ABC Wants You To Visit Detroit But Skip Visiting Detroit, Wait What?

Illustration for article titled ABC Wants You To Visit Detroit But Skip Visiting Detroit, Wait What?

I'm a little bit confused by this ABC News (by way of Travelzoo) piece that encourages people to visit Detroit. If I haven't made it plain by now, I'm all in favor of Detroit tourism — except this piece is telling you to skip all the best parts of Detroit.


Right off the bat, potential tourists are told to "skip downtown, travel abroad." Because when you visit a major city, the first thing you should not do is see what its downtown is all about. What kind of travel advice is this?

"Most people don't realize that Canada is right across the river," says my colleague, Travelzoo sales whiz Steve Bertogli, who lives in New York but who grew up in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights.

Uh, yeah, that should be rephrased as a few people didn't pass basic fucking geography in grade school. Who doesn't know that Detroit and Canada share a boundary?

And, wait — Windsor as a tourist destination? I mean, don't get me wrong. I love my neighbors to the south and Windsor has plenty to offer. (In college for the school paper, I even wrote a travel guide for Windsor! For when you turn 19!) But what the hell are you going to do in Windsor that you can't do in Detroit? Oh, I suppose Caesars Windsor has a better buffet than Motor City Casino or something. Maybe the boarded-up houses caused by the very same auto-industry collapse on that side of the river have just a bit more charm!

Next off, our friendly travel guide tells us to "skip the gym." Yes, you visited a city just to see what the gyms are like. Instead, the suggestion is to go fishing. Fishing everywhere except Detroit: Lake St. Clair and "rivers throughout Michigan and northern Ohio." So is this a Detroit travel piece or a Midwest travel piece?

The most annoying part of this clearly-never-visited-Detroit drivel is the advice to skip the DIA. The Detroit Institute of Arts. The world-renowned, Van Gogh-holding, people-are-so-bloodthirsty-to-get-their-hands-on-all-the-shit-in-this-building-because-bankruptcy DIA. And instead go to the RenCen. The fucking RenCen instead of the DIA.

Skip the Museum, Visit Ren Cen The GM Renaissance Center –- the locals call it Ren Cen –- is as iconic as buildings get in Detroit. Inside, you'll find the GM Showroom, a year-round auto show experience of sorts inside a 40,000-square-foot display showcase, as well as Coach Insignia Restaurant, which, from Floors 71 and 72, offers sweeping city views. You can learn about Ren Cen for free, with one-hour guided tours offered twice daily, Monday through Friday. Among the neat features you'll see: a world map carved in granite at Riverfront Plaza, a tropical atrium overlooking the Detroit River and "Borealis," the tallest vertical glass structure in the world.


Yes, you'll just have a fabulous time at the CVS in the 200 Tower! Watch all the disgruntled GM employees shuffle along as they navigate through the year's biggest PR crisis! Get a Bud Light at the Volt Bar, named after the — you guessed it — Chevy Volt! Don't forget to get a good view of the all the GM cars on display that you can't sit in or touch!

In other bullshit advice, you're advised to go to the Michigan International Speedway in Jackson — that's two counties and an hour-and-a-half drive away — and take a flying lesson way the fuck out in Oakland County. I mean, at least Slows wasn't a suggestion? But what the fuck.


Seriously, if you want some Detroit travel advice, I've given it to you already here, here, here and here. Or just drop a line in the comments if you need anything further. Trust an insider.



The only reason to visit Detroit is for its events. NAIAS, DEMF, the Jazz festival, Autorama, Dream Cruise, ect. I have no idea who would just show up here and start looking for things to do. The more events Detroit throws the better. Its like a big, blank, brick colored canvas.

Also, Detroit people need to stop making a distinction between Detroit and its surrounding areas. The sooner the two start to blend together the sooner the people will too. The whole inside/outside Detroit thing is bullshit. No one complains that the Rose Parade is in Pasadena and not therefore an "LA" event.