The news media has had overwhelmingly positive things to say about this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which opens Saturday to the public. In addition to offering a fascinating glimpse at where automotive technology and design are headed, the show also offers a great reason to get out of the house during a gloomy time of winter. In that spirit, why not take full advantage and treat it like a healthy day on the town and benefit your mind, body and soul?
Here are our suggestions for making the most of your auto show visit:
- Park far away from Cobo Center. Downtown Detroit in general is pedestrian-friendly, you’re much more likely to find affordable parking, you’ll get some walking in and you might even spot a place to return later for lunch, dinner or just something to wet your whistle. Too cold to walk? You can always catch the People Mover (now 75 cents), which has a sheltered stop inside Cobo Center and will be crowded with showgoers.
- Get in your steps by walking the entire show floor. At about 725,000 square feet, here’s a great chance to use what your momma gave you and walk. Take the stairs if you’re so ambitious. C’mon — you probably spend most of your days sitting at a desk anyway. Think of this as a good way to sneak in some exercise.
- Eat healthy (or at least support local businesses). You’ll find plenty of hot dogs, pizza, hot pretzels and other typical convention-hall fare, but why not break free from the crowd and take in a local restaurant instead? There are lots of great places to eat downtown these days, including Roast, Fountain Bistro, Cliff Bell’s and the new Hot Taco (I can’t personally vouch for it but have read good things). Metro Times has a comprehensive list of “worthy restaurants” for showgoers.
- Take in the RiverWalk directly behind Cobo. I know, I know — it’s winter. It’s cold. And gray, and cloudy. But how often do you get to peer out over the Detroit River (or any body of water, for that matter) and take in sights like Belle Isle, the Ambassador Bridge, the Zug Island industrialplex… and Canada? Water, it’s good for the soul.