teams that might interest you! - Lions, Tigers, and Redwings

Detroit's Comerica Park, Detroit, MI
Detroit's Comerica Park, Detroit, MI

I know you didn't think I was going to say bears!

Come see the Lions play football at Ford Field,

Tigers for baseball at Comerica Park

And the Redwings scoring on the ice at Joe Louis Arena

Free Shuttles to games and events

Come to Detroit and take a shuttle to your favorite event

Several restaurants and bars in Detroit offer free shuttles to the games. Give some of the restaurants a call and see if they will be offering this service for the game or event you will be attending.

Sindbads, Z's Villa and Vince's are some of the places I know of. There are a lot more that do also. If you know of a place that offers free shuttles to Detroit venues, then mention them in the comments section.

The Detroit Zoo - Located on Woodward at 10 Mile Rd in nearby Royal Oak

Lions, Tigers and all sorts of other animals are waiting for you to visit.   The zoo is one of my favorite places to go.
Lions, Tigers and all sorts of other animals are waiting for you to visit. The zoo is one of my favorite places to go.

Check out the Detroit Zoo's website for more information:

Autorama, at Cobo Hall

This photo was taken at the Detroit Autorama inside Cobo Hall.  The Autorama is normally in March. If you like hot rods, this is your type of show.
This photo was taken at the Detroit Autorama inside Cobo Hall. The Autorama is normally in March. If you like hot rods, this is your type of show.

Detroit, Motor City - Auto shows in and around Detroit all year

The Detroit area hosts many car events throughout the year.

You can catch the North American International Auto Show (locally referred to as the Car, or Auto, Show) or Detroits Autorama at Detroit's Cobo Hall.

In the summer, you join in the action at the Woodward Dream Cruise. On a smaller scale, the Harper Cruise and other local cruises. This is when we bring out our classic cars and drive them down the road. Bring your classic car, or just a lawn chair to sit along the side of the road and watch the fun!

Detroit loves their cars. I you like them too, this is the place to come.

Shakespeare Outdoors at the New Center Park

Shakespeare In Detroit I took this photo of A Mid Summer's Night Dream at the New Center Park in Detroit played by Shakespeare In Detroit
Shakespeare In Detroit I took this photo of A Mid Summer's Night Dream at the New Center Park in Detroit played by Shakespeare In Detroit

See A Play

I love live theatre! I am so happy we have so many choices here in Detroit.

Most of the time, we are not allowed to take photos during a live theatrical production. That wasn't the case at the New Center Park. The Shakespeare In Detroit theatre group has put on several performances and they encouraged photography. I'm sure it is their way to get publicity, and it works.

Detroit has live theatre in abundance. Large productions at the Fisher Theatre to much smaller theatre companies such as Shakespeare In Detroit which has been changing venues regularly.

Wayne State University has two, The Bonstelle and The Hilberry theaters.

These are just a few of the many choices.

Other Awesome Things You Can Do in Detroit City!


Stroll Along The Riverfront - The Detroit River Walk is a Not-To-Miss adventure

A wonderful paved walk along the Detroit River
A wonderful paved walk along the Detroit River

The non-profit Detroit RiverFront Conservancy's website can help you plan your adventure along Detroit's fabulous waterfront.

Visit the Heidelberg Project - One artist, 25 years ago, decided to change the way his neighborhood looked.

Street sign at entrance to Heidelberg Project, Detroit MI
Street sign at entrance to Heidelberg Project, Detroit MI

Little did he know he was going to start a movement.

People come from all over the world to check out this neighborhood that spans only one or two blocks.

Houses and Trees become Art

Houses and Trees become Art
Houses and Trees become Art

You Too Can Join In The Art Project. . . . . . Sign the House. It is a guest book. . . . . . I did!

You Too Can Join In The Art Project. . . . . . Sign the House.  It is a guest book. . . . . . I did!
You Too Can Join In The Art Project. . . . . . Sign the House. It is a guest book. . . . . . I did!

Russel Street Industrial Center

Art in an old Detroit factory

Wow! This was an interesting adventure.

