What To Do In Belleville, Michigan
Belleville is a lovely small community located in Wayne County, the center of Van Buren Township. Nestled on the peninsular shores of Belleville Lake, it’s a picturesque setting with tree-lined neighborhoods, and beautiful parks. The sister city to Machynlleth, Wales, in the United Kingdom, Belleville is a diverse community with approximately 400,000 residents.
Founded in 1847, the city of Belleville was named for a local landowner, James Bell. Belleville comes from the French word meaning “beautiful town.” Home to Oakland County’s largest inland lake, the city lives up to its name. The area’s main thoroughfares — Main, Liberty, and High Streets — are still popular roadways today.
The village had long been a growing center for the lumber trade, and many saw mills were located along the shores of the river, which served as a natural trade route. The area’s early economy was heavily dependent upon the Huron River to help transport lumber.
An act of State Legislature establish Belleville as a village in 1905, when it separated from Van Buren Township. The railroad brought travelers from the region and across the country to the village. With the growing population came increased industry, more farmland, and a decrease in the natural woodlands.
In 1925, the Detroit Edison Company built the French Landing Dam on the river, east of Belleville, which helped create Belleville Lake. Belleville Lake stretches over 6 miles in total, covers 1200 acres, and is the largest inland lake in Wayne County.
By the 1930’s Belleville was known as a resort community where getaway estates were maintained by Detroit’s upper class. The neighborhood of Harmony Lake was once the summer escape for both Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford.
Belleville has come a long way since the lumber days, growing into a city in 1946 and modernizing both its services and industries. Belleville now boasts a full mile of lakefront property, with a charming downtown area, unique shopping and dining, and pristine parks.
Our Favorite Things to Do in Belleville, Michigan
Belleville, Michigan takes great pride in its history and the vast array of city parks. Belleville offers an assortment of museums with engaging exhibits and interactive activities. Whether you opt for an educational adventure or a day in the sun, we’ve listed some of our favorites below to help you plan your time in Belleville!
Yankee Air Museum
In 1941, the Ford Motor Company built Willow Run Airport, which served as an airfield for their B-24 Bomber plant. Ford’s automotive mass production technique was a leading technological innovation at that time and this was the very first manufacturing plant to use this technique.
Yankee Air Museum offers insight into the history of American aviation and military applications/ Located at Willow Run airport, the museum exhibits airplanes, uniforms, and equipment from historical United States wars. Visitors to the museum can explore exhibits spanning WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War; learn about the emerging drone technology (and fly one!); volunteer to help restore historic aircraft; and book a flight in one of the museum’svintage aircraft.
You’ll find the Yankee Air Museum at 47884 D Street,
or give them a call at 734-483-4030
Turtle Cove Aquatic Center
Looking for a great way to cool off and spend the day with the family? Look no further than Turtle Cove Aquatic Park. You can find relief from the heat of a summer day at this outdoor water park.
Located at Lower Huron Metropark, Turtle Cove features a kiddie park (with a splash zone), a lazy river (perfect for floating the day away!), a 300-gallon dumping bucket, two water slides and zero-depth entry pool that also has lap lanes.
The Huron River and thick woodlands provide an incredible backdrop and the park provides ample space to sit and enjoy it all. Although guests are not permitted to bring in their own food or beverages (this includes coolers) there’s a Grille on site that is open during park hours.
Turtle Cove can be found at 40151 East Huron Drive.
You can call them at: 734-697-9181
The BAM / Belleville Area Museum and Archives
Located in the Old Township Hall which dates back to 1875, the Belleville Area Museum (also known as BAM) serves to preserve and protect the shared history of the Tri-Community (city of Belleville, Van Buren and Sumpter Townships). Visitors to the museum will find artifacts from original settlers, small replicas of historic buildings and photographs from Belleville’s early history. The museum also hosts educational programs and community events throughout the year.
BAM can be found at 405 Main Street,
you can reach them by phone at: (734) 697-1944
Bursting With Fun Things
Downtown Belleville Michigan hosts fun-filled events over 200 days each year! Bring the family, join neighbors and friends for these great times Downtown on the Lake.
From Quilting to Fashion to Sculptures to Festivals and more, Belleville is bursting with fun things to keep you entertained and amused.
Check out this handy calendar of events to keep up on the latest offerings Belleville offers.
