Ann Arbor, Michigan Attractions – Downtown Fun

In my previous two posts, I talked about the world class Ann Arbor, Michigan attractions that the University of Michigan has to offer. That includes the museums and natural areas. Thanks in a big part to the university’s huge presence, the city has a vibrant downtown that is filled with fun activities. Whether you decide to check out art galleries, attend a live music performance, play games like ping pong, or treat yourself to one of the many tasty sweets, you are bound to find something fun downtown.

(Photo courtesy of Chriswaco via Wikimedia)

Art Galleries

Let’s start with the art galleries. There are at least two art galleries downtown for you to check out. The Ann Arbor Art Center is located on West Liberty Street just west of Main Street. This art gallery has been operating for over a century, having opened in 1909. That makes this art gallery one of the oldest and most respected community arts organizations in the US state of Michigan.

The art gallery is home to three rotating exhibition galleries that showcase artwork from local and regional artists. But, this isn’t all that the art gallery has to offer. There are fun hands-on classes available in its art education studios designed to help you hone your artistic talent in areas such as painting, drawing, and printmaking. Oh and also, there is a gallery shop where you can buy original artwork.

The WSG Gallery is located inside the same building as the first art gallery I just mentioned. This art gallery also focuses on artwork created by artists from the local area. There are different types of paintings showcased at the art gallery such as watercolor and landscape. There are also different kinds of sculptures housed inside the art gallery.

These include ceramic, assemblage, cast bronze, and art installation. In addition to the paintings and sculptures, other types of artwork showcased include paper arts, book arts, fiber, jewelry, art glass, drawings, photographs, and printmaking. WSG Gallery has been voted the best fine arts gallery in Ann Arbor in 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2016. So, you won’t want to miss it.

Live Music Performances

(Photo courtesy of rosefirerising via Flickr)

Live music performances are a common sight to behold in downtown Ann Arbor. Here are a few places where you can go and see them. First up is Blue LLama Jazz Club. It is located on South Main Street south of Liberty Street. The establishment has a blue-colored atmosphere overall. The live music performances there are focused on the jazz music genre.

This establishment offers some kind of combo where you can dine on a meal while watching a jazz performance. The performances are scheduled on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights every week with earlier schedules for brunch available on Saturdays and Sundays. Another place that feature live music performances is The Ark.

It is located next door from Blue LLama Jazz Club. This is a music club that has seating for up to four hundred people. The performances there cover the folk and roots music genres. They happen over three hundred nights per year.

Downtown Fun Games

(Photo courtesy of unknown via LocalWiki)

Ann Arbor’s downtown is a great place for you to play a variety of fun games. If you are into ping pong, you will want to head to The Pretzel Bell. It is located at the intersection of Main and Liberty Street. The restaurant and bar has a University of Michigan vibe to it with decades of memorabilia of its sport teams filling the walls and cases. The ping pong tables are located in the basement of the restaurant and bar.

If you are into board games, the best place to go downtown for that is Blom Meadworks. It is located on South 4th Avenue just south of Huron Street. It houses a taproom with lots of board games for you to participate in, such as a quick party game and a strategy game that lasts for multiple hours. The establishment is renowned for its meads and ciders. So, you will want to try one out as you play.

For those of you seeking out a place downtown to play trivia, there are two places for you to do so. The first one is Conor O’Neill’s which is located on South Main Street south of Liberty Street. It is an Irish pub designed with imported wood and stone. Haymaker Public House is the other place for playing trivia. It is located at the intersection of Washington Street and 4th Avenue.

It is well known for being the best sports bar in Ann Arbor. They have live trivia shows for you to participate in.

Sweets of Downtown

Ready for some delicious sweets? Good, let’s get to a few great spots downtown for your tasting buds. Are you clamoring for ice cream? I have got someplace downtown for you to check out. It is called Blank Slate Creamery. It is located at the intersection of Liberty and 1st Streets. The ice cream can be order in many different forms such as cones, cups, shakes, sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, and ice cream cakes.

There are many flavors of ice cream at the creamery to choose from. Some example include salty caramel, cookies & cream, banana pudding, chocolate fudge brownie, garden mint chip, Madagascar vanilla, browned butter cookie dough, and roasted butter pecan. Another place for desserts is Le Bon Macaron which is located on South 4th Avenue between Washington and Liberty Streets.

It is a French themed bakery that is noted for its macarons. When you see them, they look like colorful burgers filled with buttercream. There are many flavors of macarons to choose from at the bakery. Some of them include strawberry swirl, cherry vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, white chocolate, chocolate banana, strawberry cheesecake, blueberry, and honey lavender.

All in all, there is a lot of fun to be had in downtown Ann Arbor. So, be sure to add downtown to your Ann Arbor, Michigan attractions checklist.

Ann Arbor Hotel

Should you need a place to stay at in Ann Arbor, I have got you covered here. Here is a hotel I would suggest for you.

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Ann Arbor Univ. Mich Area

This hotel is located just north of the interchange of State Street and Interstate 94. It is only a short drive north to downtown via State Street. If you are hungry, the hotel houses a restaurant called Mallet’s Creek Bar & Grille. There is an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub at the hotel. A fitness center is also available for your workouts.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, microwaves, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $94 to $179. You can go here to browse your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you planning anything fun to do downtown? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Ann Arbor, Michigan Attractions To Soak In The Natural Beauty

Ann Arbor is a pretty college town that is famous for being the home to the sweeping University of Michigan campus which houses the city’s most well known museums. The city has been nicknamed “Tree Town” and for good reason. It is densely forested in and around town. The Huron River snakes its way through portions of Ann Arbor and contributes to its beautiful scenery overall.

There are two Ann Arbor, Michigan attractions in particular where I think you will appreciate the city’s natural beauty the most. They are the Nichols Arboretum and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. They are both under the University of Michigan umbrella.

Nichols Arboretum

(Photo courtesy of Dwight Burdette via Wikimedia)

The Nichols Arboretum is located on Washington Heights on the eastern side of the university campus. This is a nice park that is home to a variety of gardens, flowers, and plants. The most notable of them is the peony garden. The peonies glow nicely in pinks, whites, reds, and yellows, especially when they are in bloom which happens around mid May through to mid June.

Owing to its complex glacial past, the arboretum is hilly in terrain. As a result of this, you will be treated to gorgeous views from certain vantages. There are a handful of area to note of when it comes to the arboretum. First up is Alex Dow Field. This is where you can blend yourself into a sea of prairies. The prairies are known to attract many types of birds and insects. So, you may want to look out for them.

The second area is called the Main Valley. This area is considered to be the heart of the arboretum. On the sloped lawns in this area, you can have picnics, lay out in the sun, form and engage in lawn games, among other things. Also, in one section of the area, you will get to watch a live performance called Shakespeare in the Arb.

This area is surrounded by beautiful woodlands of native oaks, walnuts, and pines as well as tree types from other countries including Turkey, Japan, and China. Magnolia Glen is the next area of the arboretum. It is notable for the hardy magnolias which are trees with impressive large leaves. Native and Chinese tulip trees are also found in this area.

(Photo courtesy of K2D2vaca via Flickr)

The Oak Openings area is a beautiful wooded area within the arboretum. At least one trail travels through this area, making for a peaceful hike. Oak openings is the name given to the quasi-open woodlands and prairies that were commonly found in southern Michigan and other Midwestern states centuries ago. Today, they are rare with less than one percent of the original oak openings remaining.

