Top 12 Romantic Things To Do in Detroit

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Emily Johnson

From riverside promenades to charming neighborhoods perfect for strolling, Detroit offers plenty of romantic things to do for couples.

ActivityDescription
Take a Riverfront WalkScenic promenade with skyline and river views.
Enjoy a Show at the Fox TheatreHistoric venue for Broadway shows and concerts.
Stroll through Greenfield VillageOutdoor museum showcasing American history.
Wander Eastern MarketVibrant marketplace with food, art, and shops.
Sightseeing on Detroit PrincessRiverboat cruise with dining and entertainment.
Michigan Opera Theatre ProductionOpera and ballet performances in a grand setting.
Tandem Bicycle RideExplore riverfront paths on a bicycle built for two.
Tour the Motown MuseumDive into the history of Motown music.
Views from a Rooftop BarSip drinks with panoramic city views.
Tour the Guardian BuildingAdmire Art Deco architecture and design.
Visit the Heidelberg ProjectExplore an outdoor art environment.
Show at Baker’s Keyboard LoungeEnjoy live jazz in an iconic setting.

The city’s diverse attractions, arts scene, and natural beauty make Detroit an ideal place for enjoying quality time together.

Take a Riverfront Walk

Name and Location: The Detroit Riverfront spans 5.5 miles along the shores of the Detroit River from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle on Detroit’s east side.

History and Significance: The riverfront has transformed over the years from a shipping and industrial hub into a recreational and entertainment destination for residents and visitors to enjoy wide-open promenades, parks, public art, retail, dining and cultural attractions.

What to Expect: Visitors can take in views of Canada across the river while walking or biking along the RiverWalk’s paved path. Free fitness classes, concerts, art fairs and more also take place seasonally. The Dequindre Cut Greenway connects it to Eastern Market.

Visitor Information: The RiverWalk is open 24/7 for free public access. Parking and bike rentals are available in various locations along the way like at GM Plaza and Milliken State Park.

For romantic water views, head to the Detroit riverfront. The Riverwalk lines the river offering exceptional glimpses of skylines, bridges, maritime traffic, and even into Canada. Escape the city by meandering hand-in-hand along the promenade from Hart Plaza to Mt. Elliott Park. Pause to snap selfies with riverbackdrops, watch freighters navigate the water, or relax on benches gazing at river panoramas. As the sun sets, the city lights sparkle magically on the water.

Enjoy a Show at the Fox Theatre

Name and Location: The Fox Theatre is a performing arts venue in downtown Detroit located at 2211 Woodward Avenue. It hosts concerts, comedy, Broadway shows and other events.

History and Significance: Constructed in 1928 for films, dramatic performances and civic events, the Fox is one of Detroit’s most opulent and historic venues. Its flamboyant interior helped establish it as the city’s top theater destination after its restoration in the 1980s.

What to Expect: Visitors experience a diverse lineup of top name entertainment from pop stars to comedians in an ornately decorated interior that feels like an Arabian courtyard, capped by its iconic starlit ceiling and Wurlitzer organ sound effects.

Visitor Information: Showtimes and tickets vary by performance. Group rates, behind the scenes tours and student/senior discounts are available. The Fox offers accessible seating, dining/drinks and free same-day ticket exchanges.

Couples will delight in the beauty and entertainment at Detroit’s National Historic Landmark Fox Theatre. The ornately decorated interior transports visitors back to the 1928 grand movie palace era. Intricate plasterwork, glittering Indian-inspired motifs, and twinkling starry skies immerse you in luxury. Seeing a show surrounded by such extravagance makes for an unforgettably romantic date night. The theater presents Broadway touring shows, concerts, and more.

Stroll through Greenfield Village

Name and Location: Greenfield Village is an outdoor history museum located at 20900 Oakwood Boulevard in Dearborn, Michigan, about 8 miles from Detroit. It is part of The Henry Ford museum complex.

History and Significance: Opened in 1929 to preserve Americana patriotism and ingenuity, Greenfield Village spans 80 lush acres with historic homes and iconic structures like the laboratory where Edison invented the lightbulb, the Wright Brothers bicycle shop and Ford’s Alabama boyhood farmhouse.

What to Expect: Visitors enjoy self-guided tours along peaceful pathways through working farms, Model T rides, food tastings, reconstructed settlements and exhibits inside over 100 historical buildings that capture 300 years of America’s greatest minds and innovations. Interpretive presentations bring it all to life.

