The Southwest side of Detroit is located 2 miles outside of downtown. It is home to popular ethnically diverse neighborhoods, such as Corktown and Mexicantown. Also in the area are historical attractions, such as Fort Wayne.
Southwest Detroit is home to a large melting pot of different ethnicities including Italians, Mexicans, Ecuadorians, Polish, Hungarian, Irish, etc. This is evidenced by the many ethnic neighborhoods and the large diversity of restaurants in the area. Whatever your taste, Southwest Detroit has something for everyone.
However, Southwest Detroit has even more than vibrant neighborhoods and great cuisine. It is also home an abudance of landmarks, such as Tiger Stadium and the historic Michigan Central Station.
- Corktown, located directly south of Michigan Avenue, and directly west of the Lodge Freeway., . Corktown is the oldest neighborhood in Detroit. This neighborhood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is called Corktown because most of its first residents were from County Cork, in Ireland. Corktown is home to some Detroit landmarks, such as the Michigan Central Station and Tiger Stadium.
- Mexicantown, located on Bagley, both on the east and west sides of the Interstate 75 service drive, and along Vernor., . Mexicantown is the fastest growing neighborhood in Detroit. It is particularly popular for its Mexican cuisine. The neighborhood will soon include the Mexicantown International Welcome Center, and the Mercado, which will house 85 shops.
- Woodbridge, bounded by Trumbull Street, Calumet Street, Gibson Street, Grand River Avenue, Rosa Parks Boulevard, West Warren Avenue, Wabash Street, Railroad Tracks, and the Edsel Ford Freeway, . Woodbridge is home to many architecturally significant houses, most of which are Victorian-style. The nieghborhood was one of the few that were not affected by Detroit's decay a few decades back. Woodbridge was founded in the late 19th century as a neighborhood for the wealthy, and it still is. When visiting the neighborhood, the Eighth Precinct Station is a must-see. The second oldest police building in Detroit, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Ambassador Bridge, . This suspension bridge, over the Detroit River, connects Detroit with Windsor. It had the longest suspended central span in the world when it opened in 1929 to 1931. The Ambassador Bridge is the largest international border crossing in North America, and over 25% of all the trade between the US and Canada crosses this bridge. It is styled in a mixture of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne architectural designs, with some Gothic architecture blended in. When the Detroit International Riverfront is totally completed, it will run from the Amassador Bridge to Belle Isle, which is about 5 miles in length.
- Fort Wayne, 6325 W Jefferson Avenue, along the Detroit River, ☎ 313.297.9360, . Sa 9AM-4PM, Su 11AM-4PM. Located one mile from the Canadian shore of the Detroit River, this historic fort, built in 1849, is listed on the National Register for Historic Places. Fort Wayne was built when Canada was seeking independence from Britain. The United States wanted to remain neutral on the case, but realized that they lacked fortifications along the northern border to repel a potential British attack. The Army named the new fort for Revolutionary War hero General Anthony Wayne, who took possession of Detroit from the British in 1796. Before any cannon had been installed at the newly-constructed Fort Wayne, the United States and Britain peacefully resolved their differences, eliminating the need for a fort on the Detroit River. Fort Wayne remained unused for a decade after its initial construction. But it was once again used during the Civil War because the British supported the Confederacy. For the rest of the Civil War, the fort served as a mustering center for troops from Michigan, as well as a place for veterans to recover from their wounds. After the Civil War and until 1920, Fort Wayne served as a garrison post. Today, the fort is operated by the Detroit Recreation Department. $3 for everyone.
- Michigan Central Station. This beautiful Beaux-Arts building stands as a perfect example of urban decay in America. Located in Corktown, it opened as a passenger rail depot in 1913, and closed in 1988. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. There have been several reports of remaking it into a police headquarters, a casino, or a trade center. But none of these proposals have gone through. Thus, the building stands vacant but, nonetheless, is still a great site for architecture buffs.
- Tiger Stadium, at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbell Boulevard. This National Historic Landmark was home to the Detroit Tigers from 1912 to 2000, when the team moved to Comerica Park, downtown. If the stadium were still open, it would be tied with Fenway Park in Boston as the oldest in Major League Baseball, as both stadiums opened on the same day in 1912. Some demolition took place in August 2008. However, it has been halted due to efforts to save some of the park, streching from dugout to dugout.
- Ste. Anne de Detroit, 1000 Ste. Anne Street, ☎ 313.496.1701, . Founded in 1701, it is the second oldest active Roman Catholic parish in the United States. The current church was built in 1886 in a Classical Revival and Late Gothic Revival architectural style. Ste. Anne de Detroit was the first building made in the French settlement of Fort Ponchatrain du Détroit, which today is the city of Detroit.
- Woodmere Cemetary, 9400 West Fort Street, at the intersection of Fort and Woodmere, ☎ 313.841.0188. This 150-year-old cemetary is home to many beautiful headstones and mausoleums. The founder of Buick, David Buick, is buried here.
Museums and galleries
- Automotive Hall of FameDearborn. Next to Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.
