Belle Isle Park
Belle Isle Park is a 982-acre island park located in the Detroit River, right in between the U.S and Canada borders. This spot is ‘rich with history and natural beauty’, a true Detroit gem that was made into Michigan's 102nd state park in 2014. There is so much to do on this island, you could certainly spend all day here if you wanted to. Besides the natural beauty of the isle itself, you and your group can also visit the Belle Isle Conservatory, James Scott Memorial Fountain, and even the Belle Isle Aquarium. The ‘wide assortment of educational and recreational opportunities’ found on this island are actually open year-round, regardless of the season (unless it is the beach), sun up to sun down!
Before making the trek to Belle Isle, be sure to be fully aware of the site-specific Recreation Passport, something most Detroit city motorists get with their driver's license plate renewal. Guests without a car can get in the isle free, but motor vehicles must pay $9-16 for a day pass. If you want to skip this fee, take the DDOT Bus or bike with your group into the island.
Belle Isle holds ‘historic, environmental, and cultural resources that have been beloved for generations’ here, such as the aforementioned attractions plus a few others like the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Belle Isle National Zoo, Whitcomb Conservatory, Giant Slide, Belle Isle Beach, and various concessions and vendors throughout. During the months of June, July, August, and September you can take advantage of watersport and beach chair rentals on the beach, and anytime you visit you can see the Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse on the north end of the island, the only one in the nation made of marble (1929). Of course, before you go you will have to visit the Belle Isle Conservancy, a nonprofit on the island that works to ‘restore, preserve, protect, and enhance the natural environment, historic structures, and unique character of Detroit's Belle Isle as a public park.’ If you happen to get hungry while exploring the isle and can’t find any vendors or concessions, take a mid-visit break and head to either The Rattlesnake for fine dining (10 minute drive) or Potbelly’s at Renaissance (20 minute drive).