Planning Your Time
Southeast Michigan is a relatively small area, easy to traverse with a car. Several major routes link Detroit and its suburbs to other parts of the state, including I-75 from Flint, I-96 from Lansing, or I-94 from Battle Creek.
Getting here via other forms of transportation is also a snap. The Detroit Metropolitan–Wayne County Airport (DTW) serves as a hub for Northwest Airlines. In addition, Amtrak serves Dearborn, Detroit, Royal Oak, Birmingham, and Pontiac. Greyhound also offers regular bus services to three stations in the area.
Unlike other parts of Michigan, Detroit and its suburbs aren’t terribly dependent on the shifting seasons. Most museums, shops, and restaurants are open in winter as well as summer. No matter when you visit, however, you’ll need at least three days to explore the region’s key attractions, such as downtown Detroit and the Henry Ford complex in Dearborn. Five days is preferable, especially if you plan to make a trip across the border to Windsor, Ontario, in Canada.
Just remember that Detroit is a big, unpredictable city. Crime can be a concern here. Tourist areas, such as the waterfront and the Cultural Center, are well patrolled, but it’s important to stay vigilant even in relatively safe areas. For added protection, always travel with someone else, hide your money and identification beneath your clothing, and leave valuable jewelry back at home. It’s also helpful to know the location of a few different police stations, just in case.
For more information about Detroit and its suburbs, consult the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (211 W. Fort St., Suite 1000, Detroit, MI 48226, 313/202-1800, www.visitdetroit.com) or Travel Michigan (800/644-2489, www.michigan.org).
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel