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9 Best Neighborhoods in Detroit, MI

June 22, 2021

Detroit is home to a rich history of stunning Art Deco architecture, historic neighborhoods, and the Golden Age of the automobile industry. The city experienced a decline over the decades, but more people are moving to Detroit for its affordable cost of living, food scene, and cultural amenities. You're never far from a museum, jazz club, or waterfront views when you live in Detroit.

Not sure where to start your apartment search? Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Detroit.

1. Downtown Detroit

Downtown Detroit is a dense urban neighborhood made up of tight-knit communities. Like any big city, locals are diligent about their safety and being out and about at night. Over the last decade, the neighborhood is steadily transforming into a desirable place to live for its arts, culture, and entertainment scene. Of course, there are still transitioning areas and streets that you should avoid. Check out the neighborhood around your rental and talk to locals before you sign your next lease.

When you live in Downtown Detroit, you're steps away from Art Deco-style skyscrapers, newer apartment complexes, and smaller affordable units. Some of the city's top attractions are Downtown, including the stunning Fox Theatre hosting concerts and musicals and an artificial beach at Campus Martius Park where you're never far from a food truck. In The winter, it hosts an ice skating rink.

2. Bagley

Bagley offers affordable and urban sensibilities near the University District. A commercial strip runs along Livernois with businesses catering to fashion businesses. The strip earned the nickname "Avenue of Fashion." McNichols Road also houses coffee shops and pubs along its commercial corridor.

Locals choose casual eateries, like Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles, or fine dining at Table No. 2 restaurants. Renters snag an apartment near the action or look for single-family Tudor homes to rent. Bagley sees more investment in the neighborhood with projects in the works.

3. University District

University District is home to mid-century homes and long-standing residents who call the neighborhood home. Bounded by Livernois Avenue, University District is also dubbed "The Avenue of Fashion" for its boutiques and fashion businesses. Today, you'll see more galleries and art spaces. You may hear locals referring to it as Gallery Row.

You're never far from parks, greenspace, and restaurants. This Detroit neighborhood is ideal for students and staff looking for a quieter Detroit neighborhood near the University of Detroit Mercy. It also offers access to golf, tennis, and a community garden. It's also popular for retirees looking for a quieter urban lifestyle that's still close to amenities. Most locals commute to work or stroll over to the commercial districts.

4. Midtown

Midtown Detroit lies between the trendy New Center and Brush Park. You'll find Wayne State University and a revitalized district for dining and shopping. Tourists are also likely to turn up in Midtown for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), and the Detroit Institute of Arts. There are plenty of quirky stops in Midtown. Locals take in a show at the Majestic Theatre before heading over to the country's longest continuously running bowling alley, The Garden Bowl.

Choose newer condos and apartment complexes to live in the heart of Midtown, Detroit. A new $31 million mixed-use development in the neighborhood is also in the works.

5. West Village

Detroit's West Village is a historic neighborhood that offers retail and independent shops. Despite the name, West Village is actually on the east side of Detroit. The area is quaint but still offers dining favorites like Detroit Vegan Soul Belle Isle Pizza. Take our pick of historic apartment buildings and newer developments where vintage meets modern charm.

The walkable neighborhood is also undergoing a $22 million mixed-use development space at Jefferson and Van Dyke avenues. Apartments and commercial space will provide more amenities to renters and newcomers looking to settle in Detroit. For outdoor recreation, the West Village connects to the RiverWalk at Gabriel Richard Park. Explore the butterfly garden or take a bike ride along the paths.

6. Palmer Woods

Palmer Woods, Detroit is another one of Detroit's notable historic districts lined with elm trees and Tudor Revival homes. The neighborhood received its name from Thomas W. Palmer, a U.S. Senator who gifted more than 100 acres of farmland for use as a public park. His family also sold land to a residential subdivision that became Palmer Woods. A variety of gorgeous architecture is around every corner of Palmer Woods, including Tudor Revival and neo-Georgian.

The lovely neighborhood received the Michigan Horticultural Society's Award of Merit in 1938 and is now home to well-heeled Detroit locals. Doctors, lawyers, executives, and families call Palmer Woods home.

7. Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest is also home to quiet streets and distinctive homes. Most of the single-family homes were built during the "Golden Age" of the 1920s and 1930s. The neighborhood eventually evolved into a beloved historic district. Young professionals and executives love the area for its laid-back vibe and stunning architecture and locals are just minutes from Downtown Detroit. There are plenty of dining options along its western border, such as Noni's Sherwood Grille and 1917 American Bistro, which are a few local favorites.

8. Rosedale Park

Detroit's Rosedale Park is the largest district in the state, with stunning homes and landscape boulevards. Rosemont-Acacia Park and Stoepel Park draw locals for their green space and outdoor recreation. The neighborhood is popular with families and is home to the Rosedale-Grandmont Little League, the largest in Michigan. Although the district has a reputation for being quiet, The Grand River commercial corridor offers shopping, dining, and coffee shops.

9. Rivertown

Rivertown, Detroit is a primarily residential neighborhood located along the Detroit River. You’ll find plenty of dining and shopping options sprinkled throughout the area. Apartments are available with waterfront views. Rivertown is conveniently located across the river from Belle Island Park. The 982-acre island park features an aquarium, museum, athletic fields, three lakes, and bike rentals. Renters can spend the day playing outdoors and enjoying Detroit skylines before heading back to your apartment on the waterfront.

Which Detroit Neighborhood is Right for You?

Which Neighborhood in nearby Manhattan is Right for You? Browse Apartment List to find that dream Manhattan apartment.

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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