Still yearning for more options? Then check out the Yankee Air Museum, Lower Huron Metropark, Turtle Cove Aquatic Center or one of the many other area interests in Belleville or within a short driving distance. Whatever you choose, you’ve got loads of fun and interesting things waiting for you to experience!
You may need to log an extra 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, but if you are craving a home-made treat, these Belleville bakeries are family traditions, and considered some of the best in the state.
Whether you are looking for a small bite, have a large group to feed, or need something to please discerning taste buds, you’ll be sure to find a variety of fresh-baked options at one of our favorite bakeries listed below.
Keller’s Farms Bakery
If you find yourself in Belleville on a weekend, then a trip to Keller’s Farms Bakery is a must. This small bakery has a 50+ year tradition in Belleville. Tucked away in the countryside, the bakery sits adjacent to a farmhouse.
All of their goodies are made from scratch with fresh ingredients and minus any preservatives. The variety of baked goods changes each weekend but the cream horns are a local favorite. Keller’s Farms Bakery accepts cash or checks only.
They’re only open on the weekend, and you’ll find them at: 23888 Haggerty Road
Give them a call at (734) 753-4360
The Bake Shoppe
Since 1954, The Bake Shoppe has been making fresh baked goods for the people of Belleville. Owned by a pastry chef and conveniently located near the Lower Huron Metropark, The Bake Shoppe has become a local family tradition.
From fresh breads to donuts, and apple fritters to eclairs, you really can’t go wrong here. The Bake Shoppe is open 7 days a week and accepts cash or checks only.
Visit The Bake Shoppe at: 17416 Savage Road
or ring their phone at (734) 699-2236
Belleville’s charm and tranquility also extends to its casual dining options. Known for small, family-owned and operated restaurants, Belleville is all about making you feel like family. You can always choose a chain restaurant or a fast food drive-through while you are in town, but we highly recommend taking in one of these amazing local restaurants. Not only will you get to know the people of Belleville, you’ll also get a satisfying, fresh, flavorful meal!
Experience the sights and sounds of New Orleans and savor the flavor of the bayou while in Belleville at Bayou Grille.
The restaurant is easy to spot, with its life-sized alligator on the roof, and features an array of Cajun menu options with French, Italian and Spanish influences… Think catfish beignets, PO Boys, gumbo with dirty rice, and alligator voodoo. For those who prefer traditional American food, there are also more conventional options like pasta and salads.
Bayou Grille is pleasant and inviting, perfect for a casual meal. It’s also wheelchair accessible.
Bayou Grille is located at 404 Main Street. You can call them at (734) 697-2300.
Offering a mix of Lebanese signature dishes, Kabob Garden uses top quality seasonal ingredients and serves up food with a unique creative flare. Meats are flavorful and cooked to perfection and breads are freshly baked in a wood fired oven. The owners are very accommodating when it comes to food allergies and gluten sensitivities.
If you’re on the hunt for quality Mediterranean cuisine be sure stop in to Kabob Garden. They’re wheelchair accessible.
Kabob Garden can be found at: 244 E Columbia Ave.
You can give them a call at (734) 252-9880.
Hidalgo Mexican Restaurant
Serving up authentic Mexican cuisine, Hidalgo Mexican Restaurant has been a staple in the Belleville are since 2010.
A friendly, family-owned business with a menu made from scratch, Hidalgo attracts food lovers from across the Detroit Metro area. Known for going the extra mile for their customers, the Hildalgos also offer gluten free and vegetarian options which are bursting with flavor! No hype, just really good food.
Visit Hidalgo Mexican Restaurant at 333 Industrial Park Drive
Call them at (734) 697-3271
The City of Belleville and the surrounding area offer a wide variety of recreational and leisure activities for adults and children. Our location gives residents the advantages of small-town living with surrounding cultural and recreational opportunities including theater, shopping, dining, museums, hiking, boating, golfing, skiing, festivals for every season, and more.
The city has four main parks
- Horizon Park
- Doane’s Landing
- Victory Park and Station
- Village Park
Between these four parks you’ll find lake access and views, a boardwalk, courtesy boat docks, ADA accessible canoe/kayak launches, picnic facilities, children’s play areas, Victory Station for large meetings and special events, walking trails and more.