The Detroit Institute of Arts takes the “s” at the end of its name seriously. The immense Beaux Arts building on Woodward Avenue isn’t only a setting for a top-tier collection of visual works that include Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry frescoes, a van Gogh self-portrait, and ancient sculptures from Africa and Asia. It also opens the doors of its lecture halls, event spaces, and auditoriums for craft workshops, wide-ranging talks from historians and people who know how to draw really good cubes, film, and music. The latter two art forms find a home in the Detroit Film Theatre, a gilded, neoclassical auditorium that preserves a sense of coziness amid the grandeur.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Pro Tip: For the tours, dress comfortably and for the weather
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Detroit Eastern Market Tours
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
Going back to when I started showing people the gems of Detroit as a hobby in 2001, we strive to take people behind the scenes to see and experience things that they may not discover on their own. We have long-standing close relationships that allow us access to places and people that will surprise and delight our tour guests. Our goal is for everyone to say "Wow! That's cool, I didn't know that was here!"
I'm a first-timer. How do you get me ready for the experience?
Prepare yourself to experience, explore, and enjoy Detroit, as we help you to become more familiar with all the fascinating things the City has to offer.
What is the experience customers can expect, and how do you make it special?
We warmly welcome our guests, treating them like family and friends. Our signature style is fun and engaging, and not too serious. We have a great time while we are learning and exploring. Even people who are long-time Detroit visitors, residents, and supporters learn new things on our tours, and have a fabulous time doing it. We have lots of repeat guests, and we conduct private tours for all kinds of groups and occasions.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Beyond Eastern Market tours, we offer all sorts of outings all around the City of Detroit, private and public, by foot, car and bus, emphasizing the food, fun, architecture, music, history, culture, art, and unique neighborhoods of our City. Customized tours are our specialty: for family groups, friends, co-workers, social clubs, seniors, school children, community recreation departments, social workers, and non-profit organizations.
It's not often that a personal trainer also has a gospel album to her name, but Lazet Michaels Boatman has had a busy—and varied—career. An NASM- and ACE-certified personal trainer, Lazet also hosts her own fitness TV show and wrote the book Workout & Worship: 8 Steps to Physical & Spiritual Health. But reading books and watching TV aren't the only ways to learn Lazet's techniques. You can also pick them up in person at The Life Center Private Fitness Facility, where she and her team lead personal-training sessions. Lazet's workouts aren't necessarily meant for bulky bodybuilders. Instead, they emphasize functional fitness, using light weights and high numbers of repetitions to help clients tone their abs, arms, and glutes.
Nestled within the historic Hitsville USA quarters of Motown Record Corporation, the Motown Museum dazzles the optic nerves of audiophiles with retina-regaling displays that flash back to the golden age of music. Foray into the historic duplex that enshrines the restored apartment of Berry Gordy Jr. before tiptoeing through Studio A to reverberate ripened rumors fresh from a grapevine within its iconic echo chamber. As they follow the trajectory of rhythm-and-blues history, visiting duos can pore over a comprehensive collection of photographs, memorabilia, and invisible air molecules once inhaled by famous recording artists. Bask in the soulful warmth of the Marvin Gaye exhibition or burst into synchronized moonwalks while ogling Michael Jackson’s signature glove-and-hat ensemble.
More than 100 years ago, the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant was on the cutting edge of innovation—the first 12,000 Model Ts were made on its premises. But over the years, the "Birthplace of the Model T" was neglected, and in 1997, afraid that the bulldozers were lurking around the corner, ready to raze the premises, a committee was formed to investigate saving the plant. The Model T Automotive Heritage Complex purchased the New England–mill-style structure two years later, transforming it into an auto museum and National Historic Landmark. Today, the museum is one of the oldest automotive plants open to the public in the city of Detroit.
The venue’s exhibits chronicle not only Ford’s rise to the forefront of the automotive industry, but also lesser known tales. Visitors can learn about other car models built there, such as the Model N, and about other automakers, such as Wayne and Brush. They can also learn about the lives of 20th-century auto-factory workers, who—with six-day workweeks composed of 10-hour days—built cars assembly-line style or, before cars, horses.
On November 19, 1928, the Detroit Historical Society opened the Detroit Historical Museum in a one-room suite on the 23rd floor of the Barlum Tower, earning it the nickname of highest museum in the world. These days, Detroit’s Cultural Center accommodates the museum in an 80,000-square-foot space, where interactive exhibits preserve more than 300 years of city history. Frontiers to Factories traces Detroit's transformation from French-frontier outpost to industrial city, while America's Motor City celebrates its automotive dominance with a changing display of classic vehicles and a 1903 Model T that guests can sit in. Streets of Old Detroit brings the 19th century to life with recreated cobblestone streets that wind past stores of the era such as a five-and-dime, a soda shop, and a barbershop for powdered wigs.
Thanks to recent renovations, the society has expanded its chronicle of Detroit with three new permanent exhibitions. Detroit: The Arsenal of Democracy covers the ways the city's industrial infrastructure adapted to demands of World War II, and The Gallery of Innovation includes videos about renowned innovators and hands-on activities involving trial and error. As The Allesee Gallery of Culture examines the city's cultural history, its Kid Rock Music Lab lets visitors create and share their own music using interactive displays. Outside, the Detroit Legends Plaza honors the city's sports, entertainment, and media legends with cemented handprints and signatures from stars such as Lily Tomlin and Martha Reeves.