Click Here to listen to or download 4 different audio tours of Downtown Detroit scripted by Inside Detroit!
Downtown Entertainment Options
Downtown History and Architecture
Cultural Center Highlights
Fox 2 visited us as part of their Made in Michigan segment! What better place than the Inside Detroit Welcome Center (1253 Woodward) which features over 50 local artists/designers creating Detroit merchandise. See it all by clicking on the following links from ourFacebook page and in this video from Fox 2 Detroit!!
“Shop Detroit” with Detroit Synergy and Inside Detroit on December 11
Annual Holiday Event Celebrates Shopping in the City and Small Businesses
For the seventh consecutive year, Detroit Synergy is inviting metro Detroiters to “Shop Detroit!” This year, Synergy teams up with fellow non-profit, Inside Detroit, to encourage people from across Southeast Michigan to enjoy the fun and excitement of an urban shopping experience, and to celebrate shopping local small businesses. Shoppers can explore recent additions to the Detroit retail scene, as well as hit their old favorites. Traditionally, this event has brought 200–300 shoppers to the city. The free event takes place this year from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, December 11th.
The day begins downtown, with check-in at Inside Detroit’s Welcome Center, located at 1253 Woodward Avenue, where shoppers can collect a map of participating merchants, as well as information on special discounts and promotions offered to “Shop Detroit 2010” participants.
In addition to the free area map highlighting more than 75 places to shop and snack, free shuttle service to the Midtown shopping district and Eastern Market, along with several other stops, is being arranged courtesy of Inside Detroit. Other goodies and surprises are also in store for shoppers.
New additions for 2010 include the participation of the Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center/Arts League of Michigan and their gallery shop. Returning participants include Bureau of Urban Living in Midtown and the world-famous Henry the Hatter. Other unique retailers include Good People Popcorn for gourmet popcorn delights, Woodhouse Day Spa for total relaxation, The Runway, Scentsations, and Spectacles.
The event is free but please RSVP at http://shopdetroit2010.eventbrite.com. The first 50 people that RSVP will receive a Shop Detroit Reusable Shopping Bag!!
Detroit is an amazing city. With its vibrant nightlife, world-class museums, championship sports teams and unparalleled architecture, it’s no wonder the New York Times named Detroit one of the 53 Places to Go in 2008. Whether you’ve lived in Detroit your whole life, or are visiting for the first time we promise to show you a Detroit that will defy your expectations.
The themes that are shaping the new Detroit are community, collaboration and opportunity and on these tours you’ll see how those themes are woven throughout a world class city. By the end of this tour you’ll have an insider’s perspective of Detroit’s rich history, current Renaissance and limitless future.
All bus tours are Saturday from 11:00AM to 1:00PM and begin at the Downtown Welcome Center located at 1253 Woodward.
Woodward Corridor Bus Tour $25 1st Saturdays
Billions of dollars in development have happened along the Woodward Corridor in recent years from large-scale renovations of major institutions to numerous small creative businesses popping up. This tour will take you inside Midtown and New Center for a look at the history, culture and renaissance of what is quickly becoming Detroit’s #1 neighborhood.
- Wayne State University
- Cultural Center
- Fabulous Fisher Building
- Unique shops like the Bureau of Urban Living
- Taubman Center for Design Education
- Historic Woodbridge Neighborhood
- Willy’s Overland Loft Development
- The Cass Corridor
- Motown Museum
Inside the Southwest Community $25 2nd Saturdays
Southwest Detroit is more than what most people know as Mexicantown. It not only encompasses the eclectic Corktown neighborhood but also stretches all the way to the Dearborn border. It’s a community that is growing and constantly improving through collaborations between private, public and non profit sectors as well as the community itself. This tour will show you the history, culture and community that make Southwest one of America’s most unique neighborhoods.
- Former Tiger Stadium Site
- Michigan Central Station
- Clark Park
- Historic Hubbard Farms neighborhood
- New development along Vernor Hwy
- Creative neighborhood initiatives like Imagination Station and Spaulding Court
Inside the Eastside of Detroit $25 3rd Saturdays
From Historic Eastern Market to the world-renowned Pewabic Pottery the Eastside, anchored by the Detroit Riverfront, is the home to many of Detroit’s fabulous gems. You’ll see great neighborhoods, unique shops and get an understanding for how the Eastside communities are working together to create the perfect environment to live, work and play.
