We flew in from Western Canada and visited Detroit for 5 nights in April. What a great city.
We were in town mostly to see the Wings play - we caught the final 3 regular season home games. Perhaps the fact that they won all three games made us happier, but all in all we were very impressed with downtown Detroit.
We stayed at the downtown Holiday Inn Express - I've posted a review.
The People Mover is a wonderful tool. We bought month long passes, which would normally be $10, but were half price because we were there late in the month. So for $5 each we had unlimited use of the People Mover. We used it much like a hop-on hop-off bus. It was very clean and efficient - I think a train came about every 3 or 4 minutes. The only time it wasn't up to muster was after the Wings games - there's just too many people trying to use it. So we walked back one night - felt safe as there were lots of people doing the same. On the other two nights we caught shuttles from the Big City Bar and Grill (attached to our hotel) - I've posted a very favourable review of the Big City Bar and grill
We arrived on a Sunday night and walked down to the river just for a look see. On Sunday night, it was very much a ghost town. But 9 to 5 during the week, it was pretty active on the streets. Not like New York or Chicago, but pretty active.
The River Walk was magnificent. We had a couple of great weather days, so it was nice to just walk along the river and gaze over to Windsor.
We took our hotel shuttle and visited the Motown Museum - that was a highlight of the trip. Just a great tour, and so much history.
We visited the GM Renaissance Centre, and took the free, one hour tour, which took us up to the 72nd floor. Views were great, though that floor is designed more around the restaurant, than it is for tourist viewing. So on most of the floor, you can't get right up to the windows - but the views were still really good - you could get a good look at the Hub and Spoke design of the Detroit street system. And you could see forever, of course.
We went to a Tiger's game, but the temperature was 9 Celsius - 40-45 F, so it wasn't the greatest experience. Outdoor baseball in April is a bit of a crapshoot. Great park though - had been there before in 2000. We only stayed for 5 innings. Ironically, it went into extra innings!
The downtown architecture was a pleasant surprise as well. The Guardian Building was amazing.
We visited the Greektown area one evening and quite enjoyed it.
We did a fair bit of walking downtown, and were very impressed at how clean the city is. And there were almost no homeless, and zero panhandling.
And there's lots of parks and green space, and a different statue on every other street corner.
Certainly, there are lots of vacant buildings downtown. But, for the most part, they don't see vandalized - they seem to be in generally good repair.
Driving in from the airport though, you could see lots of burnt out houses.
If downtown Detroit is missing anything, it's shopping - there wasn't much of that available.
Every single person we met that week was friendly and helpful.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay - buoyed in part by three Red Wings victories.
JoeEdited: 08 May 2013, 21:45