So you’re getting ready to head out on a much needed vacation and as you leave your office a co-worker asks “Where are you going?” You tell them you’re headed to Detroit, at which point they stare at you like you have two heads and ask “Why on earth are you headed there?” You reassure them that you’re headed for a special music festival and that you’re sure it will be safe.
Over the next couple of days, conversations like this will be happening all over the place. The problem with this is that it completely devalues Detroit as a culturally significant city that has much more to offer than a 3-day music festival each May.
So I challenge you, don’t be like the tens of thousands of partiers who head to the Motor City every year, yet never venture outside of the cozy confines of Movement (and no, going to Old Miami is not what I’m talking about). This year why not take the opportunity to see what else Detroit has to offer? You won’t be disappointed.
Here are 10 things to do in Detroit while you’re visiting for Movement
Arts and Entertainment
Experience the history of the birth city of techno first hand on a bike tour of some of the most influential spots in Detroit’s electronic music history. Among other places, the tour stops by The Music Institute, The Underground Resistance and The Packard Plant and in years passed some of Detroit’s founding fathers of techno have made an appearance. The tour runs Saturday from 12-4pm.
Exhibit 3000 – Submerge
3000 East Grand Blvd
This exhibit is a first floor museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of Electronic Music in Detroit. With an aesthetic focused on abstract and urban experience, this exhibit captures the soul of techno culture in Detroit.
The Heidleberg Project
3600 Heidelberg St
The Heidleberg project is without a doubt one of the biggest hidden gems in the entire city. What was once a neighbourhood plagued by violence and crime has been transformed into a giant outdoor art project that has continuously evolved over nearly 30 years. Since its inception, artist Tyree Guyton has used bright colours and unique themes to turn abandoned houses into a neighbourhood-wide display of creativity. The neighbourhood has changed from someone people were afraid to go to one of Detroit’s most interesting tourist attractions.
Detroit Tigers Baseball Game – Comerica Park
2100 Woodward Avenue
An institution in Detroit for over 100 years, The Detroit Tigers are supported by their fans in amazing numbers. Combined with a picturesque stadium that highlights the Detroit skyline, the vibe at a Tigers game is something to experience. The Tigers are in town the Friday through to the Monday of festival weekend, playing the Houston Astros.
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
This museum is the 6th largest in the United States featuring over 100 collections of art from around the world. It’s the cultural centrepiece to Detroit and an absolute world class establishment. For anyone artistically inclined the DIA does not disappoint.
Food and Drink
SLOWS BAR B Q
2138 Michigan Avenue
Since opening in 2005, Slows has progressed into being one of Detroit’s most popular restaurants. Featured on the Tonight Show and the Travel Network, the popular BBQ spot has gained notoriety for heart-stopping home cooked BBQ. Many of the restaurant’s signature dishes have been featured in national competitions, including The Yardbird, a pulled chicken breast marinated in mustard, then smothered with mushrooms cheese and bacon, which was a finalist in the Travel Network’s Best Sandwich in America Competition.
For any fan of BBQ, quite simply, Slows should not be missed.
Mercury Burger & Bar
2163 Michigan Avenue
As the popularity of Slows expanded, the neighbourhood of Corktown experienced a post-Tiger Stadium revival which has now expanded to include Mercury Burger & Bar. The burgers which are modestly priced at less than 10 bucks are more than enough to fuel you up for the festival and the old fashion diner experience adds to the unique experience.
Punch Bowl Social
1331 Broadway St
If you’re looking for a place to eat that breaks the mould, check out Punch Bowl Social. Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner the unique restaurant combines fine gastro pub style food with an eclectic mix of activities like bowling, shuffle board and antique arcade games. Truly a unique dining experience, equally as entertaining as it is appetizing.
American Coney Island
114 W. Lafayette
After a long day of doing the Detroit hustle at the festival, there’s no better way to cure your hunger than with an old fashioned Coney Island Hot Dog. Located just blocks from the festival this Detroit Staple for nearly 100 years is the perfect late night option.
Motor City Brewing Works
470 West Canfield
In recent years Detroit has seen rapid expansion and success of micro-breweries and there is none better than Motor City Brewing Works. Located in Detroit’s cultural centre close to the Detroit Institute of Art, Comerica Park and Ford Field, it’s the perfect place to stop in for a local pint and a brick oven pizza.