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Detroit, a fascinating city, goes by various names, but I lovingly call it the Motor City. Whether you are interested in cars, music, art or history, there are plenty of awesome things that you can do in Detroit. Relax with a craft beer at night after the visit to the museum and cycling along the rivers. In general, Detroit will never be on the itinerary of tourists who want to visit the USA. Even though it is famous as being the birthplace of the automobile, it is more than just cars. There are plenty of options to keep you busy for a few days, all at a fraction of the cost compared to the LA or Newyork! The best part — it is not just the city that is exciting. The tourist places near Detroit are equally fun and have plenty to offer. Don’t believe us? Just take a look!

Top 5 Tourist Places Near Detroit

Here are some of the best places near Detroit, won the title of top destination of 2018 by Lonely Planet, to enjoy those unique experiences. Each place is special on its own and offers you charming attractions to see and something peculiar to remember by.

1. Motown Museum

Motown Museum

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While it may sound more like a museum of cars, it is not. This is the recording studio where many legends including the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, have recorded their music. Yes, the Motown sound was born here by Berry Gordy in 1959, before it was moved to Los Angeles in 1972.

In 1985, it was transformed into a Museum by Esther Gordy Edwards to continue the legacy in Detroit. For $15 for adults, this place is a must-visit for those music lovers.

Visits are allowed only with guided tours and will take around an hour and a half to complete. Do not miss the visit to the Legendary Studio A. You will be astonished to know that the studio was a garage with fantastic isolation and soundproofs. This place is the current home for all the original instruments and music equipment used in the olden times of the sound house.

Remember, no photographs allowed here, so keep your camera in its bag!
On a lighter side, isn’t it a pity that the original Photography studio which was transferred to music studio by Berry, does not allow photography today inside this museum?

Things to do: Historical visits
Popular for: Music
Trip duration: 1 day
Weather: Hot summers
Best time to visit: May to October
How to reach: Detroit is well connected with Flights and Amtraks.
Distance from center: 10KM

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2. Mexican Town

Mexican Town Near Detroit

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I am sure you would have noticed the China Town is many cities all around the world. But, do you remember one with Mexican Town? Yes, you will find one in Detroit. It has an interesting history too. At the beginning of 1920s Mexican families began to settle in pockets around Detroit. Reason?

Simple. Job opportunities due to the growing industrial base in Detroit was one of the major reasons for this relocation. The other major reason was, many of those families have escaped from the revolution of 1910 in Mexico. With the scarcity of food, jobs, etc in Mexico, they felt Detroit as their new home. Today, this southwest of Detroit is a thriving neighborhood full of Mexican-owned shops and restaurants.
If you are looking for authentic Mexican tacos, head right here.

Things to do: Sightseeing, Dinning
Popular for: Lunch and Dinner
Trip duration: 1 day
Weather: Cold in winter and warm in summer
Best time to visit: May to October
How to reach: Trams and Bus service available from the center.
Distance from center: 12KM

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3. Henry Ford Museum

Henry Ford Museum

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Without mentioning the name of Henry Ford, the history of Detroit would be incomplete, for without him, Detroit would not be what it is today. His “Everyone’s car” Model T introduced in 1908 changed people’s transportation. It was a revolution that he started.

The museum in Dearborn was to carry forward his legend and preserve the history of Ford. This museum is the largest in the entire USA. So, make sure you allocate sufficient time for this. The museum is not just about the cars, it also has a nice collection of from Ford himself and hence stands as a place to showcase the American innovations. You will find the limousine in which the Ford was assassinated.

If you are interested to get a glimpse of how the American has lived and worked in the olden days, visit the Greenfield village. This is nothing but a collection of buildings from the 17th century to the present day. Do not be surprised to hear that these buildings were all moved from their original locations and neatly arranged as you see now.

As with any industrial tour, you can also find a tour to see with your own eyes the manufacturing of the cars in person.

Things to do: site tours
Popular for: Cars and its history
Trip duration: 1 day
Weather: Warm and humid in summer, cool in winter
Best time to visit: October to April
How to reach: half an hour by drive.
Distance from center: 35KM

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4. Lake Erie

Lake Erie View

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If you drive towards the south from Detroit, you can reach Lake Erie. It is the smallest of the four Great Lakes that passes through Michigan. Even though it is good to visit any months of the year, it would be great to make it during the months of summer when you have a warm temperature. Lake Erie is known for its sport fishing, mainly the walleye and yellow perch.

This offers a lovely beachfront for swimming, bathing, and boating. Not to say, the great fishing opportunities too. Lake Erie’s coast has many parks, museums and activities to keep you busy for the whole day. The park, River Raisin National Battlefield Park, was recently created to preserve the battle of the War of 1812. You can freely visit the exhibits about the war and the battle, that provides insight on the reason for the battle. This is a must-visit place if you are history enthusiasts.

Things to do: Swimming, Fishing
Popular for: History, Swimming, and fishing
Trip duration: 1 day
Weather: Warm Summer
Best time to visit: June to August
How to reach: Good for a day trip in a car, you also have a train and bus connection to reach here.
Distance from Detroit: 150KM

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5. Belle Isle

Belle Isle Near Detroit

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Beautiful Island, or the Belle Isle, is an island of 5KM long, 982 acres of park, in the international waters of the Detroit River between Michigan and Ontario, Canada. So, from one side you can view downtown Detroit while the other you would see the Windsor. This island has plenty to offer for a wonderful day trip for you, from Casino to Aquarium to conservatory to Museums.

The Belle Isle Aquarium is one of the oldest aquaria in America. When the aquarium was opened it was the 3rd largest in the world. The saltwater for the aquarium is directly shipped from the ocean and houses the largest collection of air-breathing fish in the world. Walking through the aquarium you will travel all over the globe exploring the great lakes of the world.

Remember to get your Recreation Passport if you plan to drive in your vehicle to this Isle. The Recreation Passport is like the access fees ($31 for tourists) charged to drive in this place. If you feel you do not want to spend the dollars for the passport, you are free to just cycle or walk across the bridge to access the island.

Things to do: Casino, Museum
Popular for: Aquatic Life
Trip duration: 1 day
Weather: Warm and hot in summer
Best time to visit: May to September
How to reach: Public bus transport center is the best option to access
Distance from center: 10KM

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All of these tourist places near Detroit have something or the other to offer, from special car museums and stunning aquariums to lakes and culturally diverse towns. Appealing to art enthusiasts, nature lovers, car admirers, and culture seekers, Detroit is surrounded by some of the most fantastic attractions. Take a detour on your next trip to USA and pay a visit to this little town!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Tourist Places Near Detroit

Is Motown museum open every day?

No. It is always closed on Mondays.

Is it good to do a day trip to Lake Erie?

Yes, it is one of the great one day trips if you are in Detroit in summers.

Where should I head if I wanted to enjoy fishing in Detroit?

Lake Erie is known for fishing and that is where you should head if you love fishing.

Can I access the Belle Isle island free?

Yes, access to the island is free. But if you want to drive on the island, the recreation passport is a must.

How to buy the Recreation Passport?

For residents, it can be bought as an option when they renew the license plate. Outsiders can buy it as a sticker to be placed on the window.

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Category: Places To Visit, USA

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