Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Detroit

by  Darren Murph | May 27, 2013
Detroit / Sean Pavone / iStock

Warm days are meant for lead feet, and if you're breaking into early summer with a visit to Detroit, I'm here to offer up a few tips for making the most of your time there. In an effort to get you outside and into Motor City, here are two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

While I generally try to steer people towards local cuisine when visiting a new place, there's a reason that Lafayette Coney Island is fairly well-known. Regardless of whether you're from New York City, those who'd just like to unwind at lunch with one of the best, most calorie-laden hot dogs this side of the Hudson River will find plenty to love here. It's also a place that's impossible to visit without smiling. This is the definition of comfort food. It's messy, marginally unhealthy, and completely worth enjoying at least once.

Roast is situated in the heart of downtown Detroit, and while a bit pricey, it boasts the ideal atmosphere for a client dinner. There's a private room for large parties, and an exquisite bar area for after-dinner drinks. The fare is slanted towards a chophouse, but there's a fair amount of veggie-friendly options and fish to choose from, as well. You'd be smart to load up on sides: whipped potatoes, peas and pancetta, and sweet potatoes and pecans are all musts.

Belle Isle Park is the largest island city park in the United States, and the half-mile swimming beach is quite a unique feature. And, given that warm weather seems to be settling in, you may actually be able to take advantage of it. The park is uniquely positioned on an island between the U.S. mainland and Canada, giving argonauts something to brag about. Be sure to bring your camera; in addition to great views with plenty of walking paths, there's a lot of old architecture that's worth capturing.

It may sound odd, but don't forget to bring your passport on your trip. It comes in handy when landing in a place like Detroit. Even if you only have an evening, it's worth a quick jaunt over to Windsor in Ontario, Canada. It's just a tunnel ride away, and there are a plethora of casinos waiting to be explored on the other side. Enjoy a night out on the town in Canada. The people are infectiously nice, the money looks funny, and it's pretty cool to hop from one country and back in just a few hours.

Not far from anything downtown, Motorcity Wine is a great place to blow off steam before heading home. It's a wine bar fused with a jazz club, so you're guaranteed to get a good blast of talent while enjoying a fine drink. And, if you enjoy a particular wine, you can have a bottle shipped back home.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

What are some of your favorite things to do in Detroit?

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