The Motor City is probably best known for its unprecedented contributions to American car culture. Today, despite some economic turmoil, the city still serves as the global center for the automotive world. But it's not just about the cars.

Downtown Detroit boasts the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere: the Detroit Marriott. Some of the city's architecturally significant buildings — including ornate Art Deco and Art Nouveau exteriors like the Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel and the Fisher building — are listed in the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For indoor adventure, take a gamble on Detroit's three major casino resorts — the MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown, MotorCity — or make a quick run across the river to Caesars Windsor in Canada. (Fun fact: Detroit is the only place in the continental U.S. where you travel south to enter Canada!)

If art and nature are more your style, while away an afternoon in the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit or explore the Detroit Zoo, home of "The Arctic Ring of Life," the world's largest polar bear exhibit. Shopaholics will love the malls in Troy and Birmingham, where the suburbs offer an urban shopping and dining experience.

Melting Pot Cuisine

Detroit is famous for its Coney Island, a hot dog topped with chili, mustard and chopped onions. The two oldest purveyors — American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island — are next door to each other downtown. Don't miss Detroit-style deep-dish pizza; its buttery crust rivals its cousin in Chicago. For international flair, visit Greektown, Mexicantown or Hamtramck to sample Polish cuisine. Or enjoy elegant dining at the Coach Insignia atop the Renaissance Center downtown.