Whirlwind Sampler Plate Driving Tour

14 stops · 2 hrs by Driving
Created by Jerry Paffendorf

A fast (less than 2 hours), diverse driving tour of different icons, landmarks, and neighborhood types around the core of the city. Designed to quickly give you a sense of different Detroit landscapes. Keep your eyes peeled between locations!

1

Downtown

Woodward & Fort

Just cruise around downtown in a loop and look at all these sweet new and old buildings, shops, and nice little parks. Hint: you'll know you're there because you'll be surrounded by skyscrapers. photo by Hubert Sawyers:

Downtown-detroitbyhubert

2

Joe Louis Fist

Jefferson & Woodward

One of my favorite works of public art ever. A huge, 24-foot-long metal fist suspended in a 24-foot-tall frame right where Detroit's main drag (Woodward Ave) hits the Detroit River overlooking Windsor, Canada. photo by rdfl313 on Flickr:

Fist

3

Corktown

Michigan & Trumbull

Detroit's oldest existing residential neighborhood. The big empty field at this cross-section was the original Tiger Stadium/Ernie Harwell Park. It was torn down in 2009 to make way for...the future? photo by Trovarsi on Flickr:

Corktownbyryank

4

Michigan Central Station

2001 15th St

Built in 1913 at one time this was the world's tallest train station. It closed in 1986 and has become Detroit's most iconic ruin. Note: the park in front of it is Roosevelt Park, and across Michigan Avenue you'll find the famous Slow's BBQ as well as Astro Coffee and Suger House Cocktails. All great places. photo from justurbanism.com:

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5

North Corktown

Rosa Parks & Temple

Once contiguous with South Corktown before I-75 came through in the '60s, NoCo is a relative urban rural wildland with neighborhood projects and urban farms dotting the largely open landscape. Watch out for pheasants! photo from thejewishnews.com:

Mainphotokoller

6

Cass Corridor

Martin Luther King & Cass

Largely rebranded as Midtown, Cass Corridor (running north up Cass) still has plenty of gritty evidence of its notoriously seedy past -- charm, alarm, recent redevelopment and all. photo by Bob Jagendorf on Flickr:

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7

Chinatown

Cass & Peterboro

Detroit's Chinatown is really currently an abandoned Chinese restaurant and a placemarker in Mandarin. Note: as of 2011 there's a Chinatown soccer team in the Detroit Futbol League made up of mostly midtown residents. photo from modeldmedia.com:

Dn-casscorridorretail

8

Woodward Avenue

Woodward & Mack

Cruise the strip north and south, the first paved road in America, as the story goes. It runs from downtown up through the suburbs and cuts through the fabled Mile roads, with 0 starting downtown and running up to 8 Mile where the city limits end. photo from Wikipedia

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9

Fisher Building

Woodward & Grand

A biiiig building in an area of town called New Center. The idea back in the day was to build a new downtown (or a new center) here. photo by mgsmith on Flickr:

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10

Eastern Market

Russell & Division

A huge, huge in-and-outdoor farmer's market open on the weekends with many restaurants open throughout the week. photo by dreaminofbeadin on Flickr:

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11

Brush Park

Brush & Erskine

Swing back south and make your way to Brush Park, an open landscape just outside of downtown dotted with crazy old mansions and wonder why not too much is happening here in this beautiful central spot. photo from citynoise.org

1916

12

Packard Plant

1539 E Grand Boulevard

Quoth Wikipedia: "The Packard Automotive Plant is a former automobile-manufacturing factory in Detroit, Michigan where luxury Packard cars were made by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, and later by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. The 3,500,000-square-foot (325,000 m2), plant was designed by Albert Kahn and is located on over 40 acres (0.142 km2) of land on East Grand Boulevard on the city's depressed east side. It included the first use of reinforced concrete for industrial construction in Detroit. The Packard plant was opened in 1907 and at the time was considered the most modern automobile manufacturing facility in the world with skilled craftsmen who practiced over eighty trades.[citation needed] The factory closed in 1958, but the buildings remain standing as of 2012." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packard_Automotive_Plant

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13

The Heidelberg Project

Heidelberg & Ellery

Basically an entire neighborhood turned into an art project by artist Tyree Guyton and friends. Just out of this world. Park the car and walk around if you can. You won't really see anything else like it. photo by Becks Davis:

Heidelbergbecks

14

Belle Isle

Jefferson & E Grand

Without doubt worthy of the phrase "a jewel of Detroit". Belle Isle is basically the city's Central Park. Cross the short bridge and do a lap. Wonderful parks, old buildings and monuments, views of Canada and Downtown Detroit. Gorgeous.

Bellisle