16 Detroit Attractions You Should Visit in 2016
Michigan’s largest city continues to be a great comeback story, and it offers fun and entertainment for the whole family. Sports fans will love seeing professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey live, history buffs can take in countless sites and buildings of great importance to the state, and families will find fun at a couple of new and exciting attractions. To kick off the new year, we’ve shared lists of 16 Michigan Lighthouses, 16 Michigan Animal Attractions, 16 Michigan State Parks and 16 Michigan Waterfalls You Should Check Out in 2016. Today, we continue that series with a list of 16 Detroit Attractions You Should Visit in 2016. Enjoy the list, and enjoy everything the Motor City has to offer!
Detroit Zoo – More than a million people visit this collections of 3,300 animals each year, and 2015 saw a record 1.5 million visitors. The Arctic Ring of Life features the nation’s largest polar bear exhibit, an the Polk Family Penguin Conservation Center is home to one of the world’s largest penguin studies. Other areas that will thrill guests are the Australian Outback Adventure (kangaroos, wallabies), African Forest (chimpanzees, gorillas), African Grasslands (zebras, lions, rhinoceros), American Grasslands (bears, wolves, wolverine), Asian Forest (tiger, red panda), Butterfly Garden, Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat, National Amphibian Conservation Center, Matilda R. Wilson Free-Flight Aviary and the Holden Reptile Conservation Center (snakes, turtles).
8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI
Joe Louis Arena – Home of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, this arena may be dated and cozy but to fans in Hockeytown that’s a part of its charm. The Red Wings are set to move north for the 2017-18 season, so fans hoping to say goodbye to “The Joe” have a season and a half left to do so. The arena also hosts concerts and other events, with college hockey, college basketball, The Who and WWE Monday Night RAW among upcoming highlights.
19 Steve Yzerman Dr, Detroit, MI
Ford Field – Home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, Ford Field regularly sees 65,000 or more fans pack in for football games. Ford Field also hosts high school and college football, basketball, soccer and concerts. Monster Jam, Supercross, and Kenny Chesney will all be stopping by in 2016.
2000 Brush St., Detroit, MI
Comerica Park – Home of the MLB’s Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park offers an incredible baseball experience surrounded by family fun. On the field fans watch stars like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and J.D. Martinez take on the rest of the American League, and off the field there is a carousel, ferris wheel and water feature/fireworks show. Fans can walk through the Tigers Walk of Fame, and find out all the pertinent statistics on one of the largest scoreboards in the league. Concerts occasionally take place here too, with Eminem, Jay-Z, Rihanna, and The Rolling Stones among past performers.
2100 Woodward, Detroit, MI
LEGOLAND Discovery Center – Set to open in Spring 2016, this is sure to be one of the state’s top family attractions for years to come. It plans to offer two rides, a 4D theater and large children’s play areas. Iconic Detroit buildings will be constructed out of LEGO bricks as part of MINILAND, and visitors will be able to get building tips in the Model Builder Academy led by experts.
4240 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI
SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium – Kids will love a visit to SEA LIFE Aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The Interactive Touchpool offers the chance to touch a crab, sea star, seraurchin and more and there are more than 5,000 sea creatures here in all. The Underwater Tunnel offers a unique perspective, and feed shows and interactive talks during the day enhance the experience. You can read our early review of the aquarium, find out when Benson the endangered green sea turtle was added, and view our trip through 25 photos.
4316 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills, MI
Belle Isle Park – We offered a list of 12 Things To Do at Belle Isle State Park a few months ago, with highlights being a lighthouse, a maritime museum, a nature zoo, roadside statues and tons of green space. This island in the Detroit River is a great spot to watch freighters pass by, and enjoy some peace and quiet even though you’re just miles away from downtown.
2 Inselruhe Avenue, Detroit, MI
Slows BBQ – The slow-cooked meats at Slows BBQ are legendary, and often pop up on lists of food you have to try in Michigan and even the entire country. There’s a full complement of side dishes, and a fine selection of craft beer from Michigan and beyond. A location opened up in Grand Rapids in 2015, and there are to go options in Midtown and at Ford Field.
2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI
Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum – Dearborn is home to one of the country’s most amazing collections of historic buildings, including Thomas Edison’s laboratory and the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop. The museum has JFK’s limousine and the Rosa Parks bus, as well as an intriguing Made in America exhibit. Greenfield Village has an operational steam railroad train, and offers the chance to take a ride in a Model T.
20900 Oakwood, Dearborn, MI
Windmill Point Light – This unassuming beacon in Grosse Pointe Park is all that remains of what was once a mariners hospital complex. Now a popular fishing spot called Mariner Park, this continues to be a busy stretch of the Detroit River for freighter traffic. The white metal conical tower is topped with a black lantern room, a small reminder of the area’s history.
From intersection of E. Jefferson Ave and Alter Rd. in Detroit, turn toward the river on Alter, following it to its end at Mariners Park.
The Fillmore/Fox Theatre – These side-by-side entertainment venues bring Detroit a full variety of national and international music and theatre acts every year. The Fillmore (formerly State Theatre) opened in 1925 and can hold almost 3,000. Fetty Wap, Ben Folds, Blue October, and Joe Satriani will play there between now and May 2016. The Fox Theatre seats more than 5,000 and was once a movie palace in the 1920s. Upcoming events include Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Future. Seeing the top names in entertainment inside either of these historic buildings is an amazing experience.
2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI
2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI
Spirit of Detroit – An iconic statue not just in Detroit, but across the state, this 26 foot cast bronze sculpture is displayed in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. Holding a bronze sphere in one hand and a family in the other, it was sculpted by Marshall Fredericks and put up in 1958. It is often draped in the jerseys of sports teams when they are in the playoffs, most recently a Michigan State Spartans jersey for the NCAA football semifinal.
Corner of Woodward Ave. and W. Jefferson Ave.
Palace of Auburn Hills – Home of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, this arena can hold more than 21,000 fans for basketball. On nights when Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope aren’t playing, the arena frequently hosts concerts. Chris and I have great memories of seeing Queen + Paul Rodgers and Roger Waters: The Wall Live here. Upcoming shows include Blake Shelton, AC/DC, Rihanna, Duran Duran, and Adele.
6 Championship Dr., Auburn Hills, MI
Detroit Riverfront Conservancy – A paved sidewalk follows the Detroit River from Joe Louis Arena to the north, passing by landmarks like the Cobo Center, Renaissance Center, Hart Plaza, Milliken State Park (wetlands, lighthouse) and more. Plans call for this to eventually stretch from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle, and there are great views of Detroit and Windsor, Canada along the way.
Atwater Brewery – This Detroit brewery proudly serves Grand Circus IPA, Vanilla Java Porter, Whango and more at its award winning Rivertown taproom and also at its new biergarten in Grosse Pointe Park. Dirty Blonde, Hop-A-Peel, Cherry Stout and Winter Bock are a few of their other brews, and while you can get most of these beers in bottles and cans at stores a trip to the brewery or biergarten should still be a must!
237 Joseph Campau Street, Detroit, MI and 1175 Lakepointe St, Grosse Pointe Park
Motown Museum – This served as the recording studio and headquarters for Motown Records, where artists like Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Four Tops and others created hit songs that had a huge impact in the music industry. Now open as a museum, Hitsville USA features costumes, photos and records from Motown’s successful days, as well as the studio where many hit songs were recorded.
2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI