What to Do in One Day in Detroit, Michigan


I landed at the Detroit Metro Airport at 8:30 am on Friday. I had no plans and while I was in town, I figured I would do two things – go to the Ford Experience and go to the Motown Museum. I didn’t even look to see where my hotel was. I figured it was all close, so off I went.

Ford Experience

hot yellow Car

The museum was only about 15 – 20 minutes from the airport. I went there first. I parked the car right out front and walked into this huge building. It was humongous.

Ford Welcome Center

As soon as I walked in, I was offered one of several different packages. I wanted to just tour the museum. I wasn’t interested in the outside trolley cars or other things they offered. The museum was big enough. Between everything going on there you could spend all day.

I only spent a couple of hours.

I just walked around, saw the old cars, and got nostalgic when I saw things like triptiks (my parents used to get them from Triple-A when we were taking road trips).


It was amazing to see the bus that Rosa Parks rode that infamous day when she wouldn’t give up her seat for a white man.

rosa parks bus

I also loved seeing the Oscar Mayer truck. What fun!

wiener truck

National Aviation Day

Although the Ford Experience had so many different modes of transportation exhibited, Delta had a kiosk there for National Aviation Day. I entered the contest and got to take my photo with the pilot and flight attendant. I felt a little like a celebrity when all of the photographers and cameras came out to take the photos. Too bad I looked a mess!

Disney costumes

Another interesting area that I briefly explored was the Disney area where there was a display of costumes from Disney movies. It was fun to see Cinderella’s dress and some of the other dresses worn by princesses.

After having enough, I went to the lunchroom and grabbed some fruit and chicken salad. Then, went in my car and drove to the Motown Museum.


Motown Museum

When I arrived at the Motown Museum there was a long line to get in. I stood there. I knew a few people who had gone and said it was worth it. When it was my turn to pay, I was handed a 1 pm time slot. At that point, it was only 11:40 am. I decided to wait.

faces of motown

I saw an area next to the house that had green turf and tables. I sat down. A couple from Georgia sat next to me.

“You know once we tour Michigan and Wisconsin, we’re finished with our 50 states,” the woman told me. She had one tooth in the front of her mouth. I wondered what happened with the other teeth.

“Yeah, it’s been great. It’s important to see our country before seeing any other country,” the husband told me.

They continued talking but I stopped listening. The heat was beating down on my head and I needed to find shade.

The hour flew by pretty quickly and I was on the 1 pm tour.

The tour

It was interesting going through Berry Gordy’s original house which also was the studio of many great artists including Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5, the Marvelettes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Lionel Richie, The Commodores, and more!

michael jackson's glove
Michael Jackson’s hat and glove

Walking through the house made me feel as if I were walking through history.

The highlight for me was when we ended the tour by going down to the sound studio and checking it out. All of the instruments and everything within the room were original. As the tour ended the guide shut off the lights and let us listen to Marvin Gaye’s song that he sang without instruments. It was truly compelling.

Studio A Motown