Travel Nurse Assignments: Live Like a Local – Detroit, MI!
Welcome to Detroit, MI! Located on the Canadian border near Lake Erie, Detroit was a major manufacturing hub in the early 20th century. Known as the birthplace of the American auto industry, the Detroit flourished as automobile production took off, and became one of the most prosperous cities in the country. However, in the later half of the 20th century, the American auto industry began to decline. The loss of jobs, along with rapid suburbanization, led to population flight and a state of urban decay. Today, new development and gentrification have transformed the city into a premier travel destination. Detroit has been named a top travel destination by The New York Times and Lonely Planet, and is highly regarded as a major cultural center. Visit the Motor City today!
The Henry Ford Museum
Detroit has a rich history in art, architecture, and music, and there are several cultural attractions that are must-sees. The Henry Ford Museum in the suburb of Dearborn, is the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in the country, visited by over 1 million people each year. Ford founded the museum in 1933, with the goal of preserving historical items related to American industrialism and the American way of life.
The complex includes The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, a collection of various antique machinery, and other Americana pop-culture items. Popular exhibits include the limousine that JFK was riding in when he was assassinated, the Rosa Parks bus, the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated at Ford’ Theater, and a recreation of Thomas Edison’s laboratory. It also includes Greenfield Village, an outdoor living history museum where you can ride in Model T cars, view historic homes and working farms from past eras, and eat at a restaurant with an authentic menu from the 1830’s. Furthermore, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at a modern automobile factory at the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.
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In the city proper, the Detroit Institute of Arts houses one of the most impressive collections of art in the United States. With over 100 galleries, the Institute houses both ancient and contemporary works from virtually any famous artist that you can think of. The building itself is an architectural gem, and is one of the most visited art museums in the world.
In addition, the Motown Museum is another can’t-miss attraction that highlights Detroit’s rich culture. In 1960, Berry Gordy Jr. founded Motown Records, and purchased a historic mansion on Detroit’s Grand Boulevard. This became the headquarters and recording studio of Motown, known as Hitsville U.S.A. Motown became synonymous with a style of rhythm and blues music made famous by the artists who joined Motown Records in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Famous artists who signed with Motown during that time include Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and The Supremes.
Detroit’s newly revitalized Riverfront Area is gaining national attention, and attracting more tourists every year. The Riverfront is the heart and soul of Detroit’s downtown, and includes a multitude of parks, restaurants, and shopping. The 5.5 miles of riverfront linked together by a series of boardwalks and pathways are perfect for walking and biking. The Dequindre Cut connects the Riverfront and other points of interest in downtown, such as The Eastern Market.
On the eastern end of the Riverfront, Belle Isle State Park is a 987-acre park that is jam-packed with amenities. There’s a zoo, an aquarium, athletic fields, a giant slide, and three lakes for water-themed activities. Furthermore, the park is home to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. It’s the oldest-continually running conservatory in the United States, and houses an impressive collection of rare and exotic species.
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Where to Eat and Drink
Being a cosmopolitan city, Detroit has an eclectic variety of great bars and restaurants. Selden Standard is a New American restaurant specializing in farm-to-table shareable plates. The Detroit Free Press said they were the Restaurant of the Year in 2015. Or, head over to Michigan & Trumball for some delicious Detroit-style pizza!
If you’re looking for a beer, check out the Detroit Shipping Company. This 12,000 sq. ft. space comprised of shipping containers became a beer garden with several restaurants. For cocktails, check out the Hammer & Nail in Detroit’s Midtown district.
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