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The Ultimate Adventure Guide to the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit

Brace yourself, Detroit - the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off TOMORROW, including the arrival of 500,000+ football fans to the heart of downtown. With all of the region's best amenities available to the masses, here is our guide to the best adventure experiences available only during Draft Weekend.

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In case you've been sleeping under a rock this entire year, allow us to provide you with a critical update: the eyes of the sporting world are about to be fixed solely on Detroit.

We're talking Super Bowl XL-levels of engagement. Half a million NFL fans to be exact - on top of our resident, super-charged fan base - are expected to descend upon the Motor City tomorrow through Sunday. In fact, Detroit Metro Airport has already been invaded by legions of football fans from across the globe.

That's right, folks: the 2024 NFL Draft has finally arrived to the heart of Downtown Detroit.

Slated as a "once in a generation" event, the NFL Draft experience will feature far more than just Commissioner Goodell rattling off the names of the best and brightest recruits from the main stage. The "2024 NFL Draft Experience" presented by Rocket Mortgage at Hart Plaza will invite Detroit residents and visitors alike to participate in immersive exhibits, take photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, enjoy a youth-focused Play 60 Zone, shop exclusive merchandise, and score autographs from current NFL players and legends.

These official "Draft Experience" events are just the tip of the experiential iceberg for all that's going down across the Detroit region this weekend. In fact, there are so many culinary, cultural, musical, interactive, and/or entertainment events occurring that locals and first-time visitors alike could easily become overwhelmed by the wealth of opportunities available throughout Metro Detroit this weekend. Especially for recreationists that prefer to avoid crowds and explore the wilder, lesser-known, and more intrepid areas of a destination.

That's where this guide comes in. In conjunction with the litany of the Detroit region's "fan-based experiences" being marketed by our #ExpeditionPartner Visit Detroit, we've huddled up to curate this "Ultimate Adventure Guide to the 2024 NFL Draft." Experiences that appeal to both football fans and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Welcome to Draft Weekend, NFL fandom - we invite you to "go the distance" and explore the world-class outdoor opportunities found throughout the Detroit region while you're here!

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1. Cycle through the "City of Champions" with Wheel House Detroit

April 26th | Wheelhouse Detroit | Noon

In the 1930s, the City of Detroit represented America's undisputed "City of Champions." Headline-grabbing championships won by the Tigers, Red Wings, Lions, and boxer Joe Louis cemented the Motor City as a destination for excellence - in industry, architecture, recreation, and professional athletics.

With the professional sports world fixated on our city yet again, Wheelhouse Detroit invites NFL Draft attendees to explore the historic sites where Detroit's greatest athletes dazzled spectators and hoisted championship trophies. Their "Sports Heritage Tour" includes 15-mile, 3 hour cycling tour that will visit the site of Recreation Park, former home of the Michigan Wolverines; Turkey Stearnes Field at Hamtramck Stadium, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and was home to the Detroit Wolves and Stars; Keyworth Stadium, home of the Detroit City Football Club; as well as the historic sites of Tiger Stadium, Olympia Stadium, and Joe Louis Arena. Neighborhoods visited will include Corktown, NW Goldberg, Midtown, Hamtramck, and Downtown.

Don't forget to bring cash for a stop at Nemo's, ranked the third best sports bar in the nation by Sports Illustrated!

Cost: $45/$55 with bike rental

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2. Run the #1 Riverwalk in America with Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

April 27th  | Cullen Plaza | 9 a.m.

If you are a first-time visitor to Detroit, please - if you do absolutely nothing else - treat yo'self by visiting the award-winning Detroit Riverwalk. Beyond representing the nexus of all of Detroit's headlines-grabbing recreational development, the Riverwalk is our go-to destination for year-round, family-friendly events, races, and outdoor relaxation. Especially at times when the whole city bursts to life like during the NFL Draft.

This weekend, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is hosting a special "Football Fan Fun Run" along the Riverwalk Trail. Starting at Cullen Plaza, the event will feature 2 mile walk/run route on a loop along the Riverfront (anyone looking for a longer distance should continue through Milliken State Park and the Dequindre Cut). After the run, enjoy free rides on the Cullen Family Carousel and refreshments for purchase from the Riverwalk Cafe. All ages welcome and registration is not required.

