Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in St. Clair Shores, MI

  • Published 2023/02/12

Known for its popular strip called Nautical Mile, St. Clair Shores in Michigan is a hub for entertainment and tourist destinations.

Located on the shores of Lake St. Clair, the city is part of Macomb County, with a population of 59,715 as of the 2010 census.

The area was settled by French and German immigrants in 1710 and used to be called L’anse Creuse.

Their surnames are still prevalent to this day and can be seen in street names, as well as in the surviving residents of the city.

St. Clair Shores wasn’t incorporated as a city until 1951.

Today, the city is the county’s mecca for entertainment, ranging from live concerts to beauty pageants, sports events, and outdoor activities.

It has drawn many tourists to visit the area mostly because of its lakefront location and recreational activities.

Here’s a list of the best things to do in St. Clair Shores, Michigan:

Enjoy Boating at Lake St. Clair

Scenic sunset at Lake St. Clair

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As the crowning jewel in the region for its water access, Lake St. Clair offers visitors various recreational activities.

The famed Nautical Mile historic strip has lots of boating docks and a marina where you can launch or dock your boat.

The Safe Harbor Jefferson Beach, for instance, offers great access for launching right into the beautiful lake with a restaurant and restrooms to use.

You’ll see lots of docked boats here, many of which are used for fishing or boating with friends or family.

Waters of Lake St. Clair

C.A.Cameron /

Lake St. Clair is nestled between Ontario, Canada, and the state of Michigan, and has a surface area of 430 square miles.

It’s part of the Great Lakes system, connecting Lake Huron with Lake Erie.

The lake is considered the “Heart of the Great Lakes” and is popular for water activities, including fishing, sunset cruises, and boating.

Traverse through the Historic Nautical Mile

A scenic waterfront destination, the historic Nautical Mile is a mile-long lakefront strip that extends from Nine Mile and 10 Mile roads along Jefferson Avenue.

The strip features several commercial establishments, a nautical-themed streetscape, and several marinas.

It’s where you can find the city’s tallest structure which dominates the entire strip: the 28-story Shore Club Sky Tower, the district’s landmark.

The historic Nautical Mile houses many gorgeous storefronts and small and large boats and hosts many recreational activities throughout the year.

The Nautical Mile Merchants Association maintains the strip.

A stroll at the lakefront business district is like learning about the city’s culture and heritage, which makes for a great first stop in St. Clair Shores!

Take Instagrammable Photos at Saint Clair Shores Park

Famous for its picturesque nature backgrounds, Saint Clair Shores Park is the city’s best spot for photo ops.

The 5.1-acre park features scenic landscapes, water life, butterflies, gorgeous flowers in bloom, and a relaxing atmosphere.

It’s a popular venue for weddings, birthdays, baby showers, proms, and other special occasions for families and friends because of its beautiful surroundings.

People come here for nature walks, picnics, and relaxation.

When in the city, drop by and take some Instagram-worthy photos!

Saint Clair Shores Park is located on Stephens Street.

Watch the Miss St. Clair Shores Scholarship Pageant

One of the popular events in the city is the Miss St. Clair Shores Scholarship Pageant, which grants winners a scholarship program.

The pageant offers young women an opportunity to get a scholarship if they win the competition, one of the longest-running pageants in the U.S.

Whoever wins will have to help her city and do volunteer works for her community while preparing for her competition at the Miss Michigan Pageant.

Started in 1953, the Miss St. Clair Shores Scholarship Pageant is part of the Miss America Organization.

It’s held in the month of July each year at the Lake Shore High School Auditorium.

Eat Like a Local at Zef’s Dockside Bar + Kitchen

What’s more satisfying than enjoying comfort food while facing a beautiful marina?

At Zef’s Dockside Bar + Kitchen, you not only get to indulge in delicious food but also get to enjoy panoramic views.

The restaurant’s lovely upper deck is a great spot to see the beautiful Lake St. Clair.

It’s also popular for its mouthwatering crab cakes, Brussels sprouts, Greek salad, crab rangoon, boneless buffalo wings, and French onion soup.

For an exquisite dining experience, join the locals and head to Zef’s Dockside Bar + Kitchen.

Located on Jefferson Avenue, the restaurant also offers special drinks to pair with your favorite comfort food.

Enjoy Fishing with Mr. Muskie Charters

If fishing is your thing, you’re in the right place!

St. Clair Shores offers one of the best fishing opportunities in the region, and Mr. Muskie Charters can help you with that.

Catch some sturgeons, bass, walleye, and more when you avail of Captain Kevin’s services, who specializes in musky fishing.

They will take you to the water for a few hours of boating and fishing, helping you out with catching fish using their quality lures, rods, reels, and, most of all, their knowledge about fishing.

They also offer sunset cruises apart from fishing to show you around the beautiful Lake St. Clair and its tributaries, the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers.

Kevin Backus has more than 30 years of experience in fishing, which he learned from his grandfather Homer LeBlanc, a Hall of Famer and world-renowned muskie fisherman.

Mr. Muskie Charters is located in Safe Harbor Jefferson Beach on Jefferson Avenue.

