Finding fun places to spend an afternoon or evening keeps getting easier as Detroit’s urban renewal continues.
Whether you’re seeking independent shopping, delectable eats, cocktail culture or quirky entertainment, it’s all within reach in Detroit, Michigan. Check out this insider recap of memorable places to explore like a local.
Inside Parker’s Alley
A new shopping spot has popped up in Detroit – Parker’s Alley, located behind the ultra-hip and luxurious Shinola Hotel. One glance down this trendy brick-paved alley and you’ll notice a slew of appealing storefronts. Hot picks include The Lip Bar, a beauty line encouraging diversity with its cool line of lipsticks, glosses and other makeup staples; as well as Posie Atelier, a pretty flower and plant shop that also sells custom jewelry and ceramics. Be sure to hit Pingree Leather Goods for premium leather totes and boots, too. Once you’ve had your fill of shopping, pop into The Brakeman, a modern beer hall located within the Shinola Hotel. A quick scan of the room reveals tables equipped with beer taps, a section to play beer pong and a token system for paying for any of the eight different drafts on rotation. On the other end of the property, you’ll find Penny Red’s, a counter-service food stall specializing in tantalizing fried chicken. It’s easy enough to locate this eatery; just follow the wafting scent of delicious food.
Chowing down on Penny Red’s fried chicken and sipping beers at The Brakeman
City Cocktail Culture
Sip your way across Detroit at two distinctive bars that offer their own takes on the classic cocktail. Your first stop should be the Bad Luck Bar, hidden in the Capital Hill District. Don’t let the name deter you – this place is nothing short of fortuitous. Half the fun is locating the secret alleyway door. Once inside, you’ll find a dimly lit bar with glowing shelves of premium liquor and bartenders concocting edgy, experimental cocktails. Order The Alchemist, a Reyka vodka and champagne strawberry shrub cocktail with an air of mysticism. If you crave something a bit posher, venture downtown to The Monarch Club situated on the 13th floor of the restored Metropolitan Building. Reminiscent of the exclusives club of a bygone era, the Monarch Club is an elegant spot featuring specialty cocktails, wine and beer, along with an assortment of enticing small plates. Say “cheers” with an Old Fashioned cocktail or a glass of sparkling wine, and take in the sweeping rooftop views of the city.
The enticing glow of the Bad Luck Bar, one of Detroit’s hidden gems for innovative cocktails
Fun, Games and Frosty Beer
Just outside of Detroit in the suburb of Hamtramck, it’s all fun and games at Fowling Warehouse. What’s “fowling,” you ask? It’s an unconventional sport – a hybrid of American football and bowling. Team up and try your hand at throwing a football at the opposing team’s 10 bowling pins. The winning team is the first one to knock down the opposing team’s pins. Tally up your victories or play for the sheer fun of it; either way, it’s a laughter-inducing form of Americana and makes for excellent people watching. Beyond the 20 lanes designated for this offbeat sport, there’s also three bars serving 120-plus beers as well as wine and cocktails – all under one enormous roof. If ever there was a place where sports and libation mix nicely, this is it.
Trying out the latest craze, “fowling,” a blend of American football and bowling
Fly into the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and rent a car to get around the city, or take a taxi, shuttle or a ride-hail service to your accommodations.