Contrary to popular belief, Detroit isn’t all factories and vast motorways. There is a great mixture of areas and suburbs in the 'Motor City' that cater to people from all backgrounds and incomes.
Below are some recommended neighbourhoods in Detroit.
Young and trendy suburbs in Detroit
Trendy Corktown is a residential area popular with young professionals and couples. One of the oldest surviving neighbourhoods in the city, it was named after the County Cork when the first Irish immigrants settled in the area back in the 1850s. Federal, Gothic and Victorian houses line the streets, while buzzing Michigan Avenue is filled with restaurants, coffee shops and bars. There is a strong emphasis on cultural identity here, with its Catholic roots still evident.
The area of Midtown is mixed use, with residential areas, architectural landmarks and a business district. There’s a decent amount of quality schools around the area. It’s extremely safe and it is easy to get around the area on foot. The community feel is complemented by an array of museums, universities and galleries, as well as grocery stores, general amenities and public transportation options.
Family-friendly suburbs in Detroit
Within walking distance of places such as Downtown, Midtown and the trendy Corktown, Woodbridge is a historic neighbourhood with a number of significant turn-of-the-century homes. The area is family friendly and has a largely community-based feel, with a healthy mix of people from all walks of life.
The relatively small suburb of Northville lies some 29 miles (47km) northwest of the Detroit city centre. Replete with municipal parks and good quality public schools, it serves as a great choice for young families. One of its main drawcards is the Northville Art House, which features exhibitions and cultural shows at its galleries.
Grosse Pointe is a beautiful and affluent collection of coastal suburbs, consisting of five main communities filled with Tudor- and Victorian-style homes. About 6 miles (10km) northeast of historic Downtown, its ideal location near the shores of Lake St Clair allows for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating and swimming, as well as picnics and golf. The area also has a number of retail districts which provide ample shopping opportunities. With a range of excellent schooling options, Grosse Pointe is a great option for those moving to Detroit with children.
Popular with young couples and families alike, Birmingham is an ideal spot to settle down and is found on the north side of the Detroit Metro. There are numerous excellent schools, and Japanese expats will be delighted to know the Japanese School of Detroit is also located here. Birmingham is popular with foodies, and there are many great eateries and boutique stores in the downtown area. Additionally, the area’s many parks provide a welcome break from the urban rush, as does a visit to the Baldwin Public Library.
Are you an expat living in Detroit?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Detroit. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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