Detroit Zoo#8 in Best Things To Do in Detroit
Many recent travelers called the Detroit Zoo one of the city's best family attractions. Spread out across 125 acres and boasting more than 2,400 animals, the zoo has a longstanding history in Detroit (it's been open since 1928). Of the zoo's 12 habitats, perhaps the most popular among recent visitors is the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, which debuted in 2016. This 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area allows zoo visitors to observe more than 80 penguins of four different species explore their habitat. Plus, thanks to an underwater gallery with two tunnels, visitors can see the birds above, around and below.
Along with the animals, the zoo also boasts a carousel (a hit with families), a 4-D theater, scientific displays and a playground, along with more kid-friendly distractions. Reviewers praised the zoo's easy-to-navigate layout and the well-cared for animals, but were disappointed with the dining selections. If you plan to eat at the zoo, bring your own food for a picnic.
The zoo's hours vary by season, but it's generally open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the winter (late September to March) and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the spring and summer (April to early September). General admission tickets (which do not include access to the zoo's special attractions) cost $14 for adults 15 and older and $10 for seniors and children ages 2 to 14. Remember to budget for parking, which costs $6 per vehicle. You'll find the zoo about 13 miles north of downtown Detroit in Royal Oak, Michigan. The best way to reach it is via car or taxi. To learn more about the zoo's animals and to see upcoming special events, visit its website.
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#1 Detroit Institute of the Arts
Arguably one of the city's foremost cultural destinations, the Detroit Institute of Arts dates back to 1885, but the beaux-arts building (referred to as the "temple of art") that it now resides in opened in 1927. The institute is huge, comprising more than 100 galleries, a 1,150-seat auditorium and a 380-seat lecture hall. And its permanent collection is extensive: On its walls are Diego Rivera's "Detroit Industry" fresco and Vincent Van Gogh's "Self Portrait" painting, among other works. The institute also hosts events like Friday Night Live! concerts and Art + Authors book discussions.
For many visitors, a visit to the DIA was a highlight of their Detroit trip, with some calling it a "national gem." Though many were initially drawn because of the museum's Diego Rivera collection, reviewers said they were satisfied with every part of the DIA, especially the temporary exhibits. Visitors also praised the staff, which they said were friendly and helpful.
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