Experiences In The D | The Blog for Visit Detroit

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Strolling Along Detroit’s Historic Riverfront

Posted on Monday, April 09 2012 in Shopping

Dom202620Shelly Rivard207

How many American cities can look across the water and see Canada – to the South, no less? The Detroit Riverfront offers spectacular views of our Canadian neighbors in Windsor, Ontario, the Detroit River and the vibrant city life on one of Detroit’s most beautiful locations. The Detroit Riverfront is more than just a defining border between the U.S. and Canada, more than a Great Lakes shipping route; it’s the water that helps define the Motor City.

Native Americans first used the river as a key transportation route, and then the Europeans exploited it for fur trading and used it as a battleground during the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars. When Prohibition came along in the 20th century, the Purple Gang and other gangsters dotted the riverbank, under the cover of night, shuttling whiskey from Canada to booze-deprived Americans.

The Detroit Riverfront, thanks to development and conservancy efforts, is now a vibrant International RiverWalk with parks  such as Hart Plaza, Chene Park and the GM Plaza & Promenade, as well as the new Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, where Great Lakes cruise ships, dinner boats and even tall ships are dropping anchor or tying up to the dock.

Visitors, in addition to walking along paved trails, can rent bikes at Wheelhouse Detroit and dine at Detroit mainstay restaurants such as Andiamo, Signature Grille and the Rattlesnake Club, among others. And once you’ve soaked in all the beauty of the river, turn around and catch a glimpse of downtown Detroit and its architectural wonders. A perfect mix of Detroit’s history and current vitality, the Detroit Riverfront is a must-do destination for any checklist.


What are some of your favorite things to do along Detroit’s historic riverfront? Leave your comments and suggestions below.