The crown jewel of the great state of Michigan, Detroit is truly a unique and dynamic city with a long and proud history. A working class hub known as much for its automobile industry heritage as its long pedigree of rock-n-roll, the 'motor city' likes its collars blue and its nightlife red hot.
Founded in 1701, Detroit has since grown to boast close to half the total population currently living in all of Michigan. A major port city connecting to the Great Lakes, Detroit enjoyed great economic growth thanks to the addition of a regional freeway system throughout the 1960's. As the auto industry continued to grow through the 1970's, Detroit's working-class populace continued to expand and spawn a number of suburbs. While the economic downturn post the year 2000 has affected this great city, its fiercely-loyal residents continue to help the motor city regain its footing, and recent job growth and a rebound of the auto industry hint at a brighter future for Detroit.
With its close proximity to the Canadian border as well as the always-prominent lake effect weather patterns, Detroit winters tend to be cold affairs, with a majority of the days typically not rising about the freezing level. Snow can be expected, although area residents can look forward to the warm and sunny summer season, which can begin as early as May and stretch easily into September. Rain tends to be moderate - just enough to keep the area lakes full and scenic, but typically not enough to put a damper on most outdoor activities. The spring and fall seasons tend be short but gloriously beautiful in regards to foliage, often announcing their arrival with an explosion of colors among the area trees.
Getting Around Detroit
Known as a transportation hub of the United States, Detroit offers just about every mode of transportation known to man. With three international border crossing areas as well as a pair of major airports to its credit, Detroit also boasts a number of mass transit bus services and the People Mover elevated rail system. Biking has also grown in popularity among Michigan residents, and taxi cabs are easily accessible as well.
Commuting in Detroit
Surrounded by four major interstate highways, Detroit is a marvel of on and off ramps. I-75 offers easy access to neighboring cities such as Flint and Pontiac, while I-94 traverses east to west across Ann Arbor and towards Chicago. A majority of Detroit roadways remain toll free, allowing an economic ease for both commuters as well as those just interested in enjoying a scenic drive around Lake Erie.
A number of newspapers continue to thrive in Detroit, including the 'Free Press' and the 'Detroit News'. The alternative weekly paper 'The Metro Times' has been delivering a vast overview of nightlife and community events since the early 1980's, while the 'Michigan Chronicle' is a most-respected journal that highlights the issues of Detroit's African-American populace. A large number of television and radio studios also dot the Detroit landscape, making it the 11th most media-centric area in the entire nation. It's listenership often even extends beyond to the Canadian border as well.
From the vast history that practically drips from each and every stately building to the still-active rock club stages that have birthed everyone from Iggy Pop to the White Stripes, Detroit's cultural impact is undeniable. Its residents are a proud and stately bunch, and the area's long history with the automobile industry has made Detroit a city where generations of families have dubbed it home.
From the neon-glamour of the Fox Theater to the 500,000+ square foot behemoth that houses the Motown Motion Picture Studios, Detroit has more than its fair share of destinations known the world-over. From the Detroit Science Center to the Charles Wright Museum, the city boasts an array of cultural and educational hotspots that draw crowds every day of the week. The Ford Piquette Plant is the birthplace of the Model-T, and is simply a 'must stop' landmark for any auto enthusiast. The recent addition of the G.R. N'Namdi Gallery has generated new enthusiasm for the city's art scene, and a number of smaller galleries have sprouted up across the downtown landscape.
Things to do in Detroit
Home to four major teams, sporting fans will have much to cheer for in Detroit. From the Red Wings to the Tigers, Detroit fans are known for their loyalty and tend not to downplay the notoriety. The Greektown district of the city acts as home to a number of casinos, offering games of chance as well as shows that rival the likes of Las Vegas. Detroit's long-running Eastern Market draws thousands of bargain hunters every Saturday, while music lovers in search of hearing the Motown Sound need only look as far as The Palace of Auburn Hills or any of the large assortment of rock and hip-hop clubs that dot the scene of this legendary music city.
Dance enthusiasts will kick up their feet at the annual Country Music Hoedown or the Electronic Music Festival, while the more contemplative fan can experience masters of the improvisational craft at the always-popular International Jazz Festival. The North-American International Auto Show is far and away the largest of its kind in the nation, while the annual Motown Winter Blast and the Thanksgiving Day Parade draw large crowds each and every year.
Detroit Vacation spots
Detroit offers an ease of access to a large assortment of vacation options for travelers, from the natural splendor of the Great Lakes and the nearby Canadian countryside, to the big city excitement of Chicago. Traverse City remains an always-popular vacation destination for many Michigan residents, boasting a number of casinos as well as cherry blossom trees and wineries of epic beauty. Boating and fishing remain popular activities of many Detroit vacationers, with Michigan's large assortment of effortless scenic nature destinations helping to craft a one-of-a-kind vacation landscape.
Where to move in Detroit
Detroit offers a large number of various neighborhoods, from the historic Woodward corridor (known for a number of family homes) to the architecturally-stunning waterfront (where art-deco style reigns supreme). Downtown consists mainly of highrise buildings, while the northwestern area of the city plays home to a number of universities, including Marygrove College. The New Center District collects a number of striking buildings listed on the National Historic Register, including the eye-catching Fisher Building and the visually-stunning Cadillac Place. The Detroit International Riverfront offers a combination of public parks and newly renovated residential dwellings, making it an on-the-rise hotspot for new residents of this dynamic city. Wherever you end up, one thing is for certain - there is nowhere else in the world with the charisma, effortless pride and stick-to-it determination of Detroit, Michigan.