Here is a list of some of the best places to visit on your tour of Lake St. Clair.
1. Lake St. Clair Metropark
Whatever your favorite recreational activity, whether it’s bird watching, windsurfing, kiteboarding, boating, bicycling, or swimming, you can pursue it at Metro Beach Metropark. A popular destination just a short distance from Mt. Clemens, come out to bike, hike, jog, or in-line skate on the paved trail that takes you along a one-mile shoreline on picturesque Lake St. Clair. Enjoy a day of boating with three marinas and eight ramps that provide easy access to Lake St. Clair waters. During the summertime, stay comfortable in an Olympic-sized swimming pool with waterslides, the Squirt Zone spray ground and a 1,000 foot-long sandy beach on Lake St. Clair. For more information, visit http://www.metroparks.com
2. Harsens Island
Harsens Island is located at the top of Lake St. Clair and at the mouth of the St. Clair River and is a short ferry ride from Algonac. Visitors and residents are drawn to the Island to soak up the beauty of the freshwater deltas, wildlife, freighter watching, and a host of other sights. Sportsmen are attracted to the abundance of hunting and fishing offered on the Island.
Harsens Island is rich in history, from the pioneering days to the jewel of St. Clair River, where visitors would board the Tashmoo steamship. Harsens Island is flanked by the North and Middle Channel on its northern edge and the South Channel on the south. Muscamoot Bay, famous for its weekend raft-offs, is part of its charm. Harsens Island is a rich blend of cottages and homes, businesses and wetlands and many recreational opportunities. For more, visit http://www.harsensisland.com/index.html
3. Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
Located on 87 acres of vistas along the shore of Lake St. Clair, this was the private residence of Henry and Clara Ford’s only child Edsel and his wife, Eleanor. Designed by Albert Kahn to resemble a cluster of Cotswold Village Cottages. It’s impressive landscaping includes meadows, rockwork and water components by Jens Jenson. Its interior features a collection of original art and antiques. Home is open to the public with special events, classes, lectures and tours. Now open – the historic Gate Lodge Garage featuring a 1934 Brewster Town Car, a 1938 Lincoln K Brunn Brougham and a 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet.www.fordhouse.org
4. Detroit Riverwalk
This is a must see for anyone! The 3 ½ mile riverfront path extends from Joe Louis Arena, past GM’s headquarters to Belle Isle. Visitors can enjoy scenic vistas, numerous restaurants, regular events, splash fountains, river tours, and more. For more active users this is a serene location for a regular bike ride or jog. http://www.detroitriverfront.org/
5. The Nautical Mile
The Nautical Mile is the hub of Metro Detroit boating and boasts the largest concentration of marinas and watercraft in the Midwest. Located in St. Clair Shores on Jefferson Avenue between 9 and 10 1/2 Mile Roads, here you find a number of thriving dining and nightlife destinations. Visitors can also see the latest in greatest boats in the many dealer showrooms. Major events for 2010 include the Splash Bash June 10-13, Aquafest July 29 andThe Nautical Mile / Island Harbor Marina Handicapped Fishing Derby on August 29. For more, visit http://www.nauticalmile.org.
6. Brandenburg Park
The star of this 17-acre waterfront park is the 500-foot pier that extends out into beautiful Lake St. Clair. The pier offers those without a boat a great place to drop a fishing line or a bench to sit back and watch the colors of the lake. In addition the park offers a boat launch, basketball courts, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, picnic areas, restroom facilities, children’s play area, and a hike/bike path. 4 open air pavilions and a building that accommodates 70 people all of which are available for rent.
