Port Huron is situated where the St. Clair River meets Lake Huron and is the easternmost point in Michigan. Known as the maritime capital of the Great Lakes, Port Huron is the hub of freshwater history. Port Huron is home to four separate marinas and docks, several boardwalks and beaches and many opportunities to rent kayaks and paddle boards to take down the Black River or along the shoreline of Lake Huron. Not only is this city full of interesting history and opportunities to enjoy the water but, it has amazing food, cherished events, and unique spots. Whether you are visiting for the weekend or a Blue Water Area native, this post will share some of the best places to visit and things to do in Port Huron.
Great Lakes Maritime History At Vantage Point
A great place to dive into history is at the Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point. Here you will find screens with live displays of boat traffic on nearby waters, live underwater cameras to view the activity of the St. Clair River, scanners that pick up on frequencies of ships communicating with each other and other opportunities to learn about the history and current events of the Great Lakes. On top of being a prime fishing spot, Vantage Point also has an incredible view of boat traffic so there is always a good chance of seeing giant ocean freighters. In the summer you can find the Vantage Point Farmers Market where all products are grown or produced in Michigan. While you experience the attractions of Vantage Point you can enjoy shareable dishes from the Boat House by Kate’s or hand-cut fries from the Anchor Fries food truck!
Thomas Edison Museum
The Thomas Edison Depot Museum showcases Edison’s formative years that make up a large part of his story. The exhibits at this waterfront museum include a sit-down theater, interactive displays, and live science presentations. This museum is located in the Fort Gratiot train depot building where Port Huron was connected to the rest of the world through freight transportation to Detroit, Sarnia, and other locations. After Edison’s family moved to Port Huron from Ohio, he actually worked at the depot as a news reporter between 1859 and 1863. This hands-on museum encourages guests to use their own creativity while learning about Thomas Edison’s life, experiments, and inventions.
One Of The Best Port Huron Events – The Bayview Mackinac Race
One of the biggest annual events in Port Huron is the Bayview Mackinac Race which is a sailboat race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island. This event has become the longest consecutively run and one of the most challenging freshwater boat races in the world. It starts with Port Huron’s annual Blue Water Fest or ‘Boat Week’ as everyone calls it, this event leads up to the race starting on the final day. Boat week is used to celebrate the start of the race with different performances, events, and vendors throughout the week with all the sailboats lined up on display in the Black River. Some of the things that go on during boat week include various beer tents, face painting, live music, fundraisers, and a carnival to name a few. The best part about boat week and the Bayview Mackinac Race is how it brings the community together to support the local businesses and sailors.
Port Huron Shopping
Port Huron’s Historic Downtown is a unique place for shopping, dining, and exploring. A Little Something is a Michigan inspired gift shop and is owned and operated by a non-profit organization that assists people in refining work skills. This cute shop has Faygo scented candles, Michigan shaped ceramic bowls, coasters and more with all the proceeds funding vital services and programs for adults with barriers to employment. Ruboo Boutique is another downtown shopping favorite that offers fashion-forward looks at affordable prices. Owned by a Port Huron native, she constantly has new pieces in the store and online and many women have turned to Ruboo Boutique to freshen up their wardrobe.
Port Huron Restaurants You Need To Try
Kate’s Downtown has a rotating food and drink menu that features amazing homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, coffee drinks and more with locally sourced ingredients. Not only does Kate have the most flavorful food, but the baristas are always whipping up delicious drink concoctions for their customers. Kate’s Downtown is my go-to coffee shop in the area because it seems each guest is treated like family and everything is always made with love. If you are looking for an unbeatable atmosphere any day of the week except Sundays, check out Casey’s Downtown. One of the most loved restaurants in the community, Casey’s offers top of line drinks, service, and food (try the breadsticks). A unique spot in the area is the iconic downtown Sperry’s department store which has been restored and is now the Sperry’s Movie House. This boutique movie theater features 12 screens and a second-floor dinner house where you can dine in to eat or have delicious food brought to your movie seat.
The Blue Water River Walk
The boardwalk downtown has the best view of the International Blue Water Bridge that connects Port Huron to Sarnia, Ontario and is a popular spot for fishing, exercising and relaxing. The Blue Water River Walk is a one mile stretch along the St. Clair River where you will find a pedestrian trail, artwork, an observation deck, fishing spots and more! Port Huron is a special gem in the thumb of Michigan, hopefully, these ideas of things to do in Port Huron will give you some direction while exploring this historic yet thriving city.