Detroit City Guide:
Neighborhoods & Things to Do

Known as the “Motor City,” this midwestern city hosts a myriad of opportunities for its proud residents. The Detroit River borders the city and provides unparalleled opportunities for play in the summer months. Detroit also has a thriving music scene which lives up to its reputation as the home of Motown. If you are looking for a place to rent in Detroit, our Detroit city guide can help you find the perfect neighborhood that fits your cultural and aesthetic needs.

Detroit city highlights

When you choose this bustling city, you will have access to some of the greatest attractions and cultural experiences the Midwest has to offer.

  • Detroit Institute of Arts: Here you will enjoy a diverse representation of artistic creations including more than 65,000 works of art within more than 100 galleries. These galleries host the masterpieces of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso.
  • Motown Museum: This popular tourist destination is located in the original headquarters and music recording studio for Motown Records. Here you find  an impressive collection of artifacts, photographs, and even costumes documenting Motown’s history.
  • Detroit Zoo: Just outside of downtown Detroit, you’ll find the home to many different types of animals from around the world. The 125 acre park also features playgrounds, a train ride, picnic areas and a 4-D theater showcasing some amazing films.

Detroit city guide to the best neighborhoods for renters

Looking for the best place to live in Detroit? Our Detroit city guide showcases some of the most popular neighborhoods in Detroit.


The heart of downtown Detroit is filled with historic architecture like the Penobscot Building. This 1928 Art Deco building, now a Class A office tower located in the center of what is known as the financial district, is a hub of the city’s wireless internet zone and fiber-optic network. This busy downtown neighborhood is lined with an eclectic mix of chain stores and smaller indie shops and merchants. Campus Martius Park hosts a man-made beach to enjoy in the summer months. Baseball lovers will be able to catch a Tigers game at the newly remodeled Comerica Park.  Need a break from the game? Be sure to try Coppercraft Distillery where spirits are distilled in classic copper pots.


Midtown has gained a reputation for being one of Detroit’s hottest neighborhoods. Just slightly removed from the core of downtown, Midtown is sandwiched between two Detroit neighborhoods, New Center and Brush Park. Wayne State University is Michigan’s third largest college and consists of 13 schools and colleges and is known for leading the nation in fields like electric-drive vehicle technology and alternative energy resources. Here you’ll also be able to enjoy a fine dining experience at The Whitney in what used to be the home of one of Detroit’s most wealthy and famous residents, David Whitney. If paranormal activity is an interest for you, make sure to check out the Ghost Bar located on the third floor.


One of Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods, Corktown has the year “1834” boldly emblazoned on its signage. The area is in a growth surge with Ford’s purchase of the abandoned Michigan Central Station. Historic landmark plans are in place to build a campus to help revitalize this once mostly boarded up district. Spiritual life is alive and doing well as the historic Catholic roots are part of this neighborhood. If Thai fusion and craft cocktails make your mouth water, check out Takoi on Michigan Avenue.


Woodbridge is an active community located in one of the older areas of Detroit. Home to some very famous Detroit residents, Victorian homes are abundant here in this quiet tree lined neighborhood known for its friendly homeowners. Although Woodbridge is primarily a residential neighborhood, it is also home to a growing number of art institutions including the  Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. Scattered throughout this mixture of fine old homes you’ll find a blend of pizzerias, easygoing bars and even some ethnic food choices. If you like authentic Japanese sushi, be sure to check out Izakaya on Trumbull.

West Village

West Village is on the east side just past the bridge to Belle Isle. This resurging, hip neighborhood is filled with a character all its own. The homes lining these streets are individually different in their architecture. In 2011, Hatch Detroit created a contest giving residents a role voting on what type of retail storefronts they want in their community. Make sure to check out Sister Pie, the 2014 winner of Hatch Detroit’s big prize, and try their salted maple pie, a concoction so yummy you simply cannot afford to miss out!

Brush Park

Brush Park is located between Downtown and Midtown and has recently made significant improvements. Homes are being restored and condo projects are now dotting what used to be weed covered vacant lots, making it a very desirable place to call home. Known as “Little Paris of the Midwest,” Brush Park is filled with 22 blocks of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and parks and is a favorite for young professionals. Be sure to check out Grey Ghost, an eatery featuring craft cocktails with a midwestern hospitality, named after a notorious rum-running pirate during prohibition times.

New Center

New Center is known for being Detroit’s long time second commercial center, booming in the 1920’s as it filled with skyscrapers and office buildings. This is an area that offers great shopping along with diverse entertainment. With approximately 75% of the residents owning homes here, it is a great choice for families. Known for its dense urban feel, you will have the best of both worlds here. New Center is a thriving area for people to live, work and play. Be sure to check out the Fisher Building known as “Detroit’s Largest Art Object,” where art deco design and one-of-a-kind retailers are abundant. Have a cup of coffee, get your nails done, or simply enjoy the magnificent ambiance.

Southwest Detroit

Southwest Detroit is a vibrant community with a culture that is as colorful as its eclectic buildings. The air is filled with the smells wafting from homemade warm tortillas. If a wide array of cuisine is a factor for you, you’ll enjoy this lively taste of the flavors of Mexico, Venezuela or the Dominican Republic here. Many stores are within walking distance of the friendly, family-oriented residential areas. Residents take both their history and culture very seriously. Be sure to check out Honey Bee Market, a long time family-owned operation claiming the best produce in all of metro Detroit, it’s a local favorite.

Eastern Market

A small population of a little over 2000, Eastern Market offers a smaller urban feel. A fun, lively place with plenty of nighttime happy hours, this is where you’ll find craft breweries alongside wine tasting rooms. Detroit residents flock to this area to grab a bite from the many everchanging food trucks . One other thing to note is the bicycle route that was originally a stretch of the Grand Trunk Railroad which is now a paved pedestrian and bike-friendly green area connecting Eastern Market to the downtown Detroit RiverWalk. This area, known as the Detroit International RiverWalk, is fun for the whole family with many attractions for all ages including a carousel and several splash pads.

Cass Corridor

This is one of Detroit’s most popular neighborhoods. Cass Corridor is very pedestrian and bike-friendly making getting around easy for folks who prefer to travel without a car. Over the years, this area has been home to some very notable jazz clubs and was once home to Detroit’s Chinatown. You can find both old-school bars and upscale cocktail lounges. And if sports are your cup of tea, be sure to check out the schedule at Little Caesars Arena for those all-important games, home to both the Detroit Pistons and the Red Wings

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