Driving to Detroit

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by CR4ISU, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. CR4ISU

    CR4ISU New Member

    Nov 25, 2013
    we have 10 people leaving Friday for an Eminem/Rihanna concert in Detroit on Saturday. What is the best way to get there and avoid as much traffic as possible?? we will be leaving around 7:00 from Cedar Rapids and wanted to drive around 1/2 way and then finish the drive in the morning, any nice small towns that are decent to stay in? we have 2 rooms at the Hilton in downtown Detroit a block from Comerica Park, just wanting some ideas from people who have been there before... is downtown pretty safe?
  2. Daserop

    Daserop Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Space Debris Collection
    The Bebop
    Never been to Detroit, but I would say that a lot of the city probably isn't safe.
  3. bawbie

    bawbie Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 17, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    It's 520 miles, so 7-8 hours depending on stops. There is really only one way to go: I380->I80->I94.

    There are several hotels in Portage, IN (I-94 Exit 19), which would be right at halfway (4 hours). That's just after the I80/I94 split. There's a Country Inn and Suites, Hamption Inn, Best Western and Days Inn all at that exit.
  4. 2020cy

    2020cy Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Avoid Chicago traffic from 6-9am and 3-7 pm. take I 80 until at least past Chicago.
  5. Wesley

    Wesley Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    Envr Engr/Program Manager
    Take your gun and watchdog to protect the car. Downtown Detroit at night is not roaming country.
  6. CyPlainsDrifter

    CyPlainsDrifter Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    Drop down to Gary on Hwy 30 and just drive around there after dark with your windows down and tell the locals you're from out of town and ask if they can recommend a place to stay......

  7. boone7247

    boone7247 Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2011
    Near the City
    #7 boone7247, Aug 18, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
    Been to downtown Detroit once. During the day I felt pretty safe, provided I was close to Ford Field and Comerica. I wouldn't want to wonder around downtown though. At the same time, there are a couple casinos and a few bars around so I can't imagine it is terrible. Also since you will be there for an event you should have quite a few people around.

    If you are leaving from DM/Ames around 7 it is around a 4 and 1/2 hours drive or a little more to the Chicago area, by that time at night you shouldn't hit any major traffic on interstate 80. Also if you stop short of Chicago and leave in the morning you should be fine on a Saturday morning on 80. And generally traffic towards Detroit isn't horrible once you get passed Gary, IN.

    Not sure of where to tell you to stay, but if you do take 80 there are a lot of hotels along 80 between Joliet, IL and Hammond, IN.

    Have fun, should be a good concert Eminem generally does a good job for his home city.

    Edited: to prove my in ability to read so good. take an hour and half off, you should still be good on 80 getting through Chicago traffic at that time of night. Would get at least past Gary a few miles before stopping though.
  8. mctallerton

    mctallerton Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Take $100 a buy as much property as you can
  9. boone7247

    boone7247 Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2011
    Near the City
    hahaha! Ever been to Gary. My brother-in-law used to have jet skis and we would go over there to the beach, easier/cheaper access to lake Michigan. Beach was nice, but I wouldn't get caught dead in Gary at night. That place is scary. Although, during the day, it is worth a drive through never know what you might see.
  10. bos

    bos Legend
    Staff Member

    Apr 10, 2006
    Network and Server Admini
  11. SaraV

    SaraV Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    Checking Expedia...the Super 8 in my hometown (Mokena) is advertising $80 for a room w/2 adults for Friday night. (Exit 145 off of 80, Route 45/LaGrange Rd) There's a Sleep Inn(?) giving $100 for the night in Tinley Park, which would be the next exit east. (About 3 miles) Both are less than a mile off the interstate.

