Hello, my sweet readers! I’m glad you dropped by today, on this, the last day of my Detroit series. Indulge me for a moment…and make sure you check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post. (Giveaway now closed.) It’s from my heart and I can’t wait to mail it to one of you!
If you’ve been following along with my posts this week, you know I had a heckuva great time in Detroit. I sat down to write this post with the intention of writing one of those lists sure to go viral, like a Top Five Things to Do in Detroit…and then it become Top Ten and then I realized I just had so much to share with you that it didn’t belong in a list like that.
First, I just couldn’t figure out how to tell you concisely about the vibrancy of the food scene in Detroit. I spent most of the week telling you about the pizza, the vegetarian food, the cocktails.
Yet I never got around to telling you about the incredible juice from Drought, tucked into a case inside Willy’s, a sister store to Shinola selling American made brands. There’s just so much to share with you!
Which brings me to shopping. Maybe you’ve heard Shinola’s story, manufacturing watches, bicycles, journals, pet products in Detroit and cities beyond Detroit, bringing manufacturing back and doing it with a sense of style and luxury. I wanted to tell you all about shopping at Shinola, Willy’s, the darling stores in the Midtown neighborhood like Nest, City Bird, Hugh and Nora.
But then I remembered I hadn’t told you yet about the new dog park in Midtown. I wasn’t traveling with one of our pups, but Dolce is now sporting a Shinola collar with a “found” tag on it. She’s all ready for her trip to The D. Visiting this dog park is high on our list.
In my rambles about Midtown, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Whole Foods store. I always find my way to Whole Foods when I’m out of town because I know I can piece together a meal there. Turns out I didn’t need to do that in Detroit, so many restauranteurs who created amazing meals for me, but I did buy lots of local food products in the store. That store was full of hustle and bustle, lots of folks shopping. And can I tell you about parking? The lot was full; I saw a sign pointing to overflow parking as I was walking in. I spotted a space, but by the time I zipped around to get it, another car was waiting for it, coming from the opposite direction. I kindly waved the other driver in, but he was not having it. He was insistent that I was going to park in that space. This experience, just trying to park my car, was so exemplary of my visit in Detroit. Folks were kind everywhere we went. It just felt good in Detroit!
I also wanted to tell you about the museums in Detroit. The Detroit Institute of Arts Museum took my breath away. It’s one of the best collections of art I’ve seen in the U.S.–and I make a point to go to art museums in every city we visit. The Diego Rivera installation alone is worth a visit to Detroit.
And then I wanted to tell you about all of the other museums in Detroit. The Motown Museum should be on every music lover’s short list. It doesn’t stop there, the city is rich with museums and has an entire district of museums. I didn’t allow nearly enough time to see everything there. I must go back…
So, you see, there was no way I could condense my “must see” list to five or ten things. I just want to say to you, GO, VISIT DETROIT!
In the meantime, while you plan your trip to Detroit, I’ve got a swell giveaway for you.
While in Detroit, every time I stopped to buy a little something for myself, I also bought a little something for one of you, my sweet readers. I carefully chose from locally-owned stores, buying Michigan made foods and goodies. I put together a collection of fun finds for a giveaway. I got a couple bags of Better Made potato chips (read about them here), darling little jars of dark chocolate hot fudge and classic caramel dessert toppings from Sanders, a jar of peanut butter from St. Laurent Brothers (they’ve been making PB since 1904!), a jar of apricot reisling preserves from Beau Bine (so good over Brie or just on toast!), a dark almond chocolate bar and a box of Michigan cherry pecan fudge from Gayle’s Chocolates, a pencil from Shinola (one just like this lives in my travel journal) and a bag of espresso roasted coffee beans from Germack. And I’ve got it all packaged up in a reusable shopping bag from Whole Foods Detroit. While I want to tell you it’s a priceless collection, the retail value is around $50.
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED.
So here’s how to enter : Simply leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to visit Detroit. Then enter using the Rafflecopter fancy gizmo included below. That’s all. No hoops to jump through, no Facebook pages to like (although it would be great if you did like my page), no tweets to twitter about, just leave a comment on this post and then enter!
The particulars: This giveaway ends on Monday, October 13th at 9 a.m. Central time. I will contact the winner and give them 24 hours to respond with their mailing address. If I don’t get a response in 24 hours, another winner will be chosen. Shipping to the U.S. only, on my dollar. (Update 10/16/14: I did not hear from the first winner and have selected a second winner today!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I’d like to visit Detroit to see where the major car industries started and to see that it’s not all bad. I love all your posts about it to show the side that no one seems to show about Detroit. The only things I’ve ever really seen of it is of abandoned buildings and about the violence there. It sounds like it would be a really great place to visit.
I’d like to check out the auto history, too, Stephanie. While we were in Detroit, I read a news article about the Packard plant (one of the most photographed abandoned buildings) being purchased and refurbished. Good stuff happening there!
I would love to see that Westin hotel, but mostly, I’d love to do a food tour!
