Thumbcoast Articles

Summer Getaway Trip in St. Clair, Michigan

Getaway trips are a perfect way to relax, reset, and feel refreshed again. Whether you are on a solo journey, adulting, or you’re taking the entire family, we’ve got trip ideas for everyone. Our series of quick trip ideas will highlight the beautiful shoreline communities of Michigan’s Thumbcoast. First in the series, an adult getaway in charming St. Clair, located about 1 hour north of Detroit along the St. Clair River.

A Getaway from the Everyday

Overnight options in St. Clair include waterfront hotels with views of passing freighters, a bed & breakfast, and a campground at the harbor. For a complete list of all the area accommodations, click the button below.

Photo, St. Clair Inn

Day 1 – Arrival

Lunch Time

Murphy Inn is a historic boarding house from 1836 with Irish cuisine. Our menu picks are:

  • Maurice Salad
  • Dinty Moore Sandwich made with Wigley’s Corn Beef
  • Pint of Guinness

Culture Walk

Work off your lunch and take a self-guided public art tour from the St. Clair Art Association. On this tour, you will see Wally, the 10-foot mosaic art fish out of the water, murals, and more. 

Dinner Time

The River Crab restaurant has a fantastic waterside patio for dining al fresco. Our menu picks are:

  • Martha’s Vineyard Salad
  • Dynamite Scallops
  • Slow Roasted Prime Rib
  • Vanilla Bean Crème Brule


Rockin’ in the Plaza is a free outdoor concert series. The park has bands lined up to perform throughout the spring and summer seasons, mostly Thursday – Saturday. Sit back in a comfy, fireside Adirondack chair & listen to music.


War Water Brewery & Distillery is a hometown craft brewer & a local favorite. Our summer drink pick is: Lite Chug or the Purple Drink

A well-spent day brings happy sleep!

Day 2


T.A.P. Cafe has an outdoor patio overlooking the St. Clair Boardwalk with all the delicious wake-up and start-the-day smells. Our menu picks are:

  • Dirty Chai Tea with Espresso
  • Tropical Acai Bowl with Pineapple, Banana, Kiwi, Granola, & Coconut
  • Summer Berry Crepe


The St. Clair Boat Harbor rents kayaks and canoes from an ADA-compliant launch. Meander the winding Pine River Water Trail on this easy and slow-moving river. The entire route is 8.4 miles, or go as far as you like and head back. 

Lunch Time

You’ve probably worked up an appetite, so head over to Pepper Joe’s next. This waterfront restaurant has a large patio and is walkable from the kayak launch. Our menu picks are:

  • On tap, Atwater Dirty Blonde
  • California Cobb Salad
  • Chicken Fajita Wrap with Balsamic Glazed Chips

Afternoon Siesta

Don’t you love naps after lunch? Now’s a perfect time, or at least take some downtime to relax. Palmer Park has lots of space with shade trees or open sun areas with wonderful breezes typically. Bring a picnic blanket or a chair and start your best snooze.

Artisan Market

Le Marche is an artisan experience that has over 40 vendors in one indoor marketplace. They are at the south end of the Riverview Plaza. Find seasonal goodies, fun gifts, and Michigan-made products.

Break a leg…

Not you, the performers at the new Boardwalk Theatre! This boutique theatre in the heart of the action has big-name musicals with an up-close personal experience for a lively night at the boardwalk!

  • Hello Dolly, August 4 – 20
  • The Odd Couple, Sept. 1 – Oct. 8 (Marine City Location)
  • Elf the Musical, Dec. 1 – 23
More to Love in St. Clair

The fun doesn’t stop here! See all the shopping, dining and things to do in St. Clair. Check out the other articles in our getaway series below and discover more in Michigan’s Thumbcoast.

Over 450 Thumbcoast TikTok Videos

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

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