The River Landing area is where you can get down and personal with the Huron River. This is a popular area for bird-watching. Also, you may spot people canoeing on the river through this picturesque area. This is another great spot for picnics. There is also a hiking trail that passes by the river. Schoolgirls Glen is an interesting area in the arboretum.

It is a narrow valley with remnants of an earlier glacial deposit found beneath. As you hike the steep trail through this area, you will notice the bottom showing its severe erosion resulting from street run-offs. In total, there are nearly 3.5 miles worth of hiking trails that wind their way throughout the arboretum. There are also benches along the way too, should you want to sit down and enjoy the scenery.

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

(Photo courtesy of Dwight Burdette via Wikimedia)

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens is located on North Dixboro Road east of US Highway 23 in Ann Arbor. The beautifully designed botanical gardens is divided into eleven distinct gardens. The Bonsai and Penjing garden is known for its traditional Japanese and Chinese styles of trees. It also has a structure designed in the architectural style of these two countries.

The Great Lakes garden is, as the name indicates, focused on the habits and plants that are native to the Great Lakes region of the US which include the state of Michigan. Among the habitats showcased in this garden include dune, limestone plain, and prairie. This garden contains a series of accessible pathways, boardwalks, and overlooks.

The Gaffield Children’s garden is designed specifically with young children in mind. So, if you have any with you, be sure to visit this garden. It features a builder’s garden, a maze, a digging pit, and a mud garden. The Herb Knot garden is designed in the 16th century English Tudor garden style. It houses plants that are normally used in Asian, Native American, and European cooking and healing traditions.

The Gateway garden primarily focuses on ornamental plants originally native to North, Central, or South America. The Perennial garden is notable for its color-coordinated waves of bloom from plants that are appropriate for the local area. The Woodland Wildflower garden is home to more than one hundred native species of ferns, woody plants, and spring wildflowers from the southern Great Lakes region.

(Photo courtesy of Emily via Flickr)

The Medicinal garden contains plants that are used in medicines meant to treat human disease. The Rock garden is primarily concerned with plants that are designed to thrive on exposed crevices and cliff faces. Succulents, tight cushions, creeping mats, and silvery foliage are all used to support plants in this garden. The Urban Pocket garden is notable for using rocks to tie up the plants and trees.

The garden is also notable for its curved bench that behaves like a fence around the garden. The Sitting garden is basically what it sounds like. It is a garden with seating designed to allow you to relax and enjoy the scenery. In addition to all these gardens, the botanical gardens is home to a conservatory. It is designed to house plants that wouldn’t be able to survive outdoor in the area.

It has three sections, each representing a different biome. They are tropical, temperate, and arid. A visitor’s center and gift shop called The Garden Store is also located onsite.

These are the two Ann Arbor, Michigan attractions I believe will help you get the most out of the area’s natural beauty. If you feel like you have not had enough of nature, you may want to head east to nearby Detroit and visit Belle Isle Park which is located in the middle of the scenic Detroit River.

Ann Arbor Hotel

If you are looking for a hotel to stay overnight at in Ann Arbor, I have got you covered. Here is a hotel I would suggest for you.

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Ann Arbor Univ. Mich Area

This hotel is located just north of the interchange of State Street and Interstate 94 in the southern portion of Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan campus is only five minutes away from the hotel via State Street. The hotel houses an onsite restaurant and bar called Mallet’s Creek Bar & Grille. There is an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub at the hotel.

If you are looking for somewhere to workout, there is a fitness center within the hotel. All of the hotel rooms and suites come with WiFi, microwaves, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $94 to $179. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you looking to fall in love with nature in Ann Arbor? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Ann Arbor, Michigan Attractions – University of Michigan Museums

Ann Arbor is a vibrant small city located about 43 miles west of Detroit via M-14. This puts the city in close proximity to Michigan’s bustling metropolis. Ann Arbor is renowned for being the home to the sweeping University of Michigan campus which generally runs just to the east of the city’s downtown. However, you don’t need to be a college student to enjoy all that the city has to offer.

In fact, some of the best Ann Arbor, Michigan attractions are found on the university campus. I will go over four museums that you can find at the University of Michigan.

(Photo courtesy of JuwanGOAT via Wikimedia)

University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

(Photo courtesy of WolfmanSF via Wikimedia)

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History is located on North University Avenue. It is inside of the university’s Biological Sciences Building which it had recently relocated to from elsewhere on campus. This museum explores the natural world, our place in it, and the impact that we have on it. There are a total of seven permanent exhibits available at the museum.

The first exhibit, Evolution: Life Through Time, explore what life was like on Earth over a period of four billions years. You will be able to learn about how life on earth evolved and continued through five major extinctions. You can expect to see fossils of dinosaurs and other living things on display in this exhibit.

The Exploring Michigan exhibit is focused on the US state of Michigan and feature life-size dioramas that showcase the state’s varied habitats and wildlife. This exhibit also include hands-on activities designed especially for children. If you are curious about how your body works, you may want to check out the Under the Microscope exhibit.

There, you can step inside a giant replica of a cell and take a close look at the different types of cells inside your body and what they do for your body. There are also some fun interactive games in this exhibit for you to try out. The People and the Planet exhibit explores the relationship between ourselves and our planet.

You can learn interesting things in this exhibit like how early civilizations were shaped by the planet’s resources and how the growth of the human population impact the planet overall. The exhibit, On the Trail of the Mastodons, is centered on a group of extinct animals called mastodons. They are notable for their similar appearance to both mammoths and elephants.

You can look forward to viewing epic skeletons of mastodons in this exhibit. In fact, this is the only place in the world where you can view a male mastodon skeleton and a female mastodon skeleton on display right next to each other. If you are curious about how scientists measure different things such as the distance between galaxies and star clusters, the Measuring Time and Space exhibit is the place for you.

And lastly, as for Earth itself? You will want to head to the exhibit called Dynamic Planet to see how our planet evolved over the course of its existence. You can expect to see a collection of rocks, minerals, and crystals there too. Admission to the museum is free of charge to everyone. Also, there is an onsite restaurant called Darwin’s Cafe. Souvenir shoppers can stop by the onsite museum store.

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

(Photo courtesy of Rachel Patterson via Flickr)

Another museum you can visit on the university campus is the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. It is located on South State Street inside Newberry Hall – a stately castle-like building on campus. This museum revolves around ancient and medieval civilizations. The museum’s solo permanent exhibit is located in the William E. Upjohn Exhibit Wing.

It is notable for holding many artifacts and artwork from the ancient and medieval eras in the Mediterranean and Near East regions of the world. You can look forward to checking out ancient Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Coptic, Persian, and Islamic archaeological artifacts.

Some highlights include objects from the ancient cities of Karanis and Seleucia, a colorfully painted Egyptian mummy coffin, magical amulets from the ancient Near East, Greek pottery, Greek and Roman sculptures, Roman glass vessels, and an epic watercolored replica of the famous murals in an area of ancient Pompeii called the Villa of the Mysteries. The museum is free for everyone to visit and a gift shop is also located onsite.

University of Michigan Museum of Art

(Photo courtesy of AndrewHorne via Wikimedia)

The University of Michigan Museum of Art is located across South State Street from the previous museum. The museum is easily recognizable by the red sculpture that is erected on the lawn in front of the building. This sculpture is called Orion and was designed by famed sculptor Mark di Suvero. It stands at 53 feet tall and is an abstract form of art.

