24 Hours Series: Detroit

Growing up only 30 minutes outside of Detroit led to many daylong visits to the Motor City. Although sometimes it has a bad reputation, it is a city full of people passionate about the city and has many hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems. In honor of this, the first of our 24 hour series will tell you what not to miss if you can only be in Detroit for one day.

(Detroit Institute of Arts taken from Jessica’s instagram-@jesshazzy)

Our recommendation for your 24 hours in Detroit:

  • 8:00-13:00: Breakfast/Brunch at a Coney Island and exploring the collections of the DIA.
    • Start your day with breakfast (or wait until lunch after the DIA- aka coney dogs with chili cheese fries) at either Lafayette or National Coney Island before heading to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Large enough to easily spend a whole day wandering around, the DIA is internationally well-known and a must see for anyone visiting Detroit.
  • 14:00-15:00: Lunch/Afternoon snack at Green Dot Stables.
    •  After taking in the famous collections, head over to Green Dot Stables for a late lunch of sliders, fries, and other typical bar food served up in a new and unique way.
  • 15:00-16:30: The Heidelberg Project.
    • For the rest of the afternoon head over to the Heidelberg Project to check out how the artists of Michigan are breathing some new life into Detroit.
  • 16:30-22:00: Dinner at Slows Bar BQ and a Detroit sporting event.
    • Before heading to see a Red Wings, Tigers, or Lions game, grab dinner at Slows Bar BQ. Always a place I recommend to those from out of town, Slows Bar BQ serves up some of the best food in Metro Detroit.
  • 22:00-23:00: Drinks at the top of the Renaissance Center’s Coach Insignia.
    •  After the game, grab the people mover (if you’re at “The Joe”) or your car for drinks and a view at Coach Insignia.
  • 23:00-8:00 (+1): Casinos and sleep.
    • If you like the casino atmosphere or are looking for something to do well into the night, try your hand at the Greektown, Motor City or MGM Grand Casinos before heading to sleep at one of Detroit’s premier hotels: the MGM Grand Hotel, Westin Book Cadillac, or Detroit Marriott at the Renaisssance Center.


Detroit Institute of Arts- No guide to Detroit would be complete if it didn’t include the “DIA”. Detroit’s museum pride and joy, the DIA has one of the largest, most significant art collections in the USA. While there, be sure to see Diego Rivera’s frescoes that were commissioned for the museum in 1932.

5200 Woodward Avenue-Detroit, Mi

(NY Times)

Sports Complexes- Ford Field, Comerica Park, Joe Louis Arena (“The Joe”) play host to some of the best sports teams in the nation (aside from the Detroit Lions albeit they are improving slightly each year). If you’re lucky enough to be in Detroit on a game day, try to score some tickets to watch an exciting game with some of the best sports fans around.

19 Steve Yzerman Drive-Detroit, MI (Joe Louis Arena)

2000 Brush Street-Detroit, MI (Ford Field)

2100 Woodward Avenue-Detroit, MI (Comerica Park)

(Taken with iPhone 5)

The Heidelberg Project- A way for artists in Detroit to give some of the decaying areas a new light, the Heidelberg Project is an attempt at revival in a thought provoking and uniquely beautiful way.

3680 Heidelberg Road-Detroit, MI



Lafayette/National Coney Island- A long standing battle over who makes the best coney dog, National and Lafayette are both a great stop for the traditional “coney dog”. If you are stopping in for breakfast you won’t be disappointed with their large American style breakfasts at prices you won’t find anywhere else.


118 W. Lafayette Blvd.-Detroit, MI


Green Dot Stables- A little hard to find it you don’t know what you’re looking for, Green Dot Stables serves up some fantastic (and cheap) slider options, including some delicious ones for vegetarians/vegans.

Lunch/Afternoon snack

2200 W. Lafayette Blvd.-Detroit, MI


Slows Bar BQ- The people of Detroit love their Midwestern comfort foods and Slows BBQ serves up some of the best. Go hungry and be prepared to wait, the tables are in high demand for those wanting delicious barbecue and some local draft brews. We recommend getting either the pulled pork or beef brisket with macaroni and cheese, and waffle fries.


2138 Michigan Avenue-Detroit, MI


Coach Insignia- A great spot for drinks, Coach Insignia is on one of the highest floors in the Renaissance Center. With views of the lake and Canada, it’s a great place to go to unwind and have a cocktail after a long day of exploring the city.

Drinks/Late night snack

200 Renaissance Center-Detroit, MI




MGM Grand Detroit

1777 Third Street-Detroit, MI

(MGM Grand Detroit)

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

400 Renaissance Drive- Detroit, MI

The Westin Book Cadillac

1114 Washington Blvd.-Detroit, MI


*See our Detroit Guide for more can’t miss places!

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