- The Henry Ford(Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village with an IMAX Theater) Dearborn-- This is a "must see". A massive historical and entertainment complex, a leading attraction with a keen focus on innovations. Highlights include: Lincoln's chair, Rosa Park's bus, JFK's limos, original historic structures, nice shops, great food, and, not surprisingly, a spectacular history of the automobile collection that is a football field long. Visitors may have many entertaining experiences such as mini-shows, music, parades, train rides, and Model T rides.
- Henry Ford Estate, Dearborn. Often referred to as "Fairlane." Public tours.
- Zeigeist Gallery, 2661 Michigan Avenue, ☎ 313.965.9192, . F 5PM-8PM, Sa 12PM-5PM, or by appointment. Located near the Michigan Central Station, on the outskirts of Corktown, this gallery is home to dark works by several talented artists. The gallery also hosts plays.
Festivals and events
- Old Car Festival Antique and classic car collector's show in Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford in Dearborn the weekend after Labor Day.
- Ford Community and Performing Arts Center Dearborn.
- Senate Theatre, located on Michigan Avenue just west of Livernois, ☎ 313.894.4100, . Built in 1926, this theatre served as a movie theatre for Southwest Detroit until 1958. In 1963, the Detroit Theatre Organ Society renovated the theatre and has been located here ever since.
- Fairlane Town Center  Dearborn. Remodeled in 2007. 15 minutes from Metro Airport and downtown Detroit, this large mall features more urban fashion and discount retailers with about 150 stores, popular restaurants including a P.F Chang and an Andiamo's. Adult supervision of those under 18 is required after 5:00 PM by someone who is at least 21.
- Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village  Dearborn. Gift shops with wonderful souvenirs.
- Stormy Records  13210 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, Michigan. Independent niche record store, one of the few independent stores remaining in Michigan. 313-581-9322
Detroit's Southwest side is known for Mexicantown and its Mexican cuisine at restaurants such as Mexican Village, Evie's Tamales, El Zocalo and Xochimilco. Restaurants, bakeries, and shops are located on Vernor Highway, on both the east and west sides of the Interstate 75 service drive.
Detroit is home to many American classics including the Coney Island Hotdog, Sanders Bumpy Cakes, Dominos Pizza, Little Caesars Pizza, Better Made Potato Chips, and Vernor's Ginger Ale. (Vernor's Ginger Ale shares the distinction as America's oldest soft drink with Hire's Root Beer).
- Mi Pueblo, 7278 Dix Rd, ☎ +1 313 841-3315 ([email protected]), . Authentic Mexican Fare, features a bar, Wi-Fi and music on Friday through Sunday starting at 8:15PM. Has been featured in the New York Times and awarded "Best Place for a Food Fiesta by the Detroit Free Press".
- Evie's Tamales, 3454 Bagley St, ☎ +1 313 843-5056 ([email protected]), . Authentic cuisine, Second eldest restaurant in Mexicantown, unpretentious setting. $5 to $10.
- Taqueria Lupita, 3443 Bagley St, ☎ +1 313 843-1105. Su-Thu 9am-10pm, Fr-Sa 9am-11pm. Authentic Mexican fare. $5 to $10.
- Xochimilchos, 3409 Bagley St, ☎ +1 313 843-0179. 11 AM - 2 AM All Week. Large portions of excellent Mexican fare. They have menudo (tripe stew) on the menu, as well as many more mainstream dishes. Open late and serves alcohol. For authentic Mexican food try another restaurant in Mexican Town or Mi Pueblo. $5 to $10.
Detroit is known for its "Detroit-Style" Pizza:
Benito's Pizza, various locations, . Wonderful pizza. Carry-out. Well worth it.
Buddy's Pizza, 17125 Conant, ☎ +1 313 892-9001 (fax: +1 313 313-892-6619), . Mon - Thur 11 am - 9 pm Fri 11 am - 11 pm Sat 12 pm - 11 pm Sun 1 pm - 8 pm. Excellent square deep dish pizza. Voted the best pizza in Detroit several times. 7 Locations outside of Detroit
Little Caesars, . Also known as Little Squeezers, pumps out 5 dollar "hot 'n' ready" pizzas. More of a fast food place than an actual restaurant. Carry-out.
- Amani's Middle Eastern Cuisine, 13823 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, . Full menu. Locally popular. Family friendly.
- Doña Lola, 1312 Springwells Street, ☎ 313.843.4129. This restaurant is one of the few Ecuadorian restaurants in the city.
- Roma Cafe 3401 Riopelle (Via Roma), Detroit +1 313 831-5940
- Union Street  4145 Woodward Ave. Very good food, great drinks. Right on Woodward, less than 1 mile from downtown.
- Vince's Ristorante Italiano, 1341 Springwells St, ☎ 313.842.2857. This restaurant offers some of the best Italian home cooking in the neighborhood.
- Cuisine Restaurant (French). . 670 Lothrop, Detroit. New Center area, behind the Fisher Theatre.
- Dearborn Inn  20301 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn. +1 313 271-2700. Fine dining in a historic Inn.
- Opus One  565 E. Larned St., Detroit. +1 313 961-7766. Fine dining. Offers theatre and sports packages.
- The Whitney  4421 Woodward Ave. Detroit. Highly acclaimed. Fine dining in an elegant mansion.
- Detroit Convention and Visitor's Bureau .