Detroit, MI

Life's a Beach at Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit

Tracy Stengel
Kids love Campus Martius Park!Photo via Fountain Detroit Facebook page.

The beach is my happy place. There’s no better way to celebrate summertime than with my toes in the sand, sipping on an ice-cold cocktail, while reading the latest best seller or hanging out with friends and family. If you feel the same way, you need to head over to Campus Martius Park in the heart of downtown Detroit!

Campus Martius Park has a man-made beach — right in the center of a metropolis! An assortment of colorful beach chairs are scattered atop of 400,000 pounds of velvety sand. This urban beach is a free place for parents to bring their children and build a sandcastle, for friends to gather, or to visit alone and just relax in a lounge chair. It’s also a great place to people watch! The hustle and bustle of everyday life seems to slip away, even though you’re in the center of the biggest city in the state!
The park is an oasis for those who want to relax and unwind.Photo via Fountain Detroit Facebook page.

If you’re feeling hungry or thirsty, you have plenty of options. The Roasting Plant roasts exceptional coffee with beans from all over the world. The Shake Shack offers delicious burgers and shakes. The Fountain Detroit is a full-service restaurant and bar with open-air, beachside dining. Parc serves up cuisine with Midwest flavors with a French and Mediterranean influence. Texas de Brazil is a Brazilian steakhouse, and you will find fresh, flavorful Cal-Mex food at Calexico. With all the choices, you’re sure to find a place to satisfy everyone’s taste!

Throughout the summer, Campus Martius Park has Happy Hour Fitness at 5:30 PM on Fridays. It’s a way to try out a variety of fitness styles in a fun, upbeat atmosphere. Plus, there is a live DJ churning out tunes that will get your blood pumping. What a way to kick off the weekend!

In fact, there is live music and resident DJs every Friday night from 4 PM — 9 PM. The Friday Beach Party is THE place to be in the D! Bring your friends down to dance in the sand on these sultry summer evenings. Campus Marius Park has that “staycation feel.” It’s as if you have been transported to a tropical island, when you haven’t even left the city.
A couple just chillin'.Photo via Fountain Detroit Facebook page.

Saturday evenings are Movie Nights! From 8 PM — 10 PM a different award-winning, family-friendly film is shown on a huge screen each week. The movie series continues through August. Here is the line up:

July 24 — Minari

July 31 — Nomadland

August 6 — Cars 2

August 14 — Amazing Grace

August 21 — Raya and the Last Dragon

August 28 — Onward

All the movies are free. Bring a camping chair or blanket to sit on and make yourself comfortable. Popcorn from Detroit Popcorn Company will be for sale. Bring the kids and enjoy some memorable family moments under the stars.
Some drinks are served in a bucket!Photo via Fountain Detroit Facebook page.

Campus Martius Park is located at 800 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan.

If you’ve been to Detroit’s urban beach, tell me about your experience in the comments! What is your favorite thing to do there?


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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

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