A long layover at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport can be a little tricky if you do have have any plans to spend it eslewhere. Also known as the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, it is the busiest airport in the state of Michigan. If the weather is nice, be sure you take advantage of it and go explore the city. Anywhere from six hours plus is just enough enough time to see some of the local sites and get you back in time for your flight.
Before you set off on the journey, make sure to keep your belongings safe at a luggage locker near Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Then, once you drop off your luggage, prepare to be amazed by what this city has to offer.
Check out the 7 things to do on a layover at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
The Henry Ford
When in Detroit, The Henry Ford history museum complex is something no one should miss. Of course, the same goes for you too! “One of the world’s coolest museums,” according to the New York Times, consists of three attractions: The Henry Ford Museum of American Invention, Greenfield Village, and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. You could easily spend an entire day exploring and learning about the history of America in all three venues.
Check out some of the most incredible historic objects that Henry Ford started collecting in 1906. You will see the presidential limousine of John F. Kennedy, the bus on which Rosa Parks was arrested, even George Washington’s camp bed. Admire a fine collection of violins from the 17th and 18th-century that also includes a Stradivarius.
The list goes on and on about what to see and do during your layover at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. If all seems a bit too much to see in one day, just pick which one would be the most exciting to see.
Walk to downtown Detroit from the Riverfront or bike to make it more fun. The Detroit Riverfront was voted the #1 Riverwalk in the United States in 2021, and that is why it is a must-see. One of the best landmarks in Detroit is 3.5miles long and offers breathtaking views of the Detroit River.
Check out the carousel at Cullen Plaza, or sit in one of the restaurants along the Riverfront.
If you only end up walking, that is fine too. Sit down on a bench to chill, people watch, and enjoy the views.
Located in the heart of Downtown, Greektown Detroit is the right place to start your journey. And not because it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. But, because it’s where you’ll find some of the best restaurants and entertainment in Detroit.
This district is quite famous not only among locals but tourists too. Try some authentic Greek cuisine in some of the well-known restaurants like the Cyprus Taverna, The New Parthenon, or Pegasus Taverna. And if you are feeling lucky, visit the Greektown Casino. Pass by Monroe Street to listen to some Greek music or get a dessert at Astoria bakery. If you happen to be here at night, you are in for a treat. Greektown Detroit turns into one of the best nightlife locations in the city.
Snap photos of the Parthenon and other ancient architecture while you are there.
Whether you are traveling alone or with family, Detroit Zoo is a good escape from the bustling airport. This zoo has been an attraction to people from all around the world since 1928. It is home to more than 2,400 animals spread out across 125 acres.
You could easily spend about three hours of your time here, so make the most out of it.
The Polk Penguin Conservation Center is among the most popular attractions, with more than 80 penguins to see. The penguinarium opened in 2016, and it has such an amazing layout that it will make you feel like you are in Antarctica. If you are in the zoo early, you may get to feed the giraffes.
If you are done exploring and admiring the animals, stop by the carousel for a fun ride or relax and watch a movie in a 4D theater. When you get hungry, American Coney Island has some amazing food. All in all, this time in the Detroit Zoo is a time well spent.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
You don’t need to be an acrobat to enjoy jumping around, and you may just as well do that in the Sky Zone Trampoline Park. During you layover at Detroit Metropolitan Airport enjoy a 3-D play experience in the world’s first indoor trampoline park. Test your fitness levels and see if you can break a sweat.
But if you don’t feel like bouncing and flipping, you can play some dodgeball, basketball, or have some fun in the foam pit. Then, sit and relax in the adult lounge while your kids are burning off some energy. Keep in mind that there is an entry fee, and you have to buy their own special socks, but they are only about $2.00.
Eastern Market is a historic commercial district in Detroit that has been running since the 1800s. It is the largest historic public market district in the United States and one of Detroit’s best gems. It’s so popular that on Saturdays, the market sees around 45,000 shoppers.
You don’t have to be from Motor City to enjoy the market. Stroll through the stands to see a diverse collection of fresh produce, flowers, and many other food stands. Walk around and pick up snacks along the way.
With plenty of eateries that offer anything from crepes and sausages to BBQ and apple pies, you can fill up your belly before you head back to the airport.
Belle Isle Conservatory
Located on Belle Isle, an island park on the Detroit River, is the Belle Isle Conservatory, a greenhouse, and a botanical garden you must see. Running continually since 1904, the conservatory is regarded as one of the oldest in the United States. It is also known as the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, named after Anna Scripps Whitcomb, who donated a 600 orchid collection in 1955.
The Belle Isle Conservatory is part of Belle Isle Park, an area of 982-acres. There is so much to do and see here. With no entry fee, you can admire so many plants, flowers, and trees from all over the world. It’s also right next to the aquarium, so you have all the fun you want, for free!
This gem in Detroit is one of, if not the best, places to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Exactly what you need before you get back to reality and head back to the bustling city life and the airport.