This is a center where artists can work and display their art. A community of artists located in one of Detroit's old abandoned factories. You have to see it in person to get a good grasp of what is happening here!

This venue is for the adventurist soul. Someone who wants to see something different. Differing from the traditional museum tours. A place where you may be intimidated by the lack of structure.

It was 6pm, already dark in Detroit this time of year. We turned off of the freeway service drive onto a side street where the entrance to the parking lot was located. There was a guard house at the entrance, but I didn't see any one there. No one to ask questions of, so we just drove in and followed the sign that said Russel Street Bazaar. The Bazaar is located at the far end of the parking lot.


Russel Street Bazaar

The Russel Street Bazaar is a network of individuals selling this and that. The bazaar is located in the warehouse towards the end of the parking lot. Not an art studio, more like a flea market.

The shop owners we talked to were very interesting. As we entered, we saw a long corridor of shops. I met a lady who sold used items with the help of her husband. A very charming individual As I wandered down the long corridor of shops, each divided by chain link fencing, I found jewelry booths, clothing shops, beauty salons and even a deli. The second lady I met was into reflexology. She also sold some homeopathic products. Very interesting woman, she seemed quite knowledgeable in her area of expertise.

The bazaar is only open on the weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This building was less intimidating because it had a sign that directed you to it both in the parking lot and on the face of the building.

The Russel Street Bazaar is a network of individuals selling this and that, not an art studio, more like a flea market.

The Russel Street Bazaar is a network of individuals selling this and that, not an art studio, more like a flea market.
The Russel Street Bazaar is a network of individuals selling this and that, not an art studio, more like a flea market.
Russel Street Industrial Center Building Hallway
Russel Street Industrial Center Building Hallway

Art Studio Space ____Old factory buildings converted to lofts

A small sign outside the door indicated that there were studios on the 2nd floor. Imagine a crude steel door on the side of an old factory. Entering into an area where there was the option of going through a door or going up a stairway.

As we entered the 2nd floor of the building, we were presented with an artful display of uniquely crafted furniture pieces. Ah! I know we are in the right place now!

The building has various rooms converted into studios. Both glass and ceramic studios were located on this floor.

As you walk through the building you see a contrast of beautifully laid out studios, where the works of art are on display and available for purchase, and unfinished areas, where the windows are broken and cold air is blowing in.

Not all of the rooms are open. I guess the doors will not open if you are not allowed inside. You just roam around until you find what you are looking for. This is only one of the buildings. There are several buildings located in this area that are being used as art studios and what not.

Indigo Glass Studio at the Russel Industrial Center

Indigo Glass Studio at the Russel Industrial Center
Indigo Glass Studio at the Russel Industrial Center

I bought one of these hand blown glass flowers from the Indigo Glass Studio. I love glass and this was affordable.

I bought one of these hand blown glass flowers from the Indigo Glass Studio. I love glass and this was affordable.
I bought one of these hand blown glass flowers from the Indigo Glass Studio. I love glass and this was affordable.

To Visit Detroit, or Not To Visit - that is the question. . . .

Detroit, like any major city, is a great place to visit. One must be aware, however, of where you wander. You should use common sense when venturing outside the normally well traveled areas.

If you do not feel comfortable, you should not venture into the situation.

Where are your favorite places to go in the Detroit Area? - Where are you from? Do you think you'd like to visit Detroit?

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    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 

      5 years ago from SE Michigan

      I love living so close to Detroit. I make sure to visit the city several times a year. We love to visit the DIA, Detroit Historical Museum and to go to the Opera or A Musical. There are so many great things to do in Detroit!

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 

      6 years ago from Naperville, IL

      We live in the Chicago area so not too long a drive to Detroit. I would like to get to the zoo, the Russell Street Industrial Center, and some of the restaurants you've highlighted.

    • JuneNash profile imageAUTHOR

      June Nash 

      7 years ago

      @takkhisa: Great! I think you will enjoy it!

    • JuneNash profile imageAUTHOR

      June Nash 

      7 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks!

      Detroit has had some hard times. It has improved a lot in the last few years. I think it keeps getting better. One sign is that I see a lot of people who are coming downtown even when there isn't a big event going on.

