Discover Windsor, the Canadian border town just across the Detroit River from Detroit’s city center, known for its heritage architecture and fine whiskeys. Windsor has long been the go-to town for Americans seeking Canada’s laxer alcohol laws. During the Prohibition era, Windsor was a liquor-smuggling hub. Today, its club strip is filled with American 19- and 20-year-olds enjoying an early first drink. Beyond the city’s exciting nightlife, Windsor is a delightful historic town, home to numerous parks and an old town district based around one of Canada’s most famous distilleries.
Find Walkerville, a historic neighborhood just south of the river that once was its own town. Walkerville is named after the American entrepreneur Hiram Walker, who founded a whiskey distillery here in 1858 and proceeded to build a town around it. Stroll through this neighborhood to find heritage buildings and Hiram Walker’s son’s lavish estate, Willistead Manor. Take a tour of the English-style country mansion in July and December.
While in Walkerville, don’t miss the Canadian Club Distillery, the whiskey distillery that started it all. Learn about the whiskey-distilling process on a tour and enjoy a whiskey sample at the tour’s end.
Explore the Windsor riverfront, where you will find a line of grassy parks with views of the Detroit skyline. Rent a bike to ride the path along the river. Tour the Dieppe Gardens, a nicely landscaped flower garden filled with monuments to the Canadian military. The nearby Odette Sculpture Park features 31 contemporary sculptures, including a silver flying saucer and a bronze elephant.
To experience Windsor’s famed nightlife, visit Caesars Windsor, a waterfront casino just across the river from Detroit’s General Motors Company headquarters. This smoke-free casino has a 27-story luxury hotel and a 24-hour poker room.
To reach Windsor, fly into Detroit’s international airport and cross the Canadian-American border via the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Windsor’s reputation may be wild, but it is one of Canada’s safest cities and offers plenty of family-friendly attractions.