Public transit is still a pretty new thing here in Detroit, despite the long and storied history of the merry-go-round People Mover. The QLine, which made its debut last year, now allows folks to purchase rides and day passes, and easily (albeit not exactly quickly) travel from the riverfront up to New Center.
Its path along Woodward Avenue means that the 6.6-mile loop includes stops near many of the city’s bustling areas and hot spots. Perfect, I’ve been thinking, for a Detroit-based weekend wedding.
A busy location with plenty to see and do? Check.
Several good options for venues and lodging? Check.
Easy transportation to get guests around? Check.
Side note: I’m imagining sweet guest check-in bags now, complete with $3 day passes for the QLine set and ready to be activated. Adorable, right?
So, you’re serious about considering public-transit-friendly festivities? Read on to mix and match your ideal Dream Day map.
Wedding Venues Close to QLine
- Garden Theater: Located just between the Mack and Canfield stations, the Garden Theater is an easy two-to-three block walk either way. It’s brick walls and urban edge make it a modern space for receptions.
- Max Fischer “Cube”: Just off the Mack station, the “Cube” at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra can seat up to 500 guests and be transformed into, well, whatever you’d like, with it’s blank canvas.
- Detroit Institute of Arts: A block from the Warren station, the DIA offers some stunning spaces, from Kresge Court to the Great Hall. If you’re looking to make a statement, this remains one of the best places in the city to do so.
- Colony Club: One block off the Montcalm station, Colony Club is an old world, glamorous venue conveniently located among some of the city’s liveliest sport attractions. The venue itself, with multiple spaces, can host groups up to 400.
Hotels Close to QLine
- The Siren Hotel: A new boutique hotel in Detroit, The Siren is an intimate hotel with minimalistic rooms but Instagram-worthy appeal, just two blocks from the Grand Circus station. Offering reasonable rates and a quaint – but especially charming – bar, Candy Bar, it’s also a great location for proximity to dining and drinks.
- Aloft Detroit: Centrally located and just a hop from the Grand Circus station, the Aloft is a straightforward chain hotel with a grand atrium lobby in the historic David Whitney building. A great spot for large groups, with nearby food options and a lobby bar.
- The Inn at 97 Winder: Just recently, I stumbled on this gorgeous little Midtown inn. Just a short walk from the Sproat / Adelaide station, this old mansion is now host to 10 newly redone guest rooms, decorated in a tasteful and eclectic fashion.
- Inn on Ferry Street: Just off the Ferry Street station, this inn is made up of six historic buildings that total 40 guest rooms in all. It’s a quick walk to plenty of great sights, and very close to the DIA and craft beer mecca, Hop Cat.
Restaurants Close to QLine
- The Whitney: Across the street from the Canfield station, The Whitney is a grand testament to what Detroit’s history once held. The fine dining restaurant is housed in an original mansion of a lumber baron, and makes a perfectly romantic spot for a rehearsal dinner (or a wedding itself!)
- Townhouse: A beautiful and modern setting, Townhouse Detroit gives all the vibes and can close off portions of its space to accommodate private events up to seating for 110.
- Rusted Crow: A much more casual (or, rowdy) crowd will feel at home at Rusted Crow, which is very close to the Grand Circus station. It’s a great place for large groups, with good food and spirits distilled on site.
- London Chop House: Two blocks from the Congress Street station, this old school steakhouse is dimly lit and upscale. A quiet scene but great food and excellent service, for a smaller gathering.
Now that we’ve covered four venues, accommodations and dining options, there’s still so much to consider.
Where to recommend for late-night bites? (Shake Shack, HopCat.)
Where to take the kids to burn off energy during the day? (Campus Martius Beach, Riverwalk fountains.)
Where to grab the best morning coffee? (Ashe, Great Lakes Coffee Co.)
For those folks who don’t live in Detroit or aren’t from Michigan, a weekend escape to the Motor City … that doesn’t actually involve a car … might just be an excursion like no other.