Dowtown Detroit Orientation Walk (Self Guided), Detroit

Detroit, being the oldest city in the Midwest, boasts a number of landmarks, many of which are concentrated in the downtown area. The must-see attractions in Detroit include the Renaissance Center, Hart Plaza and Campus Martius Park. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most fascinating landmarks and neighborhoods in downtown Detroit.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Dowtown Detroit Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: Dowtown Detroit Orientation Walk
Guide Location: USA » Detroit (See other walking tours in Detroit)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Author: Caroline
1
Renaissance Center

1) Renaissance Center (must see)

Renaissance Center is a group of seven interconnected skyscrapers in Downtown Detroit. Located on the International Riverfront, the Renaissance Center complex is owned by General Motors as its world headquarters. The central tower, the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, is the tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, and features the largest rooftop restaurant, Coach Insignia. It has been the tallest building in Michigan since its erection in 1977.

John Portman was the principal architect for the original design. The first phase constructed a five tower rosette rising from a common base. Four 39-story office towers surround the 73-story hotel rising from a square-shaped podium which includes a shopping center, restaurants, brokerage firms, banks, a four-screen movie theatre and private clubs. The first phase officially opened in March 1977. Portman's design renewed attention to city architecture, constructing the world's tallest hotel at the time. Two additional 21-story office towers (known as Tower 500 and Tower 600) opened in 1981. This type of complex has been termed a city within a city.

In 2004, General Motors completed a US$500 million renovation of the class-A center as its world headquarters, which it had purchased in 1996. The renovation included the addition of the five-story Wintergarden atrium, which provides access to the International Riverfront. Architects for the renovation included Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Gensler, SmithGroup, and Ghafari Associates. Work continued in and around the complex until 2005. Renaissance Center totals 5,552,000 square feet (515,800 m2) making it one of the world's largest commercial complexes.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Hart Plaza

2) Hart Plaza (must see)

Hart Plaza is known as the Philip A. Hart Plaza. Philip Hart was a United States Senator from 1959 to 1976. This 14-acre (57,000 m2) land was dedicated to him in 1956. It is located Downtown Detroit, between the Detroit River and East Jefferson.

In 1979 was the completion of the Philip A. Hart Plaza. Hundreds of people come together during the summer for celebrations, concerts and festivals from May to Labor Day. People all over the Midwest and Canada join together for free, fun filled entertainment. There are a lot of things that happen in these buildings such as The North American International Auto Show (Cobo), many concerts and Detroit Red Wings Games (Joe Louis), and there are offices and restaurants in the RenCen. In recent years Hart Plaza have been added to by the Detroit International Riverfront.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Joe Louis Memorial

3) Joe Louis Memorial (must see)

The Monument to Joe Louis, known also as "The Fist", is a memorial to the boxer at Detroit's Hart Plaza. Dedicated on October 16, 1986, the sculpture, commissioned by Sports Illustrated magazine from the Mexican-American sculptor Robert Graham, is a 24-foot-long (7.3 m) arm with a fisted hand suspended by a 24-foot-high (7.3 m) pyramidal framework.

It represents the power of his punch both inside and outside the ring. Because of his efforts to fight Jim Crow laws, the fist was symbolically aimed toward the South. Graham referred to the sculpture as a "battering ram". The sculpture was vandalized by two white men in 2004, who covered it in white paint and left a sign which read, "Courtesy of Fighting Whities". Graham responded that the piece was "working" if it aroused passion.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
"Spirit of Detroit"

4) "Spirit of Detroit"

The Spirit of Detroit is a city monument with a large bronze statue created by Marshall Fredericks and located at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. It was commissioned in 1955 for a cost of $58,000 (equivalent to $503,195 today), and dedicated in 1958. In its left hand, the large seated figure holds a gilt bronze sphere emanating rays to symbolize God. In its right hand, is a family group symbolizing all human relationships. The 26-foot (7.9 m) sculpture was the largest cast bronze statue since the Renaissance when it was first installed. It was cast in Oslo, Norway.

The name emerged from an inscription from 2 Corinthians (3:17) on the wall behind it. It includes the seals of the city and the county. A plaque in front of the sculpture bears the inscription, "The artist expresses the concept that God, through the spirit of man is manifested in the family, the noblest human relationship."

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
The Guardian Building

5) The Guardian Building

The Guardian Building is a landmark skyscraper in the United States, located at 500 Griswold Street in Downtown Detroit, Michigan, within the Financial District. Built in 1928 the building is a bold example of Art Deco architecture, including art modern designs. At the top of the Guardian Building's spire is a large American Flag, complementing the four smaller flags atop nearby 150 West Jefferson. The building has undergone recent award-winning renovations. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 29, 1989, and the associated Detroit Financial District is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Guardian building includes retail and a tourist gift shop.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Campus Martius Park

6) Campus Martius Park

Campus Martius Park is a re-established park in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. The original park covered several acres and was a major gathering area for citizens. Campus Martius Park is the home of the annual Motown Winter Blast and it has become the site of the city's annual Christmas tree lighting celebration, held the Monday before Thanksgiving. Thousands come to hear Christmas music and countdown to the lighting of the city's official Christmas tree and other decorations to mark the start of the holiday season.
The Michigan Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument stands on the southeast tip of Campus Martius Park. Capping the monument, the heroic "Amazon figure" Michigania, or Victory, brandishes a sword in her right hand and in her other she raises a shield, prepared for attack.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Grand Circus Park Historic District

