We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we tell you that “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. Should I go for Ivar’s chowder or Beecher’s mac ‘n cheese at SeaTac? Do I have time to do yoga at SFO’s Terminal 2? How long will it take to get to ATL’s Concourse E for a cocktail at One Flew South?
If you’re anything like us, then these are probably the types of questions you have that perhaps you don’t get push notifications for. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to America’s airports. Today we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW).
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, or simply Detroit Metro Airport, is located 20 miles west of downtown Detroit, and 25 miles east of Ann Arbor. It also serves Toledo, Ohio, which is just 45 miles south. The largest airport in Michigan, DTW is one of the top-20 busiest airports in the U.S., and one of the largest air travel hubs in the country. Additionally, it’s one of SkyTeam’s major Midwest hubs, and is thus a major hub for Delta, as well as Spirit. Detroit Metro Airport is split between McNamara Terminal (Delta/SkyTeam) and North Terminal (most other airlines), with nearly 150 gates total. While public transportation serves DTW, most people either use a taxi or rent a car from the rental car campus (located on the corner of the airport property), since it’s 20 miles from Detroit. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport.
McNamara is the newest, most improved terminal, featuring many of the airport's best eating options. Brand new to McNamara Terminal is Plum Market Wine Bar & Café, which comes from the Upper Midwest market of the same name. It features made-to-order sandwiches using bread from Zingerman’s Bakehouse, a local bakery. Also new to McNamara Terminal is Andiamo, a staple Italian restaurant in Detroit. Many of McNamara’s other restaurants are more recognizable, such as Longhorn Steakhouse, P.F. Chang’s, Gordon Biersch, and Vino Volo, a wine bar and café with numerous airport locations. For less sit-down restaurants, and more fast food, McNamara has several options, including Chick-fil-A, Fuddruckers, Popeye’s, and Wendy’s. North Terminal has several restaurants, but they are more in the way of your staple airport restaurants, including TGI Friday's, McDonald's, and Earl of Sandwich. However, you do have National Coney Island, which is a longtime Michigan hot dog and hamburger spot.
Finding a drink at Detroit Metro Airport begins at many of the places listed above, such as Gordon Biersch, which features beer they brew themselves, most of which are German-influenced, such as pilsners, hefeweizens, and bocks. However, they also have a full bar stocked with spirits and wine. Additionally, there’s Vino Volo, which is one of the most popular U.S. airport bars, where you can order wine by the flight, glass, or bottle, and can even buy bottles to take with you. Martini Lounge is just that, your basic airport bar that specializes in martinis, but also features other drinks, such as Bloody Marys. Slapshotz Bar & Grill has a great selection of craft beer, many of which come from Michigan, with flights of four beers available, too. Other more token airport bars include Waterworks Bar & Grill and Thee Irish Pub. While all of these bars are located in McNamara Terminal, North Terminal features a couple of airport bars, including Champps, a chain of sports bars.
Much like you’d find at other international airports in the U.S., you’ll find art exhibits at DTW such as the 700-foot Light Tunnel installation and the uniquely designed Water Feature, both of which are in McNamara Terminal. Unique to Detroit Metro Airport is the upscale Westin Hotel, which is actually located inside McNamara Terminal. Otherwise, you have a variety of different types of local and designer shops, including Brooks Brothers, Brookstone, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and a PGA Tour Shop. Even if you have as little as 10 minutes, you have time to stop into Be Relax, which offers a variety of spa treatments in McNamara Terminal.
Being a major hub for Delta, Detroit Metro Airport features a number of Delta Sky Club lounges, all of which are in McNamara Terminal. In North Terminal, you’ll find a couple Lufthansa lounges, including the business and senator lounges.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he's not traveling, he's perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.