MotorCities National Heritage Area logo

May 23, 2024

The MotorCities National Heritage Area, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Michigan’s automotive and labor heritage, is partnering with five Detroit-area based tour operators to offer public tours this tourism season. The partnerships continue a program that originally launched in 2019 to serve the 16-county National Heritage Area.

Tour experiences available vary from traditional walking tours to pedaling a bicycle – all while visiting key automotive and labor historical sites and learning the story of how the region put the world on wheels.

“We’re excited to continue partnering with these companies to offer additional tour options and bring more of our amazing automotive heritage to both metro Detroit residents and out-of-town tourists alike,” said Shawn Pomaville-Size, MotorCities’ executive director.

The tour operators selected offer the following experiences:

  • City Institute - MotorCities Auto Heritage New Center and Dearborn Walking Tours On the New Center walking tour, guests will experience the past, present and future of the Detroit area, going back in time with a visit inside the Ford Piquette Plant Museum and the chance to speak with some of the innovators who now call these neighborhoods home. The Dearborn walking tours provide the opportunity to learn how the past and present of this city are interwoven, get to know the people leading some exciting new projects and see the innovations and adaptations of this important city. For 2024, the New Center tours are offered on June 22 and August 24, and the Dearborn tours are offered on May 25 and July 27. For more information, please visit  
  • City Tour Detroit - Becoming the Motor City: A Timeline of Detroit’s Auto History Paul Vachon, author of the Reedy Press book of the same name, guides these tours offered monthly on June 22, July 21, Aug 24, and Sept 29. The 3-hour walking tour will also utilize the Detroit People Mover and QLine. For more information, please visit
  • Michigan Labor History Society – Detroit Labor History Tours This group offers a free two-hour bus tour in June that drives by the Ford Rouge plant, site of the 1932 Ford Hunger March and the 1937 “Battle of the Overpass” with stops of the Ford Piquette Plant Museum, the Motown Museum and the “Transcending” labor legacy landmark in Hart Plaza. A narrated one-mile walking tour of downtown Detroit is also available. For more information, please visit
  • Russell Brothers City Tours – Customized Automotive History Tours Get on board for a fun-filled tour of automotive landmarks in the city of Detroit. Your guide, Emmy-winning TV and radio personal­ity Greg Russell, takes guests to places they may know and some sites they might not. If guests have particular sites they’d like to see, just let Greg know. The tours are informative, insightful and most importantly, fun! For more information, visit
  • Wheelhouse Detroit - Auto Heritage Bicycle Tour On this 15-mile tour, guests will discover how Detroit became the center of industry. The tour takes in the Globe Building, Dequindre Cut, Packard Plant, the GM Detroit-Hamtramck (Poletown) Assembly Plant, Milwaukee Junction, New Center (old GM Headquarters and Fisher Building), and TechTown, where we will learn how industry is evolving with advanced tech­nology. Tours are available on June 23, July 28, August 25, September 22, and October 13. For more information, please visit

For more information on tours and events, visit