I think a walking food tour of Downtown Detroit would be fun, Trudee! Lots of good eats in one city…
Melissa Pearson says
I love sandwiches and I really want to try the deli you wrote about earlier in the week! Luckily, Detroit is only a few hours away!
I’m envious! I would eat at Mudgie’s often if I lived nearby!
My grandmother grew up there – haven’t been back in 15+ years and would love to explore!
I hope you get to visit soon, Lara. Such a fun city to explore!
Randi Cook says
I’ve heard they’ve done lots of work on the river front and would like to check that out! Also I love the architec of the old buildings down there!
We really enjoyed walking along the riverfront. It’s gorgeous and lined with so many large sculptures! Seeing the old buildings downtown was also enjoyable. At sunset, it was beautiful, watching the way the light hits the buildings change by the minute.
heather cooper says
I have been planning a trip to Detroit for the past few months but have no idea what places to visit! With your help I will get to visit the best places. Hopefully around Christmas 🙂
I hope you have a great visit, Heather! The shopping will surely be divine around Christmas.
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says
I have loved this whole series, Johnna! I’m not entering the giveaway (because I’d love for one of your other loyal readers to win this great package), but I did want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your Detroit posts. 🙂 Thanks so much!
Thanks Shirley! Our trip to Detroit was so enjoyable. I hope I’ve planted a seed in at least one other person to visit. Such a great city!
I would like to visit Detroit because it needs more visitors!
YES! You are so right, Lauri! So much to see in Detroit and so many great places to eat.
My grandfather was from Detroit and left in the the 1930’s would love to go visit his relatives who still live the area.
I hope you get to visit soon, Betsy. I’ve enjoyed hearing from my readers who have a family connection to Detroit!
I only every hear sad things about Detroit, so this was nice to read. 🙂
Before our trip, I had the same experience, Katy. So much good happening there. I hope more folks will visit!
I’d love to check out the food scene! It is the most exciting before it is too successful, and too commercialized – fun, fun fun!
I hope you get to visit soon, Rosie! The food scene in Detroit is fabulous.
Mark Sparks says
Detroit needs to redeem itself with me. My only visit there was performing at the state fair which was in an awful part of town. Please, help me love Detroit!
I hope you checked out my posts, Mark! So much good stuff going on in Detroit. Like most cities, I’m sure it still has an awful part of town. I passed by many of the places Eminem made infamous, but never felt unsafe. And dang, Detroit folks know how to eat. You would enjoy the food there and the museums were amazing.
To eat! All of th places you’ve talked about sound awesome 🙂
They were, Toni! Many good eats in The D.
I’d like to go shopping at Nest!
I hope you get to, Calli. I had so much fun shopping in the neighborhood where Nest is. I brought back lots of goodies for our housesitter from there.
I love Detroit and am thrilled to see this charming and positive blog. My next visit will be to see Motown the Musical. Detroit has fabulous cultural abd theater venues. Thank you.for promoting this great city!
I would love to see Motown the Musical, Gayle! I noticed several performing arts venues and gorgeous historic marquees. On my next trip, I’m going to take in a few theatre performances.
Emily G says
I want to visit Detroit because it’s where I grew up and I miss it!
It’s been interesting to see how many of my readers have a Detroit connect, Emily! I’m now 100% convinced good folks come from Detroit!
I want to visit to see some dear friends that live there, and to see the amazing historical places! And now, eat (obviously).
I hope you get to visit soon, Greta! Good eats, great sightseeing and wonderful people. 🙂
Patty Wisor says
I plan to go to visit my brother and now I intend to explore many of the places from this series. Thank you for sharing!
Happy to share, Patty! Have a great visit with your brother. 🙂
Jessica DeMay says
I only live a couple hours away and I’ve wanted to visit Detroit for a long time but didn’t know exactly what to do- now I do!! Thanks! I feel like it gets a bad reputation and there’s still so much great stuff to do there. I’ll have to check out that pizza place for sure!!
You are so right, Jessica. A bad reputation that seems to overshadow how much good there is. I enjoyed Detroit Style Pizza Co. and will check out Buddy’s Pizza on my next trip. Detroit does pizza right!
Dee Fedor says
I was born in Detroit. Lived just North, in Warren till I married. I love seeing the foods I grew up with. Wish there was still a Sanders to have a hot fudge sundae in! Many fond memories! Would love to visit!
I can’t recall ever visiting an area that has so many foods deeply ingrained in their history, Dee! Sometimes I struggle when visiting an area to find local food products. That was definitely NOT the case in Detroit. If there were a Sanders where I could have had a hot fudge sundae, I may have never left. Jars of sauce are temptation enough! 🙂
Ellen-Sue Ryan says
I’d love to eat my way through the motor city!
And you will get to…in a box of goodies. YOU WON! Congrats. 🙂
The food looks amazing. I visited Detroit many years ago, haven’t had a chance to get back.
