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Geographically, Detroit in Michigan is the only USA city that has Canada to the south of it. How cool is that? Another little-known fact lies down below, in Detroit’s mysterious underworld. Underneath the city there are over 100 miles of roads. These feed the salt mines operated by Detroit Salt Company. Then, as a centre for the automobile industry, Detroit also and famously became the birthplace of Motown Records. It also has the second largest theatre district outside New York. Residents are understandably loyal and determined that Detroit’s proud heritage should never be taken with a pinch of salt.
If arriving, or departing from Detroit Metro Airport in Michigan, there are hotels in the near vicinity that offer appealing services such as free shuttle, early breakfast and free parking. Many visitors, though, are here to explore Detroit’s unique Motown and Hitsville history. Wow and double-wow; unbelievably, at the Motown Museum, you can actually see the studio where Marvin Gaye recorded his hits. Away from Motown there’s Detroit Railway Station and within a few miles of this station, there is a whole range of hotel and accommodation options. They say: you can’t hurry love; but you really should move quickly to secure the hotel accommodation of your choice; or prepare ultimately to be brokenhearted. Crucially, the M-1 Streetcar system provides economically priced links to many areas of the city. This results in an extended and accessible choice of districts and hotels in which to stay. Locations are in-tune with the various requirements of visiting sightseeing, commercial, Motown and sports - addict guests.
It’s true to say that, although Detroit’s legendary motor industry has slipped a few gears over the years; it still retains huge affection in the hearts of residents and visitors. The decline of the automobile industry did, though, provide an opportunity for Detroit to clean up its act. So, the neglected downtown areas and homes began to be demolished to make way for parkland, new hotels, restaurants, shops and a new wave of tourists. There’s a lot for the visitor to do here in Detroit and no way will sport enthusiasts want to miss the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and Lions in action. Then there are some fascinating organised tours geared to movie magic or, of course, Detroit’s beloved automobile history. Detroit’s year-round live theatre performances range from Shakespeare to musicals. These city-based venues are also diverse in size. They range from the Century Theatre’s less than 200-seat capacity, to the 5,000 - and a real wow factor before the show even starts - at the Fox Theatre.
There are some very spectacular sites to be seen along the Detroit River and they are dominated by the Renaissance Centre’s seven towers. One tower is a major 73-storey hotel (thankfully with lifts!) while others house restaurants, shops, conference and theatre spaces. History buffs will head for the Museum of African-American History, Fort Wayne and 11 miles from Detroit; the 12-acre Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. All visitors, though; from the USA and elsewhere, are drawn to Belle Isle and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. There are some great hotels to be found in most areas. These hotel choices range from luxury and mid-range to budget. If you are here for a specific reason, maybe a sporting event; it’s a sensible tip to suggest that you check to ensure that your preferred hotel isn’t needlessly on the other side of town. You are, after all, here in Detroit to watch others exert themselves. A final note is that the most economical way to get around Detroit independently is via the inexpensive People Mover.
Winters in Michigan can get quite chilly so, in order to keep folk warm on the inside, a number of comforting dishes have emerged. These are now specialities in some of the hotels and restaurants throughout Detroit. One real local favourite is the Coney Dog and a good way to alienate the local population is to describe it as being just a hot dog. Fish and chips, pasties and other filling dishes are also popular favourites in Detroit. They may be lacking in the sophistication of other USA cuisine choices, but, boy do they keep you warm! At the other end of the culinary scale, lovers of Greek cuisine will find that their prayers are answered – and then some – in the Greektown district of Detroit. This area of downtown also has a pretty hot club and entertainment scene. Italian cuisine and others from around the world are also well represented here. In Detroit, though, the hot favourite and top-dog dish will always be the Coney Dog.