Travel Detroit?

Odette

<3 life
O.G.
Aug 20, 2007
11,449
2
www.twitter.com
I am going to Detroit for work for 5 weeks - I do not have access to a car but I will be staying downtown (near Tiger Stadium).

Anyone know where the good shopping, restaurants, entertainment is?

I do also have a passport so if Windsor has any good stuff I'm up for that too.
 

lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
O.G.
Oct 7, 2006
31,836
7,201
San Francisco
Wave hi to my parents, they're in Bloomfield Hills ...

It's going to be hard for you to get around without a car, after all it's the Motor City.

If you can do some driving while the weather is nice and sunny there, drive through Grosse Pointe and do some shopping in Birmingham. There are some great restaurants there too.

And of course you MUST go to Somerset Mall (Saks and NM) and head a little north to the outlet mall called Great Lakes Crossing.

If you stay in Detroit, the Renaissance Center was always a cool place, as is Greektown (you must get flaming cheese of course).

Sorry those are the highlights I can remember, I moved away 13 years ago and I only get there once or twice a year now.
 

Odette

<3 life
O.G.
Aug 20, 2007
11,449
2
www.twitter.com
Lori - thanks for the info.

I know I'll be close to Greektown - they won't give us a rental car through work but I could possibly get one on the weekends. Have you used the Peoplemover? We're using that to get to our training facility but I'm wondering if it's useful for getting anywhere else.

I really want to get to that mall now that I've seen what they have. Don't think I can go 5 weeks without shopping!
 

Lola24

O.G.
Jul 11, 2006
4,817
419
My family lives in Bloomfield Hills, I love going to the Sommerset Collection Mall in Troy, and downtown Birmingham is very nice too, lots of shopping, restaurants, a spa or two. Getting around without a car seems problematic to me though..... I will say you can kill plenty of time either of these areas so you can make them a solid destination for a good chunk of time if you can manage getting dropped off and picked up. I'm sure there's a bus system and cabs someplace but I've never attempted to use anything like that when I visit.
 

BigDeal04

Member
Jul 13, 2008
27
0
I'm from that general area. ITA about Somerset. It is a great mall and there are plenty of good restaurant around there. Birmingham is also a fun town which is not far from there. If you venture to Birmingham I highly recommend 220 Merill to eat. As for the city of Detroit itself don't expect much. It's really a terrible downtown. If you don't have a car be very careful walking around by yourself especially at night. Detroit can get scary fast.
 

sugarjaws

Member
May 21, 2009
2,104
0
I'm originally from Windsor so a trip to Devonshire Mall might be worthwhile. You'll find different stores, but you will need a car unless you take the Tunnel Bus across the border. Then, you'll need to take a bus or cab to the mall. Honestly, I haven't been home for 8 years (except to visit my family every year), but seriously, you will need a car to get to any of the malls in the suburbs, especially if you're staying by Tiger Stadium. Windsor has some nice parks down by the river, and there is an outlet mall, but it's nowhere near downtown. Downtown does have some shopping, but it's mostly bars and restaurants.

If you want to hit some of the malls like others have mentioned, there are quite a few. Dearborn, which is a tad closer to where you're staying has a mall - Fairlane Towne Center, and 12 Oaks Mall has always been my favorite - is in Novi, further away.

I used to use the PeopleMover a lot when I was in my 20's, and Greektown was a lot of fun, as well as Trapper's Alley.

You might want to check out the Michigan Tourism site and see if you can get more information as far as renting a car. It's easy to get lost if you don't know where you're going - especially with construction (which always seems to be going on)
 

Odette

<3 life
O.G.
Aug 20, 2007
11,449
2
www.twitter.com
Thanks everyone!

I'm looking for a rental car facility close to my hotel. I will definitely be making a weekend reservation to do a little driving!
 
Last edited:

lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
O.G.
Oct 7, 2006
31,836
7,201
San Francisco
Have you used the Peoplemover? We're using that to get to our training facility but I'm wondering if it's useful for getting anywhere else.
Unfortunately the Peoplemover won't get you anywhere near Birmingham or Bloomfield Hills. I still lived there when it was under construction and it was supposed to be a great public transportation system but wasn't nearly as successful as it could have been. Of course, you had three entities fighting against it -- GM, Ford and Chrysler at the time.

Oh, and Peabody's restaurant in Birmingham is always great. Get there early, it's a popular spot.
 

Bags4Bubbles

Bubbles luvs Bbags
O.G.
Dec 23, 2006
5,872
2
38
Great Lakes
I live in the northern metro Detroit area... I'm not originally from here - I'm from Illinois, so kind of anticipating what you might have in mind for getting to and from attractions... I was surprised when we first came over here how spread out some things are here and how non-existent the public transportation here is. Alot of the things you might want to see are going to be in the "suburbs" of metro Detroit (even Chrysler and Ford are a 20/30 minute drive into the suburbs out of the "downtown proper") and it's not like Chicago, where you can easily hail a cab or use some other form of public transportation to get from downtown to Lincoln Park, etc... things here are super spread out.

I would definitely look into getting a rental car for the weekend - and hopefully you're hotel is near where you are working at downtown?

