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The Detroit Area Beaches

The Travel Brochure versus Reality

Swimming holes and Great Lakes.

author   by PLAIN JANE  

There are beaches within the city of Detroit, and there are dozens within driving distance.

If you're looking for a great way to beat the summer heat, check out these beaches. They're some of the best beaches near Detroit.

The Detroit River Walk

1340 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207
Lenght: about 2 miles
Fees: free Activities: fishing, walking, blasting rap "music" from speakers, dog walking

The River Walk is right in the City. There is no beach, but there is an area to lie down and “relax” on the free, provided by the park, beach chairs. The area is nice and well kept, but crowded and noisy. People are riding on their bicycles with large speakers attached, blasting their rap music. It’s really loud. So you can’t really relax there.


Belle Isle Park

Address : 2 Inselruhe Avenue, Detroit, MI 48207
Distance from Detroit: In Detroit
Approximate Size: 982 acres, 150 acres of wooded area
Fees: Recreational passport $11. It’s a permit for access into all Michigan state parks, recreation areas and boat launches. Valid for a year.
Activities: fishing, paddlesports, swimming, picnic area, bicycling, hiking, golf, zoo, botanical garden, pets are allowed, and more.

The Island was once the estate of General Alexander Macomb, Jr.

It used to be a nice park with wonderful architecture. Today, buildings are falling apart. Belle Isle is a large park with a great history, but this post is about beaches. The beach is small and crowded on weekends. Water is cold.

On weekends, the park is overcrowded and you will have trouble to find any peace and quiet there. A lot of people from loud cultures are blasting their music from large speakers for everyone to hear. I can’t stand it. There are plenty of reunions and other mass gatherings happening there all the time. Everyone is barbequing something. I am a vegetarian so that smell makes me sick. Besides, when I go to a park, I want to breathe fresh smell of water, grass and wind; not somebody’s barbeque. People with no clue are riding in cars in circles around the island, so there is a lot of car smoke and noise. If you need a place to relax, avoid going there on weekends and holidays.

Changing rooms

Public toilets

Old slide. It has been closed for years.

Parking places are full so cars are everywhere.


Dodge State Park

Address : 4250 Parkway Drive, Waterford MI, 48327
Distance from Detroit: ~ 28 mil
Approximate Size: 139 (Acres)
Fees: Recreational passport $11. It’s a permit for access into all Michigan state parks, recreation areas and boat launches. Valid for a year.
Activities: fishing, paddlesports, swimming, boat launch, picnic area, pets are allowed.

The park is situated on Cass Lake. It has a sandy beach and a one-mile shoreline. Water is WARM! So it’s great for swimming or just floating. Water is muddy, but the weaves are gentle. It is also a good place for biking or jogging.

It is a state park so you will see a lot of people from Third World countries and you will have to listen to their music as they blast it from large speakers. If you are wearing a bathing suit and you are surrounded by Muslim women who are covered, although it’s 90F, you feel strange and out of place. As if you were in Pakistan.

The famous car manufacturers the Dodge Brothers donated the land to the State of Michigan in 1922, requesting that it always be maintained as a public park.

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