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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Come to Detroit for the cars, plan extra time for the attractions, tours, shopping and other activities in The D

Detroit, Mich. – Visitors coming to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show Jan. 18-26 will be wowed by the cars at Cobo Center and just as impressed by all the things to see and do outside the show.

From tours of the city and world-class museums, to shopping and delicious dining options, visitors should plan a few extra days to see it all.

   The Bentley cars attracted a lot of attention at last year’s auto show gala. (Jim Fox photo)

Motor City Brew Tours and Show Me Detroit Tours are partnering to present four Detroit Bumpers & Brew Tours on Jan. 18 and 25. The tours start in Midtown at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The 3.5-hour tours will look at Detroit’s earliest automotive history, get visitors up to speed on all the new development in downtown and Midtown, and will conclude with a Michigan craft beer sampling and light lunch at Traffic Jam & Snug Restaurant in Midtown. Go to showmedetroittours.com or motorcitybrewtours.com to register.

Get a better understanding of Detroit while in town for auto show by going on a D:hive tour. D:hive will be offering free walking tours and practically free bus and bar tours including an Insider’s Downtown Highlights Walking Tour on Jan. 18 and 25 from 2-3 p.m.; an Insider’s Bus Tour on Jan. 25 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; and an Auto Show Bar Tour on Jan. 28 from 6-9 p.m. Register at dhivedetroit.org.

Continue to learn more about the history of Detroit and how it became the Motor City at the Detroit Historical Museum. Exhibits include America’s Motor City, Detroit: The Arsenal of Democracy, Doorway to Freedom,- Detroit and the Underground Railroad, The Glancy Trains and the Kid Rock Music Lab
Across the street, the Detroit Institute of Arts houses one of the best collections in the country. Spend time deciphering all the different meanings behind the famous Diego Rivera Detroit Industry fresco murals, play “eye spy” in the galleries with your kids or kids at heart and experience other interactive elements throughout the museum as you explore the amazing collection.  

For more interactive activities, make a stop at the Michigan Science Center, where you will find hundreds of engaging, hands-on exhibits, shows and activities. Visitors will be surrounded by hundreds of butterflies in the museum’s current traveling exhibit Wish Upon a Butterfly. Other fun exhibit galleries include Space, Health and Nutrition, Motion and Engineers, as well as the Kidstruction Zone and Kids Town.
Motown Historical Museum in Detroit, dubbed Hitsville USA. (Jim Fox photo)
A visit to Detroit wouldn’t be complete without a tour at the Motown Historical Museum. Stand in the exact spot in Studio A where Motown greats such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, among others, recorded their hits.

Take a short drive to Dearborn to visit The Henry Ford, America’s greatest history attraction. Henry Ford Museum houses one of the largest collections of its kind ever assembled, which includes the Rosa Parks Bus, Kennedy Presidential Limousine and the Lincoln Chair, as well as an unparalleled collection of historical vehicles.

   Maureen Burton shows a 1939 Dodge air-flow Texaco tank truck at The Henry Ford museum. (Jim Fox photo)
On display now, James Cameron’s AVATAR: The Exhibition takes visitors deep into the world of Pandora and the making of this extraordinary film. Also, be sure to make time for the Ford Rouge Factory Tour where you’ll watch as a Ford F-150 is built in a real working factory.

See firsthand why Detroit is known as Hockeytown by checking out one of the many home games at Joe Louis Arena, accessible through Cobo Center. Home games are scheduled for Jan. 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26, so visitors will have plenty of options to watch the on-ice action. Basketball fans will have two opportunities to see Piston stars Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and the rest of the team take the court at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Jan. 20 and 24.

For entertainment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, stop by one of Detroit’s three casinos. Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino offer high-stakes gaming, a variety of dining options, bars and lounges, spas and luxurious hotels.

Continue your Detroit automotive journey by touring Detroit’s auto baron homes, Meadow Brook Hall and the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, both still kept up as if the families still lived there.

Metro Detroit is home to a wide variety of distinct shopping options. From a high-end shopping center and discount outlet malls to walkable downtowns,   
you’re sure to find a souvenir or two to take home. 

Exploring the city will definitely build an appetite, and Detroit has a great selection of dining choices. From Greek, Italian and barbeque to Mexican, Mediterranean and soul food, Detroit’s restaurants offer a melting pot of menu options to satisfy any palate.

Getting around downtown is easy and inexpensive via the Detroit People Mover. This above-ground, light-rail system costs just 75 cents per ride and transports visitors to downtown bars, restaurants, hotels and attractions. Detroit also has two new modes of transportation; Skoot is an affordable shuttle that provides transportation to and from Detroit Metro Airport and downtown hotels. Uber is an on-call car service, activated by the Uber app and available throughout the region. 

For more information about where to stay, where to eat and other things to do in metro Detroit, go to visitdetroit.com. Visitors are also encouraged to go to visitdetroit.com to check dates and hours of operation. Follow Visit Detroit on Twitter, join the conversation on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube and our pictures on Instagram.

The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues, and job opportunities.
   More than 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB's membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world's first convention and visitors bureau. For details, go to visitdetroit.com.

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