Visitor Information: Open daily 9:30AM-5PM, except select major holidays. Combination tickets with Henry Ford Museum are available. Regular admission runs $28 adults, $25 seniors 60+, $21 youth.

Discover over 300 years of American history strolling through Greenfield Village’s 80 acres of lush gardens, farmsteads, laboratories, historic homes, workshops, and landmarks. Sweethearts can explore hand-in-hand while admiring beautifully preserved architecture relocated here such as Thomas Edison’s lab, the Wright Brothers house and bicycle shop, Noah Webster’s Connecticut home, and buildings from Henry Ford’s childhood hometown. Costumed presenters add to the time-traveling adventure.

Wander Eastern Market

Name and Location: Eastern Market sits at the heart of the Eastern Market historic commercial district in Detroit along Gratiot Avenue, Russell Street, and Wilkins Street northeast of downtown.

History and Significance: First established in 1891, Eastern Market has served as the city’s central food district offering wholesalers, restaurateurs and the public access to produce, meat, fish, spice and artisanal vendors which reflects Detroit’s immigrant influence and America’s public market heritage.

What to Expect: Visitors peruse over 150 open-air farmers sheds, specialty shops and prepared meal spots every Saturday plus supplemental Tuesdays and Sundays. Murals, places to sit and public restroom facilities make it welcoming all week.

Visitor Information: Eastern Market is open year-round; days/hours vary by vendor. Free public entry. Parking lots available with free shuttle buses offered on its busiest days.

On weekends, the vibrant Eastern Market district comes alive with famers, vendors, and artists presenting their wares in open air sheds and along the street. Couples can amble through perusing colorful fruit and vegetable stands, tasting specialty foods, browsing cutting-edge art, people watching, and soaking up the convivial urban energy. sweet shops, spice stores, flower stands, and cafes also help lovers while away hours among Detroit’s oldest continuos marketplaces.

Take a Sightseeing Cruise on the Detroit Princess Riverboat

Name and Location: The Detroit Princess Riverboat offers public cruises along the Detroit River. It boards at Ovation Yacht Cruises dock at 100 Marquette Drive near Hart Plaza downtown.

History and Significance: Launched in 1983, the Detroit Princess is a modern 85-foot vessel designed to showcase the city’s riverfront and skylines on relaxing sightseeing excursions running April through October. Its ever-changing vistas highlight Detroit’s post-industrial resurgence.

What to Expect: Passengers enjoy indoor/outdoor panoramic seating over 90-minute public sightseeing tours with food, drinks and narration of Detroit River landmarks like Belle Isle, Ambassador Bridge, Renaissance Center plus glimpses of Windsor, Ontario. Brunches, dinners and private charters also offered.

Visitor Information: Boarding for cruises typically starts 30 minutes before departure. Advance booking recommended. Ticket prices start at $18 for kids, $20 adults; special group and seasonal rates available.

For intimate floating soirées, book passage on the majestic Detroit Princess Riverboat. As the ship gently cruises along Detroit’s waterfront and into Lake St. Clair, couples relax indulging in plated dinners, dancing under the stars to live music, enjoying cityscape views from heated lower decks or open-air top deck, and toasting your special someone as Detroit sparkles at night. Special event cruises like murder mysteries, champagne brunches, and more also available for adventurous pairs.

Attend a Michigan Opera Theatre Production

Name and Location: The Michigan Opera Theatre performs at the Detroit Opera House in the Broadway and Music Hall neighborhood located at 1526 Broadway Street in downtown Detroit.

History and Significance: Founded in 1971, MOT promotes opera and dance as accessible community events, reaching diverse audiences with classics to new works inside the restored 1922 Detroit Opera House. As Michigan’s only professional opera company, it draws top international talent.

What to Expect: Patrons enjoy grand opera and dance productions like Madame Butterfly, The Nutcracker, and original works on intimate sets under elaborate chandeliers and embellished architecture for an indelible experience of music, story and spectacle.

Visitor Information: Performances usually run select weekends October thru May. Subscription packages available. Single ticket prices start around $29, discounts for students and ages 13-19.

Treat your beloved to a romantic opera or ballet at the Michigan Opera Theatre at the Detroit Opera House. Hearing world-class vocal performances accompanied by live orchestra in the beautifully restored 1920s era interior makes hearts swell. Pre-show drinks or dinners in the Grand Lobbies surrounded by Italian marble and chandeliers further enhance the amorous escape. Upcoming 2023 season highlights include productions of “Carmen” and “Roméo et Juliette” certain to move lovers.

Peddle a Tandem Bicycle Built for Two

Name and Location: Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop rents tandem bicycles in Downtown Detroit along the Dequindre Cut and Riverwalk at 1340 E. Atwater next to Duo Security.

History and Significance: As Detroit’s first bike shop with a full bar, Wheelhouse Detroit opened in 2016 to promote biking culture on the city’s expanding network of greenways and bike lanes. It offers outdoor recreation rentals in a fun atmosphere.

What to Expect: Visitors can rent tandem bicycles built for two riders to cruise along Detroit’s scenic riverfront and nearby trails at their own pace, taking in skyline views and attractions. Walk-in rentals for all ages from Trail Tail vintage bikes to kid trailers and electric assist bikes are available.

Visitor Information: Wheelhouse Detroit is open daily 12PM-8PM from April to October. Tandem bike rentals are $15 per hour. Helmets, bike locks, trail maps/recommendations and DIY bike repair stations provided.

Peddle your way to new adventures zipping through Detroit’s riverfront on a charming tandem bicycle built for two from Wheelhouse Detroit. Feel the wind whipping through your hair as you captain your bicycle built for two through Riverside park’s paved trails with panoramas of the water, Ambassador Bridge, and even Canada. Stop for photo-ops along the path or in Hart Plaza’s picturesque fountain. It’s an experience sure to get hearts racing for nature-loving duos.

Tour the Motown Museum

Name and Location: Hitsville U.S.A, known as the Motown Museum, is located at 2648 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan on the original site of Motown Record’s 1959 studio and offices.

History and Significance: Founded by Berry Gordy Jr., Motown Records made stars out of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Jackson 5 who all recorded hit songs in Studio A. Today, the historic house-turned-museum draws visitors from around the world to stand in those vocalists’ footsteps.

What to Expect: Guided tours relay personal stories of talent and technology that made Motown into America’s most iconic record label behind universally loved songs about love, hope and unity that transcended race during pivotal 1960s history. Period costumes, videos and stage set recreations immerse visitors into creative moments that were felt across generations.

Visitor Information: Timed entry tickets run $20-30 for the guided hour-long Motown Museum tour experience offered Thursday thru Sunday year round, with occasional museum closures. Tours sell out, so pre-purchase online is recommended.

What musical genre evokes romance more than Motown? The Motown Museum documents the famed record label’s legacy and charts Detroit’s emergence as Hitsville U.S.A. Wandering through Studio A where artists like Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and more recorded chart-toppers in the 1960s immerses you in Detroit music history. Hold hands grooving to the classics and perhaps harmonizing a romantic ballad or two. Tickets often sell-out far in advance.

Catch Views from a Rooftop Bar

Name and Location: Several downtown Detroit hotels like The Monarch Club at the Shinola Hotel offer scenic rooftop bar patios overlooking Comerica Park, Hart Plaza and the Detroit skyline.

History and Significance: As Detroit reinvents itself with revitalized public spaces, rooftop bars situated around its stadiums, theaters and landmarks have become popular hangouts for unbeatable skyline views, especially at sunset over cocktails and small plates.

What to Expect: Rooftop venues like The Monarch Club feature posh mid-century modern decor with open-air and glassed-in lounge seating plus evening entertainment like DJs and live music beside panoramas of the bright lit-up cityscape, often including fireworks on event nights.

Visitor Information: Rooftop bars typically open from late afternoon into the evening for ages 21 and over. Hours and entry requirements vary; many operate seasonally with reservations recommended as capacity is limited.

Toast your sweetie against a glittering Detroit skyline from trendy rooftop bars like Monarch Club atop the Metropolitan Building, the Apparatus Room at the Foundation Hotel, or Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar perched perfectly overlooking Comerica Park. Sipping creative cocktails surrounded by Beaux-Arts architecture, murals, neon, and city sights combine for an elevated night out. Some venues feature fire pits, dance parties, skyline-view pools, and games, so lovebirds can get cozy.

