Explore the diverse sites of this Irish enclave, from the awesome modern-era 'ruins' of Michigan Central Station to the colorful Victorian homes, and learn why everyone is coming to Corktown these days
What to Expect
Strap on your walking shoes for what’s sure to be the most epic tour of Detroit’s historic Corktown this side of Michigan Avenue.
Start on a block that has been key to Corktown’s revival, where BBQ, burgers, coffee, and craft cocktails beckon crowds of hungry and thirsty Detroiters.
From here, you’ll take in the contrasting views of Detroit’s highs and lows. You’ll walk toward the massive Michigan Central Railroad Station, left for ruin and a symbol of the decline of Detroit. you’ll get a good look at this hulking structure, which has been ranked as one of the 'must-see' abandoned buildings in the world.
To contrast that, you’ll continue your Detroit walking tour past the charming, colorful Victorian houses of residential Corktown. This is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Your guide will point out some local faves, like a charming Irish tavern, an indie record store, a great deli, and a popular new brewpub. You’ll also hear about the new microbrewery, start-up hub, and technology center that are helping to define Corktown as the neighborhood to know. Along the way, your local guide will point out an early 19th-century church that’s one of oldest churches in Detroit.
Hopefully by this point you’ve worked up an appetite for a visit to the new Detroit Institute of Bagels — yes, it’s as official as it sounds and for you bagel snobs out there (looking at you, New York), they take traditional bagel-making seriously.
Start your seventh-inning stretch as you return to Michigan Avenue for a mile-long stroll past The Greening of Detroit office (and learn a little about their tree-planting and beautification efforts), and to Ernie Harwell Park, the gone-but-not-forgotten former home of the Detroit Tigers. This was the home field for baseball greats like Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, and Al Kaline, and is where Nelson Mandela spoke shortly after his release from prison in South Africa. You’ll be sure to stop by Detroit Athletic Co. that started as a humble peanut stand and has grown to provide the best selection of sports swag.
Along your Corktown tour, you’ll hear about the local funky spots for live music and art shows, and a favorite shop where you can get a 'Coney dog' without having to go to Coney Island. Your local guide will also point out where to get some crazy-good shawarma sandwiches that Detroiters absolutely love, as well as epic burgers, wine, and charcuterie.
Your colorful Detroit tour ends at a pot of gold in the Gaelic League Irish-American Club of Detroit. You may be a wee bit thirsty by the time you arrive; it's covered with a complimentary half-pint.
After the tour has officially ended, you’re free to stay at the Gaelic League for more beer or some Irish whiskey, or maybe you’ll want to visit the tasting room at Two James Distillery, or visit Batch Brewing Co., Brew Detroit, or one of the other great bars in Corktown. If all those foodie spots you passed have your stomach rumbling, your guide can point the way. Just ask them for a recap of the local lunch-and-a-pint haunts that make Corktown pop!
- Local English-speaking guide
- Half-pint of draft beer or complimentary soft drink
What's Not Included
- Food and additional drinks
- Souvenirs and items of a personal nature
- Tips and gratuities for your guide
Know Before You Go
• Please wear shoes that allow you to comfortably walk a couple of miles. Please also consider a hat and/or sunscreen on sunny days, and bring a jacket on cooler days, and an umbrella if it’s calling for rain