      And there is always something to do here.

    • takkhisa profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello, granny, i want to visit Detroit.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      7 years ago

      Travel in Detroit! You made it sound fun. Kudos for taking a city that has had some hard times and showing it for the vibrant city it is. Pinned to my travel board, out by digg and blessed.

    • JuneNash profile imageAUTHOR

      June Nash 

      7 years ago

      @javr: I have to agree. The Ford Museum is great, as is the Henry Ford Village(attached to the Museum).

      Across the street from the Detroit Science Center is the Detroit Institute of Arts. One of the cities gems. I recommend checking it out when you come back to see the Ford Museum!

    • javr profile image


      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I had a nice visit at the Detroit science center. The Ford museum in Dearborn is a must see for me if I am ever in the area again.

    • JuneNash profile imageAUTHOR

      June Nash 

      7 years ago

      @Linda BookLady: You piqued my curiosity! I never heard of Happy Camp before. I checked out your lens. It was great visiting it through your eyes! If I'm ever in the area, I'd like to drop in for a visit!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Hi there, I'd love to see Detroit someday... especially the art museum and Russel Street Industrial Center artists lofts... sounds like my kind of place. What a great way to upcycle an old factory building! I'm living in Happy Camp, California... a tiny town in the Klamath River Valley in Northern California, only a few miles from the Oregon border. I wrote a lens about it, with photos. There's not much to see here... just the beautiful Klamath River, a lot of trees (center of a forest) and a couple old historic buildings.

    • PatriciaJoy profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      I grew up in the Detroit suburbs and have been to Detroit many times. The DIA was our most recent trip. The year before that, hubby and I went to Belle Isle to see the William Livingstone lighthouse since we love to visit the lighthouses of Michigan. Belle Isle was just a shell of its former self. I felt safe most of the time but there were definitely times when I thought we should have taken more care. Like you say, you need to use your head. If you're interested at all in lighthouses, try to visit some in Michigan. We have a great maritime heritage. Angel blessings.

    • ReviewsfromSandy profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      We drove pass Detroit. But haven't visited it yet.

    • JimHofman profile image


      7 years ago

      I've been going to Detroit on and off for almost 30 years, mostly for baseball games and hockey games. Just like any big city, you have to know where you're going, but just the same there are countless gems in Detroit. Here are a few of my favorites ... Old Parthenon restaurant in Greektown, Jacoby's Since 1904 on Brush Street downtown (it's a German restaurant with a beer hall feeling and serves great lake perch), the two Coney Island hot do places right downtown on Michigan - American and LaFayette. Both are institutions and have been on the Food Network. Also go over to the Eastern Market on Saturdays for shopping in an old produce/wholesale market setting and have breakfast. Near the former site of Tiger Stadium on Michigan Ave. is a great bar/grill called Nemo's which has been there for decades. Cold beer, friendly people, and great burgers! For a great view, go to the top of the Renaissance Center, which I think has been renamed, for the observation deck. If you like nature in an urban setting, go north along the river to Boblo Island, which is a big urban park. Lots of cool places in Detroit, too bad so many hear about the city's bad reputation and dismiss it out of hand. Oh ... lots of great restaurant bars near the football and baseball stadiums within close walking distance. The Comet is one and there is another I think is called The Town Pump or something similar. Woodward Avenue about the 4000 to 5000 blocks north is another lively area, actually a bit on the upscale side. We have always enjoyed our visits to Detroit!

    • Squidpress profile image


      7 years ago

      I've been around Michigan and it was very nice.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It looks like a nice place to visit!

    • ifeelgod lm profile image

      ifeelgod lm 

      7 years ago

      belle Isle

    • eccles1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice visit !

