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Cheap flights to Detroit, Michigan (MI)

Detroit overview

Detroit Travel Guide

Hop off your Detroit flight, grab the keys to your Model T and turn up the Motown music as you drive through The Motor City. While your flight to Detroit might be quiet, 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 an entertainment hub like nowhere else. 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, Greek Town, major casinos, The Fox Theater, and the Renaissance Center are huge with tourists. Detroit sports fans can book Detroit flights during football season and cheer on the Lions, during the summer to watch the Detroit Tigers baseball team, or find cheap flights to Detroit during hockey season and root for the Detroit Red Wings.

What’s the weather like in Detroit?

May-June are among the most pleasant months to visit Detroit, and July and August are surprisingly hot with temperatures in the 80s-90s. September and October temperatures start to go back down to the 70s and 60s. July tends to be the hottest month and January the coldest. 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.

When is the best time to fly to Detroit?

Peak Seasons:

Summer is the most popular time to visit the Midwest and the Great Lakes. During July and August visitors will find it harder to find cheap flights to Detroit. July and August host many great events to enjoy such as the Meijer All-American Jam at the Taylor Summer Festival, Michigan Jazz Festival, the Common Ground Music Festival, The Great Lakes Folk Festival and the Michigan State Fair. If you’re a leaf peeper, autumn 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 book flights to Michigan for downhill skiing

 When is the best time to book a flight to Detroit

Begin looking for flights to Detroit a couple of months before you plan to visit. If you book too much in advance, you won’t realize available discounts, and if you wait until the last minute, you’ll pay a premium. Looking for flights later in the evening or shopping on a weekend can yield a better return for your fare dollar. If you book your flight to depart on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you’ll most likely cash in on cheaper deals than flying out on weekends.

Which airlines fly to Detroit?

The length of your flight to Detroit will depend upon your departure city. Flights from Chicago to Detroit run about 45 minutes to an hour, while a flight from Los Angeles takes about 4.5 hours. If you’re flying in from Houston, expect your flight to last about three hours or a little less, and travel time from Orlando to Detroit is 2.5 hours on average.

What should you pack for a flight to Detroit?

With Detroit and the surrounding area experiencing all four seasons, what you pack will depend upon the time of year you choose to travel. The summer in Detroit can be hot and humid, so you’ll need your shorts and tanks along with a swimsuit or two. The winters in the metropolitan area can be bitter, meaning you’ll want to bring everything from boots to hats and scarves for your comfort, but bring along skis to take advantage of some of the Midwest’s best slopes. Because winter can extend into spring and fall often comes early to the area, bring along a light sweater or two to layer for crisper days.

Getting to and around Detroit 

Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) is located 26 miles west of the city. Visitors generally drive from the airport to downtown Detroit, and there are car rental agencies both on and off the airport. Taxi and bus services to the center are also available. The Ground Transportation page of the airport website has detailed information.

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.

What are some things to do in Detroit? 

Detroit, Michigan, and the surrounding area offers a variety of experiences from entertainment options to outdoor activities and shopping excursions. From delightful dining experiences in the downtown area to revisiting the history of the automotive industry, there’s always something available for every traveler in your group.

Just a short drive from Detroit Metro, The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village welcome visitors with an indoor museum covering the advancement of cars, farm vehicles and trains through the years along with architecture and furniture design. Greenfield Village is home to relocated and reconstructed buildings from Detroit’s rich history, from Edison’s laboratory to a real English cottage. To fully experience everything the museum and grounds have to offer, plan on spending a full day or two.

Head in to downtown Detroit for incredible dining and entertainment experiences, such as a romantic dinner for two at the Whitney—once home to Detroit’s richest man and now a gourmet eatery—or a spectacular show at the stunning Fox Theater. Visit one of the city’s three casinos, and try your luck at the slots or card tables. Sports fanatics can get their game on at Comerica Park, which is home to the Detroit Tigers or Ford Field, home to the NFL’s longest storied teams: the Detroit Lions.

Take the family up I-94 for a visit to Frankenmuth, a Bavarian settlement located about two hours north, and tuck into one of the Zehnder family’s world famous chicken dinners before browsing the many quaint shops or strolling across the authentic wooden covered bridge.

Tips for your stay in Detroit

  • The Henry Ford Museum contain’s 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 and Tiffany, and an old-fashioned steam engine train. 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 Gardensis right outside of Detroit; it’s 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 Artshouses 100 galleries with collections that include Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Joos Van Cleeve, and Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry 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.
  • Every January, the Motor City hosts the world-famous North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
  • If you love classic cars, August sees the can’t-miss annual Woodward Dream Cruise, a parade of over 40,000 antique and muscle 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 display of fireworks along the Detroit River that is the centerpiece of the entire celebration.
  • In January, Detroit hosts Winter Blast at Campus Martius Park. The event usually includes an ice slide, ice-skating, a zip-line, hot chocolate, a wide-variety of food, and other family indoor events around the park.

Finding Flights from Detroit

 You’ll find flights from Detroit on most of the major airlines, including Delta, United, Air Canada and Frontier.

To ensure you arrive at your gate with plenty of time to board, plan to make it to Detroit Metropolitan’s terminals at least two hours before your scheduled flight. Car rental returns are located on airport property with convenient shuttle service dropping passengers off just outside the baggage claims of both terminals. Several taxi and airport shuttle services offer direct transportation to the airport, but make sure you’re hiring a reputable airport-approved service for your safety.

Want to find out a little bit more about Detroit’s Metropolitan airport and getting around once you’ve arrived? Check out Cheapflight’s Detroit Metropolitan Airport Guide 

 

 

 

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