The eyes of the world were on the Motor City for the 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. The motorsports action ran Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 2 on Belle Isle. Visitors to Detroit and Southeast Michigan also discovered and explored the world’s capital of automotive engineering, design and construction and its history through the the MotorCities National Heritage Area.
The big races featured the cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series. The weekend collectively was referred to as the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and it will feature the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans IndyCar doubleheader.
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Of course, for those of us who are crazy about all things automotive, there are a good many things to do year-round in Southwest Michigan. Here’s what we mean, courtesy of the MotorCities National Heritage Area:
Museums and Historic Homes
Alfred P. Sloan Museum. Explore ” Flint and the American Dream” and discover this city’s incredible contributions to the auto story.
Arab American National Museum The Arab American National Museum’s mission is to document, preserve, celebrate, and educate the public on the history, life, culture and contributions of Arab Americans.
Automotive Hall of Fame Come follow the young boy known as “The Driving Spirit” as he leads you on an adventuresome journey through time celebrating the many creative and inspirational people who have left their mark in the auto industry.
Cadillac & LaSalle Club Museum & Research Center Research & Reading room for Cadillac owners manuals, advertising, technical information.
Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village Come discover Canada’s fascinating piece of the automobile story.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Founded in 1965, the “Wright” Museum exists to serve Metropolitan Detroit, national and international communities.
Cherry Hill Village Cherry Hill Village was established around the last remaining historical hamlet in Canton, Michigan. It has a rich history as one of Henry Ford’s village industries and boasts the oldest church and cemetery in the township and a nineteenth century schoolhouse in the village square.
Cranbrook House Step back in time as you visit this lovely and breathtaking Arts and Crafts-style home.
Crocker House Museum Take a walk back to the days of Mt. Clemens famous Mineral baths.
Crossroads Village Ramble along dirt covered roads and enjoy a slice of life before the Tin Lizzie changed everything. Investigate who in this village made the first automobile in the city of Flint.
Detroit Historical Museum Whether strolling down the Streets of Old Detroit, discovering Frontiers to Factories or cruising through the MotorCity, Detroit’s rich history and the spirit of its people come to life.
Detroit Institute of Arts Art patrons Edsel and Eleanor Ford saved this museum from closing its doors during the Great Depression and helped establish a fine art legacy for generations to enjoy.
Dossin Great Lakes Museum Take the helm of a Great Lakes freighter, listen to the songs of the sailors and discover the important role of the Detroit River in the auto industry.
Durant-Dort Headquarters Walk in the footsteps of auto legends William Durant and J. Dallas Dort and uncover the beginnings of an extraordinary story.
Edsel and Eleanor Ford House Designed by Albert Khan, the stately Tudor home sits beside Lake St. Claire. Jens Jensen did the gardens and landscaping.
Ella Sharp Museum of Art & History Discover how this “car parts” town almost made the Big League.
Fisher Mansion Rich. Exotic. Elegant. Magnificent. Come discover this extraordinary mansion that was once one of the most lavish residences of its time.
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Listen closely and you just might hear the whispered voices of those who witnessed the birth of the Model T.
Gilmore Car Museum Auto enthusiasts are encouraged to enjoy this unique collection of vehicles housed in the famous red barns.
GM World at GM Global Headquarters Dedicated to showcasing General Motors vehicles including production, vintage, concept and occasionally racing, this showroom recently underwent a major renovation.
Henry Ford Estate – Fair Lane Walk in the footsteps of Henry and Clara Ford as you tour their beloved home and gardens.
Meadow Brook Hall Step into an architectural masterpiece that captures the spectacular lifestyle created by the early wealth of the auto industry.
Michigan Fire House Museum Why do so many children want to be fireman when they grow up? The cool trucks, of course!
Michigan Historical Museum Explore Michigan’s Past.
Monroe County Labor History Museum Monroe County Labor History Museum.
Motorsports Hall of Fame Fuel the need for speed by tracing the footsteps of inspirational motorsport legends.
Nankin Mills Interpretive Center Nankin Mills has served western Wayne County since the Civil War, first as a grist mill and then as one of Henry Ford’s Village Industry plants. Now an interpretive center along scenic Hines Drive in Westland, the historic mill is open Mon. – Sat. There is no admission.
Northville’s Historic Mill Race Village Celebrate small town history as you explore unique 19th and 20th century architecture.
Packard Proving Grounds The Packard Proving Grounds offers you a chance to tour the proving grounds that are currently under rehabilitation.
Phoenix Mill Women’s Museum Henry Ford created the Village Industries, which were small parts factories located primarily on the Rouge and Raisin Rivers in Michigan.
R. E. Olds Transportation Museum One man. One vehicle. One Company. Journey through a century of colorful vehicles and discover how the automobile transformed Lansing from a quiet region into a GM town.
Rochester Hills Museum The Museum is the primary site for learning about and preserving the history of the greater Rochester area in Oakland County, Michigan, as a representative of similar communities throughout Michigan.
Stahls Automotive Foundation This collection features pre-World War II era American automobiles, including Duesenberg, Auburn, Cord, Cadillac and Lincoln. Now based in Chesterfield Township, near New Baltimore. Open Tuesdays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment.
The Henry Ford-Ford Rouge Factory Tour The Ford Rouge Factory Tour is America’s greatest manufacturing experience.
The Henry Ford-Greenfield Village Travel through 300 years of America’s past every day.
The Henry Ford-Henry Ford Museum Explore what Americans have imagined and invented.
Walker Tavern Walk in the footsteps of Michigan history.
Walter P. Chrysler Museum Celebrating the proud American heritage of an automotive original, the 55,000-square-foot Walter P. Chrysler Museum features three stories of more than 70 antique, custom and concept vehicles interspersed with interactive displays and historical exhibits that tell the story of the automaker’s contributions to automotive design, technology and innovation, as well as the automobile’s impact on American culture.
Whaley House Museum Discover the Whaley family’s pivotal role in shaping Flint’s destiny.
William E. Scripps Estate William Edmund Scripps (1882-1952) was the sole male heir to the vast Detroit News empire built by his father, James Edmund Scripps. Over his lifetime, he distinguished himself in the fields of aviation, engineering, and publishing.
Yankee Air Museum – Willow Run Airport Honoring Aviation History and it’s participants through a living, flying Museum.
Ye Ole Carriage Shop Just how many auto companies were in Jackson? Long before it was just the Big Three, there were more than 240 small auto manufacturers in cities and towns throughout the state — over 20 of which originated in Jackson.
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum Just what is the famous Hudson Hornet? Come visit this unique museum to discover the stories of Hudson, Tucker, and Corvair.
Ypsilanti Historical Museum Visit our Museum and Archives to learn about the history of people and places in and around the City of Ypsilanti.