    • Srena44 profile image


      7 years ago

      nice lens

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Detroit is oceans away from where we are but that would not stop me going to see it sometime or other.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I live in the UK but I used to live in South Bend, Indiana, and used to fly in and out of Detroit regularly at one time. Also went to a wedding in Windsor, just across the river, and the reception room overlooked the Detroit skyline, it made a great backdrop.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      I am from Hawaii, but I lived in Mt. Clemens for 9 years when my company transferred me there. I just went back for a month to visit friends. Stayed in Hazeltucky, (LOL), Royal Oak, St. Claire Shores and Madison Heights while there. Visited all over. Mt. Clemens, Ferndale & Royal Oak are a couple of my favorite places outside Detroit. I love Michigan. There are so many fabulous places and people. Too bad the government sucks so bad. Always nice to meet a Michigander!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It has been thirty years since I was in Detroit, MI. I grew up there and left for California more than forty years ago. With all the negative publicity Detroit has received it is great to see something postive. I still stay in touch with people who live there or in a nearby suburb and they have no problems with it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on your LoTD. The house and tree art is surely new to me.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      7 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Jimmy Leyland used to be manager of my hometeam, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and my favorite ball player, Andy Van Slyke, was a coach under him for Detroit for a time; it makes me an honorary Tigers fan.

    • RawBill1 profile image


      7 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Congrats on being awarded LOTD. I have briefly been to Detroit but I did not see much. I rode in on a greyhound (sounds like a song!), caught a cab out to the airport and then a rental car out of there and into Canada. I spent a few days in Michigan though up in Mount Pleasant I think it was. I am from the city of the Gold Coast in Australia. I have a lens covering my city if you want to virtually travel here for a while! :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      When I was a child, we would visit my cousins who lived in Detroit. This was always a special trip. Thank you for nudging some good memories.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congrats on LOTD!

    • Chris Copeland profile image


      7 years ago from Katy

      You know, for me, when I think about vacations I'm not typically thinking of a "big city", more of a getaway type of person. But this has definitely put a new perspective on it for me, it just might make the list of places I'd like to go visit as well as some of the other big cities.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      7 years ago

      Congrats for LOTD. I never visit Detroit, so all is new for me.

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 

      7 years ago

      Never been to Detroit, except on this lens, but I enjoyed the trip. I do have other things I would like to see in Michigan, so maybe when I retire. Thanks for sharing and congrats on LOTD.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      7 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I want to sign my name on the art house!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      7 years ago from GRENADA

      Congratulations on winning the Lens of The Day (LOTD)!!!

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 

      7 years ago

      I have visited but not recently, and I would like to see the city again. Congratulations on LotD status for a noble topic. See you around the galaxy...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have heard many things about Detroit before, thanks for giving us a highlight of the best places to see.

    • Im Horse Crazy profile image

      Im Horse Crazy 

      7 years ago

      cool lens!

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 

      7 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      Can't forget about the Eastern Market, Greektown, Hart Plaza or Belle Isle

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have been to Detroit but that was about 15 years ago. Looks like a lot has changed for the better. Congratulations on getting LoTD!

    • jasminesphotogr profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm from Detroit, live right outside of it now. I go downtown all the time and I love it. I go for Tigers games, the Autorama. I sometimes go to the casinos (just won $2,500 at Motor City last week, woohoo!), I love to eat at Pizza Papalis. I could go on and on, I love Detroit!

    • Rudy145 LM profile image

      Rudy145 LM 

      7 years ago

      Love this lens. Great Job!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Looks like lots of fun.

    • Rankography profile image


      7 years ago

      Congrats on the LOTD. Nice work.

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Let's see....Eastern Market, the city of Detroit museum, the Great Lakes Museum, Henry Ford and Greenfield Village, Henry Ford house, Edsel Ford house...I know they're not all in Detroit proper, but the metro area. LOTS of great places to see and things to do in metro Detroit!

    • NightMagic profile image


      7 years ago

      I would never have even considered visiting Detroit. Thanks for the info. If I manage to get to Detroit, I'll definitely stop in. Seems like an interesting place & I love Art Galleries.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I grew up in Warren, MI and you did a great job!

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 

      7 years ago

      Great lens, I love it!x

    • alexandradouglas profile image

      Alexandra Douglas 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Great lens!

    • hartworks lm profile image

      hartworks lm 

      7 years ago

      I've read a lot of good things about Detroit, eco-gardening, restoring houses, and so on. Fun to see how much there is to do there. I'm a small-town girl and avoid cities so I'm unlikely to turn up there but it was great fun to read!

