Last week I had the pleasure of packing my bags for a visit to Detroit (and a true taste of winter), thanks to the kind folks at Willy’s and Shinola. Aside from an amazing event they hosted on our second evening in town, I also had some time to do a bit of exploring. With two days in town, I feel like I barely scratched the surface on what the city has to offer, but from what I did see, I was enamored.
Most everyone knows of Detroit in regards to it’s decline; once a booming mecca for American car production is now a state identified by urban decay. Though in light of its drop in population and decreased costs of rent, there are a handful of creative people pooling their funds and efforts into turning things around. And that they are. While you still can’t take a drive without seeing the effects of how the economy has shifted, there is something so captivating about the architecure of the area and the stories locals shared when you pointed to a building and asked what it used to be. And like other recently gentrified cities, there are pockets of life being brought into Detroit’s neighborhoods through delicious restaurants, cozy cafés, record stores, and boutique retail.
Willy’s itself is nestled on a charming block in Midtown, and chock-full of beautiful wares from scented candles to quality denim. Stepping foot in there the morning after we arrived, it was difficult not to scoop up every last one of their offerings. After a day of adventuring, we returned in the evening for Style Slam, where I had the pleasure of swapping stories, sharing drinks and snapping a few photos with an incredible group of fellow bloggers. All in all, an evening for the books.
I’ve listed out a few of my favorite Detroit picks below, though I’m already looking forward to another visit to fill in the gaps with anything I missed.
01. Astro Coffee: A perfect place to start your day in Corktown with a cup of tea (though I hear their coffee is great, too) and an egg sandwich.
02. Willy’s: A one-stop shop for your dream closet. Their location in Midtown is a mixture of carefully curated pieces from favorites like Apiece Apart, Dieppa Restrepo, Black Crane, and Rachel Comey.
03. Roast: Located in the lobby of the Westin Book Cadillac in Downtown, their mac and cheese (topped with pretzels) is not to be missed.
04. The People Mover: An amazing way to see the skyline as the sun is setting over the city. You’ll also get a few glimpses of Canada, just over the Detroit River.
05. Eastern Market: Particularly bustling on the weekend’s during their farmers market, this is a great area to bop around and satisfy any hunger cravings (Supino Pizzeria was a personal favorite).
*Though I didn’t get to them, I hear Selden Standard is an incredible stop for dinner, and the Conservancy at Belle Isle is particularly beautiful. A big thank you to Willy’s and Shinola for the opportunity to visit their inspiring city, and for gathering so many wonderful people under one roof.