Known as the Motor City due to the prolific automobile industry that was created by Henry Ford and his assembly line production methods, Detroit has far more to offer than just cars. The Motor City is currently home to an eclectic mix of ethnic, arty, historical and fashionable districts, and Detroit travel now offers city visitors a wealth of entertainment and education options with a sharp focus on live music, cultural attractions and culinary creations.
The Motor City is the Midwest's oldest urban center and has a fascinating historical legacy that includes Henry Ford's assembly line production method and Detroit's consequent economic boom. Detroit saw a decline in later years and much of downtown is still rather dilapidated and spooky, but it is once again on the track to prosperity with an ongoing urban revival program that has seen the revamping of many historical areas and the strengthening of the city's spirit.
No visitor to Detroit could fail to be disturbed by the divisions between rich and poor, and the fact that other industrial towns have been hit equally hard by the recession is little consolation. However, while heavily scarred and bruised, Detroit is not the apocalyptic mess some would have it. New businesses and theaters have already opened downtown, and suburban residents have started to return to its festivals, theaters, clubs and restaurants. However, it makes more sense to think of Detroit as a region rather than a European-style city and, so long as you plan your time and don't mind driving, Detroit travel holds plenty to see and do. For the moment, downtown is not so much the heart of the giant as just another segment. Other segments include the huge Cultural Center, freewheeling Royal Oak, posh Birmingham, the Ford-town of Dearborn and even nearby Windsor, Ontario, and Ann Arbor, a short drive west. Here are some useful Detroit travel tips worth bearing in mind when visiting the city.
Be careful when travelling around downtown at night as the central city region can be vacant and somewhat dangerous after dark. The best approach to exploring Detroit is in fact to hire a car. This allows you to travel around the extensive downtown area and its surrounding suburbs safely and easily. The Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau is the main tourist information center in Detroit.
For details on whether you will require a visa for Detroit travel it is best to check with your nearest consulate or embassy for information specific to your country. There are a number of different types of visa available, with tourists visiting Detroit normally being required to obtain a non-immigrant visa that permits temporary stay. Citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries are allowed to enter Detroit and the USA without a visa if they meet certain requirements.
Tipping is common in Detroit, when you consider service to have been satisfactory or more. When dining out at Detroit's numerous restaurants and eateries, a 15 percent tip is standard, although always check whether a service charge has already been included in your bill.
Most states in the US have a sales tax of between seven and eight percent on goods and services, although some states have no tax at all. Sales tax is not reclaimable by tourists upon leaving Detroit, unless they hold the relevant working visa.
When planning your vacations to Detroit, try relevant Internet sites and you'll find deals you won't get anywhere else. Bargain travel options, airfare, hotel, car, vacations and cruises are available there.