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Best Scenic Drives In Detroit

Construction is an eyesore, but these drives are not. Beautiful scenery can ease the stress of a long drive, so take some time to roll down Hines Drive, Grosse Ile, and some more of Detroit's best scenic drives.
credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Lakeshore Drive/Jefferson Avenue

Historic Grosse Pointe homes and mansions dot this drive into and out of Downtown Detroit along with a spectacular view of Lake St. Clair, especially at sunrise. The speed limit is low enough to enjoy the drive but not so slow as to hold everyone up.

Hines Drive

The road is named after Edward N. Hines, one of the most important innovators in the design of modern roads. Designed as a flood plane for the Rouge River, sections are often closed after heavy rains, but it goes through nice Wayne County park areas. In the Christmas season, you can drive through nice holiday light displays.

Grosse Ile

A recommended drive in Metro Detroit is following the series of roads around Grosse Ile. The trip is roughly over ten miles You can see an old steel mill across the Trenton Channel south of Elizabeth Park in Trenton, reclaimed forests, spectacular views across the river to Canada, mansions, historic houses, modern houses and an old train station. Most of the drive has a river view with a great distant skyline view of Detroit up the river.

Belle Isle

The drive around Belle Isle is pleasant since the speed limit is low and you have a river view most of the way around the park. You can see the lake freighters going by, nice homes across the river on the Canadian shore along Riverside Drive in Windsor (which is a very scenic drive as well), a great skyline view of Detroit along with the Detroit Yacht Club and in the summer many boats and folks having picnics and fun on the beach.

I-96 Between South Lyon and Brighton

An especially nice drive when there's no road construction as you pass by lakes, parks and farms. In summer, the boats on the lakes, and in spring and fall, the trees, all add to the mostly pleasant views. The only drawback is the high freeway speed – great for commuting but not so great for sightseeing.

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