While it may be a hassle to get out the rake every fall season and collect leaves for hours on end, there really is nothing quite as beautiful as autumn in southeast Michigan. With all of nature’s natural greens turning to vibrant shades of yellows, oranges and bright reds, the setting can be quite an opportune time to host the perfect date with your loved one or significant other. So before you go and strain your back raking pile after pile of dead foliage, take a “staycation” in one of Metro Detroit’s best outdoor retreats for a romantic date.
Belle Isle Park
8109 E. Jefferson
Detroit, MI 48214
Located adjacent to the heart of downtown Detroit and nestled on the Detroit River is the city’s own Belle Isle. Known as the crown jewel of Detroit’s public park system, this island truly has something for everyone. And with plenty of nature to go around, you won’t miss a single amazing aspect of the fall season here in Michigan as you watch the river flow with your special somebody. Best of all, admission to the park and many of the attractions are free to everyone. So in addition to making the island a wonderful dating hot spot, it’ll allow you to dote more cash upon that whom you love.
The Detroit Riverfront Conservatory
600 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48243
Just steps from legendary Woodward Boulevard and situated along the Detroit River is the Detroit Riverfront Conservatory. Much of this gorgeous area is within the General Motors area along the riverfront and features a beautiful and newly renovated promenade that highlights the section’s natural splendor. With a ferris wheel for the kids and an incredible and up-close view of GM’s own Renaissance Center world headquarters, the Detroit Riverfront Conservatory offers the perfect solution for the couple wishing to spend some time outdoors, or those who wish to bring the kids along, as well. Admission is free and a host of top-quality restaurants are well within walking distance.
Detroit, MI 48226
Among Detroit’s towering skyscrapers and just across from a picturesque view of downtown Windsor across the river is Hart Plaza, home to many Detroit festivals and outdoor gatherings. The Plaza is host to a number of annual Motor City functions that residents and lovers alike look forward to. If it is outdoor action and sounds you seek for your romantic getaway, this Motown hot spot will satisfy your needs. Then again, when not in full festival swing, Hart Plaza offers a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Detroit and has stunning views of two major skylines to boast.
Stoney Creek Metropark
4300 Main Park Road
Shelby Township, MI 48316
If it’s far away from the city life that you and your loved one would like to spend the colorful autumn days, then head out into Metro Detroit’s own Metroparks. Stoney Creek Metropark is one of southeast Michigan’s most exquisite and wondrous areas to behold at the changing of the seasons. Mile after mile of lush green trees and hiking trails turn into a passionate mixture of reds, yellows and oranges. A simple walk through the woods or along a river’s edge may be more your style and this is just the place to do it. For fun, the park offers many activities that are perfect for a fall date, including kayaking, canoeing, hiking and disc golf.
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Lake St. Clair Metropark
31300 Metro Parkway
Harrison Township, MI 48045
If you’d rather stay closer to downtown Detroit but not be bothered by the traffic of the city, the Lake St. Clair Metropark might be your perfect couple’s getaway destination. Lake St. Clair is known for its numerous islands and the bevy of massive freighters that use the channel to make their way up to Lake Huron and further points north. As you can imagine, Lake St. Clair is perfect for boating of all types. From sailing, jet-skiing and motor-boating to pontooning, there is certainly a nautical activity to help serve as the perfect setting for an early autumn date. Boat rentals are available at any one of the park’s three marinas, as well as by many proprietors along the lakeside, too.
Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.