Detroiters Create Itineraries for City Visitors

Whether you’re an urban adventurer, a young family or just someone who has heard about Detroit’s resurgence and wants to see it first hand, the city has plenty to offer! From museums to parks to restaurants, there are so many hot spots it’s hard to keep track of them. The Detroit startup Why Detroit wants to showcase those great Detroit spots and make them accessible to everyone.

There are plenty of Detroit-centric websites out there, all of which tell you about great events and new restaurants, but none that tailor the experience for you. That’s the hole Why Detroit aims to fill with their customized itineraries, which allow you to experience the city on your own terms._MG_4924

Sal Bono, co-founder of Why Detroit, was looking for a way to make a difference in his community. Sal is originally from Detroit but had been living in San Francisco with his wife and kids. After reading an article about The Empowerment Plan and the great work they’re doing in Detroit, he decided it was time to move back home.

“You can’t make a difference in San Francisco like you can in Detroit,” said Bono.

When he returned, Detroit didn’t look like the city he had left years ago. It had changed. The once-vacant office buildings downtown were full, the abandoned shop down the road was now a quaint brunch spot, and the market that was once nearly desolate was teeming with shoppers!

Yeah, there was still that crumbling industrial plant and those unoccupied lots, and rumor had it there was a house for sale for a buck, but more importantly, there was life in the city! Resurgence had begun, and Sal and his family were ready to be part of it.

Shortly after their move, some friends of the Bonos decided to visit the city to see what all the fuss was about. Sal gave them some options, but they ended up getting lost in the part of the city they’d never been in. With the imagery that they’d seen in the media running through their minds, the friends got nervous and got out of dodge.

A few weeks later, the friends returned in the company of the Bonos.


“At first, they refused to go anywhere but Slows. They’d heard about Slows, and after their last experience, getting out of the box just wasn’t going to happen. So we waited two hours to get seated, but they loved it! By the time we left, they were down to go anywhere!”

That’s when it hit him. Some people just don’t know much about the city and have no idea where to start, while others are ready to jump right into the action and embrace Detroit for all it has to offer. But whichever boat you fall in, there’s really nowhere to go to get help connecting to the city on your terms. So Sal, his wife Krystal and their team of two others started to create itineraries based on different personalities.

“Our first set of itineraries is going to be aimed at four different groups: the city curious – kind of a Detroit for beginners, couples, adventurers and families.”

Each itinerary will include restaurants and hangout spots throughout the city that are suitable for the user’s needs. From the family-friendly park to the romantic restaurant, Why Detroit wants you to find exactly what you’re looking for.

The first set of itineraries will be launching this spring. In the meantime, Why Detroit is looking for suggestions on your favorite places to live, work and play in the city. Do you have a favorite spot in the city you love to bring friends and family? Let them know!

Eventually, Why Detroit wants to launch a Detroit itinerary for Detroiters – a guide to all the underground spots even some long-time residents don’t know about. Do you know of a gem tucked away in the city? Let us know in the comment section!

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