Fun things to hit while you're here... Somerset is a must - it's in Troy and you're going to have to drive yourself there, the Detroit Zoo is in Royal Oak and you also would need your own car to get there... but it's a fun little zoo that reminds me of Brookfield Zoo. I don't know of alot of things right in the downtown... as I've lived here for almost three years and only been there twice (LOL!) - but I have wanted to go to the Detroit Art Institute which I think is down there somewhere...

Have a fun stay! If you get bored, rent a car and head into the suburbs... the thing I've found about this area that is totally different from Chicago - is in Chicago you went into the city to do any attraction stuff/good shopping, etc. - here, everything is out in one of the suburbs, mainly Troy, Royal Oak, Birmingham, there are some cute shops in Rochester Hills too. It's super easy to find your way around here though, because everything - and I mean everything through all of the suburbs too - is on the same basic street name grid system.
 

Bags4Bubbles

Bubbles luvs Bbags
O.G.
Dec 23, 2006
5,872
2
38
Great Lakes
Oh, I just read the responses above mine and someone mentioned it was hard to get around. Whoops! :shame: I guess I'm basing my experience on moving here versus when I moved to the suburbs of Chicago from a different area in Illinois... I found it was much easier and quicker to find places here comparatively to being plunked down in Chicago & its suburbs, but I don't want to make it sound like you won't find a GPS and maps useful. Just wanted to clarify! LOL!
 

lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
O.G.
Oct 7, 2006
31,836
7,201
San Francisco
Bags4Bubbles was right about the Zoo and DIA, those are cool places. If you're into classical music the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is awesome too.
 

boxermom

O.G.
Aug 26, 2006
27,084
592
North Carolina
Dh's family is from the western 'burbs of Detroit so we've spent some time there. Public transportation is almost non-existent. I used to wonder and then, duh! it hit me--it's the center of the automobile industry and they want people in their cars.

I know nothing about the city, but the burbs have some nice shopping malls and some picturesque towns; dh is from Plymouth and it's a pretty little town.
 

sugarjaws

Member
May 21, 2009
2,104
0
Oh, I just read the responses above mine and someone mentioned it was hard to get around. Whoops! :shame: I guess I'm basing my experience on moving here versus when I moved to the suburbs of Chicago from a different area in Illinois... I found it was much easier and quicker to find places here comparatively to being plunked down in Chicago & its suburbs, but I don't want to make it sound like you won't find a GPS and maps useful. Just wanted to clarify! LOL!
I think it was my post you read. I was born and raised in Windsor (moved to Illinois in 2000) and grew up crossing the border to Detroit. I guess I should clarify what I meant by it is hard to get around. Lately (and from what I remember living in Windsor/Detroit area) was that there is always construction and/or detours so it can be very easy to end up somewhere you don't want to be (especially downtown). Getting to the malls shouldn't be a problem (I don't think). Stick to some of the malls the others have mentioned and you should be fine. Definitely Somerset, and Birmingham are very nice. As far as car rentals, you might want to call the hotel ahead of time and ask the front desk. They should be able to help you.

I'm not sure if you're into gambling but both Detroit and Windsor have casinos. If you want a nice drive, cross the border into Windsor and drive down Riverside Drive. You'll get a great view if the Detroit skyline (Renaissance Center).

Make sure when you rent your car you get a GPS (or bring your own if you have one). That will save you a lot of time and headaches if you do happen to get turned around.
 

dmc60

O.G.
Apr 15, 2008
547
126
The Library
http://map.mapnetwork.com/destination/detroit/

You may find this map helpful. You will be reasonably close to the detroit Institute of Arts http://www.dia.org/default.asp?menu=main&main=yes
and the main branch of the detroit public library - which is a cool building http://www.detroitpubliclibrary.org/Main_Library/Main_Library.htm
as well as the Science Center http://www.detroitsciencecenter.org/
and eastern Market http://www.easternmarket.org/


Not walkable, but possibly worth your time - especially if the weather is nice:
Belle Isle http://www.fobi.org/ which has one of my favorite little museums The Dossin http://www.glmi.org/
A little father down Jefferson Ave is Pewabic Pottery http://www.pewabic.com/ and just past that is one of my favorite restaurants http://www.sindbads.com/flash/index.html - which has a shuttle bus!

Another place you should try to see is The Henry Ford/Greenfield Village. This is in Dearborn- about 30ish minutes from downtown detroit, factoring in construction and/or traffic http://www.hfmgv.org/
http://www.hfmgv.org/village/index.aspx

I have more info, if you want it - feel free to PM me!
 

Lv-nowwhat

drive LV
O.G.
Jul 9, 2008
8,201
51
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit it self does not have much shopping at all. I love Somerset mall and Birmingham. By Tiger stadium there is a good barbeque called Slow's. Also the Mexican neighborhood is not far and there is Mexican Village on Bagley and on the other side Los Galones, Xochiltmilcos and a great bakery La Gloria's. Also the oldest church in Detroit Ste. Anne

There is Motor city casino that has a nice bar and sometimes good music.

You need a car in Detroit and even though I grew up there (Mexicantown)Detroit is very rough especially for a tourist. Oakland county has the best shopping and restaurants.