Inside the museum are around four floors worth of galleries for you to check out. The lower level is notable for its display of paper-based artwork and small sculptures. Works of Asian ceramics are also showcased on this floor of the museum. The first floor houses four galleries. The Richard and Rosann Noel gallery is focused on European art from the years 1100 through 1650.

There are paintings and works of decorative art found in this gallery. The Marvin and Mary Davidson gallery is centered on European and American art covering nearly two centuries from 1650 to 1830. One highlight of this gallery is the massive painting called Dead Soldier by English artist Joseph Wright of Derby. The Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Apse gallery serves as the museum’s beautiful entranceway.

It focuses on a broad mix of American, European, African, and Asian art. The highlight of this gallery is a pair of sculptures called Nydia and Flora. The Irving Stenn Jr. Family gallery is dedicated to cutting-edge contemporary installation art. The second floor feature eight galleries which is the most of any floors at the museum. So, I will mention just a few of the second floor galleries here.

The Robert and Lillian Montalto Bohlen gallery is dedicated to African art from a range of regions and traditions with a particular focus on works from central Africa. The artwork that shines the most in this gallery is an almost life-sized maternity figure from the Urhobo people. Those who are into Japanese art should check out the Japanese Art gallery.

You will want to be on the lookout for the life-sized Vairocana Buddha from 17th century Japan. Also worth highlighting in this gallery is a group of armors from the Daimyo period. Located on the mezzanine level of the museum are four galleries that places the spotlight on Chinese art, Korean art, and Modern and Contemporary art.

All in all, there is a lot of art to see at this museum. So, take as much time as you need there. Better yet, entrance to the museum is free of charge.

Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry

The fourth and last museum to mention here is the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry. It is located directly northwest of the first museum I mentioned earlier in this post. If you are curious about dental technology as well as the history of the dental profession, this is the museum for you. There are currently four exhibits at the museum.

They are Tooth Fairy Magic, Dental Hygiene: A Century of Progress, Student Reflections: A Retrospective of Dental Education, and Inside the Dental Practice 1860 – 1940. The first exhibit is focused on how childhood tooth loss rituals are done in different countries around the world. The second exhibit is concerned with the dental profession and how it has developed over the last one hundred years.

The third exhibit share the experiences of University of Michigan students who have received an education in the dental field at the school. The last exhibit explores the dental offices and equipment from that time period and how they evolved with the advancement of technology.

As is the case with the other three museums, you can visit this museum for free. This is one of only a handful of dentistry museums in the world. So, you may want to check it out if you find yourself in the area.

These are the four museums you can visit at the University of Michigan, even if you aren’t a college student there. So, you should put these Ann Arbor, Michigan attractions on your checklist.

They don’t really cost you anything to visit. So, there really isn’t any reason not to visit any of these alluring university museums. Also, if you are heading to nearby Detroit, consider reading up on the places to visit along the Detroit Riverfront. That includes Belle Isle Park.

Ann Arbor Hotel

Should you need a hotel to stay overnight in Ann Arbor, I am here to help you out with this. Here is a hotel I would suggest for you.

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Ann Arbor Univ. Mich Area

This hotel is located on Boardwalk Drive just north of the interchange of State Street and Interstate 94 in the southern portion of Ann Arbor. This is the newest hotel in town and it is only a five minutes drive north to the University of Michigan via State Street. There is an onsite restaurant and bar if you are hungry and/or want a drink. It is called Mallet’s Creek Bar & Grille.

The hotel houses an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub. There is also a fitness center for your workout needs. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, microwaves, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $94 to $179. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you visited any of these four museums before? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Detroit, Michigan – Belle Isle Park

In my previous post, I discussed the things to do in Detroit, Michigan along the scenic Detroit River that divides the United States and Canada. One of the places I mentioned is Belle Isle Park.

It is a natural fit for those who want a break from the civilization of Detroit with its extensive network of hiking trails for them to take in the natural beauty which includes 150 acres of wooded areas and three lakes. This scenic island park is home to five key attractions and I am going to cover them here.

Belle Isle Aquarium

(Photo courtesy of Maia C via Flickr)

Belle Isle Aquarium is located on Inselruhe Avenue in the south central part of Belle Isle Park. It is the oldest aquarium in the country, having opened in 1904. The aquarium is especially noted for its extensive collection of gar fishes which is basically a group of long and slender fishes that look like needles. In fact, this is the only aquarium in North America known to house all seven species of gar fish.

Another thing to take note of regarding this aquarium is its beautiful arched ceiling covered in green glass tiles. This is meant to make you feel like you are underwater. In addition to housing the gar fishes, the aquarium also houses a large variety of both freshwater and saltwater marine life for you to check out. The aquarium consists of one long room with both sides of the room having a row of water tanks.

So, you will want to check out one side first and then after you are done, you can head over to the other side. There are sixty water tanks in total housed there. Sure, it may seem like a small aquarium, especially when compared to SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium, but it is charming. And what’s even better? The aquarium is free for you to visit.

Belle Isle Conservatory

(Photo courtesy of sara hattie via Flickr)

The Belle Isle Conservatory is connected to the Belle Isle Aquarium. If you are into plants, this is the place for you. The conservatory houses a series of stately greenhouses that are home to many plants including flowers, ferns, and cacti. The building is divided into five sections. They are the Palm house, the Tropical house, the Cactus house, the Fernery, and the Show house.

The signature feature of the conservatory building is the 85-foot high central dome. It houses palm trees and other tropical plants. The grounds of the conservatory is also beautiful too. A lily pond is located on the grounds between the conservatory and the aquarium. It is decorated with 200 tons of moss-covered limestone boulders. The Japanese koi live inside the lily pond.

Located on the western grounds of the conservatory are perennial gardens neatly designed in a rectangular fashion. Within the center of the western grounds is the Levi Barbour Memorial Fountain that was designed by famed sculptor Marshall Fredericks. As is the case with the aquarium, the conservatory is free of charge for everybody to visit.

(Photo courtesy of A Healthier Michigan via Flickr)

Dossin Great Lakes Museum

(Photo courtesy of Corey Seeman via Flickr)

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is located just south of the conservatory and the aquarium on the southern shores of the Detroit River. As the name indicates, this museum is primarily focused on the Great Lakes. It places a special emphasis on the role that Detroit played in regional and national maritime history. The museum covers the last three hundred years of history.

There are a total of six permanent exhibits available at the museum. The first one is called Miss Pepsi. It explores the history of speedboat racing in Detroit and how the three Dossin brothers, Russell, Walter, and Roy, and their love for speedboats. You will learn about how they went about building the legendary speedboat, the Miss Pepsi, in the 1950’s.

The Miss Pepsi went on to set speed records and win numerous races over the next two years which is something that no boat or owner had done before. The speedboat is now on display at the museum. Outdoor Treasures is the second exhibit at the museum. This is an outdoor exhibit that houses a collection of maritime artifacts.

A few examples include the massive bow anchor of the legendary Edmund Fitzgerald, naval cannons that were used during the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, and a Coast Guard utility boat. You will be given the opportunity to captain a Great Lake freighter at the museum’s William Clay Ford Pilot House.

The freighter, the S.S. William Clay Ford, was one of Detroit’s most noted freighters. The Gothic Room exhibit is the first exhibit you will see upon entering the museum. It houses an impressive replica of a gentleman’s lounge that was housed inside a early 21st century cruise ship, the S.S. City of Detroit III.

