Downtown Detroit
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Downtown Detroit


Detroit travel guide

Detroit may have hit tough times, but this city is bouncing back as it battles its way out of bankruptcy. Your first thoughts might be of abandoned neighbourhoods and derelict car plants, but Michigan’s comeback kid will surprise you with its flourishing cultural scene and buzzing revitalisation projects.

Once thought of as a dark and depressing industrial town, the Motor City is reinventing itself with relaxing parks, fashionable nightclubs and a regenerated downtown district.

Urban gentrification is springing up everywhere, notably the Detroit Riverfront, and a young crowd is moving into town to launch techie start-ups, hip cafés, and urban farms. Meanwhile, lovers, friends, and families flock to Detroit’s outdoor dining, microbreweries, and family attractions – entertainments that are very much a reality in this refurbished city.

Downtown Detroit’s renaissance is also luring residents back from the suburbs. Here they can enjoy the vibrancy of Greektown's bars and restaurants, the pleasant walking paths along Detroit River, and pro ice hockey or baseball games.

Art and music thrive in Detroit. This is the city where Motown was born, where artists like Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, and Smokey Robinson all cut records. New bands continue to thrill fans in a clutch of legendary music venues. Meanwhile, art lovers can gaze at Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry frescoes in the esteemed Detroit Institute of Arts or take a tour of The Heidelberg Project, two blocks of the city’s East Side turned over to junk-fuelled art.

And you only have to venture into neighbourhoods like Corktown or Eastern Market to witness Detroit’s revival in full flow. Energetic entrepreneurs have brought cool barbecue joints, cocktails bars, and coffee shops to Corktown, while Eastern Market’s Saturday market is jam-packed with shoppers stocking up on locally grown veg, grass-fed meat and homemade condiments.

Whatever the future may hold for Detroit, it still represents the best of the American dream: dreams made, dreams lost and dreams built again.

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