    • profile image

      faye durham 

      7 years ago

      I used to visit Detroit for business at the medical centers. Always enjoyed the friendly atmosphere. Thanks for sharing some of the highlights of the city.

    • karen-stephens profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice job on promoting your home "town," it was a pleasure to stop by..

    • JuneNash profile imageAUTHOR

      June Nash 

      7 years ago

      I want to thank everyone for showing so much support for my lens!

      I feel loved!

    • JuneNash profile imageAUTHOR

      June Nash 

      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for reminding me of these great places! I have photos of them. I will have to post them on the lens. Thanks for the suggestions

    • delia-delia profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Nice lens!

      I have only been there at the Airport, hubby used to go there working for GM.

      I never knew they had a statue of "The Thinker" I just saw the original statue in Paris, France last week - also the one in San Francisco.

    • lewisgirl profile image


      7 years ago

      I have driven through Detroit, but not vacationed. I live in Western New York, so a must see is Niagara Falls. Close by is Lockport, the Erie Canal and yesterday I just drove back from Alexandria Bay (Thousand Islands-St Lawrence River) and visited Boldt Castle, which was breathtaking. Congrats as The Lens of the Day!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Definitely looks like an appealing place to visit - thanks so kindly for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel, and congrats on your LotD!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 

      7 years ago

      thx for sharing, and congrats on the LOTD

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I grew up in Ohio but have never been to neighboring Michigan. Thanks for the tour and congratulations on your Lens of the Day!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm awful homesick now. I grew up in Michigan, but the closest I ever lived to Detroit was Auburn Hills. I must confess, the most I ever headed over your way was when going to a casino or visiting a friend in St. Clair Shores.

      If anyone's ever in Oakland County, MI - they should check out Cook's Dairy Farm or go on a Fall Tour to see the leaves changing colors. Timing is everything with that, though!

      In the Thumb there's the Cheeseburger festival in August, in Traverse City there's the Cherry Festival (?) in July (?). Houghton Lake in the summer...

      I live in Florida now and absolutely love it, but some days I miss Michigan because that's where I spent 30 years.

      Congrats on LotD!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village just north of Detroit in Dearborn. The Zoo is nice too.

    • Madonaa profile image


      7 years ago

      Actually I never been detroit

    • radhanathswamifan profile image


      7 years ago

      The Hare Krishna temple!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love Detroit! Hockeytown!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Ah, we actually did a bit of vacationing in Detroit years ago when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio. Love the concept of Russel Street Bazaar. Used to listen to CKLW on my transistor radio.

    • JuneNash profile imageAUTHOR

      June Nash 

      8 years ago

      Early spring I will have to check out all the ins and outs of Comerica Park and seeing the Detroit Tigers, then post my review. Now all I have to do is wait for the season to start!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      8 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Like yano below, I want to see a Detroit Tigers baseball game. I love baseball and it is my dream someday to visit every major league ballfield. Since I've never been to Detroit, when I finally do get to attend a Tigers game, I'll know some good places to eat and other places to visit while there, from this page. Enjoyed your tour of Detroit.

    • JuneNash profile imageAUTHOR

      June Nash 

      8 years ago

      @yano jl: You will love it! The new Comerica Park is very nice. I have been there a couple of times and had a great time!

      Note: I know people who have taken a free shuttle from a few different establishments in town and in the suburbs. I haven't tried it yet, but maybe will do that next summer and write about the results.

    • yano jl profile image

      yano jl 

      8 years ago

      I really want to see a tigers game in Detroit. Its on my bucketlist

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      All those places you've mentioned, and agalova, too! Also, Traffic Jam and Snug restaurant in the New Center area, and Eastern Market, and the Royal Oak Farmer's Market...I could go on...

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 

      8 years ago from SE Michigan

      I love the DIA, but I think my favorite Detroit Museum is The Detroit Historical Museum. I also make sure to take my family to The Detroit Zoo several times a year. Greenfield Village is cool, too, and their Holiday Nights is starting soon. I already have my tickets!


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