The Richard and Jane Manoogian Ship Mode Showcase exhibit is where you can view more than 150 models of Great Lakes ships from the past three hundred years. Built by the River is the museum’s newest exhibit. It explores how the Detroit River served as the engine for Detroit’s growth and development. This museum is also visited free of charge.

Belle Isle Nature Center

(Photo courtesy of Michigan Municipal League via Flickr)

The Belle Isle Nature Center is located on Lakeside Drive at the eastern end of Belle Isle Park. This is basically the island park’s zoo. It features indoor animal habitats, a bee exhibit, bird observation window, and an outdoor native butterfly garden. The nature center’s focus is on the animals that are native to the US state of Michigan. When you enter the nature center, you will be greeted by a big fireplace which is nice.

The natural center takes the form of a big circle. Make no mistake, you won’t find a whole lot of animals there, especially when compared to the Detroit Zoo, but if you happen to be on the island park and love animals, then the nature center is for you. Oh and just in case you haven’t guessed, it is free of charge. Probably the best part about visiting there is getting to see the beehive.

This is where you can observe the bees at work as they go in and out of the building. Bird-watching is another highlight of the nature center. There is a nice spot where you can just sit (or stand) and enjoy the birds.

James Scott Memorial Fountain

(Photo courtesy of Mkrajenke12 via Wikimedia)

The James Scott Memorial Fountain is located on Sunset Drive on the western end of Belle Isle Park. This is a majestic fountain that you won’t want to miss. The fountain is designed like a series of Vermont white marble bowls. It contain 109 water outlets that take the form of cute statues of dolphins, lions, turtles, and human figures.

The fountain is 510 feet across and its center can spray water 125 feet into the air. This is yet another free attraction for you to check out.

All in all, Belle Isle Park is a great source for things to do in Detroit, Michigan. It is connected to mainland Detroit via the MacArthur Bridge.

Detroit Hotel

If you are looking for a hotel to stay at overnight in Detroit, I am happy to help you out. Here is a hotel I would suggest you to book your stay with.

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

This hotel is located in downtown Detroit on the Detroit River. It takes up the taller, circular tower within the GM Renaissance Center complex that, at 73 floors, is the third tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. Should you get hungry and want a place to dine at, Fuell is the hotel’s onsite restaurant. For takeout food, you can head to Motor City Pantry which is also located onsite.

If you are looking to order coffee, you can head to the onsite Starbucks. Located on the 40th floor of the hotel lies a 24-hour fitness center. This will allow you to enjoy some gorgeous views while your workouts. Seeing that this is the third tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, don’t be surprised to find yourself in a hotel room with sweeping views of downtown Detroit, the river, and even Canada.

As far as hotel rooms are concerned, you can expect to have WiFi, coffee makers, and mini refrigerators at the very least. The average rate for a standard room range from $229 to $462. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you spent any time in Belle Isle Park before? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Detroit, Michigan – Detroit Riverfront

The vibrant city of Detroit sits on the northern banks of the scenic Detroit River which serves as a border between the United States and Canada. The Detroit Riverfront has been undergoing renovations over the past couple decades in order to spruce it up from its not so pretty past. Today, the riverfront is an appealing place to be for things to do in Detroit, Michigan.

This is especially true in and near downtown. Here are some places along the riverfront that I would particularly like to take note of.

(Photo courtesy of Haljackey via Wikimedia)

Downtown Riverfront

(Photo courtesy of Al R via Wikimedia)

Let’s start with the riverfront in front of Detroit’s downtown. Hart Plaza is essentially the heart of downtown where people gather in order to soak in the beauty of the Detroit River and look up at the skyscrapers that towers above them. There are a few key features of the plaza to mention. The first is a statue of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.

He was a French explorer who founded Detroit in 1701, long before the United States became an independent country. When it was founded, Detroit was known as Fort Pontchartrain au Detroit. Hart Plaza itself marks the approximate spot where Antoine landed in 1701.

Also found at the plaza is a sculpture that commemorates Detroit’s role as a sanctuary city for freed blacks who escaped slavery via the Underground Railroad in the 19th century. There are also two sections of the plaza that are shaped like circles. One of them contains an amphitheater where you can watch live performances. The other section houses the Horace E. Dodge and Son Memorial Fountain.

The fountain is made of stainless steel and has two legs topped by a 30-foot high ring. It sits within a circular black granite pool. The fountain contains three hundred jets and three hundred lights in order to produce spectacular water displays. While you are at the plaza, you may be able to see at least one or two cruise ships docked there like the MS Hamburg and the Yorktown.

At the southern end of the plaza lies the Detroit Riverwalk which runs right along the river. When you walk slight east of the plaza on the riverwalk, you will reach a group of close-knit towers known as the GM Renaissance Center. It is notable for being the world headquarters of General Motors which is one of Detroit’s big three automakers.

(Photo courtesy of Jon Rasmussen via Wikimedia)

The complex contains a number of dining options available for you. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and Joe Muer Seafood are by far the most well known options there. So, they are worth considering. Also worth checking out at the complex is GM World which houses a nice collection of cars on display.

On the riverfront in front of the complex is GM Plaza Promenade. When you are there, make sure to look down because you will notice some kind of painting that resembles a world map.

Milliken State Park and Harbor

(Photo courtesy of Notorious4life via Wikimedia)

If you are looking for somewhere more natural on the riverfront, you will want to check out Milliken State Park and Harbor. It is located about 1.1 miles east of Hart Plaza. You can reach the state park via walking or cycling on the riverwalk. This is the first urban state park in the US state of Michigan. It is notable for its lighthouse. The lighthouse is a scaled down replica of the Tawas Point Light in northern Michigan.

The state park’s lighthouse is about 63 feet high and is made of conical brick. It offers a unique vantage for you to take in the breathtaking views of downtown Detroit with the river in the foreground. Aside from the lighthouse, the state park is noted for its recently restored wetlands. There are paved trails throughout the park for you to take in the scenery.

Fishers will be pleased to know that there are opportunities for shoreline fishing at the state park. They can do so from the designated fishing platforms. If you are looking to eat lunch, there is a designated picnic area with sail-covered pavilions.

If you are looking to arrive at the state park by boat, there is a 52-slip harbor for you to dock your boat. You can follow along here or contact 1-800-447-2757 to reserve a slip at the harbor.

Belle Isle Park

(Photo courtesy of Mkrajenke12 via Wikimedia)

Nature lovers will want to head out to Belle Isle Park. It is a large, scenic island park located within the Detroit River. The island park is around ten minutes or so drive east from Detroit’s downtown. It is accessed via the MacArthur Bridge. As you will see, it certainly is a world away from the bustle and hustle of downtown. This is the third largest island in the Detroit River.

There is an extensive network of hiking trails for you to enjoy the natural beauty that the island park has to offer including 150 acres of wooded areas and three lakes. Even though the island park is a whole different setting, it is close enough that you can get a breathtaking view of downtown Detroit. Oh and yes, you can go fishing on the shore while taking in the downtown views. How cool is that?

One of the island park’s attractions I would like to bring up is the James Scott Memorial Fountain. This is a majestic fountain to behold, especially when compared to the one from Hart Plaza which I mentioned earlier. This fountain is 510 feet across and its central fountain is capable of spraying water 125 feet into the air.

There are also 109 water outlets in the form of cute statues of dolphins, turtles, lions, and human figures. The fountain is shaped like a series of Vermont white marble bowls.