- R. Hirt Jr. in Eastern Market
- Mies van der Rohe’s Lafayette Park
- Belle Isle
- Historic Pewabic Pottery
- The Heidelberg Project
- Earthworks Urban Farm
- The Mayor’s Residence
Greater Downtown Community Bus Tour $25 4th Saturdays
The themes that are shaping the new Detroit are community, collaboration and opportunity and on this tour you’ll see how those themes are woven throughout a world class city. The route includes all the major landmarks as well as Earthworks Garden, the Heidelberg Project, Rivard Plaza/Dequindre Cut, Belle Isle, the Guardian Building and much more.
By the end of this tour you’ll have an insider’s perspective of Detroit’s rich history, current Renaissance and limitless future.
- Stadium and Theater District
- Eastern Market
- The Heidelberg Project
- Motown Museum
- Former site of Tiger Stadium
- The Guardian Building
Summer is here and the livin’ is easy! We’ll be keeping it cool on some of our favorite patios with special pricing, introductions, the occasional free shot and tons of fun!
Meet @ Enoteca, 660 Woodward Ave.
Saturday, July 11, 2009 8PM – midnight
$15 in advance/$20 day of event 21+ only
Thursday, July 30, 2009 5:30PM – 8:30PM
$10 in advance/$15 day of event 21+ only
I recently had one of the best experiences in my 2 plus years living in the D. I’d seen the ads for a walking tour of Detroit a few times and had filed it away as something that I needed to do. Having some friends in from the suburbs on a lazy Saturday finally got me to a walking tour through Inside Detroit (www.insidedetroit.org).
I can honestly say it was one of the best things I’ve done since I moved down here and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get to know some more about this wonderful city. It was a great mix of architecheture, history, great places to eat and drink, cool places to shop, and interesting people. I highly recommend checking it out. Be ready for a high energy and enthusiastic couple of hours that will make you happy that you live here. – Larry
This past March, we helped train almost 500 hospitality employees in Metro Detroit in preparation for the NCAA Final Four. There was a portion about how to be hospitable - smile, use the person’s name, etc.. The other portion of the training was around being an ambassador for the city and region. Being an ambassador is about representing the region to outsiders by sharing information about things to do, places to go and how to get there.
Ambassadors help people enjoy their experience in Detroit, because if they enjoy their time here maybe they’ll come back another time. Or maybe they’ll tell others that they should come here. Or maybe they’ll simply say something nice about Detroit next time it comes up in conversation. Each of those scenarios is good for Detroit and the region. Not just in a fluffy-good-feeling kind of way, but in a more-money-coming-to-the-state kind of way.
The national perception of Detroit has improved considerably in recent years, due in large part to people coming here for national events like the All Star Game, Super Bowl, Ryders Cup and the Final Four. Once people actually come here and experience Detroit, they can’t help but like it. With that improved perception comes more conferences, more businesses, more special events…more money and more jobs.
The Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau has been working hard to capitalize on these improving perceptions, even winning an award for an ad in a meeting planners magazine in which they ask: Who’s the genius that picked Detroit? The answer: MENSA for their 2010 International Convention…if the smartest people in the world are picking Detroit, then why aren’t you?
With all the doom and gloom that has been permeating the news lately; it can sometimes be difficult to come up with positive things to say about Detroit. That’s when it’s even more important. If we want others to be excited about coming here, we have to be excited about being here. If we want others to say nice things about us, then we have to be able to say nice things about ourselves.
Sometimes outsiders are more excited about what we have here than we are. We work with people coming from all over the world, both to visit and to live, that are ecstatic to be in Detroit. They want to see the Guardian Building and Mies van der Rohe homes in Lafayette Park. They fall in love with Belle Isle and Eastern Market. They can’t believe that there are places like Cliff Bell’s and The Magic Stick where they can hear world-renowned musicians up close and personal. They have a myriad of nice things to say about Detroit.
We must remember that we are all Detroit ambassadors. It is not a choice; it is a fact. We all are Detroit ambassadors because we all represent our region, and we all want it to succeed. So find something that you get excited about and be ready to share it with someone next time you’re on a plane or get stopped for directions or asked for a restaurant recommendation. If you need some help…just let us know. We have plenty of things we’re excited about, and we’d love to share them with you.
Written for Metromode
Many people look at the vacant lots, abandoned buildings and the crisis in the American auto industry and see a Detroit that is dying…if not already dead. Others look at those same things and see a Detroit that is full of opportunity…a place where dreams can come true.
I’m living my dream here…and I could not be doing it anywhere else. When we take people around Detroit we show them examples of successful businesses, creative projects, the untapped potential. We want to inspire them to create their idea, their dream, in Detroit…to utilize the land, restore the buildings, create businesses and jobs like many are doing right now. That is the future.