Fans are also encouraged to show up in spirit by wearing gear from your favorite team! From locals in Honolulu Blue to teams from across the country, all fans are welcome to the Fun Run!

Cost: Free

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3. Rediscover Detroit's Black History with City Institute

April 27th  | Second Baptist Church | 1 p.m.

Detroit has a deeply rich, living history. From our geography to demographics, our city's origins as a fur trading outpost, to military fortress, to modern industrial metropolis has been largely shaped by its people. Native Americans, European colonizers, immigrant laborers, and Black refugees from the American South have all left their distinct imprint on modern Detroit.

Specifically focusing on the 20th and 21st centuries, Detroit's Black residents have had the most significant impact on Detroit's cultural, societal, and defining institutions. Originating with Detroit's prominent position as a final stop on the Underground Railroad, our city's Black neighborhoods have made left their undeniable mark on the world through their music (Motown Records), athletics (Joe Louis), and entrepreneurial spirit.

Fortunately for all of us, our friends at City Institute provide the perfect tour for experiencing the impact of Detroit's Black history firsthand. Led by lifelong Detroiter Glen Hendricks, tour guests on the "Black History by the People that Lived It" walking tour will benefit from his personal stories and memories about Detroit over the last 70 years. On this one-of-a-kind tour, you’ll walk through downtown hearing about Glen’s experiences with some people and places that are well-known like Black Bottom, Hudson’s, and Coleman Young. You’ll also hear about Black businesses and inspirational people that even many locals have forgotten, or perhaps never knew about at all.

Cost: Free

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4. Explore Detroit's World-Famous Architecture with City Institute

April 28th  | Book Tower Lobby | 11 a.m. 

As any visitor to Motown can attest, there's no skyline quite like that of Downtown Detroit. Not because it's the largest skyline in the Americas. Or the tallest. Or the fastest developing (although ground-breaking projects like the "Hudson's Site" are announced daily).

Our skyline is particularly special because of its grit. Yes - inanimate objects like buildings can absolutely reflect the core values of its residents, and Detroiters are synonymous with grit. From the art deco visionaries of the early 20th century to the modern engineering marvels that are inspiring the next generation, Detroit's architectural marvels reflect a city that has reached the pinnacle of industrial might, lost it all on its road to bankruptcy, and now is redefining its glorious future.

Looking to stretch your legs while exploring Detroit's architectural wonders? Book an "Art and Architecture" walking tour with our friends at City Institute. On their 2-hour, 1.5 mile tour, you will explore some of the great contributions of both prolific architects and emerging artists - while expert guides put it all in context along the way. You’ll visit The Belt Art Alley, see the works of some of the nation's most influential Black artists, discuss the monuments at Capitol Park, and experience the grandeur of the majestic Book Tower.

Whether you’ve lived in Detroit your whole life or are visiting for the first time, this tour will show you why Detroit is the only city in the U.S. to be named a UNESCO City of Design.

Cost: Starting at $20

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5. Explore Detroit's State Parks with Expedition Detroit!

All Draft Weekend | 11 Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas near Detroit

Last but certainly not least, we invite you to JOIN US in exploring the Detroit region's BEST STATE PARKS all Draft Weekend (and beyond)!

Conveniently located directly along the recently-expanded Detroit Riverfront Trail, Belle Isle State Park - the gem of the Detroit River - provides an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of Downtown. Better yet, Expedition Detroit is licensed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to lead guided nature hikes of the island's most wild, beautiful, and least-frequented zones.

Looking to experience the Detroit region's outdoor magic for yourself during the NFL Draft? Check out our openings for guided trips covering the Detroit region's most beautiful state parks. Better yet, use discount code "DETROIT2024" to save 24% on any guided adventure booked between now and April 30th (yes, even for trips that will take place after Draft Weekend).

The Expedition Detroit team is proud to represent the Michigan DNR's largest commercial provider of guided hikes, backpacking expeditions, and trail running coach across ELEVEN of the Detroit region's most pristine state parks and recreation areas. Each of our guides has the field experience, wilderness first aid training, park knowledge, and outdoor passion that you can - and should - expect from any world-class trail experience.

P.S. Subscribers to our content get discounts on our guided trips AND online store items...




Do you host an upcoming outdoor event that you would like to be featured in a future article? If yes, then we would love to hear from you! Please contact us at to discuss Expedition Detroit feature opportunities.


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