Belle Isle: a Great Staycation Destination for Summer
At this point, you may want to repark your car and find a location near the next three points of interest: the Anna Scripts Conservatory, Aquarium, and Dossin Great Lakes Museum. All of these are worthy of a long leisurely stroll to enjoy all they have to offer.
First, the Anna Scripts Conservatory is a wonderful place to visit for all ages. It has a natural pathway that is generous enough for people to both linger to look and to move along. Some of the potential highlights for families are likely to be the Desert room, the Koi pond, and the Tropical House. The variety of cacti and the ‘real’ fruit trees were a treat for my family! Volunteers and staff on the grounds were very helpful in answering questions and sharing details on the plants.
A short walk away is the Aquarium. Though small and still in remodeling phases, the Aquarium was defiantly worth a walk-through. New exhibits are being added as it is slowly being brought back to life. The adults in our group appreciated the architectural beauty of it. The kids really spent a lot of time at the invasive species information because it is a topic that they have covered at school. Although it was small, dark, (which was very tricky to get pictures with the camera we used at the time), and fairly warm in the interior, we really liked our stop there and can’t wait to return to see what will be added next!
Not very far away was a small museum we found to be a pleasant surprise! The Dossin Great Lakes Museum. Here is a place for anyone young and old that has in interest in the history of the Great Lakes or that has a fascination for ships. The exhibits were great for elementary-age and up kids. Lots to look at, touch, see, and do. The exhibits added to our kids prior knowledge from Michigan History. For its small size, a lot is packed into this museum! Our highlights were the Built By the River, which went over the Great Lakes and its uses for trade and commerce through the years. There is also a portions of ships placed IN the museum to explore! Don’t forget to take a peek at the exterior exhibits that include a Coast Guard Ship to explore and an anchor from the Edmund Fitzgerald. For more information on what you could see, check out their website Dossin Great Lakes Museum.
Also, right in this area is the addition of a Giant Slide. This was not open when we went, so I would check the hours. It is one of the few things in the park you would need to pay an additional fee for, but it was low. Currently, it is listed as $1 a ride.
At this point we could have walked to explore further, but chose to repark our car since we were not familiar with the layout of the park. We moved our car toward the other end of the park and took a short stroll to the Livingston Lighthouse. It was a bit of a walk on rough stone trail, perfect for older kids but might be tricky with a stroller or wagon. Around the Lighthouse was foot trails that allowed visitors to walk along the shoreline or loop back to the interior of the park. We enjoyed standing along one of the trails and admiring Canada!
After a full loop of the park , we headed home with the idea to return and visit things we missed. Next time, we vowed to bring our bikes to explore in from a different viewpoint. We noted that there were kayak, canoe, & paddleboat rentals that would allow us to travel the small waterways & canals we saw on the island. Fees are subject to change and are located in the Recreation portion of the Belle Isle Website. You also can fish (fishing license needed) and golf on Belle Isle! Lastly, there was a beach! Sadly, we did not bring swimsuits or beach gear and had to walk by scores of swimmers enjoying the waters.