Motown and automobiles in Michigan

Detroit is where both techno music and the Motown sound originated. The city was the first to assign individual telephone numbers, hold a state fair, pave 1 mile of concrete road and drink milk from a cardboard carton!

 If you like ice cream floats, you have Detroit to thank. When Sanders confectionery ran out of sweet cream they used ice cream instead. With so many great firsts, you're bound to have a great time when you visit this exciting city!

Joe Louis Arena
This 20,058-seat arena is the largest indoor venue in Detroit and hosts many events from:

  • Professional hockey games
  • Concerts
  • Circuses
  • Ice shows
  • College hockey

Only three arenas in the National Hockey League don't have a corporate naming sponsor, and this is one of them. The facility was opened in December 1979 and has been home to the 11-time Stanley Cup Champions the Detroit Red Wings NHL team ever since. The team holds the longest active streak in North American professional sports with 23 trips to the playoffs.

If you visit during a Red Wings game you might spot an octopus on the rink. At an April 1952 game two brothers threw an octopus onto the ice, hoping its eight tentacles would represent the eight victories needed to win the Stanley Cup. The team won and the octopus has been seen as a good luck charm since then. Drive your Detroit rental car to this arena to cheer on the Red Wings and you might spot the octopus in person!

Motown Museum
Located at Hitsville U.S.A., Motown museum has over 10,000 visitors every year. Founded by Esther Gordy Edwards in 1985, this nonprofit tells the story of how Berry Gordy's vision, and an $800 loan from his family turned into one of the biggest and most successful record companies of all time: Motown Records. The Temptations, Four Tops, The Supremes, The Miracles and many others have recorded their famous songs here.

Drive your Detroit rental car to see relics of Motown, from the Control Room where record producers guided the recordings to Studio A, where the greats recorded. Visitors can even tour the apartment where Motown Record's founder and his family lived. You may even catch a glimpse of Michael Jackson's hat and rhinestone glove among the many "uniforms" of the era that are preserved here.

Ford Rouge Factory Tour
In the Motor City it makes sense to head 14 miles south to this important factory. Tours are self-guided and have five parts. In the Legacy Theater visitors learn about the factories triumphs and tragedies through rare historic film footage. In the Art of Manufacturing Theater visitors will get a 360-degree look at how vehicles are made. Next, walk to the Observation Deck where you can see the factories eco-friendly living roof that is made up of vegetation and will help to better regulate temperature and lessen carbon emissions.

Next is the Assembly Plant Walking Tour where you can see where new Ford F-150s are made from start to finish. At its height of productivity in the 1930s this factory rolled out a new car every 49 seconds, and smelted more than 1,500 tons of iron and made 500 tons of glass every day. It even had its own railroad with 16 trains and 100 miles of track.

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