The ultimate travel guide with 48 hours in Detroit, Michigan. I’ll show you where to stay, what to eat and what to do while visiting The D!
As a Michigan gal, I often get requests for travel guides within my amazing state which is why I couldn’t wait to get to Detroit! I’ve already written travel guides for Grand Rapids and Traverse City so it only made sense that I headed east to write about all the best eats, activities, and more in The D! Truth be told: this was originally intended to be my usual 10 Things to Do in 24 Hours travel guide but there were just TOO MANY incredible things to share about the city of Detroit. The food, the people, the energy, did I mention the food? It was all out of this world and I can’t wait to share it with all of you. Without further ado, here is your 48 hour travel guide to Detroit!
Where to Stay for 48 hours in Detroit
Check-In to Detroit Foundation Hotel: While there are many hotels to choose from in the Motor City, I can’t visit the city without staying at the beautiful Detroit Foundation Hotel. Merging the past and the present, the Detroit Foundation Hotel is actually in the former Fire Department Headquarters! It’s also within walking distance of plenty of great places to eat as well as things to do and see!
When you’re there, be sure to grab a drink or a bite to eat in their lobby restaurant, Apparatus Room. I highly recommend the crispy fried cauliflower and the cavatelli.
Eat Lebanese Food at La Pita in Dearborn. One of the MANY reasons I couldn’t wait to visit Detroit is because it is home to the largest Middle Eastern population in the US. Believe it or not, although I am of Middle Eastern descent myself, the area of Michigan where I live (Grand Rapids) has very few Middle Eastern people which means fewer delicious Lebanese restaurants! As a result, whenever I have the chance to head to the east side of the state, I always hit up La Pita in Dearborn. Hands down, it has the most incredible, authentic Lebanese food I’ve ever tasted outside of my kitchen.
Explore Eastern Market: One of the oldest and largest year-round markets in the United States, you must take time to explore Eastern Market. Offering all sorts of community events, cooking classes, and open air markets (both farmers markets and craft/artisan markets), the huge complex is definitely worth a visit.
Sample Local Craft Beer at Founders Brewing Co.: Considering I literally live down the street from the founders of Founders Brewing, there was no way I wasn’t going to check out their new spot in Detroit. This Grand Rapids based brewery is home to many of my favorite beers including All Day IPA and Centennial IPA.
Get Your Coffee Fix: In case you haven’t noticed by now, coffee is my life blood. As a result, I love checking out local coffee shops whenever I travel. If you love coffee like me, then while in Detroit you’ve gotta visit the Roasting Plant, which is just a short walk from the hotel. What’s so special about Roasting Plant is that they use their own state of the art custom technology called Javabot to deliver a just-roasted, brewed-by-the-cup coffee experience.
Grab Drinks and Apps at Grey Ghost: For hand crafted cocktails and incredible food, Grey Ghost is not to be missed. The Chicago style oysters and fried bologna over a cheddar waffle were two of the best bites of my entire trip.
Enjoy Dinner at The Peterboro: If you love Asian food, head to The Peterboro, a casual restaurant located in Detroit’s Historic Chinatown. The dumplings are not to be missed and I highly recommend the curried fish as well.
Indulge in a Late Night Eats at Lafayette Coney Island: From the minute I mentioned to anyone I was heading to Detroit, the age-long debate about the best coney dogs in the city would come into the conversation. Whether you pick Lafayette or American, you need to try a hot dog when you’re in Detroit. (My vote is for Lafayette!)
Grab Lunch in Greektown: Greek food is one of my all time favorites but we don’t have a lot of Greek restaurants where I live. As a result, I couldn’t wait to grab a bite to eat in Detroit’s history Greektown. Pegasus Tavernas is my go-to but you can’t go wrong anywhere on this strip.
Pro Tip: Stop by Astoria Bake Shop and grab a box of pastries to take home. Featuring baklava, black and white cookies, cannolis and more, it’s the perfect edible souvenir.
Slurp Ramen at Johnny Noodle King: If you’re a ramen lover like I am, Johnny Noodle King is your place. Admittedly, I’m pretty picky when it comes to ramen but this place has it all – the broth, the noodles, the ambiance, you name it. If you’re not a ramen fan, fret not – they offer a full menu of other incredible Japanese dishes including gyoza, seared mackerel and more.
Things To Do
Explore Belle Isle Park: Belle Isle Park is a island in the middle of the Detroit River. It has an aquarium, nature center, conservatory, and acres of beautiful paths and trails to walk. The perfect place to spend a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon!
Catch a Tigers Game at Comerica Park: Believe it or not, despite living here in Michigan, I had never attended a Tigers game until my recent visit to Detroit!
It was such a fun experience – I highly recommend it when you’re in town during baseball season. Comerica Park is also super kid-friendly so bring the whole family for a day of fun!
Bike Detroit’s Riverfront: After all the incredible food you’re going to enjoy in Detroit, be sure to carve out time to get active. My favorite way to take in the sights of the city is to bike along the beautiful, newly restored riverfront. In case you’re curious, check out these amazing before & after photos of the project. Need to rent a bike? No problem – Wheelhouse Detroit has everything you need to get rolling.
Experience Detroit’s Live Music Scene: Last but not least, you can’t talk about Detroit without talking about live music. ONEFREQ was performing during my recent visit (they’re amazing, btw!) but be sure to check out the Detroit Metro Times Events Calendar before your visit to see who will be on stage when you’re in town.
Whew…what a whirlwind!! While 48 hours in Detroit probably isn’t enough time, it just means you’ll need to visit Detroit more than once to get it all in. Whatever you do, be sure to add Detroit to your travel bucket list this year! You’ll be so glad you did.