Opinion

Take a Tour of Detroit with an Insider’s View

LOS ANGELES — Detroit has captured the world’s imagination, a symbol of decadence and decay in the heart of a superpower. It’s been a magnet for artists and urban explorers, with a number of amazing spaces to explore and participate in. But if you don’t have a native to show you around, how can you ever fully understand the spirit of the city?

An array of all the different stops available on the tours.

One Day in Detroit is a crowdsourced tour guide experience with a simple goal: make Detroit more accessible to new visitors and old hats alike who are curious to learn more. Here’s what the site says:

Everyone who lives in Detroit is a part-time tour guide, and everyone who doesn’t live here wants to check it out but doesn’t know how. One Day In Detroit makes it easy to create and find custom tours that people can complete in a day. Or whatever feels right.

There are a number of fascinating-sounding tours, like the Whirlwind Sampler Plate, which takes you through the heart of Detroit and past landmarks like the famous Eastern Market and Michigan Central Station. Artists will love to learn about the Hacker and Maker Spaces around the city (four, according to one count), not to mention the art and design tour. The tours come with clear directions, photos and a link to Google Maps with the path drawn in and suggested order.

The site is relatively new, but it’s already off to a great start. I’d love to see this model incorporated for other cities, especially ones like Detroit that are best seen through the eyes of someone who lives there.

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