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Motor City Michigan

The Motor City
By Michael Russell

Though many of you have heard of this fair city, how much do you really know? Detroit, Better known as "the Motor City" despite its myths Detroit truly has a lot to offer; this incredibly populated city is a great spot for family vacationing. Detroit also has many cultural centers, for theatre and events all year around.

Cobo Hall Center:

Among them is Detroit's own Cobo Hall Center where the International Auto Show attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. With Cobo Center's vast available space it provides comfort and enjoyment for millions that visit each year. From its deep red carpet to its concession stand Cobo Center truly provides hospitality and convenience to that entire visit. Cobo Hall has over 700,000 feet of space for exhibits and has the capacity to seat over 11,000 guests. Cobo Hall provides for some of the world's most exciting events from Elvis to the WWE. It also holds conferences and training events for some of the world most well know Associations such as the Michigan Minority Business Development Counsel to the National Head Start Association.

Joe Louis Arena:

Also with a connecting hall to this vast center we come to Detroit's own Joe Louis Arena. This arena has been a fabulous tourist attraction to Michigan and the "Motor City" for over two centuries. The Joe Louis Arena also nicknamed "The Joe" by its die hard fans; has over 20,000 in seating capacity. This wondrous arena holds many sports events, mostly recognized for its famous "Detroit Red Wings". This world recognized team won the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998 and 2002. Other sporting events from the Ice Shows to the circus and sold out concert events with performers like Luther Van Dross and Janet Jackson; as well as world known Elton John and Frank Sinatra.

Renaissance Center:

While on your exciting trip to Detroit we can take you to the glamorous and prestigious Renaissance Center. This vast center was formed in 1970 to revitalize and stimulate building activity in Detroit; developing the Detroit Renaissance Programs. They created a special events department in 1979 which provided professional management and continue to support the community events. They supported events such as the Detroit Grand Prix and The Detroit Jazz festival. In 1991 after careful review they decided that their efforts were needed in other areas of public concern. They passed the events programs on to other non-profits which are still continued today; while taking great concern in other areas of problem such as Economic and Physical development. They now review questions of public policy and develop legislative agencies on selected issues.

The Detroit Renaissance Board of Directors consists of chief executive officers of major southeast corporations. The Renaissance Center has been a great Detroit tourist attraction since its construction in 1977. Then two additional towers were constructed in 1981. This seven skyscraper collaboration has a center tower that is 70 stories tall; and holds over 1,000 rooms. Also inside this building upon opening Westin Hotels had a restaurant that covered the top three floors, then called "The Summit" the restaurant turned 360 degrees creating a incredible view that brought in tourists from all over the world. Though the restaurant no longer rotates, now called "Coach Insigna", it still brings in tourist world wide.

Nicknamed "The Ren-Cen" this collection of skyscrapers provides lots of access to The downtown life of the "Motor City". With skywalks across Jefferson avenue, leading to Millender Center with shopping and eating locations throughout; also the Coleman Young Municipal Center. The Motor City is also known for its people mover - excellent transportation around this fair city over looking the water, enjoyable for all ages. Stations located in the Renaissance Center makes for easy travel anywhere in the city you wish to see. The connecting six towers are between 21 and 39 stories in height. A total of 8,000 employees fill the Renaissance Center and 6,000 of which are GM employees. In 1996 this establishment was bought by General Motors for a whopping 73 million dollars; transformed into the world headquarters for General Motors. Making this a must see on your cultural trip to "The Motor City".

Detroit Zoo Park:

Having Fun yet? Next stop The Detroit Zoological Park located in Royal Oak on Woodward. This life saving facility has over 2,000 animals of some 300 different species. Its revenue replenishes the economy with close to 100 million a year. This park provides exhibits and guided tours for students and families alike. With 3 acres of picnic areas and some 40 tables for your convenience as well as catering services for groups and troops. This wonderful park provides services for families such as rentals from strollers to wheelchairs as well as baby changing stations in the restrooms. Animal feeding demonstrations and guided tours are provided by park employees and Animal Answers Days are from May to August. This posts educators at major exhibit locations throughout the park to answer questions about the animals from visitors.

Comerica Park:

I hope you've enjoyed your trip so far. Our next stop on the journey is to Detroit's own Tiger Stadium. This newly constructed facility was opened in April of 2000. Called Comerica Park, it has eight buildings up to three stories high, making up a total of 70,000 square feet. There is also 36,000 square feet of space for Tiger offices. In addition to its great food for dinner or snacking, it features rides as well as liquid fireworks. On its concourse it displays a walk of fame featuring 20th century history, each section featuring a new era. The seating is over 40,000 in capacity, not including Tiger Club members who's seating is an additional 300, with banquet space for 200. This great addition is a whole new adventure and will truly be memorable for all who see it.

Detroit Quick Facts:

Detroit was established in 1701 by the French Fur traders; it was then passed on to the United States in 1796 under "The Jay Treaty". The Detroit River was called "RiviÍre du Detroit" meaning "River of the Strait". Now Detroit is the largest city in Michigan occupying some 900,000 residents and the 11th largest city in the United States. The city of Detroit is approximately 142 sq miles and is now commonly known for either its automobiles or music. The first automobile was built by Henry Ford in 1896 and the first automobile manufacturing company can still be seeing today in Detroit.

Greek Town:

Sight seeing in Detroit can work up an appetite. For the best in Greek cuisine travel to Greek town located on the SE side of the city. Greek town has great food from Pegasus to New Hella's Cafť which has been open over 100 years. This fabulous restaurant shares its specialty in Greek cuisine with lunch and dinner specials. Grab a gyro you'll be glad you did! Also down that great path lies the world renowned Astoria Bakery; with everything from oreo cheesecake to baklava. Newly added to this little village is the Greek Town Casino where travelers from all over come to see this famous casino. There are several hotels located in the Greek Town area for your convenience as well as several eateries where you can experience true Greek culture and a visit your family will remember.

Detroit Opera House:

Though I would like to share all of "the Motor City" in perfect detail we have come to the last stop of our journey today - The Detroit Opera House. This Theater was constructed in 1922. With seating for over 4,000, it's the fifth largest in the world. Suffering from fire in 1985 the Opera House was closed for three years until it was reconstructed into the Michigan Opera Theater. Tickets and concert times vary, but prices range from 28-105 US dollars making it affordable for people of all walks of life. The Detroit Opera House has had many celebrity performers including Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington in its first twenty years of entertaining. This is a real treat for tourists of all ages and hundreds of thousands visit this site every year. I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I did telling it, best wishes and happy sightseeing.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Travel