We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Detroit for a very short while.

Which Detroit hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
posts: 103
reviews: 1
Detroit for a very short while.

It is that time to travel again. This time my first visit to Detroit in the next few days. I will be there for the weekend and Monday. I am putting up at the Marriott Renaissance Center. I have the second half of Saturday (4pm onwards) and the entire Sunday to myself. In this limited time I have the usual things on my agenda:

- shop a little for the wife and me(your basic Abercrombie, Juicy, GAP etc.);

- baby shopping (I need to buy a Medela feeding pump for the wife and maybe the toy, clothes etc. For the baby )

- maybe catch the latest movie when nothing else to do in the evening or so

- some American junk food :)

- any other to-dos in the Renaissance Center. ?

Ideally I would not like venture much out the Renaissance Center and was wondering whether there is enough in there to keep me occupied for 1.5 days and to meet my above to do list. Also are the shops open on Sunday. In case it is suggested that limiting myself to the Center will not work, then please could you advise me on the nearest and most convenient place that I can visit and by what mode of transport ?

Considering the unfortunate state of things in Detroit - I will definitely like to keep it safe and convenient. All suggestions will be much appreciated. Thanks

12 replies to this topic
Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 5,312
1. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

The entire downtown core is perfectly safe for you to visit either on foot or using the People Mover that loops around downtown. There is no reason to stay locked up in your hotel. Sundays can be kind of quiet depending on what is going on.

Junk food - get a coney island hot dog at either Lafayette Coney Island or American next door.

Shopping - not much downtown. Will you have a car to get to the suburbs?

Take a look at some of the other recent posts in the Detroit forum. Plenty of information there already.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 11,722
reviews: 597
2. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

Get a coney at both places, then compare !

posts: 103
reviews: 1
3. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

Thanks for the inputs. I did read many threads in the forum and most have them said that the best mall to shop is Somerset. Also Great Lakes has been recorded for cheaper options. I agree that I would not like to confine myself to the Hotel but would like to avoid taking Taxi's to far off places. Unfortunately I do not drive in US. If anyone could recommend the best options (pref Malls) which are nearest to the Renaissance Centre and preferably in downtown that I can walk down to or take the People Moved. Have read that I should avoid the suburbs. Though I even read the odd thread about people having bad expertness on a Sunday at the Center.

Also are these Malls open on a Sunday and any movie theatre in the Center. I also thought about visiting the Ford museum and was wondering whether it is near by to reach. I would like to make the most of my short stay there so will request a bit of pointed advice here. Thanks

posts: 628
4. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

There are many very safe things to do in Downtown Detroit (area of Renaissance Center), but unfortunately shopping is not one of them. The nearest stores for the brand names you mentioned are out in Troy, 23 miles to the north of Downtown. That 23 miles is about 25 minutes travel time (by car) when traffic is flowing smoothly, which it should any time during the weekend.

The big Detroit problem is that there is almost no public transit. No bus or train runs from Downtown to Troy at any time during the weekend. Renting a car to drive yourself would be one solution for you. Hiring an Uber car would be another. The estimated cost for an Uber-Black car (the ones that are insured) would be $61-79 depending on traffic-- probably near the lower end on a weekend. This is the cost each way.

The Somerset Collection in Troy has the clothing shops you mentioned. Here is a list if the stores and other services there, plus maps and hours-- www.thesomersetcollection.com/directory

The baby items you mentioned can also be found in Troy, though at a different shopping area. The Target store in the Maple & Coolidge center carries them, and also a wide selection of very cute baby clothes and toys. It is 1.5 miles from the Somerset Collection. You could drive yourself between the two locations, or call another Uber car, or perhaps take a SMART (suburban) bus part of the way-- though that #460 bus line only runs once per hour on Sundays and twice per hour on Saturdays.





If I were coming to the US from India and had only a day and a half to myself, I'd definitely skip the coneys. If by "junk food" you mean McDonald's and the like, you'll find those outlets right inside Renaissance Center. For some slightly nicer versions of french fries, onion rings and other such snack items you might enjoy Foran's Grand Trunk Pub, a short walk from your hotel.



posts: 628
5. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

Both Henry Ford Museum and the adjacent Greenfield Village are open 9:30am to 5pm every day, but they are also not near Downtown Detroit. Again, there is no reasonable public transit. Again, an Uber car or a taxi (about the same price, though the Uber cars are more reliable) are your options.


Edited: 12:33 pm, May 02, 2014
posts: 103
reviews: 1
6. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

Thanks for the prompt response. The way I see it I will and up spending $200 dollar to see a bit around in Uber car. That sounds expensive for sure. I think I will need to check what all options in the Renaissance Center as well (any recommendations) ? Driving around myself is not an option for me at this stage. In fact I even contemplating just arriving in Detroit on Sunday afternoon ( rather than Saturday) finish my work on Monday and fly back the evening. And don't get me wrong... I love travelling and have seen a bit of the globe. But never been to a place with public transport challenges and hotel situated away from the main areas.

Any suggestions on what I can do in Downtown on the weekend ? And yes - by junk I did not mean Mc. Those and similar fast foods are by the abundance here. Thank you all.

posts: 628
7. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

How were you planning to get to Downtown/Renaissance Center from the airport?

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are nearly on the road between the airport and Downtown. If you'll be taking a taxi or an Uber car, it would cost nearly the same to go from the airport to Henry Ford Complex, then later from Henry Ford Complex to Renaissance Center as it would to travel directly.

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 5,312
8. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

As noted, Detroit's public transport is very poor. Becoming familiar with Google Maps will be a big help as it can show you both bus and walking directions.

Your best bet for mall shopping would be the Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn. There is also a movie theater there.


It is a 30 minute bus trip and five minute walk from the Rosa Parks transit center downtown.


The transit center is about a mile from the Ren Cen. It is an easy walk if the weather is nice. If not, take the people mover from the Ren Cen to the Michigan Avenue station.

The mall hours are 11:00 to 6:00 on Sundays.

Troy/Somerset is just not feasible unless you want to spend the cash on a taxi.

Unfortunately it looks like a pretty boring weekend downtown. No sports until the Tigers are home on Monday night.

There is one play going on that I can see at the Fisher Theater.


posts: 514
reviews: 79
9. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

Maybe you could make your way over to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Even if you're not into art, I think it would be better than hanging around the hotel. Or maybe visit Belle Isle, the island park in the Detroit River. It's not as good as it used to be but they've been trying to restore it recently.

Copper Country, MI
Destination Expert
for Copper Harbor
posts: 2,486
reviews: 204
10. Re: Detroit for a very short while.

Another reason to try to stay out of Detorit....aka "Carjack City"


Reply to: Detroit for a very short while.
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted