Detroit 7 Best Museums To Visit

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When it comes to great museums, punches well above its weight, and offers something for every kind of traveler, leave plenty of time to visit Detroit celebrated art museums and historic hot spots. Fine and contemporary art galleries, institutions dedicated to American innovation, and museums celebrating the city’s musical heritage are just some of the things you will find.

Best of all are the only-in-Detroit spots where imaginative spaces shine a spotlight on everything from African beads to Motor City history. This is the only place in Detroit where you can find a museum dedicated to the blues and learn about the city’s rich musical heritage.

Detroit Institute of Arts: Best For World Art And Murals

institute of arts


The Detroit Institute of Arts is a must-see for art enthusiasts. It stuns right away, with enormous murals by Diego Rivera adorning the walls of Rivera Court, which is located directly off the Great Hall. These frescoes pay homage to Detroit’s industrial past by combining images of hardworking employees and machines.

The collection covers continents and decades beyond this striking introduction. You’ll see indigenous American artifacts varying from masks to clay sculptures, as well as ancient Egyptian mummies and scrolls. Religious paintings by Dutch master Rembrandt and oil paintings by Paul Cézanne are among the works on display.

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit: Best For Avant-garde Installations

contemporary art detroit


The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s progressive displays are constantly changing, so it’s definitely worth returning to. Among the live activities are artist presentations and workshops, which include anything from experimental films and mixed-media sculptures to photography, collages, and prints.

The diverse art displays are located in a former motor showroom, in classic Detroit style. Martin Creed’s Work No. 790, “Everything is Going to Be Alright,” is also inscribed on the museum’s façade.

Henry Ford Museum: Best For A Deep Dive Into American Innovation

henry ford


The Henry Ford Museum has so much to view that you’ll want to dedicate an entire day to it – and even then, you’ll probably not be able to see everything the museum has to offer, which focuses on big ideas and American changemakers.

The museum is divided into numerous sections. The Museum of American Innovation, for example, displays artifacts like the bus on which Civil Rights leader Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Greenfield Village is the next stop. The Ford Home, the birthplace of the museum’s namesake – motor magnate and industrialist Henry Ford – is placed in this complex, which has been refurbished and moved.

Motown Museum: Best For Music Lovers



This museum pays tribute to Detroit’s toe-tapping Motown sound. Berry Gordy Jr., the late producer, started Motown Records in 1959 and went on to collaborate with musical legends such as Stevie Wonder and The Supremes.

The cottage that became Motown HQ, called Hitsville USA, is now stuffed with revolving musical memorabilia, varying from recordings and concert posters to a knit cap worn by Marvin Gaye. You’ll also have the opportunity to warble a few notes in the legendary Studio A, where a lot of the musical magic took place. The museum is undergoing a $50 million expansion project at the moment.

Detroit Historical Museum: Best For A Taste of City History

detroit historical museum


The edge of Detroit’s culture-rich Midtown area is where this historical museum is located. The Streets of Old Detroit recreates cityscapes from the 1840s to 1870s and the 1900s, three defining decades in Motor City’s past. A blacksmith shop, a firehouse, a confectioners, and a pharmacy are replicas of century-plus-old buildings. The city has a history of car manufacturing, Detroit pioneers, and paying homage to its musical prowess are some of the exhibits.

Michigan Science Center: Best For Hands-on Learning

michigan science center


The Michigan Science Center is full of imaginative and interactive showcases that are extremely popular with children. Over 220+ exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including outer space and electricity, as well as human health and mathematics.

In addition to a stunning gallery of art, there is an incredibly impressive array of exhibits including a dizzying walk-in kaleidoscope, a mini replica of Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge, and a display that replicates the world’s weather. There’s also a planetarium, a 4D theatre and a stage for live shows.

Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum: Best For Getting Off The Beaten Track

african bead museum


This African Bead Museum in Detroit is quite small, but still worthwhile. It’s got a small gallery space filled up with colorful beads, hanging in strings down the walls, and in pots on the counter. It’s located on Grand River Avenue, and worth a trip out of downtown Detroit!

Iron Teaching Rocks How To Rust is a sculpture series made from iron, wood, mirror and rock, and is intended as a comment on the relationship between Africans and Europeans. You will probably meet the artist behind the exhibits, who has been collecting beads since 1980.

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