‘100 Things to Do in Detroit Before You Die,’ 3rd edition is now available at bookstores everywhere

Author Amy S Eckert with her new book "100 Things to Do in Detroit Before You Die," 3rd edition.

Detroit — Local Detroit author Amy S. Eckert has published the third edition of her popular book series “100 Things to Do in Detroit Before You Die.” She describes a bucket list of cool spots to visit within the city limits and some of the suburbs as well. I recently spoke with her via Zoom and below is a transcript of our interview.

Please start by telling me a little about yourself. How long have you been an author and journalist? 

“I think I’ve always been a writer a heart,” Eckert explained. “I’ve always been a reader at heart. But I was born and raised in Detroit and just always had a love for the city. As I became an adult and got into writing about travel, it seemed to me that many people around the country—and even around the world–didn’t really appreciate how much there was to do and see in the city. They’ve associated Detroit with the automotive industry or maybe with the music industry but they didn’t realize, in my opinion, the wealth of art and culture and great architecture that the city had. I kind of took it upon myself as I advanced in my travel writing career to make it a practice of trying to share the great wealth of things to do in the city of Detroit.”

How easy or difficult was it to chose these 100 things to do?

“It was pretty tough, actually. I think probably, it’s the case with most cities, once you really dive in and get started checking out hotels and restaurants, you find out there’s more than what you ever expected. This was especially the case in Detroit because the city has really evolved over the last decade from a place that had some economic problems to one that now is redeveloping its old buildings into hotels and restaurants. It seemed as soon as I got my list of 100 things together for the book, something new would pop up on the scene. I’d have to kind of second guess myself and decided whether I needed to change things but as the city has evolved my writing in my books has evolved. Right now, I’m on the third edition of ‘100 Things to Do in Detroit Before You Die’ and really it’s because of the wealth of new attractions that keep popping up on the scene.”

Many people are probably wondering… how is the third edition different from the first or second editions?

“Well, the first edition came out in 2016. At that time, the QLine, which runs right down the center of Woodward Avenue, that was still just a dream. The Joe Louis was where people went to see the Red Wings play. Over the course of the years, those kinds of attractions have been replaced with things like the QLine and Little Caesars Arena. Yes, this third edition has new hotels like The Roost Hotel, The Shinola Hotel, which find themselves in unique old buildings downtown. They were really unknown in the first edition. The same thing with a number of different restaurants in the city that have won awards. I’m keeping it current for people.”

I know the Michigan Central Station recently reopened. Is that one of your 100 things to see?

“No, because it wasn’t finished when I wrote this book. However, I like to tell people that Michigan Central Station, as fantastic as that building is, is just one of dozens of buildings across the city of Detroit that just a few years ago really lay in ruins and have now become architectural jewels. The Shinola Hotel, I mentioned, The Aloft Hotel, The Roost Hotel and now the brand new Cambria Hotel, those hotels all exist within buildings that were very much like Michigan Central. Those are all part of this third edition.”

Summer is almost here. Where are the best summer places to see in Detroit?

“I always love spending time on the riverwalk when I go to Detroit. This year, there’s a new park along the riverwalk called Robert Valade Park. There’s a sandy beach there where kids can play, there’s a floating bar. I like to spend time on the riverwalk and maybe the carousel or pick up a rental bike. I like to spend time at Campus Martius Park which has its own beach during the summer and a lot of free live music concerts. Another favorite, a classic spot to go, Greenfield Village is fantastic. A lot of people don’t know that Greenfield Village used to be Henry Ford’s backyard. He collected buildings and houses and moved them all to his backyard. You can’t visit Greenfield Village in the winter, but summer is a fantastic place to walk your way through American history.”

Did you focus on the suburbs as well as the city of Detroit?

“I did. I thought hard about that. Detroit has always been a city associated with the car. People are used to driving to destinations. It’s quite a big city when you consider the entire metro area. Yes, I included the Detroit Zoo, Greenfield Village, The Henry Ford Museum. I included Pewabic Pottery and Edsel Ford Estate on the eastern side of the city.”

What message do you want readers to leave with after reading this book?

“I hope that they’ll discover some new places to visit in Detroit. People who already live in Detroit, I think they’ll find something new to explore with their friends or family. I hope that they’ll use the book to kind of make their way through the city, perhaps with a child or grandchild, use it kind of as a passport of things to do. As family or friends visit, consider using this as a launch point for exploring the city and showing off the great treasures that are within the boundaries of The D.”

When will this new book be available and where can people find it?

“It’s available now, it’s just come out. It can be purchased online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble but brick and mortar stores like Barnes & Noble, like independent bookstores they all carry it too. It’s really widely available throughout all of metro Detroit and across the country as well.”

Any other final comments you’d like to discuss.

“I hope that this will be an opportunity for people to discover their city in a new way to read not only the finest things to see in the city but the history behind them, how they became to be the way that they are. For example, square pizza or The Henry Ford. Learn a little about the background of the places that we take for granted and discover something new.”

For more info about author Amy S. Eckert, visit her website at: https://amyeckert.com.

To purchase her new book “100 Things to Do in Detroit Before You Die,” 3rd edition, go to: https://www.amazon.com/100-Things-Detroit-Before-You/dp/1681064987.

video by Jason Rzucidlo / AmericaJR

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