A day in Detroit: How to hang out in the Motor City for cheap


Bohdanna Cherstylo

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Detroit may hustle harder, but you don’t have to using these tips and guidelines for spending a day in the city on a budget.

First of all, plan out where you’ll park in the city beforehand. Parking on Sundays is free and most street meters are also free any time after 6 p.m.

Check out Greektown Casino for free parking, as well.

From there, take the tube from the Courtyard Marriott to the Renaissance Center to witness the view above the city.

The Renaissance Center has a variety of restaurants, coffee shops and stores to check out, or you can pass through with a picnic to enjoy on the Riverfront.

The Riverfront overlooks the Detroit River and Canada. You can bike to Belle Isle from here – bike rentals are available around the city for cheap, or you can rent one all day from Wayne State for $10 – and enter the park for free, as opposed to driving, which requires a fee.

If you’re not looking to head to Belle Isle, go in the opposite direction on the Riverfront to the COBO Center.

Enjoy the eateries and architecture as you “step into the future,” as our Oakland Post photographer Danusia Cherstylo put it.

After the COBO Center, head to the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) for a free Downtown Walking Tour or Art & Architecture Tour.

Beyond downtown tours, head to Campus Martius Park to play foosball, volleyball, basketball or enjoy a beverage at The Fountain Detroit.

The park offers free concerts, movie nights and fitness programs throughout the summer.  The acoustic stage has music Monday through Friday from noon to 2 p.m., and other concerts are offered on weeknights and weekends.

At the One Campus Martius building, step inside to view the world’s largest water sculpture in their lobby.

Spend your afternoon window shopping at the new Nike store or playing corn hole outside of Moosejaw.

Embrace your inner yogi at Citizen Yoga, where your first class is free, then head down the street to the Library Street Collective. Enter the gallery for free and circle back to the alley to view world-renowned graffiti art.

The alley and Z Parking Lot include the work of 27 artists from around the world. The 10-story parking garage functions as an open-air museum, with each floor including a different mural.

Park your bike and enjoy the artwork while sitting at decorative wooden tables or stop by The Skip for a quick drink.

To end your day in Detroit, ride over to Wayne State University’s McGregor Reflecting Pools, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.

Extend your day trips in Detroit by taking in festivals like the African World Festival in Midtown this August, specific free masterclasses at Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME), or visit the Detroit Institute of Arts. The DIA offers free sketching days for youth and adults, visit their website for specific dates and times.