Detroit is the largest city in the American state of Michigan and mainly known as car city. Record company Motown took its name from Detroit's nickname: Motor Town. The city was founded at the beginning of the eighteenth century by the French who at the time controlled a large part of North America.
The last decades, Detroit's population has decreased significantly. In 1950 almost 2 million people lived in the city; in 2008 it had been reduced to less than half and now Detroit has over 700,000 inhabitants.
The French called the river between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie, the Détroit or strait and the defenses they built here were called Fort Ponchartrain du Détroit. The river forms the border between the United States and Canada.
Detroit is mainly known for its car industry. The three large American car brands are headquartered here: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. The city is therefore suffering from the difficult position of the American car industry nowadays. Less and less people are needed to manufacture cars because of the automation and competition from for example Japan. This economic decline has partially been set off by the tourists attracted by Detroit's extensive nightlife and the casinos: Las Vegas may be the most famous gambling city of the US, Detroit is the largest American city with casino hotels.
The airport Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is situated southwest of the city, about 20 minutes by car. The airport is easily reachable by rental car: it lies at the junction of two freeways, the I-94 (out of town) and the I-275.
Detroit has good public bus transport to reach all tourist places of interest (and the entertainment district). The so-called Tunnel Bus connects Downtown Detroit with the center of Windsor. There's also an elevated light-rail system, the People Mover, providing a loop service through Detroit's center.
Detroit is a vast city and at the same time one of America's most car-friendly cities. You quickly reach your destination via the freeways in and around town. There are also many parking facilities, both in the street and in parking garages. The locations of the garages are signposted.
You'll find a large choice of accommodations in and around Detroit. You cannot only stay in casino hotels, but also in pleasant hotels on the river or in newer, hypermodern hotels. For grandeur you go to the recently restored Westin Book-Cadillac hotel (if only to drink a coffee 'in style').
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