Epic Detroit Day Trip: Great Eats and Must Sees!

Detroit Day Trip | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

Even though it was a rainy and chilly day, we still took Detroit by storm (quite literally!) Our first stop was the Detroit International Auto Show.  We try to attend this show every year but it tends to be on the weekends with heavy crowds.  This year we decided to shake things up a bit by going during the week and spending the night so we had more time to explore the city.

Upon arriving at Cobo Hall, we decided to utilize their rooftop parking for around $15.  We discovered it was pretty convenient as you simply walked a couple rows, took the elevator down 5 floors and you were inside the hall.  It was also cheaper than other non-Cobo affiliated parking areas.  Additional Cobo garage parking is located on Washington and Congress streets. 

A note to the wise: Do not park on the street unless you are at a meter that you can closely monitor or you WILL be towed…we can personally vouch for this.  The experience of paying for a taxi to drop you off in a less than optimal area in the dark, waiting for your car, paying the exorbitant fine and risking possible damage to your vehicle from the tow truck just isn’t worth it. 

The Candied Almonds Didn't Cut It

Don’t get me wrong, I love cars, but my exuberance level exponentially decreases after about two hours.  Even with delicious hot crunchy candied almonds. mmmmm almonds.

As such, we decided to meet some friends at Townhouse, one of our favorite restaurants in Detroit.  Located at 500 Woodward Ave, it was only about four blocks from Cobo Hall. So, despite the continued drizzle and chill in the late January air we defiantly zipped up our coats, donned gloves and off we went. 

Townhouse has great edgy Detroit flair. I just love their exposed brick walls and bold graphics that balance perfectly with their creative industrial lighting.  If you mix it all together the place magically exudes elegance.

We were seated in the atrium area with ceiling to floor windows on three sides.  After perusing the menu we ordered plates of fresh House Sushi (spicy salmon rolls), baked macaroni and cheese, house burgers with truffle fries and corn chowder.  OH YUM!.

The Guardian Building

I practiced my persuasive skills and talked our friends into coming with us  (despite the now driving rain) to check out The Guardian  Building as our next stop on our Detroit Day Trip.  Located at 500 Griswold Street in the Financial District, the building is open 24 hours.

This National Historic Landmark boasts stunning Art Deco architecture.  You will be in awe of the three-story vaulted lobby with lavish Pewabic and Rookwood tile.  I think we stood in the entrance and gawked for about ten minutes!

Built in 1929, this office building is the headquarters for Wayne County. It is free to visit and only takes a few minutes of your time.  Pop in for a few photos and marvel at the Native Indian tilework and magnificent arched ceiling.

The Fist

After we left the Guardian Building we wandered to Hart Plaza to check out “The Fist” sculpture.  This huge fist is a memorial to the famed boxer.  Located at 5 Woodward Ave, this fist is definitely worth the stop for fun photos!

GM Renaissance Center

The GM Renaissance Center is a group of seven interconnected skyscrapers.  Located on the International Riverfront, this sprawling complex is owned by General Motors and utilized as their world headquarters. 

GM Renaissance Center, Detroit, Travel-Mi.comGM Renaissance Center, Detroit, Travel-Mi.com

This was definitely on our must-see Detroit Day Trip itinerary.  Once inside, we wandered around the lowest of three circular levels.  This level houses a variety of General Motors vehicles slowly circling on the world’s largest automotive turn-style Vehicles slowly circle around the massive circle (behind the huge pillars) as shown in the photo below. 

Other than office spaces, this building houses the Granite City restaurant, food court and and few retail stores.  We loved the glass floors and the General Motors store. We bought three shirts!  

The Detroit Marriott, located within the skyscrapers, is the 2nd tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Eastern Hemisphere.  It is the tallest building in Michigan since it was erected in 1977.

Wrapping Up Our Detroit Day Trip...

As the sun began to set, we zipped up our coats again and left the GM Renaissance Center to walk back to Cobo Hall along the beautiful Detroit Riverwalk.  This is a peaceful walk offering great views of Canada.  As it was January during our walk, we enjoyed hearing the crackling of the ice as it rushed by on the river. 

We walked past the Detroit Princess Riverboat as the last stop on our fun Detroit Day Trip.  Their address is 625 W. Congress Street.  The Detroit Princess Riverboat is known for their popular Motown lunch and dinner cruises.  These fun tours are available numerous times throughout the year.  The Detroit Princess has a variety of other tours including Mother's and Father's day cruises and fun Fireworks cruises.

Our next Detroit Day Trip will include exploring Belle Isle.  The park is home to the Belle Isle Aquarium, Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Belle Isle Nature Center, the James Scott Memorial and more.

Map of Our Detroit Day Trip

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Before this craziness, Chris and I ventured to the Detroit Institute of Arts to check out their famed exhibits, exquisite murals and stunning architecture. We were definitely not disappointed! . Here's some stunning info: "The Detroit Institute of Arts, located in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. With over 100 galleries, it covers 658,000 square feet with a major renovation and expansion project completed in 2007 that added 58,000 square feet." . So, yeah, you need to go. I think we were there about 3 hours. You will be impressed! Have you been? . . . #detroitinstituteofart #detroitinstituteofarts #detroitinsider #detroit #detroitart #motorcity #detroitartmuseum #architecture #stunningarchitecture #art #sculptures #chandelier #detroitisit #detroitarts #detroitartists #detroitlove #Michigan #puremichigan #greatlakesstate #travelingmichigan #michiganders #michiganartgallery #michiganart

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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