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The Best Things To Do And See In Detroit

Exterior of the Shinola Hotel (left), bar at The Siren and The Monarch Club at the top of the historic Metropolitan Building.

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Thousands of football fans and sports professionals descended on downtown Detroit over the weekend as the city hosted the 2024 NFL Draft. It’s a fitting location: the home of iconic sports franchises, including the Lions, Pistons, Tigers and Red Wings. But Detroit has so much more to offer beyond the world of sports.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a long weekend in the Motor City with some friends and was impressed by the diverse cuisine, cool shops and welcoming locals. Although the airport services more than 125 destinations (including 30 international), I’ve found that Detroit is not particularly high on travelers’ lists of American cities to visit.

I personally think that should change, and I had the chance to talk to many locals who agree. If you need more convincing, I put together some favorite sites, bites and more.

Where To Stay

I stayed at The Siren Hotel in downtown Detroit and loved the vintage decor and buzzy atmosphere.

It’s a boutique hotel with about 100 rooms and two great bars — including one where you can watch the Detroit People Mover go by as you enjoy a nice cocktail. The other is a pink oasis off the lobby, complete with plush velvet seating and a stunning chandelier.

Caroline Bologna/HuffPost

Exterior of the Shinola Hotel (left), bar at The Siren and The Monarch Club at the top of the historic Metropolitan Building.

Another popular boutique offering is the Shinola Hotel, which is affiliated with the Detroit-based lifestyle brand of the same name. Naturally, the lobby spaces and rooms are outfitted with Shinola products, from clocks and record players to blankets and candles.

What To Eat

Practically everything I ate in Detroit was fantastic, but my favorite meal was at Baobab Fare, a colorful East African restaurant opened by Burundian refugees. Baobab Fare, a 2024 James Beard Award finalist, serves up delicious beef stew, fried fish, slow-roasted goat shank and more.

I also had a wonderful meal at a Lebanese spot called Leila and a top-notch sandwich and latte at the multipurpose cafe Trinosophes. I’ve heard great things about Yemen Cafe, Yumvillage and SavannahBlue as well.

From left: mbuzi at Baobab Fare, Detroit-style pizza at Como's and treats at Warda Pâtisserie.

Caroline Bologna/HuffPost

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