City trip from Motor City to Lake Michigan

From Motor City to Lake Michigan

Detroit is back! Creative trendy districts, craft beer breweries and automotive hotspots make the Autostadt the trend destination of 2018. Afterwards, head to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world for a bathing holiday.

The 13 sun loungers on the narrow strip of lawn behind the carousel are in great demand. As soon as someone gets up from one of the light green chairs, the next person looking for relaxation rushes over and secures one of the scenic spots on the Detroit River. Speedboats whiz across the wide river, on the other bank a huge Canadian flag waves. There is a lot going on on the promenade behind the loungers on this sunny day. Mainly locals jog, skate or bike along the wide path and don’t even look at the skyscrapers of the Renaissance Center. Only a handful of tourists photograph the General Motors headquarters and take selfies in front of the graffiti race cars at the base of the towers.

Motor City is located in south-east Michigan right on the Canadian border. Detroit has shaped American culture, the legendary Motown sound was born here and, thanks to Henry Ford, the first cars were manufactured on the assembly line. After the severe economic crisis, during which a large part of the residents left the city, Detroit reinvents itself and even made it to number 2 in the Lonely Planet travel recommendations for 2018. “Detroit is now absolutely worth the trip, there is something new to discover every day,” promises Deanna Majchrzak from the local tourism office. Artists, designers and other creative people ensure a restart of the scene, modern shops, microbreweries or galleries are springing up everywhere due to the still low rents in old industrial buildings.

Detroit’s flagship brand Shinola has its flagship store in Midtown and offers watches, leather goods and bicycles. The Third Man Records branch right next door is also worth seeing. Jack White, singer of the former rock band “The White Stripes” founded the record label in 2001. Recently you can watch the pressing of the records. Next door, in the beer garden of the Motor Brewing Company, good pizzas and craft beer are served, and around the corner, the original Avalon organic bakery tempts with fine pastries. “Don’t miss the Eastern Market,” recommends Deanna Majchrzak. “There are countless pieces of graffiti art to be admired around the bustling market, and there are also good restaurants and galleries.” Every year in September, international artists paint huge walls at the Mural Festival, block parties or DJ nights take place all year round.

In downtown Detroit, the new hockey and basketball arena attracts sports enthusiasts. Last month, the Ford Motor Company bought the huge train station, which has been empty since 1988. A campus for autonomous driving is to be built there. Detroit’s most famous giant ruin, the Packard factory, is also brought back to life. The newly opened Qline streetcar connects important hotspots in the city, with the driverless people mover you can easily explore downtown. Active vacationers cycle over the old Dequindre Cut railway line from Hamtramck to the Detroit River.

If you want to relax a few more days on the beach after so many impressions, drive to Lake Michigan, one of the five large lakes in the north-east of the USA, which is almost three hours away by car. It’s a Michigan tradition, with many locals spending their free time at the beach between Memorial Day in late May and Labor Day in early September. Miles of sandy beaches and bright red lighthouses characterize the coast, cozy seaside resorts with friendly wooden hotels and craft beer breweries lure everywhere. A good starting point is Grand Haven. Kite shops, boutiques and chocolate manufacturers lure you into the small pedestrian zone, and the wide sandy beach can be reached in a few minutes via the promenade by the river. In the evening the daily fountain spectacle “Musical Fountain” begins.

The beach tour leads south along the wide dune landscape to the artists’ town of Saugatuck, where the Lake Michigan Wine Route also begins. The Chicago Art Institute founded its “Ox-Bow” school here more than 100 years ago. “Since then, numerous painters have opened small galleries and attract holidaymakers from all over the world,” says Josh Albrecht from the tourist office. During the summer season, the historic ferry takes you out to Oval Beach during the day, according to Condé Nast one of the 25 most beautiful beaches in the world. If you cross the dunes here, you think you are at the sea. The salt-free lake stretches to the horizon, children build sand castles and splash around in the shallow water. There are no sun loungers here, but the berths are in great demand.

The editors were invited by the Michigan Tourist Office.


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