Sunset over Detroit as seen from Belle Isle in the Detroit River.

©Aubrie Pick/Lonely Planet

Belle Isle Park


Pretty Belle Isle floats in the Detroit River. The entire expanse is parkland where kayaking, walking trails and a glass-domed conservatory await. There's a beach, zoo, aquarium and maritime museum, too. Once you pay the entry fee, the individual sights are free. The cycling here is terrific.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Detroit attractions

1. Heidelberg Project

1.87 MILES

Polka-dotted streets, houses covered in Technicolor paint blobs, strange doll sculptures in yards – this is no acid trip, but rather a block-spanning art…

2. Eastern Market

2.29 MILES

One of the oldest and largest year-round bazaars in the United States, Eastern Market draws Detroiters of all types to its six-block spread of wares…

3. People Mover

2.32 MILES

As mass transit, the monorail's 3-mile loop on elevated tracks around downtown won't get you very far. As a tourist attraction, it's a sweet ride…

4. Renaissance Center

2.32 MILES

General Motor's glossy, cloud-poking headquarters is a fine place to mooch off the free wi-fi, take a free hour-long tour (Monday through Friday at noon…

5. Hart Plaza

2.58 MILES

This is the site of many free summer weekend festivals and concerts. While there, check out the sculpture of Joe Louis' mighty fist.

6. The Belt


In the alley between Broadway and Library Sts, that links Grand River and Gratiot Aves, The Belt is part art installation and part nightlife destination…

7. Campus Martius Park

2.64 MILES

This public space in the heart of Detroit's downtown is the perfect spot to while away a sunny afternoon. A fountain dots the middle, surrounded by…

8. Dieppe Gardens

2.64 MILES

These beautiful gardens, on land once used by Detroit–Windsor ferries before the 1929 bridge and 1930 tunnel put them out of business, offer the best…