So, for things to do in Detroit, Michigan, consider spending some time on the city’s riverfront. Also, if you are looking for somewhere more epic in the area, you will want to head to Detroit’s neighboring suburb of Dearborn in order to visit the largest indoor/outdoor museum complex in the United States – The Henry Ford. My previous post covers this.

Detroit Hotel

If you are looking for a place to stay overnight at in Detroit, I have got your back. Here is a hotel I would suggest for you.

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Do you see the taller, circular tower in the center within the GM Renaissance Center? This is where the hotel is located. This is the third tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest skyscraper in Detroit. It has 73 floors. Fuell is the hotel’s onsite restaurant for sit-down dining. Those of you who just want to order takeout food can head to Motor City Pantry which is also located onsite.

Additionally, Starbucks is also available at the hotel. A 24-hour fitness center is housed on the 40th floor of the hotel, allowing you to soak in some nice views during your workouts. Given how tall the hotel really is, you can imagine yourself being in a hotel room with sweeping views of downtown Detroit, the Detroit River, and even Windsor in Canada.

At the very least, you can expect to have WiFi, coffee makers, and mini refrigerators in your hotel room. The average rate for a standard room range from $229 to $462. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thought? Are you looking forward to spending some time on the city’s riverfront? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Detroit, Michigan – The Henry Ford

During the course of two posts, I went into detail for all of the world-class museums that the city has to offer. If you are not sure where to find the two posts, no worries, you can read them here and here. Even with all those museums you can visit for things to do in Detroit, Michigan, there is one large, impressive museum complex that I would like to introduce you to.

It is called The Henry Ford and it is located on Oakwood Boulevard in Dearborn which is a neighboring suburb of Detroit. It is a hybrid indoor/outdoor museum complex which is the largest in the United States. The best way for me to summarize the museum complex is it explores the history of all things Americana. The museum complex contain two museums for you to visit.

(Photo courtesy of shwalamazula via Wikimedia)

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

(Photo courtesy of Rmhermen via Wikimedia)

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is, as the name indicates, concerned with the inventions and breakthroughs that transformed America. The museum houses around 22 exhibits or so. They cover a wide range of categories. Here are some examples of exhibits that you will discover at the museum. Math geeks will want to check out the exhibit called Mathematica.

In this exhibit, you will discover how math was used in the 1960’s to invent things like bubbles that appear impossible or ball bearings that behaves like orbiting planets. It explores the connection between math and the everyday world. The museum’s Railroad exhibit houses the Allegheny locomotive which is one of the largest steam locomotive ever built.

This steam locomotive measures at 125 feet long. It weighs in at around 771,000 pounds and is capable of pulling 160 coal cars with loads of 60 ton each. Car enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Driving America exhibit. This is where you can check out a sizable collection of cool cars from across time periods such as the 1903 Oldsmobile, the 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible, and the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.

(Photo courtesy of Dsdugan via Wikimedia)

You will also learn about how cars have evolved over the decades from Henry Ford’s first attempt at a gas-powered car with the 1896 Ford Quadricycle to General Motors’ first testing of self-driving cars in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona in 2016. For those of you who are into planes, the Heroes of the Skies exhibit is your best friend at the museum.

This is where you can view a nice collection of antique planes. This includes the 1903 Wright Flyer which was the first plane to successfully complete a flight. It was piloted by the Wright brothers over Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. If you are curious about what American furnitures looked like centuries ago, the best place at the museum to find out is the Fully Furnished exhibit.

There, you can check out an amazing collection of furnitures from 1670 to the present. The ticket prices for the museum are $25 for general admission, $22.50 for seniors, and $18.75 for youth aged from 5 to 11. Those who are aged under 5 will get free admission. You can head here to buy your tickets.

Greenfield Village

(Photo courtesy of Michael Barera via Wikimedia)

Greenfield Village is a living history museum designed to showcase what the American way of life was like back in the old days. It takes the form of a village and cover three hundred years of American history. The museum is divided into seven historic districts for you to explore. First up is the Working Farms district. There, you will get a picture of what farming was like in 19th century America.

It is brimming with wagons, livestock, and fields of ripening vegetables. The second district is called Liberty Craftworks. This is where you can watch talented artisans work on their crafts using techniques that are centuries old in some cases. It offers a taste of what early American manufacturing looked like. One place within the district you will want to check out is the Sandwich Glass Plant.

It is there that you can watch the glass blowing demonstrations. The third district at the museum to check out is Henry Ford’s Model T. While you are there, you can experience the life of Henry Ford from his early childhood to his invention of America’s first automobile – the Ford Model T. You can explore a replica of the home where Henry was born.

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Balet via Wikimedia)

Also worth checking out is a replica of the factory where the Ford Model T was built. The most fun part? You can even test ride a Ford Model T. Railroad Junction is the fourth district. In this district, you can explore a 19th century small town that revolves around a steam-powered rail line. Among the places you can check out are a train depot and a roundhouse.

Oh and yes, you can even ride the train that goes on a nice tour through Greenfield Village. Your next district should be Main Street. It will immerse you into a thriving small town downtown that straddles the 19th and early 20th centuries. You will get to enjoy a parade of cool vintage cars and horse-drawn carriages on the street there. Next up is the Edison at Work district.

It revolves around the iconic 19th century American inventor, Thomas Edison. He is best known for inventing the lightbulb. This district is a replica of Menlo Park, New Jersey in 1876 when Thomas was there. You can check out the two laboratories where he worked on honing his world-changing inventions. The last district to check out is called Porches and Parlors.

(Photo courtesy of OZinOH via Flickr)

This is the place where you can explore the historic homes from time periods ranging from the 1760’s to the 1930’s. As you explore them, you will learn about the lives of those who lived there. The prices of tickets for the museum are $28 for general admission, $25.25 for seniors, and $21 for youth aged from 5 to 11.

Free admission is given to those under the age of 5. You can visit here to purchase your tickets.

So, you are going to want to visit The Henry Ford for things to do in Detroit, Michigan. As you can see, there is a lot for you to take in. So, take your time exploring all that the museum complex has to offer.

Detroit Hotel

Should you need a place to stay at during your Detroit visit, I am happy to help you out with this. Here is a hotel I would suggest for you.

Comfort Inn Near Greenfield Village

This hotel is located on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn just across the railroad from the museum complex. This is probably the closest hotel to your destination. There is free breakfast available at the hotel. Should you get hungry, a few nearby restaurants include Ford’s Garage, Eagle Tavern, and Lamy’s Diner. The hotel house an indoor heated swimming pool and fitness center for you to use.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, microwaves, coffee makers, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $74 to $181. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you been to the museum complex before? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Detroit, Michigan If You Love Animals

Auto enthusiast will be the most pleased with the attractions that Detroit has to offer. That makes sense considering that the automobile was born there. But, that doesn’t mean that those who aren’t auto enthusiasts shouldn’t visit Detroit. In fact, animal lovers will also be pleased to find things to do in Detroit, Michigan. These are the three attractions in the area that you will want to visit if you are into animals.

(Photo courtesy of John Perry via Flickr)

Detroit Zoo

(Photo courtesy of RedGazelle123 via Wikimedia)

The Detroit Zoo is located on West 10 Mile Road along the northern side of Interstate 696 in Royal Oaks, a Detroit suburb around 22 minutes drive north of downtown Detroit. This lovely zoo is home to more than 2,100 animals from 230 species. The zoo is divided into fifteen distinct habitats for you to discover. I will dive into some of them. Let’s start with the Polk Penguin Conservation Center habitat.

