Because of its economic problems, Detroit got a pretty bad rap and became a symbol of urban decay, but economic revitalization is underway in some of its historic neighborhoods. Once one of America’s wealthiest cities, Detroit built up numerous attractions, entertainment venues, and sports stadiums. Now it’s becoming know as a place for cheap — really cheap — property and the place most likely to experience a renaissance. Before you cross Detroit off of your list of travel destinations, consider these 10 reasons to go to Detroit now.
Detroit has a musical legacy that literally changed America. It started in 1959 when Berry Gordy opened Motown, a recording studio that combined pop and soul to create a grooving music great for dancing. Both whites and blacks couldn’t get enough of Motown and, by uniting youth of all colors, the music is credited with helping to bring about racial integration. Over the years, Motown produced some of the top artists of all time, including Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Jackson 5, and Stevie Wonder. Today, the recording studio has been transformed into a museum.
If you want to see community spirit and passion, Detroit embodies them. Even though the city is blighted with vacant houses and debt, citizens are rallying to renovate neighborhoods. Rather than waiting for the government to take action, they are getting things done themselves through non-profit community groups. Using whatever tools they can get their hands on, community members are transforming vacant lots into community gardens and abandoned storefronts into murals.
3. The Inn on Ferry Street
In case you forgot that Detroit used to be prosperous, a stay at the Inn on Ferry Street will remind you. The inn consists of four Victorian mansions and two carriage houses. In the early 1900s, the neighborhood was mostly Jewish and in the 1930s, became home to prominent black residents who had established some of the major facilities for the then-segregated black population of Detroit. The inn has been elaborately renovated true to its original style, with stunning carved-wood banisters, Victorian turrets, and grand fireplaces.
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