Belle Isle, 3 mi southeast of the city center on a 1,000-acre island in the Detroit River, is reached by way of East Jefferson Avenue and East Grand Boulevard. Here you'll find woods, walking trails, sports facilities, a 9-hole golf course, and a ½-mi-long beach. Like many other urban parks, Belle Isle is best visited during the day.
Among Belle Isle's other attractions is the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, with one of the largest orchid collections in the country. 313/852–405. Free.
At the far end of Belle Isle, the Belle Isle Nature Zoo offers family nature programs on weekends focused on Michigan flora and fauna. 313/852–4056 Ext. 00. Free.
Also on Belle Isle, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum includes a Gothic Room taken from a 1912 Great Lakes luxury liner, and the pilot house from the S.S. William Clay Ford, a Great
Lakes freighter. You can also listen to ship-to-shore radio messages and view the river and city through a periscope. 100 Strand Dr., Detroit, MI, 48207. 313/821–2661. www.detroithistorical.org. Free.