I hope you’ll get to visit again soon. 🙂
I’d love to visit Detroit to spend more time at the DIA (I made a quick visit last year, but with three small kids in tow didn’t get to stay as long as I wanted) and to check out the shopping in Midtown.
I’m not sure how much time one should allot for visiting DIA, I just know for us, it wasn’t enough. I could easily spend an entire day there. I hope you get to visit again soon. 🙂
I’ve read about Detroit, but I want to experience it for myself.
I hope you get to soon!
Laurie S says
Wow! I had no idea there was so much to see and do in Detroit! Thank you for opening my eyes. All I’ve ever heard is how horrible it is. I’ll add this to our list of places to visit. Thank you!
SO much to see and do and eat in Detroit, Laurie! Go visit soon!!
robert ballard says
Because you said its a kool place…!
Indeed, it is!
robert ballard says
Tried to enter contest and it never linked…?
What you’ve shown of Detroit looks really fun! And I definitely love a good art museum and sandwich. This has definitely changed some of my thinking about Detroit.
It makes me happy to hear that, Alissia. Detroit is a terrific city with much to offer. My idea of a perfect day would be a visit to DIA and a sandwich at Mudgie’s. 🙂
Michelle Key says
I have family in Detroit that I haven’t seen in a very long time.
I hope you get to visit your family soon, Michelle!
I’ve never been to Detroit but your experience makes me want to check it out for myself!
Yay! I hope you do get to check out Detroit soon. Great city!
Lauren Fritz says
I’d like to visit Detroit because I love the Detroit Tigers and I have family in the state! Plus, the top of the Renaissance Center building view is amazing!
I must check out that view on my next trip!
Sheryll Ziemer says
I love Detroit! I’ve only been once, 1 1/2 years ago. My 99 year old Aunt still lives there and it was a blast visiting the city and surrounding areas. Thanks for the offer with all of these goodies!
I love hearing about other people visiting Detroit and having a blast. Folks need to hear more of the good stuff about Detroit. Thanks for your comment!!
Cheryl Counts says
I was so happy to find you blog and your posts on Detroit. I also am in love with Detroit. And sadly no, I’ve never been there….yet. It’s posts like yours that may help me get there one day. The world needs to see more good stuff about Detroit. We need more information on places to go while there and all that little information to help us feel comfortable about traveling to Detroit.
I became interested in Detroit when I found out my Grandmother lived there for a little bit during WWII. Before that I had never thought much about Detroit and certainly never ever thought about visiting. I soon realized that Detroit is the “American City”! Detroit was an American Icon. It was the American Dream.
In my looking around the web for pictures I soon realized Detroit was in a sad state of demise. Oh how heartbreaking. How can a city full of so much history fall like this? And that train station, Michigan Central Station, what a beautiful building. Would someone please please fix this beautiful historical building before it’s too far gone. I never dreamed Detroit Michigan was so full of historical significance and beautiful historical buildings. Did you visit the train station while in Corktown?
I found a few videos on YouTube – “Johnny Knoxville: Detroit Lives”. He shows us all the good stuff going on in Detroit right now. You need to look these up since you’re a Detroit fan like myself. After watching these videos I, like you, fell in love with Detroit. Well, actually I guess I had already fell in love with Detroit once finding out about it’s history. But now I want to go to Detroit. Sadly everyone thinks I’m crazy and no one is remotely interested in going with me.
There are some other things I’m interested in about visiting Detroit. Are there very many antique or vintage type stores? If so, are they pricey or reasonable. When I look at all those abandoned house pictures (on other websites) I have to wonder about all the beautiful old stuff that people may have left behind.
I did visit a few vintage shops that offered some antiques. I’m not an antique collector, so I can’t speak to the pricing, but did enjoy shopping in Detroit. I also noticed many historic homes that have been well kept and are lived in by obviously caring folks. Lots of good going on in Detroit and I focused on that, so I can’t speak to the abandoned homes. (We have those where I live, too, along with thriving historic districts. I don’t think Detroit is unique in this, just easy to kick someone when they are down.)
Susie R says
I’d love to go to Detroit if for no other reason that to attend the North American International Auto Show.
I would like to go to the Auto Show, too!
Dena Atchley says
I would love to see Motown! And the museums sound amazing too!
Great city to visit museums, Dena!
Janet Robison says
That food you posted looks amazing. I’d visit to eat some of that cheesy goodness in the first pic!
Thanks, Janet! That pizza was divine!
Johnna, I’ve really enjoyed your series on Detroit. Like a breath of fresh air! Also, loved all your kale posts on FB recently.
Stacy @ Every Little Thing says
I’d like to visit because I grew up only 15 miles from the city! I lived in Michigan for 22 years, then again for another four years later on. My parents and other family still live there, and some friends as well. Would love to win this!
I’m hearing from so many folks who grew up in Michigan, all of them swell people! Apparently it’s not only good food that comes from Michigan, but good people, too!
robert ballard says
I won…How kool is that! 🙂