By Expedia, on February 27, 2020

How to Spend a Weekend in Detroit

Detroit, Michigan’s largest city, is a hub of arts, culture, history, and entertainment. Even if you only have a weekend to take it all in, you can experience the best the city has to offer. Explore this itinerary and ideas for spending 2 or 3 days in Detroit and how to make the most of your visit.

Cityscape at night in Detroit

Friday Evening

When you arrive on Friday, you’ll have 72 hours in Detroit. Start with dinner at Marrow, a butcher shop and restaurant with offal-based menu items like corned tongue and yakitori. You can also get local cuts, bone broth, rotisserie chickens, and other products at the connected butcher shop.

When you’re ready for a night out, you can travel to Greektown to hop in and out of its bars and clubs in the area. You can find everything from rooftop bars to nightclubs and dive bars, so you can have whatever kind of night you wish.

If you’re looking for something different, you can visit the Riverside Arena for a nostalgic night of roller skating to themes and music. The roller rink plays different musical themes, such as retro, club, and Top 40, and there are group activities that bring all the skaters together for coordinated moves.

Saturday Morning

On Saturday morning, you’ll have 48 hours remaining in Detroit. Start with breakfast at Sweet Potato Sensations, a family-owned restaurant that specializes in sweet potato dishes. You can get everything from sweet potato pies and cookies to sweet potato pancakes with grits and turkey chop for a hearty breakfast.

After breakfast, head to the Detroit Institute of Arts to view masterpieces of global artwork. The museum is home to one of the largest and most important art collections in the United States, including pieces from Ancient Egypt, renaissance Europe, and contemporary American art. You’ll see some unique artifacts as well, such as a dragon tile relief from the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.

For lunch, visit Norma G’s for Trinidadian cuisine. The charming restaurant nestled in the canal-filled neighborhood of Jefferson Chalmers offers flavorful menu options like curried goat and oxtail tacos, as well as vegan options and a full bar.

Exterior of the Detroit Institute of the Arts
Detroit Institute of the Arts

Saturday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, take some time to visit some of Detroit’s most famous attractions, such as the Henry Ford Museum. The massive indoor and outdoor history museum and historic site boasts many fascinating exhibits, including the presidential limousine of John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln’s chair from Ford’s Theatre, the Wright Brothers’ bike shop, the Rosa Parks bus, and many more icons of American history.

On Saturday night in Detroit, you can start with dinner at Cutters Bar & Grill, a New Orleans-style street bar in the Eastern Market. It’s renowned for its burgers and simple bar food menu, as well as the selection of cocktails.

If you want to combine sightseeing and dinner, you can book a Motown Dinner or Moonlight Cruise on the Detroit Princess Riverboat. Taking an evening cruise allows you to see all of Detroit’s landmarks illuminated against the night sky, and many cruises include drinks and dancing to popular hits.

Sunday Morning

On Sunday morning in Detroit, you’ll have 24 hours left for sightseeing. Start with breakfast at Ochre Bakery which serves espresso drinks and baked goods, such as savory mushroom-chevre danish and chocolate espresso tarts to egg sandwiches.

If you’re traveling with the kids, this is a good time to visit the Detroit Zoo. The popular zoo is home to over 2,400 animals across 235 species, including polar bears, red kangaroos, giant zebras, fruit bats, warthogs, and gray seals. You could also take some time to shop at the GM Renaissance Center, which is home to shops from many well-known brands and household names.

For lunch, head to Rose’s Fine Food for a range of brunch and lunch options, such as buckwheat pancakes, beans and greens, breakfast sandwiches, and other diner-style fare. You’ll also like Sister Pie, a bakery with delicious pie options like salted maple and buckwheat chocolate chip.

Seal in an exhibit in the Detroit Zoo
Detroit Zoo

Sunday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, you can explore the Motown Museum to learn all about Detroit’s strong music heritage. Also known as Hitsville U.S.A., the museum was Motown’s first headquarters and holds the record label’s recording studio, as well as memorabilia related to the artists and music. Some highlights include Michael Jackson’s black fedora and white glove.

On Sunday night in Detroit, you can take in any experiences you may have missed before leaving the city. Stop at SavannahBlue for dinner in downtown. The restaurant serves a mouth-watering mix of dishes like blackened shrimp farro jambalaya, whole fried snapper with red rice, and crab cakes. You could also have a few cocktails to start your night.

After dinner, you can visit one of the city’s many comedy clubs for some stand-up and improv. Some of the best spots are the Planet Ant Theatre, City Theatre in the Hockeytown Cafe, and Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle.

Ready for the perfect weekend getaway?

Now that you have a great weekend itinerary for your trip to Detroit, it’s time to start planning your next adventure. Discover other reasons to visit Detroit and take a look at deals on Detroit vacations on Expedia to save on your trip!