Thumbcoast Articles

Summer Getaway in Marine City, Michigan

Marine City is an attractive, highly walkable community less than an hour from Detroit. The friendly atmosphere, waterfront parks, boutiques, historic architecture, award-winning dining & live theatre are why many guests return! This article is part of a series of quick trip ideas highlighting adult getaway options along the coast. Stay, play & feel refreshed when you visit Michigan’s Thumbcoast.

Eat. Drink. Theatre

The Inn on Water Street is a newer boutique hotel within walking distance of downtown amenities. Enjoy a glass of wine from your balcony & watch freighters passing in the St. Clair River. An added feature for hotel guests is their bicycles to explore downtown or the Bridge to Bay Trail. Ask about their stay & play packages.

Day 1


Anita’s Riverfront Grille has a fantastic patio overlooking the St. Clair River. Enjoy the warm sun, watch freighters & dine al fresco. Menu picks:

  • Cold Beer on Tap
  • Nacho Supreme with Homemade Chips & Salsa
  • Spinach & Artichoke Pizza


Historically, Marine City was known as the ship-building center of the Great Lakes and this influence can be seen in its architecture. Take a stroll to the local museums & see the beautiful homes in the area. While walking the waterfront, see if you can find all eight mosaic art pieces created from drawings of ships from the 1800s.


Specializing in local fresh fish, The Marine City Fish Company is an award-winning restaurant, voted Best Metro Detroit Seafood. Menu picks:

  • Summer in a Bottle Rosé 
  • Asiago Caesar Salad
  • Award-winning Smoked Salmon
  • Baked Bing Cherry Dessert


The Riverbank Theatre produces award-winning performances in a historic building, formerly a bank. This intimate venue holds 180 people with tiered seating & state-of-the-art sound & lighting. Upcoming summer performances are:

  • The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Jun 24 – July 30
  • Hello Dolly, Aug. 4 – 20 (Boardwalk Theatre)
  • The Odd Couple, Sept. 1 – Oct. 8

Day 2


Enjoy your breakfast with a view at the Riviera Restaurant. When you think of small town charming places to eat, this is one of them. This laid-back local favorite has a mix of long-time patrons & visitors alike. Menu picks:

  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Admiral Omelet with Homemade Biscuits 

Beach Time

This quaint downtown beach can get busy on the weekends, so we recommend you save your spot early. There is a covered pavilion next to the beach if you prefer a shady spot, still waterfront. The beach has excellent views of Canada & is great for watching Great Lake freighters. An alternative to a day at the beach is a fishing excursion.

Fish On

Fish the famous 40-mile St. Clair River and catch your limit. The river, a connecting channel between Lake Huron & Lake St. Clair, is along the US/Canada border. A valuable ecological habitat, it has walleye, bass, sturgeon, muskie & salmon, to name a few species. Take the guesswork out of finding the best fishing hole & book with an expert. 

Photo, Hook One Charters

Mid-Day Snacks

Discover your inner child at the Sweet Tooth, voted Best Metro Detroit Sweets & Treats! This fun-loving sweet shop is perfect for ice cream on a hot summer day. Are you feeling nostalgic? They have candy bars from every generation, along with artisan truffles & other goodies. Menu picks:

  • Hand-dipped Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
  • Amaretto Truffle


Shop unique small businesses, from an artisan market & pet boutique to antiques & an oddities shop at the Mariner. The shopping district extends down Water St. and Broadway. Spend the afternoon finding gifts reminding you of your fun trip to Marine City!

Photo, MC Marketplace

Dinner To-Go

Order takeout from Gar’s, The Little Bar, or any other restaurant & eat it at TwoRivers Winery. This downtown winery welcomes you to pair your choice meal with one of their 60 handmade wines & ciders. Menu picks:

  • Gar’s Famous Burger
  • Mango Jalapeño in a Wine Flight

Day 3


The Sweet Tooth Café is the coffee spinoff of the sweet shop, which is located right behind it. They have muffins, bagels & other delicious pastries. More importantly, they have caffeinated drinks to start the day. Menu picks:

  • Coconut Latte with Cinnamon
  • Almond Bear Claw or a Toasted Everything Bagel
More to Love

The fun doesn’t stop here! Additional things to do are a bamboo fusion massage for relaxation at the Tranquility Spa, see a show at the Mariner Theatre, or golf at the Golden Hawk, only 13 miles west. Use the map below to see all the small-business dining & shopping in Marine City.

Other Articles in The Getaway Series

Article by Katie Stepp, Blue Water Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

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