Whip Out Your Camera: Detroit’s Most Picturesque Neighborhoods to Capture
The City of Detroit may be famous for abandoned homes and run-down neighborhoods, but Michigan’s Motor City is more than what meets the eye. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find beautiful communities you wouldn’t have expected to find—all thanks to the city’s rich history and diverse residents.
Whether you’re a curious tourist, local adventurer, or real estate investor, here are the top 7 spots you should absolutely visit in Detroit.
1. Downtown Detroit: The Cosmopolitan District
Downtown Detroit is one of the busiest areas in the city. In Campus Martius Park alone, you can see rows of food trucks, a man-made beach in the summer, and an ice skating rink in the winter!
Like in any major city, you’re just a few steps away from towering skyscrapers and more than a handful of cocktail lounges, high-end steakhouses, peaceful lunch spots, and dive bars. All over downtown is filled with picturesque nooks and crannies. So grab your camera and get ready to explore—day or night!
Key Spots: Visit the family-friendly Campus Martius Park, DuMouchelles antique gallery, Comerica Park open-air baseball park, Cliff Bell’s jazz music performances, grand Ford Field stadium, ornate and classic Detroit Opera House, lively MGM Grand Casino, and neon-lit Fox Theatre.
2. Corktown: Detroit’s Oldest Neighborhood
Located just west of Downtown Detroit, Corktown is the oldest neighborhood in the city. While some of the neighborhood has newer homes, you can still see many of the original Victorian homes and Irish businesses that were first built here.
As many of the first Irish immigrants came from County Cork, the area soon gained the nickname Corktown. Over the decades, many other groups have since made Corktown their home and today, the neighborhood houses a variety of cultures and ethnicities.
Because of the blend of cultures—it’s also home to a ton of cuisines and restaurants. For foodies, this part of town is the place to be. It’s got everything from bougie brunch spots to upcoming breweries.
Key Spots: Stay the night at Trumbull & Porter, an artisan-friendly hotel with live music and an outdoor garden, then grab brunch at Folk for a hearty breakfast hash or Belgian-style waffles. And once you’re ready to explore, be sure to check out the shops like Mama Coo’s for vintage finds or Hello Records to buy some vinyl.
3. Indian Village: Second-Oldest Historic District
After Corktown, the next most significant historic neighborhood is Indian Village. Located along the streets of Burns, Iroquois, and Seminole, this area has been part of the National Register of Historic Places since 1972. As you wander around, you’ll see how many of the homes were built in the early 20th century and well-maintained or even restored to showcase the stunning architecture.
Renowned architects, such as Albert Kahn and William B. Stratton, even designed several houses here for famous residents like executive and philanthropist, Edsel Ford, and the founder of Lincoln and Cadillac, Henry Leland.
Key Spots: If you time it right, you can join the 2000 visitors who attend the annual Indian Village Home and Garden Tour. After your tour, you can even stop by Two Birds for a refreshing cocktail or visit Sister Pie for some scrumptious baked goods!
4. Bagley: The Avenue of Fashion
The Bagley community is an area in Northwest Detroit offering an affordable yet urban lifestyle near the University District. It also has a commercial strip along Livernois, nicknamed “Avenue of Fashion,” where many fashion businesses call home. Store owners even participate in a summer jazz concert annually, where you can witness all the creativity Bagley has to offer.
There’s also McNichols Road with quaint coffee shops and iconic pubs along its commercial area. Other residential blocks are also lined with unique brick homes and single-family Tudor homes.
Key Spots: Drop by the scenic Avenue of Fashion, Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles for casual lunches, Table No. 2 Restaurant for fine dining, the Narrow Way Cafe for your afternoon coffee fix. Then head over to the neighboring University District’s Gallery Row for more fashion stores, art galleries, and art spaces.
5. Palmer Woods: The Architectural Stunner
Are you a sucker for gorgeous architecture? Then you’ll love this neighborhood.
Palmer Woods is one of the city’s most notable historic districts, where streets are lined with elm trees and pristine landscaping. You’ll find more than 300 brick and stone homes in the styles of Tudor, Revival, or neo-Georgian. They’re all kept in near-perfect condition, just like they were back in the early 1900s.
What was once occupied by auto-industry barons are now appreciated by Detroit’s wealthy individuals—a diverse mix of doctors, attorneys, and other high-level executives. Some of the homes are even designed by famous architects like Albert Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Key Spots: Drive along the curving streets to capture the natural beauty of the area, breathe in the fresh air, and take a quick trip to nearby Sherwood Forest to continue your quest of exploring the city’s historic homes.
6. Rivertown: The Waterfront Belle
If you’ve enjoyed Belle Isle Park, then you’ll enjoy Rivertown—a trendy waterside neighborhood in Detroit.
Rivertown is on the Detroit International Riverfront, which is a tourist attraction and landmark of the city. Stay until sunset, and you’ll see a gorgeous view of the city skyline—one that photographers will surely want to capture.
There’s also Rivertown Warehouse District, where you’ll see warehouses converted into chic lofts, multiple craft cocktail cars, and elegant restaurants. Not to mention the collection of international food trucks and boutiques selling locally-designed clothes. It’s also perfectly located between West Village and Downtown Detroit, making it easy for you to drop by for a quick visit.
Key Spots: You’ll be a stone’s throw away from the gorgeous Belle Isle Park, big-time events place Aretha Franklin Amphitheater, Dequindre Cut Greenway with cycle paths, signature gathering spot GM Plaza and Promenade, and the historic River Place. And don’t forget the revitalized riverfront River Walk and William G. Milliken State Park and Harbour with their gorgeous waterfront views.
7. Grand Boulevard: The Paris of Detroit
And of course, to finish off the list, we can’t forget the stunning homes of Grand Boulevard. Inspired by Haussmann’s concepts of creating gorgeous parks and lavish boulevards in Paris, the city planners designed a ring road that would represent the outlet limits of the city.
Coming in at 11 miles in length, “The Boulevard,” as it’s affectionately named by locals, is home to some of the most stunning and elegant homes in the city. There are also plenty of things to do and places to eat along this stretch, making it worth a visit.
Key Spots: If you want to explore the history of music in the city, you’ve got to see the Motown Museum. And after that, go ahead and grab a bite at Zo’s Good Burger or sip on an Americano from The Gathering Coffee Co. For a more upscale meal, you can dine in at Oak & Reel for contemporary Italian cuisine.
The City of Detroit: Let It Capture You
The City of Detroit is truly a place of constant development and innovation. So, if you didn’t get a chance to check out these 7 neighborhoods, be sure to come back soon! They probably won’t look the same in a year or two—especially with the many upcoming projects for the new year.
And if there are any other Detroit neighborhoods you’re curious about, let us know in the comment section below. We love exploring this city and sharing its best places with you.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed this short tour of the most picturesque Detroit neighborhoods and that it has inspired you to either visit, live, or even invest in Michigan’s Motor City.
Curious about real estate in Detroit? Our team of property managers is more than experienced and equipped to tell you everything there is to know about the entire Metro Detroit area. Drop us a message!