Experiences In The D | The Blog for Visit Detroit

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Detroit Block by Block: Michigan Avenue Edition

Posted on Monday, February 20 2017 in Culture

Eldorado General Store Chris Miele
Michigan Avenue begins in downtown Detroit but its history offers a tale all its own. What we see as a mighty path through Corktown and west dates back to the 1820s. Before it was designated as U.S. 12, this route for pioneers had earned the name Old Chicago Road. Let's take Michigan Avenue block by block and see what it holds today.

Hear: PJ's Lager House keeps it live and loud with independent and local bands. Check the schedule at the MGM Grand Detroit's event center for major acts, or take a chance at the casino while you're near.

Sip: Try a wine tasting at Motor City Wine or sip a craft cocktail at Sugar House. A short jaunt down the street and you'll find Two James Spirits mixing up cocktails at its cozy round bar. Try out a few game day favorite spots like Nemo's or Corktown Tavern.

See: Though Michigan Avenue begins at the city center – just west of bustling Campus Martius Park, there is so much more to see as you head toward the city's oldest neighborhood. Any journey around Corktown must include a look at the architecture of Michigan Central Station. Closed since 1988 the famous site of the city's history took on a new shine with new windows in 2015. Surrounding the iconic structure is a swath of grassy green knoll known as Roosevelt Park.

Shop: Eldorado General Store can be found in the heart of Corktown and makes for the ideal stop to stock up on treasures for yourself or your home. Find industrial-inspired furnishings and home décor at the new shop on the block, Detroit Artifactry. A car isn't the only mode of transit to try when visiting the Motor City. Hop on two wheels at Detroit Moped Works too.

Stay: The Westin Book Cadillac makes for a comfortable and upscale home away from home nearby. Looking for a respite closer to Corktown? Check out Honor & Folly and you're right in the mix of all the neighborhood has to offer.

Taste: Hope you're hungry. To start, Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island may possess the longest coney dog rivalry on the block and in the country. Try both and take a side. Kick off a day in Detroit with breakfast or brunch at Detroit Institute of Bagels, Bobcat Bonnies for its brunchtime Bloody Mary Bar or Brooklyn Street Local for poutine. Whether you crave shwarma from Bucharest Grill or brisket from Slow's Bar BQ, a mere mention of these hotspots will make your friends hungry.

Got a large group? Grab pizza and wine at Ottava Via or tuck in to Gold Cash Gold for a superior menu by Chef Brendon Edwards . 

Take that, Old Chicago Road. What's your favorite stop along Michigan Avenue?


Writer Stephanie Angelyn Casola will brave the brick streets of Corktown in heels. She owns the PR and events firm Prologue and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Photo credit: Chris Miele