Windsor is Canada’s southernmost destination. Its cultural and historical landmarks, groomed gardens or natural areas, gaming, international cuisine, events and festivals galore await visitors. Recreational opportunities abound, including fishing, swimming, golf, hiking and much more. Stroll along the Detroit River and take in the Odette Sculpture Park. Windsor was recognized by the Sculpture Society of Canada for our publicly accessible art. Enjoy works from Canada’s own Group of Seven, on display at the beautiful Canadian Club Brand Heritage Centre. Other artistic works can be viewed at the Art Gallery of Windsor, Tsunami Glassworks, the Gibson Gallery in Amherstburg or Leamington Arts Centre. Learn more at http://visitwindsoressex.com/
8. ‘Pride of Michigan’ and Noble Odyssey Foundation
Anchored in the Clinton River is the 81’ research vessel, Pride of Michigan. The Pride is owned by the Noble Odyssey Foundation and is customized for dive operations conducted in the Great Lakes. The Pride is operated and maintained largely by Sea Cadets of middle to high school age, under the supervision of experienced volunteer staff. Through training classes and research cruises, hundreds of Cadets have learned about engineering, science, leadership, teamwork and seamanship — in very realistic situations. For more, visit http://www.nobleodyssey.org/
9. St. John’s Marsh 7 St. John’s Wet Prairie
A labyrinth of reeds and cattails teeming with wildlife. Paddlers entering the expanse of wetlands known as St. John’s Marsh can lose themselves—and all their worries—in a watery maze of swaying grasses and aquatic plants. Although you can see most of the area within two to three hours of casual paddling, its location less than an hour northeast of Detroit makes it a pleasant escape from the urban grind. Bring your own canoe. http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=CGM024-009
10. Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point (GLMC)
Located at the junction of the Black River and St. Clair River, the GLMC gives visitors a variety of opportunities to learn about the history and current events of the Great Lakes. Visitors can also grab an ice cream, hand cut fries or coffee while watch the freighters pass by or check out a live underwater camera feed of activities below the surface of the St. Clair River. If fishing is more your think then drop a line at one of the hottest spots along the river.
11. Belle Isle
Belle Isle is a outdoor recreation haven mixed with beautiful architectural landmarks and a century plus of history. Visitors to this 982-acre island park can enjoy fishing from the islands shores and piers, games at the 36-acre athletic fields, public beach, nature zoo, 9-hole golf course and driving range, maritime museum and many more one of a kind experiences and photo-ops. www.fobi.org
12. Lakeshore Drive, Grosse Pointe
Lakeshore Drive winds through the scenic landscapes of the Grosse Pointes along the shore of Lake St. Clair. With the gentle waters of the Lake on one side, and the impressive and historic homes on the other side, Lakeshore Drive is one of the most spectacular drives in the country. Film makers have, in fact, discovered this unique byway in a number of films, including Grosse Pointe Blank and more recently, Gran Turino.
13. The Grosse Pointes
For those of who love the gentleness of a cool summer breeze while listening to the faint sounds of Great Lakes freighters rumbling past, Grosse Pointe is the place for you. Situated on an international waterway, Lake St. Clair, this community is rich in heritage and beauty. Grosse Pointe has also been designated as “Tree City USA” creating sidewalk friendly neighborhoods lined with trees allowing for peaceful walks and runs in these quaint small towns. The attractive business districts offer wonderful retail shopping with superior service. Grosse Pointe is comprised of five separately governed communities, which include Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe City, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Shores. Each community has its own beautiful lakefront park with swimming and wading pools, marinas and picnic areas. They also have tennis, paddle tennis and basketball courts, skating rinks and playgrounds.
14. The Beach Grill and Resort
Whether you come by land or by sea, The Beach Grill Restaurant and Resort promises a unique experience. The Beach Grill Restaurant and Resort features towering glass windows that afford indoor diners the same water view as those who choose their spacious outdoor deck, or enjoy the outdoor Tiki bar that sits right along the water’s edge. The Beach Grill is a restaurant, a night club and a sports bar, along with a banquet facility all within this waterfront destination. For more, visit http://www.beachgrillrestaurantandresort.com/about.aspx
15. Mt. Clemens
Just inland from Lake St. Clair and a short boat ride down the Clinton River, is Mount Clemens (a.k.a. “the Clem”). This historic downtown is Macomb’s epicenter of nightlife, featuring over 30 bars and restaurants, outdoor cafes, shops and boutiques, as well as beautiful waterfront parks and boardwalks – all within a few blocks of one another. With dozens of entertainment options, the Clem is a must for a night out. http://www.downtownmountclemens.com