7) Grand Circus Park Historic District

The Grand Circus Park Historic District contains the 5-acre (2.0 ha) Grand Circus Park in Downtown Detroit, Michigan that connects the theatre district with its financial district. Among the notable buildings encircling the park are the David Broderick Tower and David Whitney Building on the south, Kales Building, and Central United Methodist Church on the north, and Comerica Park and Detroit Opera House on the East. The Detroit Opera House overlooks the eastern edge of the park and the grounds include statuary and large fountains. Along the east necklace there are other venues including the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, the Gem Theatre, Century Club, The historic Harmonie Club and Harmonie Centre. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Fox Theater

8) Fox Theater (must see)

The Fox Theatre is an ornate performing arts center in the United States, located at 2211 Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit. Opened in 1928 as a flagship movie palace in the Fox Theatres chain, it is noted as the first theater designed and built to include a speaker system for sound films. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989. The area surrounding the Fox is nicknamed Foxtown. The city's major performance centers and theatres emanate from the Fox Theatre and Grand Circus Park Historic District and continue along Woodward Avenue toward the Fisher Theatre in the city's New Center.

The Fox has 5,048 seats (5,174 seats if removable seats placed in the raised orchestra pit are included). It is the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s and the largest of the original Fox Theatres. The Fox was fully restored in 1988. The adjacent office building houses the headquarters of Olympia Entertainment and Little Caesars.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Greektown

9) Greektown

Greektown is a historic commercial and entertainment district in Detroit, Michigan, located just northeast of the heart of downtown, along Monroe Avenue between Brush and St. Antoine Streets. It includes St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, Second Baptist Church, the Athenium Suite Hotel, and the Greektown Casino Hotel within its boundaries. The neighborhood is a popular restaurant and entertainment area, having many restaurants that serve authentic Greek cuisine, as well as one of the city's three casinos, Greektown Casino. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
10
Trinity Lutheran Church

10) Trinity Lutheran Church (must see)

Trinity Lutheran Church is a historic Detroit church currently registered as a National Historic Site. At 150 years old, it is the oldest church in this region and is the most famous Lutheran church in the city. The church was built from red brick and incorporates decorative elements made of glass, wood, tile and brass. The church is an excellent example of the 16th-century Pier and Clerestory Gothic styles of architecture.
11
Eastern Market

11) Eastern Market

Eastern Market is a historic commercial district in Detroit, Michigan. It is located approximately one mile (1.6 km) northeast of the city's downtown. Eastern Market is the largest historic public market district in the United States, and the Eastern Market farmer's distribution center is the largest open-air flowerbed market in the United States and has more than 150 foods and specialty businesses. Eastern Market is a selling point for a wide variety of produce, meat, spice and other products. It is particularly busy on Saturdays, when farmers tend to bring in their poultry and livestock, along with fresh produce, for sale. Local and internationally recognized art galleries, studios and makerspaces have recently established spaces nearby, including The Red Bull House of Art, OmniCorp Detroit, Inner State Gallery, Riopelle and Project.

Walking Tours in Detroit, Michigan

Create Your Own Walk in Detroit

Create Your Own Walk in Detroit

Creating your own self-guided walk in Detroit is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Tour of Detroit's Belle Isle

Tour of Detroit's Belle Isle

Detroit's Belle Isle is a wonderful island connected to the city by a bridge. There are many interesting tourist attractions on the island. You can visit a museum, stroll through a fairy-tale-beautiful park, see a memorial lighthouse and more. Take this self-guided tour to explore Belle Isle, which is fittingly named 'beautiful island'.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 km
Art Galleries Tour of Detroit

Art Galleries Tour of Detroit

There are many art galleries in the city of Detroit. It is also home to the prestigious Institute of Art, so many talented artists live in the area. Here, you can see everything from modern art, traditional fine art and photography to prints, sculpture and other forms of visual art. This self-guided tour will lead you to Detroit's most noteworthy art galleries.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Monuments Tour of Detroit

Monuments Tour of Detroit

There are many monuments and statues in the city of Detroit. Many wealthy Detroit residents have bequeathed money to the city specifically to build notable landmarks. Monuments to great personalities in the history of the city and the country are scattered across the city. Take this self-guided tour to see Detroit's unique monuments and statues.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km
Churches Tour of Detroit

Churches Tour of Detroit

Detroit is a multicultural city, which is reflected in the variety of churches found here. There are splendid Orthodox and Catholic cathedrals, as well as historic Protestant churches. This self-guided tour will lead you to Detroit's most magnificent places of worship.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Landmarks Tour of North Detroit

Landmarks Tour of North Detroit

There are many tourist attractions in the northern area of Detroit. The Motown Historical Museum, for example, tells the history of the city from a musical perspective. There are also an amazing array of architecturally interesting buildings and churches. This self-guided tour will lead to the most notable landmarks in north Detroit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Cultural Tour of Detroit

Cultural Tour of Detroit

Detroit is a multicultural city heavily influenced by the automobile industry. The city has a thriving arts scene and boasts many art galleries and theaters. This self-guided tour will lead you to Detroit's best cultural attractions.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km