Activities & Resources
Belle Isle354in Detroit, MI 48243
about Belle Isle:
Travel across its 1/2-mile bridge and make a stop at the Scott Fountain first. Built in 1925 out of white marble, dozens of lions, dolphins, and turtles grace the fountain. Don't forget some spare change to hand over to your little wishers.
Move on to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory (open every day 10am-5pm), home to hundreds of cacti, ferns, and palms. Be sure to bring your camera - this is a beautiful place to capture images of your children amongst the flowers and plants.
Then check out the world's largest collection of scale-model Great Lakes ships at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum (open Sat-Sun 10am-4pm).
Visitors can check out the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, plus there's a giant slide and playscape near the beach, tennis courts, and lots of areas for biking, walking, or strolling.
In the summertime, Belle Isle comes alive with ballplayers, joggers, and golfers (there is a nine-hole course and driving range on the island). Families and the smells of their BBQs fill the park, fishermen line the piers, and at the end of the day cars line up on the west side of the island to get a good sunset view.
Cool facts: The American Indians called the island Wah-nah-be-zee (White Swan). The French settlers placed wild pigs on the island and its named changed to Island of the Hogs. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the man who drew up the plans for that little ol' tract of trees known as Central Park in New York City. Famed architect Albert Kahn patterned the conservatory after Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.
To reserve a picnic shelter, call 313.628.2081. To help preserve the park for future generations, call the Friends of Belle Isle at 313.331.7760.