Courtney Barber
September 13, 2017
Photos By: Courtesty of Honda Pro Images

Woodward Avenue, the location of the first mile of concrete roadway in the country, the first ticket for street racing and home to the largest one day car event in the world, the world famous Woodward Dream Cruise.

At the last minute I decided this was the year I finally made the cruise. I honestly didn't know much about it other than it was a one-day version of the Hot Rod Power Tour. Considering that is one of my favorite weeks of the year, I figured it had to be a good time and worth the 900-mile drive; and it was.

Looking back on the day I basically blinked and it was gone. Somehow it was already 7pm and I still had a whole list of stuff I wanted to do, but it was too late. Don't be like me, make a plan and see it all!

Newbies Guide to the Woodward Dream Cruise

1. Wear comfortable shoes. Say you have some awesome American flag boots that you just never had the perfect opportunity to wear, while the state that birthed American Muscle cars may seem like the perfect place for them, let me tell you, Woodward is not the place to break them in. Bring your favorite pair of sneakers and prepare to be on the move because this is not another parking lot car show. The show is constantly in motion and your going to want to keep up.

2. Don't stay still in one spot. I know how hard it is to give up a good parking spot, but this is one time you just have to get over it. I was shocked all day as I watched prime parking spaces open up again and again, but I quickly realized that was the point. There is so much to see and do. Yes you can set up camp and just watch the show roll by but the feeling of cruising the strip is just magical. I hate traffic and thought people were nuts to just keep cruising from light to light, until I was in my car, in the midst of the rumbling motors and the smell of gasoline. Every driver had a grin from ear to ear and it made you feel like you just met 50,000 new friends.

3. While you’re on the move, be sure to stop to eat and enjoy the show. If you like dinner and a movie, the Dream Cruise is for you. All along Woodward Avenue there are restaurants with a view of the street and cars cruising by. Several times on the HRPT it was like we had a surprise party for the town. No one was prepared for the mass amounts of people invading their space. Well you don't need to worry about that on Woodward Avenue; they know you are coming and they are prepared with game faces on. I was very impressed at how quickly and efficiently we were taken care of at Vinsetta Garage. And I got to try my first ever, fried hot dog wrapped in bacon. Don't judge me, it was amazing.

4. Bring a blanket or pants that you don't mind possibly getting grass stains on because medians are your friend. The first time I crossed the divided avenue I was like everyone else and was trying to catch the light on both sides of the street to get across quickly. The second time I was doing Facebook live and wasn't as fast or graceful if you saw the video. But that was when I found the real geniuses at the show. You know that saying the grass is always greener on the other side? Well it's true at Woodward, too. You could have a gorgeous line up of 50 cars and all it takes is the roar of one motor and you find yourself trying to make yourself taller to see what's rolling down the other side of the street. Well if you sit right in the middle, you can see it all without straining your neck.

5. Be prepared for rain. Channel your inner boy scout and bring an umbrella. Rain was only a threat this year, but I quickly found out the cruise would be happening regardless of the weather. Be prepared; so instead of being cold and frustrated, you can thank Mother Nature for the free car wash.

6. Pack light, because you may find yourself at Milan Dragway on your way home next to the editor of Mustang Monthly in a new Mustang. Yes, I beat him. Okay, that may not be as important as the shoes and the fried hot dog, but I had to find a way to get that in here. Above all, enjoy your surroundings and be sure to soak in all the fun.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery