Belle Isle Park, Detroit, Michigan

Belle Isle Conservatory

My youngest son and I both have a fascination with Detroit. Mine is from my youth, watching the city rise and fall, Devil’s Night, the automotive industry and more. My son’s interest started with us watching all the episodes of Detroit Steel (car show) and was bolstered by visits.

For his birthday this summer we planned a weekend of Detroit fun, including a visit to the Detroit Steel showroom, which was showcased on the show and seemed a fun destination.

Belle Isle Park Map:

Belle Isle Park Map

Alas, most of the plans fell through due to timing, but instead of a long weekend, we got out for a day visit, much of which we spent visiting Belle Isle Park, a 982-acre island located not far from the city’s downtown.

Belle Isle Park’s History:

Belle Isle Park’s history started in 1879 when the island was purchased and then developed over the years according to a design by Frederick Law Olmstead, widely considered the founder of landscape architecture in the United States.

Belle Isle Giant Slide

In 2014, Belle Isle became a Michigan state park, under a 30 lease for the Department of Natural Resources to manage the park.

Belle Isle Park is a fantastic place to visit, an interesting merging of the natural and the man-made. Very popular with residents, the park facilities include the Belle Isle Aquarium, Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Belle Isle Nature Center,  the James Scott Memorial Fountain, and more.

Belle Isle Aquarium

Belle Isle Park Hours of Operation – the park is open daily from 5 am – 10 pm. Facilities’ hours vary, please visit the Belle Isle Conservancy website.

To enter, vehicles need to display the Recreation Passport (July 2018: $11 for Michigan vehicles, $5 for Michigan motorcycles, $9 for an out-of-state daily pass). A Recreation Passport is NOT required for visitors accessing the park by foot, bike, or public transit.

Getting to Belle Isle Park:

 


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