Detroit, Michigan: City of Leisure
Whether cars, culture, gaming, sports or music, Detroit has been known for a variety of things over the course of its history. And it’s that air of constant reinvention and the variety of attractions throughout the city that make this millions-strong metropolis a unique travel destination that eagerly invites visitors. Beyond the urban buzz, though, I discovered that there’s a leisurely side to this city that I wasn’t expecting. Parks, a lively riverfront and great shopping make for a welcome, relaxing holiday.
Downtown Detroit, close to the huge towers of General Motors headquarters, has a beautiful and well-kept riverfront promenade. We walked past Segways and bikes, school classes playing on a basketball court and other people strolling along the river and enjoying the warm sun. You can even see across to Canada. Along the riverfront, you’ll see some coffee shops, fountains and carousels. It was here that I felt at peace and appreciated the beauty of this diverse city.
One really fun way to get to know this riverfront is to take a cruise on the Detroit River. Diamond Jack’s River Tours has two-hour narrated cruises during the warm summer months. From the interesting historical information to the wonderful views, this river tour is highly recommended.
Campus Martius Park
Campus Martius in downtown Detroit is the perfect place to keep the holiday tempo relaxed. This is a place of urban parks and open spaces, and there are many business offices, restaurants, coffee shops and upscale hotels nearby. There is always something going on here, too. Concerts and volleyball in the summer, ice skating and holiday lights in the winter – Campus Martius Park is the place to be year round.
My favourite here is a beach for sunning and children playing among the backdrop of tall downtown buildings in the summertime. We sat in a café and enjoyed some white wine and people-watching.
Before my trip came to an end, I drove to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, 45 minutes away and Michigan’s largest outlet centre. Here you’ll find 185 shops with fantastic prices in an inviting atmosphere. Nice cafés and restaurants offer a welcome break during your shopping excursion.
In Detroit proper, I discovered several unique shops that I simply must share. John K. King Books is almost indescribable in its scale. This is a bookstore that defies what you define as a store. With four stories, over a million books and a separate space for antique and rare editions, John K. King Books is practically an attraction in itself for bibliophiles.
In downtown Detroit, stop in to the flagship location of Shinola. Mostly known for its superbly crafted bicycles and watches, Shinola also sells beautiful leather goods (purses, journals, phone cases and more). What makes Shinola special is its commitment to American-made products. The bicycles are actually assembled in the back of the store!
For its leisurely attractions and activities, Detroit is definitely a city you have to experience!