    Bring change/cash for the 80/94 toll roads. And if someone in your group is more adept at driving crazy/heavy traffic, make sure you switch off before you get to Tinley Park. After that, it gets pretty stupid until 80/94 split, no matter what time of day/week it is.
  12. clonetil01

    clonetil01 Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    I live in Michigan and have been downtown many times and being a block from Comerica is a good location. You'll be able to walk around the area, go to some breweries there and hit Greektown Casino, all walking distance and safe. Fishbones is a really good Cajun restaurant right down there as well, or you can't go wrong with some BBQ as well. Take 94 East off 80, you'll prolly hit some slow downs but really shouldn't be bad coming into town on a Saturday. Just don't stop between Livonia and Downtown, but have your cameras ready to take a Picture of the 8 Mile exit, it's right before the 7 mile one:). I'm not a guy that goes to strip clubs, but I can tell you this, if you're looking to go to some, bring your passports and go across the bridge to Canada, that's one thing you DON'T want to go to in Downtown. For Friday night, even if you don't gamble, I'd check with Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, MI, if they have rooms left they'll be cheap and it's a nice area, otherwise go another half hour and stay in St. Joseph. Make sure you are in St. Joseph, if you go across the bridge you end up in Benton Harlem, I mean Benton Harbor and you don't want to stay there, but St. Joe is really nice.
  13. Wesley

    Wesley Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    Envr Engr/Program Manager
    Stay in western Michigan at a Holiday Inn and you will be smarter the next day.

    Seriously, Kalamazoo is a nice town on I-94 to stay at. Been there a few times. I would also stay in Ann Arbor on I-94 to party after the concert. I-94 is a great road, much better than I-80 in Chicago area.
  14. wxman1

    wxman1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Cedar Rapids
    Unless you are driving 90+mph it is physically impossible to get from CR to Chicago in that amount of time.
  15. mcblogerson

    mcblogerson Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    Detroits fun and a real sight seeing adventure. I second the nudey bar trip to Windsor, they do it right over there.

    For some slight brewery detours on the trip:

    Three Floyds in Hammond, IN, it's about 10 minutes south of 80. Looks really disappointing from the outside and sits in an industrial park, but they make great beer and pizza.

    Bells Brewery in Kalamazoo, is about 10 minutes north of 94. I forget if they have food, but they make some of the best beers I've ever tasted.
  16. Wesley

    Wesley Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    Envr Engr/Program Manager
    I try to drive 80-85 except on the southern part around Rock Island. I drop down to 75. I can visualize speed traps in that section. Driving across Illinois is a pain since they have granny speed limits so parts I have to slow down to 75. Driving through Chicago area at night is good because you can follow some yahoos pushing 90 getting to the parties. The toll booths are a pain in Indiana since you have to come to a stop to pay the toll. Driving ten people, I would suggest slower driving and hitting the pitstops en masse (potty break every 3-4 hours, no excuses)
  17. theantiAIRBHG

    theantiAIRBHG Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2011
    Hiawatha, IA
    Two Hearted is one of my favorite beers ever.
  18. ken

    ken Member

    Dec 28, 2008
    I drive to MI frequently and would second the Country Inn and Suites in Portage, IN (have breakfast at Egg on a Your Face in the AM), or the casino at exit 1 in New Buffalo, MI.
  19. jdoggivjc

    jdoggivjc Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    Publications Manager
    Macomb, MI
    Be very careful with I-80/I-94 around Chicago - it's under construction and you could be sitting in stopped traffic for hours.

    Comerica Park/Ford Field area and Greektown are two of the few safe parts of Detroit - I have never felt unsafe in either of these areas.

    If you don't want to stay downtown, try the west or south suburbs. There are really great hotels in Novi and Southfield. Unlike what has been implied, you don't have to stay in western Michigan to be safe when visiting Detroit - the suburbs are as safe as any other large city suburbs in the United States (well, maybe with the exception of St. Louis...).
  20. Jambalaya

    Jambalaya Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2008
    #20 Jambalaya, Aug 18, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
    Was there in the 90's and stayed downtown at the large Omni/GM tower. 20 of us walked to Greektown after dark. Some of the natives asked us if we were shot at.

    Greek Town safe but the walk from downtown hotel apparently wasn't

    take a cab

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