This is where the zoo’s penguins are located. This habitat is the largest and most extraordinary center for penguins in the world. It is renowned for its two acrylic tunnels that will take you deep underwater where you will be surrounded by more than 75 penguins of four species as they swim above, around, and even below you. Those of you who love apes will want to head to the Great Apes of Harambee habitat.

It is the home of three silverback gorillas and a troop of eleven chimpanzees. There are many vantage points within the indoor and outdoor areas of the habitat where you can get a nice view of the apes as they interact with each other and explore their lovely surroundings. Have you ever dreamed of being in an area brimming with butterflies? You will have a chance to live your dreams at the zoo.

The habitat where you can do that is the beautiful Butterfly Garden. Hundreds of free-flying butterflies from approximately 25 species are housed there. You can observe them as they go about their lives such as feeding on flower nectars or ripe fruits, and basking in the sunlight. The garden is kept at a consistent 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Have you ever wanted to see the kangaroos?

I have good news for you. You don’t need to travel to Australia to see them. In fact, they can be found in the Australian Outback Adventure habitat at the zoo. It contains fourteen kangaroos and there is a winding path where you can observe them as they free bound and graze around. The online ticket prices for the zoo are $14-19 for adults and $10-15 for seniors and children aged from 2 to 18.

Those who are aged under 2 will enter the zoo for free. You can go here to get your tickets. Also, the zoo is home to multiple dining options should you get hungry. Examples of them include Arctic Cafe, Buddy’s Pizza, and Wild Burger Detroit. Souvenir shoppers will have a number of options to shop like The Trading Post, Zoofari Market, and Drake Passage Gifts.

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium is located on Baldwin Road along the southern side of Interstate 75 in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills which is around 35 minutes drive north of downtown Detroit. It is the US state of Michigan’s largest aquarium. It is the watery home of two thousand creatures from over 250 species.

Some of the species found there include clownfish, seahorses, turtles, rockpool creatures, jellies, sharks, rays, and green moray eel. You will explore a variety of unique environments at the aquarium ranging from the freshwater lakes of Michigan to the depths of the ocean. The aquarium is categorized into twelve zones, each of them with its own flavor.

Those of you wanting a sneak peek into the waters of Michigan will want to check out the Freshwater zone. This is where you can observe the creatures that live in the state’s streams, rivers, and lakes. If you are looking for somewhere very colorful to go at the aquarium, you should check out the Coral Reef zone.

There, you can discover the breathtaking underwater cities that are brimming with fish of all shapes, colors, and patterns. Are you looking to head down into the depths of the ocean and surround yourself with some of the sea creatures? The Tropical Ocean zone is your best friend at the aquarium.

Within this zone is an underwater ocean tunnel where you can see sharks, rays, green sea turtles, and shoals of glittering fish swim above and besides you. Are you brave enough to explore a sunken ship? You can do that the Shipwreck zone. In this zone, you can head into the deepest and darkest parts of the ocean that is full of mysterious creatures. These are just some of the zones that you can discover at the aquarium.

The fee for admission there starts at $16.95 per person. You can go here to buy your tickets for the aquarium.

Domino’s Petting Farm

Are you seeking a place where you can pet all of the animals that you see? There is a place for that. It is called Domino’s Petting Farm. It is located on Earhart Road in the college town of Ann Arbor which is around 40 minutes drive west of downtown Detroit. It is basically a working farm on a nice piece of land where you can pet all the animals that live there.

Here is a sampling of the animals that you can look forward to petting during your time there and I will share a couple interesting facts about them. Goats are one group of animals that live there. Did you know that baby goats are called kids? Yes, that is what they are actually called. You will also be shocked to learn that even female goats can grow a beard. Pigs are another group of animals you can pet.

Pigs have very poor eye sight, but they have a great sense of smell. When the pigs are fully grown, they tend to weigh between three hundred and seven hundred pounds, sometimes more. Also present at the petting farm are rabbits. They can see almost 360 degrees around. Rabbits are also born hairless and blind, however, they start to grow hair at seven days old while their eyes open up at ten days old.

The admission prices for the petting farm are $6 for general admission, $5.50 for seniors, and $3 for military members, veterans, and first responders. Those who are aged at 23 months or under will get free admission.

These are the three attractions you will want to visit for things to do in Detroit, Michigan that involve animals. Also, if you are looking for something else to do during your time there, consider reading up on the museums you should visit first in Detroit.

Detroit Hotel

If you are looking for a place to stay overnight at during your time in the area, I am happy to help you out with this. Here is a hotel that I would suggest for you.

Hampton Inn Detroit/Auburn Hills – North

This hotel is located on Baldwin Road in Auburn Hills, right next to SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium. There is free breakfast available at the hotel. Should you get hungry, a few nearby restaurants include LongHorn Steakhouse, Rainforest Cafe, and Bar Louie. The hotel house indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools along with a hot tub.

There is also a fitness center available for you to use. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, microwaves, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $119 to $189. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you an animal lover looking to check out these three attractions in Detroit? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Detroit, Michigan – Introducing More Museums

Detroit is home to a number of world-class museums for you to check out during your time there. In my previous post, I discussed the three museums within the city that you should visit first for things to do in Detroit, Michigan. Today, I am going to introduce three additional museums for you to visit in the city.

Two of them are located near each other in the northeastern section of Midtown Detroit which is also where the first three museums I mentioned previously are concentrated.

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

(Photo courtesy of Michael Barera via Wikimedia)

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is located on Woodward Avenue to the north of the intersection with Canfield Street in Midtown Detroit. The building that houses the art museum was once home to an auto dealership which makes sense given Detroit’s storied history as the birthplace of the automobile. The art museum is home to an ever-changing selection of exhibits focused on contemporary art.

There are currently three exhibits available for you to check out. They all run from early July 2020 to early January 2021. They include Peter Williams: Black Universe, Conrad Egyir: Terra Nullius, and New Red Order: Crimes Against Reality. The first exhibit is notable for its figurative and abstract paintings, all of which were by Peter Williams. There are more than two dozen of them in this two-part exhibit.

These paintings speak to art historical references, allegories, current events, and personal life experiences. The second exhibit is dedicated to Detroit-based visual artist, Conrad Egyir. This exhibit is known for his artwork involving figurative characters that reside or bestride three geographical areas – Detroit, New York, and Aburi, Ghana.

Conrad’s artwork explores how citizenship, migration, hybrid spaces, and political and religious revolutions are defined by the cultures of these three locations. The third exhibit takes place across two galleries and is centered on the desire for indigeneity through the lens of digital culture, experimental media, and emerging technology.

Everyone aged 12 and up can enter the art museum at a suggested donation of $5. Those who are aged under 12 can enter for free.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

(Photo courtesy of Quick fix via Wikimedia)

If you are a history buff interested into learning about the history of African Americans, the best place in Detroit for that is the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. It is located on East Warren Avenue around nine minutes walk northeast of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. The African American history museum’s central exhibit is called And Still We Rise.

This exhibit cover more than twenty galleries and offer visitors a comprehensive look at the resilience of African Americans throughout history. It explores their triumphs and tragedies. A few major events that you will experience as you make your way through this exhibit include the Middle Passage, the Underground Railroad, and the Civil Rights Movement.