Detroit’s motto is Speramus Meliora Resurget Cineribus, which means We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes. That is what we are in the midst of doing right now…rebuilding ourselves, both literally and figuratively. It’s an amazing time to be in Detroit, and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
Check out this video blog and the links below to learn more about projects and businesses that are tapping into Detroit’s potential.
Written for Metromode
There are 131 municipalities in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties, each with their own mayor, borders and identity. Regardless of whether you live in Royal Oak or Royal Oak Township, Grosse Pointe Woods or Grosse Pointe Farms, Dearborn or Dearborn Heights, or anywhere else in this region, there is no doubt that we are all in this together. By this I mean economically, culturally and how we are perceived nationally…the whole kit and caboodle, and like it or not…Detroit is the nucleus.
We try to help people see the benefits to Detroit being the region’s anchor. Yes, it has problems, but it also has history, culture, industry and an indefatigable spirit. You could take the nicest house, in the nicest suburb and if you picked it up and put it the middle of nowhere its value would decrease. It’s the proximity to museums, theaters, sporting events, industry and much more that make it a desirable place for people to live.
The future is about regionalism – about working together and realizing that each city brings its own benefits to the region. Each city has pros and cons, and one person’s pro might be another person’s con, but that’s what is great about this region. We have something for everyone.
We have a group from the Army coming into Detroit in a couple of weeks that is considering relocating over 100 families to Southeast Michigan. We are very excited to show them the breadth and depth of our region. We will not just show them Detroit. We will not just show them one county. We are going to show them the entire region and hopefully they will choose to move here. If they do, they will do so not just because of the assets of one county or one city but because of all the assets in the region as a whole.
While these families explore our region, I challenge each of you to do the same; to answer the question: Why do you live here?
If you can’t come up with a good list, then it’s time to get out of the house. Explore Detroit…the whole Detroit. If you live in Chesterfield Township go check out the Henry Ford in Dearborn. If you live in Northville, go see the new Partridge Creek Mall in Clinton Township. If you live in Pontiac, go for a walk in Downtown Wyandotte….and if you live anywhere in the region…come discover all the amazing things that Detroit has to offer. Trust me, you’ll be happy that you did.
Written for Metromode.
I get asked all the time, “Why would you want to live in Detroit?” to which I respond, “Let me tell you a little bit about my life. I can walk to over 130 bars and restaurants, from Cuban food to German food and from jazz music to techno. I can walk to over 13,000 theater seats, from Broadway to Opera to Avant Garde. I can walk to Tigers games, Lions games and Red Wings games. I am blocks away from Campus Martius Park and all of its free concerts, movies and events. Then there’s the amazing architecture, the Riverwalk, Eastern Market, I could go on and on, but the biggest reason I love living in Detroit, is the sense of community. Each one of those restaurants/bars is locally owned and operated. Sitting in the park reading a book I see my friends and neighbors ride by on bikes. We talk about business, politics, religion and all sorts of things at the bars, restaurants and shops. I get all the amenities of a big city with the community benefits of a small town…it’s pretty darn amazing.”
Many of you reading this have probably heard similar answers before, but do you know who hasn’t? Thousands and thousands of college students across the region and the state as well as thousands of young professionals and artists that currently work in the region. Study after study has shown the importance of attracting and retaining talent to the economic future of Michigan and while there are a myriad of answers as to how to keep talent here, the simplest is to educate them on what our city and state can offer them.
We have given tours to different universities from Wayne State to Saginaw Valley State where we emphasize community and opportunity by introducing them to urban farming and successful small businesses. We’ve put on team building scavenger hunts for staff from the Marriott Renaissance Center and the Department of Labor and Economic Growth helping them get out of their offices and notice things that they hadn’t in their 30 years of working downtown. We’ve spoke at new hire orientations for Ernst and Young, and taken Miller Canfield interns on a tour so that they know all the benefits of working (and hopefully living) in Detroit. The response afterwards is always the same. “I had no idea that Detroit had these kinds of things.” “I’ve worked downtown for 30 years and didn’t know half of this stuff.” Or my favorite from a 2nd year University of Michigan student, “It hadn’t even crossed my mind to stay in Michigan after I graduated, but now I think I want to live in Detroit.”
As a grassroots organization we have only been able to reach a miniscule percentage of the talented people in Michigan who have their eyes on seemingly greener pastures. My dream is to reach a critical mass of students, young professionals and other talented people and show them the Detroit that is full of creativity, opportunity and community because every one of them who chooses to stay in Michigan increases the state’s chances of being successful in the future.
Written for Metromode