Waterfront Wonder: Metro Detroit Destinations to Enjoy the Water

By: Katie Goncalves | June 9, 2023
Kayakers follow a tour guide on a paddleboard

Photo courtesy of Detroit River Sports

There are few things in life that surpass the pure joy of being by the water. The calm of the lapping water sound and the sparkle of the sun on the surface brings along feelings that are unlike any other. Metro Detroit has no shortage of incredible waterfront areas from rivers to lakes. We’re also quite lucky to have plenty of places that help us enjoy the more adventurous side of being by the water during the warmer Michigan months. The next time you’re in the mood to get active and want water nearby, check out some of these fun waterfront activities. 

Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental

2775 Garden Road, Milford

Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental has three locations for those looking to rent a kayak or canoe: on the Huron River in Proud Lake State Park, on the lake in Kensington Metropark, and at Proud Lake Campground for registered campers. They offer a few different canoe or kayak routes on the Huron River and the surrounding waterways from as little as a couple of hours to all-day trips. Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental also hosts Moonlight Paddles, Sunset Date Nights, and paddles to Milford’s summer concerts in the park. Reservations are recommended and dogs are welcome to tag along.

Detroit River Sports

14601 Riverside Boulevard, Detroit

Whether you're going out on a fishing trip, discovering new hiking spots, or heading out for a weekend of camping, the Trailblazer is an ideal companion for your active lifestyle.

Detroit River Sports specializes in kayak and stand-up paddle board tours of the Detroit River and the islands on the east side. They offer public tours on Thursday through Sunday and are open from May to October each year. Detroit River Sports also book private tours each day of the week for a more intimate experience. 

Kayak on Detroit River at sunset
Photos courtesy of Detroit River Sports
Group of Kayakers on Detroit River

Detroit Outpost

12550 Avondale Street, Detroit

Detroit Outpost specializes in guided kayak excursions throughout the Detroit Riverfront, Belle Isle, and historical canal districts. They like to keep groups of paddlers small with their open paddles and also offer private paddles that are perfect for parties and team building. Detroit Outpost has several different routes for their paddles and loves to highlight the Belle Isle wetlands and Detroit sunsets.  

Detroit Segway

2934 Russell Street, Detroit

Detroit Segway offers tours of the Motor City like you’ve never experienced before. Hop on your Segway and feel the breeze in your hair as you roll down the entirety of the Dequindre Cut and head east on the Riverwalk. The tour takes about two hours and currently ends at Mount Elliott Park Splash Park. This tour is perfect for those who want to skip the guided history and just cruise along the water. If you’re hoping for a longer tour, check out The Whole Shebang which gives a longer, more comprehensive tour of the city, including the Riverfront. 

Water Warrior Island

3361 South Lapeer Road, Orion Township

Water Warrior Island is the ultimate destination for those who love adventure, challenges, and most importantly, water. This inflatable water park includes an inflatable obstacle course, water slides, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Passes are available for the water park portion for one hour, two hours, or all day. Rental kayaks and paddleboards are also available. 

Infinity Ovation Yachts

400 Maple Park Boulevard, St. Clair Shores

Infinity Ovation Yachts offer luxurious, chartered excursions along the Detroit River where guests are treated to exceptional service, food and drink, and amenities. The Infinity and Ovation yachts can be rented for private events, but the best-kept secret is their Summer Cruise series which is perfect for a date night, special occasion, or celebration. There are several themes for this year’s cruises including “A Night at Gatsby’s” and “The California Wine Mixer.” 

That’s WasSUP

2775 Garden Road, Milford

That’s WasSUP is known for its stand-up paddle board classes and excursions in Metro Detroit and the Great Lakes. Their calendar is filled with all kinds of events including stand-up paddle board yoga, paddles in the Detroit River, and even to Turnip Rock in Lake Huron. If one of their scheduled events doesn’t strike you, they also offer personalized group adventures across the state. 

Simple Adventures

Several Metro Detroit Locations

Simple Adventures offers water adventures in many of Metro Detroit’s parks and Michigan state parks. They have lessons and excursions for canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding in 12 different area locations, so there is sure to be one conveniently located for you to have some fun out on the water.