Read a Book at the St. Clair Shores Public Library

For your reading session, the St. Clair Shores Public Library features quiet nooks for reading, studying, and researching.

The library holds a great selection of books, e-books, audiobooks, DVDs, comics, music, movies, and more.

These resources of different genres cater to adults, teens, and kids who are in need of information or quiet reading time.

The library also hosts many special events for all ages, including storytimes for the youth and a summer reading club for adults.

There are also arts and crafts, book discussions, and other family-friendly activities for the whole community.

The St. Clair Shores Public Library is located on East Eleven Mile Road.

Have a Picnic at Veterans Memorial Park

What’s not to love about picnicking with friends and family at Veterans Memorial Park?

The park features picnic tables with grills for barbecues to share with friends and family on a fine day in the city.

If you have little ones, they can enjoy the playground with swings and slides and other play equipment, where they can play and run free while interacting with other kids.

In summer, the park’s splash pad is also open for the kids to cool down and play with the water spray.

The park also has a little fishing area and a beach.

Veterans Memorial Park offers gorgeous lakefront views perfect for a family getaway!

Play a Few Rounds of Frisbee at Brys Park

If you play Frisbee, Brys Park is the spot in town for a few rounds and is great for beginners.

The park features a small 24-hole disc golf course where Frisbee players come to play through beautiful cotton trees and challenging but fun tees.

There are also benches to sit on while relaxing and watching others wander around.

You’ll hear lots of birds and see other small wildlife like rabbits, geese, and squirrels, among others.

Apart from the disc golf course, the park also features other athletic fields, including soccer, softball, and baseball fields.

You can find Brys Park at the corner of Eight and Harper Avenues.

Buy Local Produce at the St. Clair Shores Farmers Market

Amazing local produce awaits you at the St. Clair Shores Farmers Market, where farmers and local artisans sell their goods.

Buy delicious baked goods, homemade jams, jellies, fresh and organic vegetables, and fruits, as well as handmade crafts.

These are all produced by farmers and creative minds from the region and state.

You can help support these local artisans to thrive by buying their products and sampling their delicious goods.

The St. Clair Shores Farmers Market happens every 2nd Thursday and 4th Sunday of each month at Blossom Heath Park.

Get Your Coffee Fix at Eos Café & Coffee House

Almost everyone loves coffee, and in St. Clair Shores, Eos Café & Coffee House is one of the best spots to get your coffee fix.

Whether you’re starting your day in the city or catching an afternoon coffee, the coffee house offers a wide selection of coffee and espresso, as well as tea, frappe, and other specialty beverages.

If you’re there for breakfast, their sandwiches, croissant, bagels, and many other pastries and specialties are a must-try.

There’s an outside patio if you prefer taking in the waterfront views, or you can stay indoors and get cozy on the couch or in a plush armchair.

If you’re a bookworm, they have books to read too.

Eos Café & Coffee House is located on Jefferson Avenue.

Shop for Antiques at Labelle Antiques Etc

Are you an antique lover?

Go to Labelle Antiques Etc on Harper Avenue to shop for antiques and vintage items ranging from furniture, collectibles, clothes, jewelry, and more.

It offers a little bit of everything you may find interesting, especially if you’re an antique aficionado.

This charming little antique store is a great stop if you want to browse for classic finds to give your loved ones back home or buy for yourself.

Take a trip down memory lane at Labelle Antiques Etc and indulge in amazing finds!

Go Swimming at Lac Sainte Clair Pool

If you need to swim on a hot summer day, Lac Sainte Clair Pool offers a large swimming pool for everyone.

This is a popular spot for families who want to spend some time on the water while enjoying the views of the area.

There are also covered picnic areas with barbecues for families to use for lunch or snacks.

The kids can enjoy the waterslide and play at the playground.

Swimming lessons are also offered here, with lots of lifeguards on duty to keep everyone, especially the kids, safe.

Lac Sainte Clair Pool is located on Jefferson Avenue and 11 Mile Road, adjacent to the library and the City Hall.

Play Bowling at Shore Lanes

Let another good time roll at Shore Lanes, where you can play golf with family and friends.

The alley caters to up to five bowlers on a lane with excellent equipment and a handy snack bar.

It also hosts special bowling events and weekly specials for bowlers who can’t let a week pass without hitting a pin down.

Shore Lanes is a popular spot for birthday parties, especially since there are activities for the kids to enjoy.

Visit Shore Lanes at Harper Street.

Catch a Gorgeous St. Clair Shores Sunset at Alexander Park

Alexander Park offers relaxing walks with sweeping views of the lake.

It’s an excellent spot for sunset views, whether you’re walking around or sitting on a bench waiting for dusk.

Alexander Park is your go-to place in the city if you want to take some time to gather your thoughts.

Do it with a coffee in your hand and bask in the tranquility of the place.

You can find the park on Lane Street, between 11 and 10 Mile Road.

Final Thoughts

The beautiful St. Clair Shores is one of Michigan’s crowning jewels which draws many tourists with its amazing attractions.

There’s always something for everyone here.

Start planning your trip to enjoy the best things to do in St. Clair Shores, Michigan!

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