Discover Detroit: A Guide To Motown's Cultural Treasures

Discover Detroit: A Guide To Motown's Cultural Treasures
Contributing Writer
| 3 min read

Detroit is a city on the rise after an economic downturn during the end of the 20th century. The rebirth that is occurring is fostering a culturally diverse environment. The cultural experience includes coffee shops, art, music and sports. In addition to cultural diversity, there is a strong sense of community involvement manifesting through unique fundraisers supporting inspirational neighborhood causes and raises awareness about global issues. During your visit to Detroit, there are ample opportunities to be involved in the community and culture that the city has to to offer.

Midtown Detroit: sports, architecture and outdoor attractions

Spirit of Detroit-2560x1600
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marshall Fredericks used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Take a stroll along Woodward in Midtown Detroit to experience a blend of historic buildings/architecture and sports culture. Here you will find Comerica Park, home of the Tigers. Take a photo with famous sculpture “the Spirit of Detroit”, designed by Marshall Fredericks to represent the relationship of man to spirituality. At the end of the road you will stumble along the Detroit River where you can look across and see Windsor Canada or Belle Isle, a small island in the center. Midtown Detroit is where you will encounter standard tourist attractions, treasures that provide exploration of the foundation of Detroit.

Detroit local treasures: browse, purchase and dine

Great Lake Coffee Roasting offers plenty of seating for collaboration.
Source: Taylor Boyle

Detroit has a large presence of local artisans, craftsmen, farmers and creators. This sentiment of homegrown is exhibited through a large variety of local shops, cafes and markets. Hugh, an antique shop on Cass Ave, features home goods, accessories and gifts. Great Lakes roasting cafe offers sandwiches and snacks made with local produce. It also offers an inspiring space for collaboration and concentration, with plenty of space, great vibes and cool artwork. Visit the Eastern Market to browse, shop and sample food, spices, produce, beauty products and artwork handcrafted, grown, prepared, cooked and designed by locals and residents. A visit to Detroit offers an opportunity to experience the collaborative community Detroit fosters.

Detroit creative scene: museums, music and art

Detroit Institute of Art
Source: Taylor Boyle

Artistic talent is present throughout the streets of Detroit. From local artists to world famous exhibits, the art culture in Motown is alive. Music, paintings and photography, Detroit art is well rounded. Plan a visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts to see a wide array of exhibits ranging from Native American tribal art to local Detroit photographs. Visit Detroit Threads to browse through records and albums of local Motown artists. Check out the links at the end of the article for postings of local music and art exhibits.

Community involvement: raising awareness, organizations and fundraisers

Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Campus Martius Park, Detroit, Michigan
Source: Photo by user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Visiting Detroit as a tourist still offers an opportunity to join the community. In Detroit, there is a strong presence of community involvement, with new and innovative ways to raise money for awesome causes and give the people a voice. Detroit Soup is an organization that hosts dinner events where local organizations have 4 minutes to pitch a project idea. For 5 USD you can attend the soup, listen to the pitches and vote on your favorite project. At the end of the night, the organization with the most votes wins all the proceeds to fund their project. While I was in town, I attended Hamtramck Music Festival 2016, a music festival where local artists played at dive bars with all proceeds going to a Detroit-based non-profit. More local events can be found in the Midtown Detroit Inc page below.

Hamtramck international community: Polish, Bengali and Middle Eastern culture

hamtramck disneyland
Source: Photo by user Jerry Paffendorf used under CC BY 2.0

If you are interested in experiencing international culture, Hamtramck, a 2.09 sq mile (5.41 sq km) city almost entirely bordered by Detroit is an ethnic melting pot with a large Polish, Bengali and Middle Eastern presence. If you are looking to try a unique meal, visit Sheeba Restaurant, a Yemeni restaurant with an eclectic menu and delicious food. The streets of Hamtramck also offer plenty of dive bars if you are looking to grab a drink after dinner. A visit to Hamtramck will offer a completely different cultural experience than the rest of Detroit.

Visit Detroit: diverse culture, community engagement, local treats

Detroit’s culture is extremely diverse catering to a large variety of people. Whether you like sports, art, music, shopping or food, a visit to Detroit will provide a unique spin on classic hobbies. Detroit’s uplifting aura of community involvement offers plenty of opportunities to get involved, even as a visitor. If you are easygoing, adventurous and open to new experiences, I highly recommend checking out these cultural gems during your visit to Detroit.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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I have a passion for yoga, mindfulness, meditation. As a yoga teacher, my goal is to use yoga philosophy and techniques to foster positivity and self-love, and create a happy, healthy, harmonious...Read more

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