The Middle Passage was the 16th century event in which enslaved Africans were forced into ships on voyages across the Atlantic ocean from the west coast of Africa to the land that would ultimately become the US a few centuries later. The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses in the US during the mid 19th century where African Americans escaped slavery without being caught.

The Civil Rights Movement saw African Americans fight for the same rights afforded to their white counterparts in the US in the mid 20th century. One thing you will notice as you navigate the exhibit is a replica of a Middle Passage slave ship. It contain wall paintings of the scenery designed to make you feel as if you were on the voyage during that period.

The admission fees for the museum are $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and youth aged from 3 to 12. Free admission is granted to those under the age of 3.

Motown Museum

(Photo courtesy of soupstance via Flickr)

Music buffs visiting Detroit will definitely want to pay a visit to the Motown Museum. It is located on West Grand Boulevard northwest across Interstate 94 and M 10 from Midtown. It occupies three of the original historic homes that were once used as a recording label called Motown Records. It is popularly known as Hitsville USA. It was notable for popularizing the Motown style of music.

The name, Motown, was born out of Detroit’s nickname – the Motor City. It was founded in 1959 by famed African American music executive, Berry Gordy Jr. It operated in Detroit until 1972. It was noted for being an African American-led recording label during the racial segregation era. As a result, it played a critical role in the racial integration of popular music.

The signature attractions of the museum is the iconic Studio A and Control Room where famed musicians, singers, and producers worked in recording sessions. Some well known names include Norman Whitfield, Eddie Holland, Smokey Robinson, and Lamont Dozier. During your tour of Studio A and Control Room, you can check out the instruments, equipment, and the recording console.

Another place worth checking out at the museum is Berry Gordy’s Flat which is the upper unit of the recording label where Berry Gordy Jr. once lived. Two notable features you will see there are a dining room table and Berry’s stereo. The admission prices for the museum are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and youth aged from 5 to 17.

Those of you who are under the age of 5 can enter for free. You can visit here to purchase your tickets for the museum. Those of you looking for souvenirs may want to check out the Motown Museum Store onsite.

These are three more museums you should check out in Detroit. If you would like to broaden your horizons for things to do in Detroit, Michigan, I would suggest you to visit the three beautiful mansions in the area that once belonged to the prominent Ford and Dodge auto-making families.

Detroit Hotel

If you are looking for a hotel to stay at during you are in Detroit, I am happy to help you out with this. Here is a hotel I would suggest for you.

Aloft Detroit at The David Whitney

This hotel is located inside of a beautiful restored building known as the David Whitney Building. It is on Park Avenue in front of Grand Circus Park in the heart of downtown Detroit. The boutique hotel houses a bar called W XYZ. Downtown Detroit has plenty of restaurants for the hungry such as Lafayette Coney Island, Michael Symon’s Roast, and Hudson Cafe.

There is a beautiful four-story atrium within the hotel. For your workouts, you can visit the hotel’s 24-hour fitness center. Many of the hotel’s upscale and chic rooms and suites will treat you to breathtaking views of downtown. Baseball fans will be delighted to know that certain rooms and suites offer unobstructed view inside Comerica Park, home of the MLB’s Detroit Tigers.

All of the rooms and suites will come with WiFi, mini refrigerators, and coffee makers. The average rate for a standard room range from $221 to $402. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you looking to visit these three museums in Detroit? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Detroit, Michigan – Museums To Visit First

As the birthplace of the automobile, Detroit is renowned for attractions that are themed around cars. I have got you covered on those attractions here. The rise of the automobile in Detroit in the early 20th century enabled members of the prominent automaker families to live lavish lives within their mansions in the area, all of which you can now visit.

Aside from all of those attractions, Detroit is known for its world-class museums and you will want to visit them all for things to do in Detroit, Michigan. But, let’s imagine that you have a limited time to spend in the city. You may be wondering which ones you should visit first.

This is where I come in to help you out. Here are the three museums to visit first. They are all located in the northeastern section of Midtown Detroit known as the Art Center. This area is noted for its neat concentration of museums.

(Photo courtesy of Ken Lund via Wikimedia)

Michigan Science Center

(Photo courtesy of Mx. Granger via Wikimedia)

The Michigan Science Center is located on John R Street just north of its intersection with East Warren Avenue. This museum houses over 250 hands-on exhibits. So, there is a lot for you to discover there. They are categorized into separate groups including, but not limited to, engineering, space, health and wellness, motion, and a cool area for kids called Kids Town.

In the engineering category, you will have a chance to walk the eighty-foot long Mini Mac Bridge. There is a roundabout for you to travel around within the category. The US Steel Fun Factory is also housed there and is well worth checking out. Within the health and wellness category, you will discover how hidden factors affect people’s health.

It will also allow you to explore what it means to have good nutrition and fitness. You will also gain insights into how making smart choices will improve your health. The motion category deals with the physics of matter and energy including circuits, electrical loads, magnetic fields, simple machines, light, among others. The cool town in Kids Town is built to scale with children aged from 2 to 5 in mind.

It provides them with a place to learn basic science concepts through a variety of fun activities. Probably the best of all the categories I have mentioned is the space one. It provides you with interesting insights into the history of human space travel. It houses cool rocket technology which is nice for rocket enthusiasts who have not had an opportunity to visit Huntsville, Alabama.

The category also provides you with an exciting way to explore the galaxy and the sun. These are just some of the things you will discover at the museum. In addition to the many hands-on exhibits, you will want to check out the live performances where they will show off fun experiments. One example of this is Kaboomistry in which physics and chemistry are mixed in order to produce loud, flashy effects.

The price of admission to the museum range from $16 to $24. You can head here to buy your tickets. Also, if you are hungry, there is an onsite restaurant called the Cosmic Cafe.

Detroit Historical Museum

(Photo courtesy of Michael Barera via Wikimedia)

The Detroit Historical Museum is located on Woodward Avenue at the intersection with West Kirby Street. This is the museum where you can learn about the storied history of Detroit that go back three hundred years. The museum houses eleven signature exhibits that explore all aspects of Detroit’s history from the automobile’s birth to the city’s role in the production of military equipment during World War II to its music legacy.

The best of these exhibits is called the Street of Old Detroit. This is the exhibit where you can travel through a re-creation of Detroit as it looked during three time periods. They are the 1840’s, the 1870’s, and the turn of the 20th century. It is designed to give you a visual look at how Detroit had transformed from being a rural frontier town to being an industrial city.

You will get a better feel for what buildings, streets, and businesses were like during these three time period. Another interesting exhibit to point out is called Frontiers to Factories: Detroiters at Work, 1701-1901. This exhibit will walk you through the things that the residents of Detroit did for work during that two-century time period.

This just scratches the surface for what you can learn at the museum as it relates to the city’s history. The admission fees for the museum are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, students, active military members, and first responders, and $6 for children. The admission is free for those under the age of 6. You can visit here to buy your tickets.

Detroit Institute of Arts

(Photo courtesy of Jeff Dunn via Flickr)

The Detroit Institute of Arts is located on Woodward Avenue right in between the Michigan Science Center to the southeast and the Detroit Historical Museum to the northwest. The museum has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. It houses a stunning one hundred galleries for you to check out. There are more than 65,000 artworks dating from the earliest civilizations to the present.

