Before I head off next week to start my second year of grad school, we decided to take a mini holiday south of the border.
Detroit seemed like the perfect place to go for a weekend trip since it's less than 5 hours from Toronto and is currently going through a bit of a post-recession renaissance.
Detroit is an interesting city at the moment. Parts of it have been suffering, run-down, or abandoned since the economy collapsed in 2008, while other sections have been rebuilt and reconstructed to feature fabulous high end restaurants and shops.
Walking the street of Woodbridge in downtown Detroit led us past some gorgeously restored Victorian homes painted in stunning colours. But for every dream home, there is another one on the same street that has fallen completely into disrepair. It's a fascinating study in architectural contrasts.
If you're looking to plan a little urban holiday in the Great Lakes area, I definitely recommend a weekend in Detroit! Some of my favourite highlights from our trip are featured below:
Right around the corner from each other are two fabulous Detroit shops featuring premium leather goods: Shinola and Will. Shinola's style is more sleek and modern, while Will favours a more traditional country aesthetic. In addition to leather goods, Will does hats and Shinola does watches and bicycles. Both shops are also a great place to stop in for a coffee since they've also both got their own espresso bars.
Detroit is also a great place to visit for foodies, cocktail enthusiasts, and fans of the microbrew. Two James Spirits is a local Corktown distillery that makes all their own spirits on site. Just about every drink on their enormous cocktail list looks incredible, and their menu features plenty of unique blends to suite all taste buds.
If you're more of a beer person, two of Detroit's breweries are right across the street from each other (and right down the road from Shingle and Willy's). The Jolly Pumpkin features plenty of seasonal ales to enjoy on their front patio, while Motor City Brewing Works features fresh beer and brick oven pizzas.
Most excitingly for a girl like me who loves to eat, were the two tapas-style restaurants we checked out: The Selden Standard and Wright & Co. I won't say too much about them here since I've got detailed blog posts on each of them coming up next week. But for now, I'll just say that I would definitely go back to Detroit just to eat at both of them again!
Have you ever been to Detroit? What are your favourite travel spots near the Great Lakes?