Belle Isle Park: The Jewel of Detroit

Belle Isle Park: The Jewel of Detroit

For a long time, many people turned their back on Detroit; a decades-long economic decline resulted in a stream of closed businesses, boarded-up buildings, and abandoned houses. But if you’re among the many who’ve been sleeping on Detroit, it’s time to wake up. The Motor City is making a major comeback, with new restaurants, shops, and galleries sprouting up alongside revivals of beautiful, age-old architecture.

Detroit 2.0 is transforming into a hub for design lovers, and the city’s residents aren’t the only ones who noticed. In fact, just a few years ago, Motor City was selected as the United States’ first “City of Design” by UNESCO and inaugurated into its Creative Cities Network comprised of 47 cities worldwide.

Affectionately named the “Jewel of Detroit”, Belle Isle or Belle Isle Park is a 2.5-mile-long, 982-acre island park, located in the international waters of the Detroit River. Inspired by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s design in the 1880s, the park was created to provide an urban oasis in Detroit. In fact, almost one-third of the island is a natural wooded area that is home to a wide variety of small animals and birds. 

Whether your interests lie in nature, fitness or architecture, there's definitely some action for everyone. From the giant floral clock entryway, fishing piers, bicycle and nature trails to the Chip-N-Putt Family Golf Center, baseball diamonds, lighted tennis courts and paddle boats, you would be hard pressed not to find an Instagrammable moment here. And if peace and quiet are your thing, wander the 200 acres of woodlands replete with picnic shelters and walking trails.

dlg tip: Pack a lunch and a swimsuit then head over to the half-mile swimming beach. And be sure to share #missiolovesdlg


Photography: Challenge Detroit, Karen VarnasCindy Richards

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