16. Selfridge Air Museum and Air Park
Located on Selfridge Air National Guard Base near Mount Clemens, Selfridge Military Air Museum and Air Park, is the primary outreach effort of the Michigan Air Guard Historical Association. The Museum is home to many historical displays, and the Air Park features displays of military aircraft of all types, sizes and from many eras through history.The Selfridge Military Air Museum and Air Park is open to the general public from April thru October on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), Memorial Day, and Independence Day from 12:00 noon to 4:30 pm. For more information, visit http://www.selfridgeairmuseum.org/
17. New Baltimore
This quaint downtown is home to one of the best beaches and parks on the U.S. Shoreline. It’s the ideal spot to enjoy a refreshing swim or picnic with the family; or grab some sweets and coffee from famous Stahl’s Bakery and head to the waterfront to enjoy an afternoon with a great book. For more information visit http://www.cityofnewbaltimore.org
18. City of Algonac
The mere beauty of the river is just one of the many treasures that attract numerous tourists to the City of Algonac. The St. Clair River contains many species of fish not to mention one of the best walleye fishing rivers in all of the Great Lakes. At night you can sit on the boardwalk and watch the flicker of lights as local fishermen go after their limit of walleye. There are several public launch sites in the area for your boating convenience. During the summer months the river is alive with freighters and ocean liners making their way through the Great Lakes. Cruisers, sailboats, catamarans, and personal watercrafts can be seen all throughout the boating season. http://www.algonac-mi.gov/Discover/Discover_home.asp
19. St. Clair Inn
Located in St. Clair, this National Historic Site is situated right on the scenic St. Clair River. Known as the “Inn on the River”, the St. Clair Inn is renowned for its incredible and ever-changing views of the river, along with the richness and warmth of its architecture and its staff. The Inn features deluxe accommodations and an indoor swimming pool, restaurant and lounge, catering operation and more. Located nearby are tennis, golf, shopping and the well known St. Clair River Boardwalk. For more information, visit http://www.stclairinn.com/
20. River Crab Restaurant
The River Crab is a venerable eatery located right on the St. Clair River. This prestigious and beautiful spot specializes in fresh fish and seafood selections, beef and chicken entrees, and homemade pasta. Visitors can be accommodated by car or by boat, and guests can stay overnight at the adjacent Blue Water Inn, where each room has a splendid view of the river. For more information, visit http://www.muer.com/
21. Port Huron
Port Huron is located at the base of Lake Huron, connecting boaters to Lake St. Clair via the St. Clair River and visitors to Canada via the spectacular Blue Water Bridge. With seven miles of shoreline along river, this waterfront community boasts a large historic downtown with dozens of shops, restaurants and activities that connect visitors to the water and history of the region. The city also host numerous events including the famous Port Huron to Mackinac Boat Race, one of the longest fresh-water races in the world. For more, visit www.mainstreetph.com
22. Mitchell’s Bay
Mitchell’s Bay is a small community of about 350 year round residents located on the east shore of beautiful Lake St. Clair. Mitchell’s Bay and Mitchell’s Bay Marine Park are known throughout the entire Midwest for its great fishing, boating and camping, Mitchell’s Bay offers some of the best smallmouth Bass and Pickerel fishing to be found anywhere in North America. Mitchell’s Bay has drawn sportsmen from as far away as Great Britain, and many travel from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Texas to enjoy our world class fishing! It’s also popular among birdwatchers for the wide variety of species that can be observed in the area. http://mitchellsbay.com
23. Downtown Chatham
Amidst a quaint turn of the century setting, Downtown Chatham welcomes visitors with a rich bounty of Victorian architecture, cultural treasures, delightful specialty shops and culinary delights. The restoration of many historic buildings has transformed the area into a picturesque and bustling streetscape decorated with stunning murals. http://www.chatham-kent.ca
24. Lighthouse Inn Restaurant
Lighthouse Inn in Lighthouse Cove is situated at the mouth of the Thames River where it empties into Lake St.Clair in Southwest,Ontrio. The Lighthouse Inn was opened in 1947, and has been owned by the Cooke Family since 1968. Whether you come out for lunch on their Riverdeck, dinner in the Inn, or a snack and a relaxing drink and some social fun in our Boathouse Pub; the Lighthouse Inn is there for your enjoyment!
25. Detroit Princess Riverboat
For those without a boat who want to have an adventure out on the water, the Detroit Princess Riverboat offers a good option for friends and family. This 200-foot long boat can hold up to 1,800 passengers and offers a variety of regularly scheduled cruises that run from 2-3 hours, including a dinner and moonlight cruise. www.detroitprincess.com