Airport guide

Airports in Detroit

Hop off your Detroit flight, grab the keys to your Model T and turn up the Motown music as you drive through Motor City. While your flight to Detroit might be music-less, there’s no stopping the beat once you hit the streets. Detroit got its nickname, “Motor City,” after Henry Ford rolled the first car off the assembly line in Detroit. Today, Detroit is still center for automobile production but thanks to flights to Detroit, there's more to the transportation industry than just Fort Thunderbirds and classic Mustangs.

Tourists booking Detroit flights and accommodations will find themselves in the entertainment hub of the Midwest. Many travelers leave their Detroit flight and head straight to Hitsville USA, where the Motown Sound comes to life and continues to play. But there are other attractions for visitors booking flights to Detroit. The Detroit Museum of Art and the Renaissance Center are huge tourists. Detroit sports fans can book Detroit flights during football season and cheer on the NFL Lions, or find cheap flights to Detroit during hockey season and root for the Detroit Red Wings.

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Detroit climate

Winters in Detroit are bitter cold and snowy, with icy winds and temperatures in the teens and 20s (Fahrenheit) and at least one subzero cold snap. Spring is damp and chilly with temperatures ranging from the 30s to the 60s. June starts to get warm, and July and August are hot and humid with temperatures in the 80s. The September and October temperatures start to go down to the 70s and 60s and can be very pleasant. July tends to be the hottest month and January the coldest.

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Best Time to Fly to Detroit

Peak Seasons:

Summer is the most popular time to visit the Midwest and the Great Lakes, and July and August are when prices for flights to Detroit tend to be the highest.

Fall foliage season starts around mid-September, and the colors reach their peak by mid-October.

Off Season:

Winter and early spring is the off season; however, despite the bitter winters, visitors come to Michigan for downhill skiing.

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Getting downtown Detroit

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
Distance: 26 miles west
Drive time: 25-30 mins

Visitors generally drive from the airport to downtown, and there are car rental agencies both on and off the airport. Taxi service to downtown and public transportation are also available. The Ground Transportation page of the airport web site has detailed information.

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Getting around Detroit

The best way to get around the Motor City is by car. Detroit is easy to drive through, and there are plenty of parking spots. Bring a good map, since many downtown streets are one way, and avoid driving in rush hour. The People Mover runs on an elevated track in a three-mile loop downtown. If you need a taxi, you can hail one on the street.

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Detroit Travel Information

  • The Henry Ford Museum is Ford’s collection of commonplace items and historic buildings that document American genius. Naturally there are transportation exhibits that include automobiles, presidential limousines, and Oscar Mayer’s original 1952 Wienermobile. Some of the other displays are a Buckminster Fuller “house of the future,” silver work from Paul Revere to Tiffany, and a gothic steam engine. A full tour also covers the seven districts in historic Greenfield Village and the Ford Rouge Factory. (Factory tour tickets sell out in advance, so it’s recommended that you buy them online.)
  • Cranbrook House and Gardens is the estate of newspaper publisher George Gough Booth and Ellen Scripps and is the oldest surviving manor home in metro Detroit. The house, designed in 1908, is English Arts and Crafts style, and its furnishings and décor are handcrafted. The 40-acre garden surrounding the house has Japanese and rose gardens, woods, and walks around two lakes on the 40-acre site. The complex is adjacent to the Cranbrook School and Institute of Science. The house and gardens are open for touring May through October.
  • Detroit has a full complement of museums. The Detroit Institute of Arts houses 100 galleries with collections that include Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Joos Van Cleeve, and Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry mural. The Detroit Historical Museum re-creates the city's past complete with a two-story automobile assembly line. The Wright Museum of African American History is the largest African-American museum in the world. The Core Exhibition Gallery, And Still We Rise, shows African American History from slavery through the Civil War, Emancipation, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and contemporary society. The Motown Museum gives you a tour through the original recording studio, exhibits of photographs, album covers, newspaper clippings, and gold records.
  • In January the Motor City hosts the annual North American International Auto Show and in August at the annual Woodward Dream Cruise, a parade of over 40,000 cars.
  • In July Detroit joins its neighbor, Windsor, Ontario, in the week long International Freedom Festival, celebrating both Canada Day and Independence Day, ending with a fireworks display that is the centerpiece of the entire celebration.

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Detroit airports

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)

Alternative airports (distances in miles):
Toledo (49); Flint (54); Lansing (74);

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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    Cheap flights to Detroit

    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
    from$206RTwith CheapAir.com
    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
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    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
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    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
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    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
    from$218RTwith CheapAir.com
    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
    from$218RTwith CheapAir.com
    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
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    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
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    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
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    Newark International (EWR) to Detroit (DTT)
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    Approx flight times

    La Guardia to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County:
    1 hr 55 mins
    John F. Kennedy International to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County:
    2 hr 20 mins
    Newark International to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County:
    1 hr 59 mins

    In-flight reading

    Middlesex

    Jeffrey Eugenides Pulitzer Prize winning novel about hermaphrodite Calliope, interwoven with the history of Cal’s family and Detroit in the 1920s and 1930s.

    Sleeping with Cats

    Marge PiercyThe author’s memoir about growing up in a lower-class Detroit neighborhood.

    Motown: The Golden Years

    Bill DahlHistory and anthology of the Motown story, with information on stars and lesser-known performers and many photographs not previously published.

    The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century

    Steven Watts Biography of the manufacturing and engineering innovator whose dream was to raise the standard of living for all.

    Mr. Paradise

    Elmore Leonard Detroit-based story of detective Frank Delsa investigating a contract murder, involving a case of switched identity, hit men, and a potential payoff from the victim’s estate.