Detroit's Rise, Fall, and Renewal - Small Group Tour

Bob was great very focused and neutral about the circumstances that brought Detroit to its current condition. Plus he lives right there. Brave man!Mr. chris d. ., – See more reviews
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Comerica Park in Detroit
Comerica Park in Detroit
Downtown Detroit
Downtown Detroit
Downtown Detroit
Downtown Detroit
Concrete Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit
Concrete Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit
Concrete Tiger at the Entrance to Comerica Park in Detroit
Concrete Tiger at the Entrance to Comerica Park in Detroit
Detroit People Mover
Detroit People Mover
Fabulous Fox Theater
Fabulous Fox Theater

What To Expect

Visit the remarkably beautiful 1929 Guardian Building. See the Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel,and how new stadiums, casinos and more have revitalized downtown Detroit in the past decade.


Tours around Detroit
Departs From:
Meeting Point:
1515 Broadway, Detroit
2 hours
daily except Monday at 4:00 PM
Product Code:
Voucher info:
Paper voucher printout not required for this activity. You may show e-voucher from your mobile device.
Featured On:
Detroit City Tours & SightseeingDetroit Segway & Walking ToursCity Tours & SightseeingSegway & Walking Tours


Start this half day tour in Detroit from a nice cafe at 1515 Broadway. You may want to get there early and purchase a coffee, tea, espresso, cold drink, or something to eat.

When we leave 1515 Broadway, you will see the 95-year-old Detroit Athletic Club, the renovated Opera House, the vacant Wurlitzer Building, and the fine new downtown YMCA.

Continuing on the half day tour in Detroit see the site where one of the biggest department stores in the US once stood -- Hudson's or JL Hudson's. When it closed in the 1980s is left a hole in the city that hasn't been filled. There are not many stores in the old retail district, but apartments and lofts have brought some new life to the area.

Next, the Compuware Building from 2002 is worth a visit, for its 15-story atrium and colorful fountain. And outside that building, you'll see a panorama that includes landmarks like the 47-story Penobscot Building from 1928, the Guardian Building from 1929 and the Renaissance Center from 1977 -- which has the tallest hotel in the entire Western Hemisphere (72 floors) as well as the headquarters of General Motors.

Then you'll see Campus Martius Park in the heart of downtown, which opened in 2004 and features an ice-skating rink in winter and activities year-round. It won a recent award as the nation's most transformative urban park.

A visit to the Guardian Building emphasizes the greatness of Detroit in the late 1920s. The lobby and banking room of this art-deco skyscraper are truly incredible.

Then we take a ride on the elevated People Mover, which has been moving people around downtown Detroit since 1987.

From the Michigan Avenue station, see the USD 800 Million MGM Grand casino and hotel that were completed in 2008, and the new Rosa Parks Transit Center (named for "the mother of the Civil Rights Movement") with its dramatic canopies.

If the weather is nice, we will walk to the Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel. It's a great example of Detroit's rise, fall and renewal. When it opened in 1924 it was the tallest hotel in the world and one of the fanciest. But it closed in the 1980s and stood vacant for more than 25 years on a prominent street corner. Detroiters were thrilled when it reopened after a USD 200 Million renovation as the wonderful Westin Book-Cadillac.

A block down from the renovated Westin Book-Cadillac is the stately old 36-story Book Tower from 1926, which is vacant. It is one of the world's tallest vacant buildings, and it awaits a new life, probably as apartments -- when the economy improves.

Next, we visit the area near Grand Circus Park, which is full of examples of Detroit's rise, fall and renewal. There is the vacant 34-story Broderick Tower and other vacant buildings. There is the Kales Building from 1914, which had been vacant for years before it came back to life as apartments in 2004. There is the fabulous Fox Theater which anchored the theater district starting in the late 1920s and was beautifully restored in the 1980s.

It was Comerica Park and Ford Field that really brought this part of downtown Detroit back to life. Comerica Park was completed in 2000. It is the home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team and the site of concerts by performers like Bruce Springsteen and Detroit's own Eminem and Kid Rock. Ford Field was completed in 2003 for USD 500 Million. It is the home of the Detroit Lions, and it brought events like Super Bowl XL and the NCAA Final Four to downtown Detroit. And all sorts of great bars and restaurants have opened in the area after the opening of Comerica Park and Ford Field.

After the Grand Circus Park area, we visit a local brewpub that opened in 2003, where you can enjoy a complimentary beer at the end of the tour (21 and over with proper ID) or a soft drink. The Detroit Beer Company brews some great beer, has a lot of great food, and has become a popular downtown hangout. They even have half-priced appetizers (but not on the weekends) if you order before 6 pm. So it's a great place to end our two-hour walking tour in Detroit.


  • Fare for the People Mover ride

  • 1 beer, coffee, tea, or soft drink at the Detroit Beer Company


  • Meals and drinks

  • Personal expenses

  • Optional activity costs

  • Tips and gratuities

Please note

  • Tour will be operated as a guaranteed Small Group Tour with a maximum of 12 guests.

  • Children below 6 years old are not permitted on this tour.

  • It is recommended to dress casually and comfortably. Wear shoes that are good for a fair amount of walking. Depending on weather, you may want to have a jacket, hat, or an umbrella.

  • In case of poor rainy weather, the tour will start from the same location but guests will stay dry by substituting a tour of downtown Detroit that relies on riding the People Mover.

  • On very rare occasions, the People Mover or one of the venues may be unavailable.

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation: 4 days or more prior to start date of activity.
  • 100% Cancellation Fee (no reimbursement): 3 days or less prior to date of activity.

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