Detroit: Motor City & Motown

Known as the world's traditional automotive center, "Detroit" is a metonym for the American automobile industry and an important source of popular music legacies celebrated by the city's two familiar nicknames, the Motor City and Motown.




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Other nicknames emerged in the twentieth century, including City of Champions beginning in the 1930s for its successes in individual and team sport, Arsenal of Democracy (during World War II), The D, D-Town, Hockeytown  (a trademark owned by the the Red Wings), Rock City (after the Kiss song "Detroit Rock City"), and The 3-1-3 (its telephone area code).

Detroit has made a name for itself.  But more than a name, the city and surrounding area boasts some of the best museums, restaurants and attractions in the country.


Here are a few attractions you may want to visit:


The Henry Ford  With a rich and diverse offering of exhibits, demonstrations, programs and reenactments, The Henry Ford celebrates yesterday’s traditions as well as today’s innovations.  The four distinct attractions at The Henry Ford captivate and inspire visitors of all ages:  Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, and an IMAX Theater.


Henry Ford Museum is a remarkable destination that brings American ideas and innovations to life.  The sheer scope and design of Henry Ford Museum is as grand as the vision that inspired it.  The sweeping, single-floor space with its soaring 40-foot ceilings covers nine acres dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind ever assembled.


Greenfield Village  Entering Greenfield Village is like stepping into an 80-acre time machine.  It takes you back to the sights, sounds and sensations of America’s past.  There are 83 authentic, historic structures, from Noah Webster’s home, where he wrote the first American dictionary to Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory to the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law.


The Ford Rouge Factory Tour
is a self-guided five-part experience that includes Legacy Theater, Art of Manufacturing Theater, Observation Deck, Assembly Plant Walking Tour, and the Legacy Gallery.  Students will learn how automobiles are made, especially the famous Ford F-150. 


IMAX Theater – Treat your students to the ultimate film experience that combines a variety of technological innovations: special cameras, special projectors, giant screens, and footage shot on 70mm negative stock.


Motown Historical Museum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Detroit.  The museum traces the roots of Motown’s remarkable story.  The exhibits contain a collection of historical photographs, artwork, music, costumes, and other memorabilia from one of the most famous eras in American music.  The highlight of the tour is a visit to the famous “Studio A” where most of the greatest Motown stars recorded their hits.


Detroit Science Center includes over 25 hands-on exhibits offering live interactive science demonstrations in the Discovery Theater.  The science center also features an IMAX domed theater and a planetarium.


Detroit Institute of Arts  The DIA has been a beacon of culture in Detroit for over a century.  The museum covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries, a 1,150-seat auditorium, and a 380-seat lecture/recital hall.  Among the notable acquisitions in the museum is Mexican artist Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry fresco cycle, which Rivera considered his most successful work, and Vincent Van Gogh's Self Portrait, the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum collection. 


The Detroit Historical Museum is one of America’s oldest and largest museums dedicated to metropolitan history.  Over 80,000 square feet of exhibition space house more than 600 historic artifacts in the heart of Detroit’s Cultural Center district. 


Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History  is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience.  The museum provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African Americans and their African origins.


Edsel & Eleanor Ford House is the former home of the only son of automobile pioneer Henry Ford.  It is a virtual museum filled with priceless French and English antiques as well as various pieces by masters like Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Franz Hals, and Diego Rivera.




Detroit Tigers Baseball   Comerica Park is one of the most outstanding venues to see a Major League baseball game.  Throughout the spring, summer, and hopefully late into the fall, student groups can enjoy America's pastime at its best.  The four-time world champion Detroit Tigers welcome student groups!


Pewabic Pottery Museum has produced nationally renowned vessels, tiles, and architectural ornamentation for public and private installations.  Works made by Pewabic Pottery can be seen throughout the United States in such places as the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the Nebraska State Capitol, the Science Building at Rice University in Houston, and the Herald Square installation commissioned by the New York Metro Transit Authority.


GM Renaissance Center  Rising 73 stories above the Detroit River, the GM Renaissance Center dominates the glittering downtown Detroit skyline.  It’s the world headquarters of General Motors and a great place to visit and dine.


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