They are divided into eight art themes. They are Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas, American Art, The Arts of Asia and the Islamic World, European Art, Prints Drawings & Photographs, African American Art, Contemporary Art, and Performing Arts. A few artworks to note here include Mexican artist Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry fresco cycle and Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait painting.

The fees for admission into the museum are $14 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for college students, and $6 for youth aged from 6 to 17. Those who are under the age of 6 will receive free admission. Those who are hungry can visit Cafe DIA and Kresge Court – both of which are located onsite. Souvenir shoppers should browse the museum’s shop, DIA Shop.

These are the three museums to visit first for things to do in Detroit, Michigan. I will be talking more world-class museums in the city in my next post. So, stay tuned.

Detroit Hotel

If you are looking for a hotel to stay overnight at during your Detroit visit, I have got you covered here. Here is a hotel that I would suggest you to book your stay with.

Aloft Hotel at The David Whitney

This hotel is located on Park Avenue in front of Grand Circus Park in the heart of downtown Detroit. It is housed inside a beautiful restored building known as the David Whitney Building. The boutique hotel houses a bar called W XYZ. Should you get hungry, downtown Detroit is bustling with restaurants. A few of them include Lafayette Coney Island, Michael Symon’s Roast, and Hudson Cafe.

The hotel is home to a beautiful four-story atrium. So, you will want to check it out. There is a 24-hour fitness center available for your workout needs. Many of the hotel’s upscale and chic rooms and suites offer breathtaking views of downtown.

Baseball fans, in particular, will be pleased to know that certain rooms and suites will offer unobstructed views inside Comerica Park which is where the MLB’s Detroit Tigers play baseball. All rooms and suites at the hotel will offer WiFi, mini refrigerators, and coffee makers.

The average rate for a standard room range from $221 to $402. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you visited any of these museums yet? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Detroit, Michigan – Mansions

Detroit is notable around the world for being the birthplace of the automobile. As such, there are a few attractions in and around the city that you will want to check out if you are into the world of cars. You can learn about them by visiting this post. For those of you who are hungry for more things to do in Detroit, Michigan though, you will want to consider checking out three beautiful mansions around the area.

The three mansions were owned by members of the prominent Ford and Dodge auto-making families. Today, they are all accessible to the public to visit.

Fair Lane

(Photo courtesy of VasenkaPhotography via Flickr)

Fair Lane is located on Fair Lane Drive in Dearborn which neighbors Detroit to the west. It was the estate of Henry Ford and his wife, Clara. Henry was responsible for inventing the world’s first automobile in 1908 with the Ford Model T. The mansion within the estate is built of limestone. It is designed to resemble an English castle. It bears some influence from the prairie architectural style.

The mansion contains 56 rooms in total. It served as the gathering place for all of Henry and Clara’s grandchildren to be entertain. Every time they gathered at the mansion, a suite of rooms were reserved for them. In addition to the mansion itself, the estate housed many other things. It housed an indoor swimming pool, a bowling alley, a skating house, and a hall for dancing and the playing of music.

There were also cottages for estate staff, a pony barn, a greenhouse for Clara’s gardens, and a hydro-electric powerhouse and dam. Henry housed a laboratory inside a private garage where he continued to experiment with ideas. The beautiful grounds of the estate is noted for its vast gardens and landscaping designed by famed landscape architect Jens Jensen.

The scenic Rouge River navigates its way along the edge of the estate. Fair Lane can be visited free of charge.

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Jameson via Wikimedia)

The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House is located on Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Shores which is located to the northeast of Detroit. It sits on the shores of scenic Lake St. Clair. This mansion was the home of Edsel Ford and his wife, Eleanor. Edsel is the son of Henry Ford. The mansion is inspired by village cottages from the scenic English region known as the Cotswolds.

The exterior walls of the mansion is constructed of sandstone. The mansion’s exterior is further beautified by moss of ivy grown across it. The traditional slate roof of the mansion feature stone shingles that decreases in size as they reach the peak.

A few of the interior features of the mansion include kitchen counters made of sterling silver, Art Deco-style rooms, and a secret photographic darkroom tucked away behind Edsel’s office. The mansion is renowned for its many paintings hung on walls in rooms like the Drawing Room, the Morning Room, and the Modern Room.

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Jameson via Wikimedia)

Jens Jensen, the famed landscape architect responsible for designing the grounds of Fair Lane, also beautified the grounds of this mansion with gardens and other landscaping features. The grounds also features a man-made lagoon and a swimming pool. Along with the mansion, there is a powerhouse and a gate house. The gate house is often mistaken for the mansion itself.

An eight-car garage that features a turntable for rotating cars, is also found on the mansion grounds. The price for the grounds pass is $5 for adults and children aged from 6 to 12. Those who are under the age of 6 will receive free passes. You can visit here to get your grounds passes for the mansion.

Meadow Brook Hall

(Photo courtesy of Kelocyde via Wikimedia)

Meadow Brook Hall is located on Estate Drive in Rochester, a suburb around 35 minutes drive north of Detroit via Interstate 75. It was the home of Matilda Dodge Wilson and her second husband Alfred Wilson. Matilda was the heiress to the Dodge automaker fortune. The mansion is designed in the Tudor Revival architectural style. The mansion features a whopping 110 rooms.

This makes this mansion the fourth largest historic mansion museum in the United States. The mansion is renowned for its stonework. It houses numerous paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Rosa Bonheur, Joshua Reynolds, John Constable, and Thomas Gainsborough. The mansion also features Tiffany glass, Stickley furniture, Meissen porcelain, and Rockwood pottery.

The mansion is the centerpiece of the sprawling country estate. The country estate also feature numerous farm buildings, recreational facilities, and several residences. The serene grounds of the estate is decorated with formal gardens. The estate is filled with lore that offers an insight into local history. You will be able to explore the family archives and check out the original furnishings.

There are also opportunities to have picnics and play games on the lawn onsite if you would like. You don’t want to miss out on the estate’s garages either because they house a nice collection of vintage Dodge cars. The admission fees are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for children aged 6 to 12. There is free admission for those under the age of 6.

These are the beautiful mansions that you will want to visit for additional things to do in Detroit, Michigan. If the allure of visiting these mansions capture your attention, may I suggest that you feast your eyes on a few similar posts to this one?

The vibrant city of Wilmington, Delaware is renowned for its gorgeous du Pont mansions. Nashville also has its share of beautiful mansions. Those of you who are into plantations will want to visit a few just outside New Orleans.

Detroit Hotels

Should you need a place to stay overnight at during your time in Detroit, I am happy to help you out with this. Here are the two hotels I would suggest for you.

DoubleTree by Hilton Detroit-Dearborn

This hotel is located just northwest of the interchange of M 153 and M 39 (Southfield Freeway) in Dearborn. This hotel houses an onsite restaurant called grille39. There is an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub at the hotel. A fitness center is also available for you to use.

WiFi is featured in all the hotel’s rooms and suites. The average rate for a standard room range from $118 to $179. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

DoubleTree by Hilton Detroit Downtown – Fort Shelby

This hotel is located on West Lafayette Boulevard in bustling downtown Detroit. It occupies the restored historic Fort Shelby building. Motor City Kitchen is the onsite restaurant while Round Bar is the onsite bar. The hotel houses a fitness center for your workout needs. All of the rooms and suites at the hotel feature WiFi, mini refrigerators, and microwaves.

The average rate for a standard room range from $151 to $310. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or view some photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you looking to visit these three mansions when you are in the area? Feel free to leave a comment below.