|Photo: USA Today|
Understatement alert: you probably won't find Detroit on too many travel destination short lists. Bold statement alert: missing out on the Motor City means depriving yourself of a singular representation of the American experience. While daily headlines seem to dwell exclusively on decay, bankruptcy, and the possible placement of Robocop statues, the reality on the ground is there's plenty to impress even the pickiest of travelers (though no Robocop statue, yet). Here are 10 reasons to start planning that visit:
1. We still rock. This is Motown, baby! Every wedding reception you've ever attended owes a debt of gratitude to Hitsville USA, where Berry Gordy introduced the world to the likes of Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, and so many more. But Detroit's music scene extends beyond museums. This city still keeps the beat with the likes of the Detroit Jazz Fest, the Downtown Hoedown, DEMF… (ahem)… the Movement Electronic Music Festival, and Dally in the Alley.
2. You like beer? Great, we have beer! Michigan is on any short list for best brewing state in the country (unless that list is terrible and misguided and made by people who hate beer). Go ahead and check BeerAdvocate’s list of the top 250 beers. See all those from Founders, Bells, and Dark Horse? Sure, those are not brewed in Detroit per se; however, you’ll be able to find plenty of those tasty brews at nearly any respectable purveyor of alcoholic beverages in the city, not to mention fine selections from true Detroit-based outfits like Atwater, Motor City Brewing, B. Nektar Meadery, and Dragonmead.
3. Belle Isle means "beautiful island" and backs it up. New York has Central Park. Detroit has Belle Isle. And while both were designed by the same guy (that Frederick Law Olmsted was one busy cat), the similarities pretty much end there. At nearly 1000 acres, Belle Isle’s a giant island-park (giant-er than Central Park, take THAT, New York) right smack in the middle of the Detroit River, complete with an aquarium, a zoo, a conservatory, a golf course, a yacht club, and plenty of places to bike, jog, fish, or picnic. It's a picturesque setting where you can take in views of Detroit AND our friendly neighbors to the North.
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