DETROIT (AP) — Detroit certainly has its financial woes as the largest U.S. city to undergo bankruptcy. But that doesn't mean visitors have to break their own banks to experience some impressive attractions.
Here are five things tourists and natives alike can take in for free.
Time was when the shores of the Motor City's majestic Detroit River, which separates it from the Canadian city of Windsor, were mostly industrial and uninviting. To make matters worse, Windsor's waterfront was verdant, pleasant and pedestrian-friendly. Then Detroit finally got some sense — and some big donations — to remodel its front door to the world and create the Detroit RiverWalk. Years of work have transformed much of it for recreational use. And it now includes William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor near downtown. The RiverWalk promenade is popular with walkers, runners and bicyclists, as is the perpendicular Dequindre Cut, which runs on an abandoned rail line. A popular spot for gathering and events is in front of the Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors Co. and the city's tallest building.
Detroit's Eastern Market's foods, flowers and other products require opening the wallet, but the sights, sounds and smells — and sometimes samples — cost nothing. The six-block public market with more than 250 vendors has been operating east of the downtown district since 1891. The market is open several days a week at certain times of the year but it's especially popular on Saturdays, when tens of thousands of people come to walk, talk and stall among the stalls and sheds.
The Detroit Tigers left in 1999 and headed downtown to the then-new Comerica Park, but stubborn activists held out hope of saving the baseball team's longtime home. That dream died when the last portion was demolished in 2009, but die-hards can still run the bases and see some of the stadium's decorative fencing and a flagpole at what's now known as Ernie Harwell Field. The field in Detroit's historic, reviving Corktown neighborhood is named after the team's longtime and beloved announcer. Many plans have been floated for the site, most recently one that would include a youth baseball field along with stores, residential space and offices. Tiger Stadium opened in 1912 as Navin Field.
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