The Henry Ford
Detroit’s Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation—part of the Henry Ford, the largest indoor and outdoor museum complex in the US—traces the Industrial Revolution and rise of the automobile in history. Notable artifacts include the chair where Abraham Lincoln sat when he was shot and the bus where Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat.
Bright vintage neon signs welcome you to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, the indoor museum component of the Henry Ford complex. This 9-acre (3.6-hectare) museum includes more than 20 permanent and rotating exhibition spaces. Exhibits showcase a huge collection of cars, including the 1865 Roper (the oldest surviving American car); trains and farm equipment that you can climb on; a walk-through Dymaxion House; and presidential vehicles, including the limousine that JFK rode in when he was assassinated.
You can buy á la carte tickets to the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and the Ford Rouge Factory, or you can purchase a discounted combination pass to enter all three attractions.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Henry Ford Museum is ideal for history buffs, particularly people interested in cars and manufacturing throughout history.
Plan to spend at least half a day at the museum to enjoy all the exhibits.
Most exhibits at the museum are wheelchair accessible except those that require some climbing, such as the Rosa Parks bus.
How to Get There
The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is in Dearborn, just outside of Detroit, west of the Southfield Freeway (M-39) and south of Michigan Avenue (US-12). From downtown Detroit, take I-94 West to Rotunda Drive. Paid parking is available in several on-site lots.
When to Get There
The museum is open from 9:30am to 5pm every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Though it rarely feels overcrowded, for fewer crowds, consider visiting during the week rather than on a weekend. Check the website for upcoming events, such as a hands-on build of a Model T.
One of the most unusual artifacts at the Henry Ford Museum is R. Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House, the only remaining prototype of its kind in the world. The aluminum circular house was designed to be easily transported and shipped inside a tube. The museum’s restored version, which you can walk through, showcases its special ventilation system, revolving closets, and gallery kitchen—a truly space-age design that might challenge your ideas about architecture.