Detroit Becomes a Weekend Getaway

by : Ann Knapp

Motor City, or Motown is revving its engines again. Revitalized and reinvigorated after decades of neglect, Detroit has reclaimed its place as a cultural and tourist capital. Everything in this Midwest city seems new again. The Woodward Avenue theater district boasts renovated theaters and new shows. Downtown, the Detroit Tigers their new stadium, Comerica Park in 2000; the Lions now play in Ford Field right across the street. The downtown upswing has extended to Greektown, now the hot spot for food and nightlife.

New Detroit blends the soul and vision of its pioneers. The Motown Museum is a low-key tribute to the high-energy sound that defined a city and an era. Just outside Detroit, the Henry Ford Museum is a sprawling testament to the spirit of invention that built the city and is refueling it today. Most of Detroit's best and most notable attractions are just a limo or luxury sedan ride from any hotel in the city or around the suburbs.

Motown Historical Museum: This old Detroit home belies the greatness that was born here -- the Motown Sound. But one step inside Hitsville, USA, the original house where Berry Gordy lived and recorded the Motown hits, and you'll catch the beat and spirit of this booming music era. Photos, costumes, artwork, music and other memorabilia take you back to more musical times.

Detroit Institute of Arts: It's considered to house one of the best art collections in the United States. The Institute showcases everything from mummies to modern art and African masks to Monets in its outstanding collection of over 65,000 works. Don't miss the General Motors Center for African American Art, a part of the DIA that showcases 400 pieces, in various media, by African American artists.

Detroit Historical Museum: The Motor City Exhibition, where you can see how a Cadillac is assembled, is just one of the many interesting displays at this museum dedicated to telling the story of Detroit.

Detroit Zoological Park: You'll be able to see frolicking and splashing polar bears through a glass pane and experience life on the tundra at the Arctic Ring of Life, the world's largest Arctic exhibit. Other highlights of this interactive and educational zoo include a stroll through an indoor rainforest with free-roaming animals and a visit to one of the largest great ape exhibits in the world.

New Detroit Science Center: Science is made fun and exciting in this hands-on, interactive science center, which introduces science, engineering and technology in ways that children can understand. Complete with an IMAX Dome theater, the center underwent a huge expansion and renovation in 2001.

MGM Grand Detroit Casino: The former setting for the MGM Grand was a former IRS building, and was just temporary. Now a permanent casino is up and running, just opened with all the glitter and glamour of Las Vegas.

MotorCity Casino: A casino where you don't need to gamble? That's the idea at MotorCity, designed to satisfy gamblers and non-gamblers alike with its comprehensive gaming offerings and dining and entertainment delights. Its range of restaurants from fine dining to barbecue is all headed up by one of two certified master chefs in Michigan.