Tour the Guardian Building

Name and Location: The Guardian Building is nicknamed the Cathedral of Finance for its ornate architecture spanning two blocks at 500 Griswold St in Detroit’s Financial District.

History and Significance: Considered one of America’s finest examples of Art Deco skyscrapers, the 40-story Guardian Building opened in 1929 for the Union Guardian Trust Company with lavish handcrafted vaulted ceilings, Rookwood Pottery tile and incredible views of downtown and the Detroit River.

What To Expect: Free guided tours relay stories behind the Guardian Building’s soaring five-story Grand Lobby of stone, terra cotta, African mahogany and brushed aluminum alongside exhibits inside its mezzanine art gallery. Visitors capture photos beside Model Ts that once hauled money and gold.

Visitor Information: Public Guardian Building tours run Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 am and 2 pm. Tour registration takes place in Guardian’s mezzanine Gift Shop. Tours last about one hour.

Both art deco architecture buffs and lovers are wowed touring downtown’s Guardian Building with one of the most ornate interiors worldwide. The vaulted ceilings, meticulously detailed Aztec-meets-art-deco designs, extensive use of marble, brass, tiles, and colorful Rookwood Pottery make you feel transported into a modern temple. Couples can admire the soaring ceiling murals depicting North American industry before grabbing a romantic bite in the Cathedral Café under stained glass windows.

Get Lost in the Heidelberg Project

Name and Location: The Heidelberg Project is an immersive outdoor art installation spanning abandoned houses covered in brightly painted polka dots at 3600 Heidelberg Street in Detroit’s McDougall-Hunt neighborhood.

History and Significance: This “open house” drive-by art museum evolved from artist Tyree Guyton’s creative response to his community’s economic decline. Today its imaginative structures like the famed Dotty Wotty House and paintings carry its message of hope and renewal to over 275,000 annual visitors.

What to Expect: The two block area transports viewers into a surreal landscape with constantly changing installations that incorporate mirrors, clocks, vinyl records, stuffed animals and recycled everyday found materials as an analogy for Detroit’s own physical layers and social history. Interpretive walking tour guides are onsite.

Visitor Information: The HP is an outdoor exhibit viewable 24/7/365 for free, located east of Detroit’s New Center area. Free street parking is available, but tour groups and charters should call ahead as capacity is limited. Call 313-974-6894 or visit www.heidelberg.org for details.

For an unconventionally artistic date, visit the Heidelberg Project featuring quirky found-object art installations scattered down a residential street. Created over 30 years by artist Tyree Guyton to improve his deteriorating neighborhood, the folk art sculptures made of repurposed toys, clothes, furniture and more never fail to spark inspiration, imagination…and romance. Lovers can ponder the meaning, find beauty amid urban decay, and explore the block’s ever-evolving artistic gems hand-in-hand.

Catch a Show at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge

Name and Location: Baker’s Keyboard Lounge bills itself as Detroit’s “oldest jazz club” located at 20510 Livernois Avenue in the University District 8 Mile area, running since 1934.

History and Significance: Baker’s early patrons included Jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole who famously mentioned it in his lyrics. Its Steinway baby grand has been serenaded by legends weekly ever since, earning Baker’s a place on the Historic Registry.

What to Expect: Music lovers can catch local performers and occasional special guest appearances inside the dimly lit club or out on the patio every night playing straight up Jazz, Blues and R&B as they’ve done for over 85 years while dining from the Louisiana-style menu.

Visitor Information: Music plays nightly Tues-Sat with varying start times from 2PM-2AM based on lineups. Casual dress code. Event schedules and tickets ($10-25) available on their website with limited seating for shows. Street parking available.

Jazz sets the perfect mood for romance. Catch acclaimed local musicians and legends at intimate landmark Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, dubbed the world’s oldest operating jazz club. Its Steinway grand piano and circular bar have hosted jazz greats since 1934. Cuddle close to your paramour in the dimly lit interior surrounded by photos of jazz icons while soaking up smooth tunes and cheersing to timeless music in Detroit’s hippest historic jazz joint.

From waterfront promenades to exploring neighborhoods bursting with art, music, and culinary treasures by foot or bicycle built for two, Detroit serves up romance around every turn. The city’s diverse attractions offer many opportunities for couples to connect while creating magical memories together that will last beyond any single occasion. With iconic venues, theaters, museums, and more, Detroit sets the stage for amorous adventure.

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