As the brand for all things Detroit, people ask us all the time for our recommendations on places to go and things to see downtown. With as many events as we participate in around the city, we know where all the hot spots are. There are only two months until Labor Day and there’s so much to do, it’s difficult to decide how to spend your time. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 8 things to do (in no particular order) this Summer in Detroit. You better get started…
1. Visit the Eastern Market
This open-air market is one of the most interesting ways to explore Detroit. The historic sheds hosts a myriad of venders throughout the year from fresh produce to artisan crafts. On Tuesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and some Thursday evenings, you can have a “bazaar” experience mingling with hundreds of local vendors.
2. Explore Beautiful Belle Isle – FREE w/ recreation passport
A true Detroit treasure, this 987-acre island park features a nature center, conservatory, driving range, maritime museum, boat house, aquarium, playgrounds, numerous picnic areas and so much more. With too much to do in just one day, you’ll definitely be back. We also recommend watching the sunset on the Detroit River.
3. Attend the Woodward Dream Cruise – August 18
Although it’s not technically in Detroit, it’s one of the metro area’s and perhaps one of the world’s most popular car events. From Pontiac to Ferndale, it’s the greatest showcase of classic cars! But it’s much more than the cars. Bars and restaurants will be hopping with people and vendors will be set up for miles. While the event is officially only one day, there is a lead up of nearly one week, and the ‘cruising’ takes place all weekend long, ramping up on Friday evening and eventually winding down on Sunday night.
The Great Lakes State will be set up at Memorial Park in Royal Oak, where you might want to pick up a Detroit is Where I Roll t-shirt.
4. Check out Concert of Colors – July 11-15 – FREE
This free five-day Concert in Midtown is a diversity-themed music festival featuring World music, including the indigenous music of the Motor City. In the 26th year, the festival will have music and forums at a variety of venues from Jack White’s Third Man Records to the Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA. Acts vary from the Grammy-winning producer Don Was to the up-and-coming Tunde Olaniran.
5. Visit the DIA
The Detroit Institute of Art has a world class art collection, and this summer is no exception. Grab a friend or the whole family and check out these two highly anticipated exhibits this summer:
This 50th anniversary event showcases memorabilia, baseball cards and collectibles from the 1968 World Series Champion Detroit Tigers. View more than 500 rare baseball cards known as the “T206 White Border Set” including baseball legends Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Honus Wagner and more.
The DIA gets nerdier than ever with their showcase of the artistry that goes into creating Star Wars’ iconic costumes. The displays of Queen Amidala, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 and many more illustrate George Lucas’ creative process and evolution of our favorite characters.
6. Visit the Detroit Zoo’s Dinosauria – now through Sept. 3 ($6 in addition to admission)
The Detroit Zoo is a favorite among Metro Detroiters, especially if you have kids, but this year it gets more exciting with prehistoric beasts lurking around every corner. Dinosauria returns to the Zoo this year with over 40 animatronic dinosaurs – the largest dinosaur exhibit of its kind in the country. The Detroit Zoo offers a variety of events (including 21+) throughout the summer. Visit their website for more.
7. Grab a [local] Beer!
Michigan is without a doubt The Great Beer State; it is considered a leader in the brewery industry. In fact, legislators recognize July as Michigan Craft Beer Month, which is one of the greatest things we’ve ever heard. The next time you’re in Detroit, stop by Atwater, Founders, or the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery. You won’t be disappointed.
8. Ditch the Car, Ride a bike
Detroit has a robust biking community thanks to organizations like Slow Roll Detroit, a weekly Monday night bike ride with more than 10,000 members. You can ride with any of the various groups or explore on your own. We recommend cruising the Dequindre Cut, a two-mile greenway adorned with urban artwork and graffiti. The stretch, which is located on the east side, has separate lanes for bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
… so what else can I do?
Don’t get us wrong, there’s a lot more happening in Detroit this summer. If there’s something we missed that you want to share, comment below, tweet at us or post on our Facebook page. We want to know how you’re exploring the Motor City.