Detroit’s Roaring Twenties
Auto Barons, Bootleggers and Jazz Singers
4 Days | Spring | Summer | Fall
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
One Hundred Years ago Detroit was a boomtown, come visit the City, learn of the era when the automobile industry exploded, when Alcohol was Prohibited and when the migration of African American musicians into the City created wonderful new sounds.
We are happy to accommodate Groups who want to add a night or two, or further customize their trip.
StarrGroups Flexible Pricing:
- Customizable Comps
- Commissionable or Net Rates
- Luxury or First Class Hotels & Meals
- Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tours Managers are available
Whatever you want, StarrGroups will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Just let us know!
Day 1 – Detroit – Evening at Casino
Arrival day in Detroit, MI. Check into your hotel for a three-night stay and get ready to sniff out the history of Prohibition Era.
You begin this evening at a local casino. The 1920’s just didn’t just have a prohibition on alcohol, casino gaming was also banned. These actions resulted in many backroom poker parlors and Detroit had more than their share. Today there are three world-class casinos here: The MotorCity Casino-Hotel, MGM Grand Detroit and Greektown Casino-Hotel. Choose your pleasure and we’ll make arrangements for your group. Dinner is on your own this evening at your Casino of choice.
Day 2 – Guided Roaring 20’s City Tour – Sightseeing Cruise – Two James Distillery Tour – Meadow Brook Hall Behind-the-Scenes Tour & Dinner
This morning a your local guide and historian will explain the Roaring 20’s in Detroit. The city grew faster in this era then most American communities because of a roaring automobile industry, an illicit-but-highly profitable Prohibition liquor trade and the explosion of Jazz music as popular entertainment.
Detroit was one of the most exciting, quirky and frenetic cities in the world. It played a huge role in bootlegging because of the close proximity to Canada, where liquor was legal. The Purple Gang, a group of Jewish bootleggers, supplied much of the Midwest with contraband they smuggled over the border. Historians even claim that at the bottom of the Detroit River, there are still cars from The Purple Gang filled with barrels of whiskey.
Prohibition also brought about the “speakeasy,”- secret bars where people drank illegal alcohol during the ban. Often disguised and hard to enter, speakeasies had a secret society feel to them. In Detroit, 100 years later, there remain several bars that were speakeasies back in the 20s. And if their walls could talk, what tales they would tell.
The afternoon features a sightseeing cruise with Diamond Jack’s River Tours. Glimpse iconic Detroit landmarks, and enjoy beautiful views of the Detroit and Windsor skylines. Learn about the one-of-a-kind history of the Motor City, along with plenty of fun and interesting sights and sounds along the way.
Also included is a tour and tasting at Two James Spirits Distillery. This distillery in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, was the city’s first licensed distillery after Prohibition. Your tour begins in the Tasting Room with a brief overview of the origins of the distillery, the materials used and a history of the building. It then proceeds into the production area where you will learn about the distillation process from the milling of grain to the bottling of the spirits. Everyone will have a first-hand view of the Mash Tub, Fermentation Tanks, 500 Gallon Custom-Made Copper Pot Still, Finishing Tanks, Gravity Bottling Machine and Barrel Storage Racks . . . and everyone will enjoy tasting of these Spirits.
Your day ends in nearby Rochester, MI at Meadow Brook Hall. A National Historic Landmark, Meadow Brook is the historic home built by one of the automotive aristocracy’s most remarkable women, Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of automobile pioneer John Dodge, and her second husband, lumber broker Alfred Wilson. Constructed near the end of era (1926-1929) Meadow Brook represents one of the finest examples of Auto-Baron Homes in America.
You have a Behind-the-Scenes Tour to rarely-seen areas in the Mansion. You’ll see the Mrs Wilson’s bedroom, the staff quarter, playrooms and even the China Vault that includes vintage liquor from the Prohibition-era. Your tour provides special insight into what life was like for the Dodge and Wilson family and those who lived and worked at Meadow Brook Hall. An elegant catered Dinner will also be included here this evening. (B,D)
Day 3 – The Henry Ford Museums– The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House Tour & Dinner – Evening of Jazz
Today, you you explore Henry Ford’s Legacy. Discovering 1920’s America—its culture, inventions, people and can-do spirit—and hundreds of hands-on ways to explore it, enjoy it and be inspired by it.
At Greenfield Village experience firsthand the sights, sounds and sensations of America’s fascinating formation, where over 80 acres brim with resourcefulness and ingenuity. Here, 300 years of American perseverance serve as a living reminder that anything is possible. Step foot in the lab where Thomas Edison had his lightbulb moment or the workshop where the Wright brothers taught us to reach for the sky. Take a ride in a real Model T, or a walk through four working farms. Rub shoulders with world-class artisans, and explore the place where America’s can-do spirit inspires you to go out and get it done.
You also visit the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. Step into a world where new inventions fueled the imagination of generations to come. It’s a vibrant exploration of genius in all its forms. This museum allows you to experience the genius of America’s greatest minds while fully immersing yourself in their stories. Step inside the bus where Rosa Parks took a stand by taking a seat. Play pilot as you explore flight innovations, starting with the Wright brothers’ achievements, or make yourself at home inside Buckminster Fuller’s circular Dymaxion House. Put yourself in the place of the movers and shakers who blazed the trail to where we stand today. And in doing so, discover your own path.
This afternoon, you also tour The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. This is the private estate of one of America’s most iconic automotive families. The stunning architecture, expansive lakefront gardens and grounds and historic cars all give a glimpse into the Ford family’s life at the estate. Impeccably decorated and filled with treasures. A guided tour tells stories of what it was like when the family lived in the home. Then you sit down for a grand meal overlooking the water at Gaukler Point and Lake St. Clair.
Those with energy left after dinner will enjoy an evening of Jazz. Detroit has a long history of musical innovation and jazz is definitely part of the culture. In the 1920s migrating African-Americans brought big band music and their version of Jazz to the white middle class. This music scene helped to shape the city which built dozens of ballrooms and Jazz clubs across town. Today is not much different, Jazz is still alive and thriving throughout. And you visit a club tonight for a great live jazz show. (B,D)
Day 4 – Depart for Home
After breakfast, depart for home. (B)