“After decades of neglect, Detroit is rolling again. It’s like the whole place is caffeine-buzzed, freewheeling in ideas. Young creative types jump-started the scene when they began transforming the crazy-huge slew of abandoned buildings into distilleries, bike shops and galleries.”
That’s the opening paragraph to Lonely Planet’s exposé of Detroit, coined America’s Great Comeback City by The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB). In October, Lonely Planet, the world’s leading travel guide book publisher, released its “Best in Travel 2018” guide. As part of Best in Travel 2018, Lonely Planet named the Top 10 Cities globetrotters should visit in the upcoming new year. Detroit, ranked only behind Seville, Spain, landed at No. 2. Not only is Detroit No. 2 globally, it’s the only mainland U.S. city on the list (San Juan, Puerto Rico is No. 8).
While this is not the only praise Detroit has received this past year, Lonely Planet’s endorsement of Detroit seems to cement the resurging city’s position as a true travel destination. Now Detroit is in a fight to bring Amazon’s second headquarters and potentially 50,000 jobs to the city and metro areas. For the record, I’m not a Detroiter by birth. I relocated to the Great Lakes State just two years ago for work. And in February, I made the move to MCCI and started working in downtown.
As a transplant who’s been traveling to Detroit for more than six years, I agree with much of what Lonely Planet’s experienced editors wrote. Eastern Market is a favorite place of mine in the city; Belle Isle Park is a unique island separating the United States and Canada; and the Packard Plant is a must-see place, even for world traveler Anthony Bourdain. Side note: Pure Detroit is now offering tours of the 3.5 million square foot plant that was built to produce automobiles in 1903.
Restaurants and bars are opening so fast residents don’t have time to keep up. Little Caesars Arena recently opened, positioning Detroit as the only city in the United States with all four major professional sports playing home games in downtown (Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons).
Again, I agree with much of what Lonely Planet had to say about Motor City, but I also challenge any visitor to Detroit to see more of the city. Make a stop in Detroit during the summer months, grab a bike from MoGo (Detroit’s bike share program) and take part in Slow Roll to see neighborhoods of the city that many would never usually venture to.
After living in Michigan for nearly 30 months, and having traveled across the state and throughout the greater Detroit area, I consider myself well-versed to speak about the city and state. And as a Detroit-based business, all of us at MCCI are true ambassadors of America’s Great Comeback City. But we want your thoughts. How do you view Detroit? Is the city really progressing and making a comeback, or is this one of the great city-related PR pushes of our time? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.