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Riding bikes through Rivard Plaza in Detroit, Michigan
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Come see three can’t-miss events and places that prove Detroit is a hip, one-of-a-kind destination.

Detroit will surprise you. It’s a wellspring of entertainment complete with music festivals, quirky group bike rides, lively dining and talented artists crafting avant-garde murals along city walls. Locals are coming together to create a new era for one of the most industrious cities around. It’s more than the inventive restaurants and breweries, urban green spaces and cool events; it’s the renewed and creative spirit behind them that gives this city its vibrancy.

Music at the Detroit Jazz Festival

Responsible for the Motown sound as well as techno music, Detroit has made an indelible mark on American music history. Today, this Midwestern metropolis continues to represent music in all its forms and genres. A great time to visit is during the free Detroit Jazz Festival held every year over Labor Day weekend (typically the weekend around the first Monday in September). Jam out to musicians playing on six stages featuring a solid lineup of jazz brass, electric guitar blues and funky soul to move you.

Before or after the festival, visit the Atwater Brewery’s Detroit Tap House in the nearby Rivertown Warehouse District. Sip a Whango Mango or Dirty Blonde wheat ale on their bustling rooftop biergarten. Beer always tastes better paired with a refreshing breeze and panoramic views.

Detroit Jazz Festival

A nighttime performance during the Detroit Jazz Festival in Michigan
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Detroit on Two Wheels

Want to see the best of Detroit? Hop on a bike and join a Slow Roll. What’s a Slow Roll? It’s a festive, organized bike ride. Typically an eclectic gathering of hundreds of people from young hipsters to families and seniors, it’s the perfect opportunity to socialize while checking out the city. Sign up for a ride, and you’ll make fast friends as you whiz past quaint side streets, expressive murals and cruise through the heart of the city’s neighborhoods. Think of it as a highly spirited, sightseeing parade on wheels, where some participants go all out equipping their bikes with music and decorations.

Neighborhood Bike Tours

Stopping to check out art in the Eastern Market District during a Detroit, Michigan, bike tour
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Good Times in Public Spaces

Just east of Campus Martius Park (a bustling park in the heart of downtown), Cadillac Square delivers the perfect urban oasis for relaxing like a local – especially during daily food truck gatherings. Outdoor seating and tables clad with umbrellas set on a grassy lawn make it a welcoming place to stop for lunch or impromptu snack. Any given day, you might find artisanal tacos, grilled sandwiches, Caribbean cuisine and more. In the summer months, drop by the Cadillac Beer Garden, a carefree hangout at the west end of the square. And if you want to head indoors, plan a meal at Parc, voted Detroit Restaurant of the Year by Hour Detroit Magazine. Inside the glass-front, modern eatery, you’ll enjoy top-notch American and Italian fare with Midwestern inspiration. Favorites include the Mediterranean branzino (sea bass), pasta rigatoni with lamb ragout and the carrot cake baked Alaska.

Cadillac Square Street Food

Gathering in Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit, Michigan
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Bill Bowen
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Getting There

Fly into the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and rent a car to get around the city or take a taxi, shuttle or Uber to your accommodations.