Described as the maritime capital of the Great Lakes the city covers seven miles across the shore of the St Clair River. Although many tourist attractions in Port Huron involve the water and beaches there is lots to do off the water too. Interesting museums, unique shopping and attractions ensures there are worthwhile experiences for every visitor. Being so close to Canada the culture is very similar to those of their Canadian neighbours.
10. Welkin Base Ball Club
The first base ball match was played in 1867 and today the Welkins recreate the games of the past. Visitors are encouraged to participate and kids can learn some history during the match and have the opportunity to try out the vintage bats and run the bases after the game. Bring picnic blankets and sit in the sun or the shade to watch the game unfold. A fun day out for the family especially for baseball fans. The home field is located on 12th Avenue next to St Mary Catholic Church.
9. Carnegie Centre
The Port Huron Museum holds over 45,000 items relating to the history of the Blue Water area. Historic artefacts range from the first Native Americans to the modern medical advancements created here. The majority of the exhibits are found at this main building of the museum. There is also the largest ship model collection on Michigan in the Marine Gateway. Opening hours are 11am to 5pm every day and admission costs $7 for adults and $5 for students. Family tickets are also available for $20 allowing admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children.
8. McMorran Place
A complex of entertainment offering a variety of entertainment venues. This centre has hosted the training camp for the Detroit Red Wings and St Louis Blues of the National Hockey League, many famous music concerts such as Bon Jovi and Johnny Cash and hosted Miss Michigan USA. Facilities include full service bars and canteens in various sections. Box office opening hours are daily 11am to 4pm and closed on Sundays. Upcoming events include Port Huron Prowlers games, The Nutcracker and Graveyard of the Great Lakes. Prowler games ticket prices range from $10 to $13 depending on seating.
7. United States lightship Huron
This light vessel was first launched in 1920 but now is a ship museum moored in Pine Grove Park. The ship is well-preserved and the light and fog horn on board still operate. The motors have been mended by volunteer mechanics and other restorations have been made. Visitors can watch a live camera feed of the bottom of the river and view a collection of artefacts and model ships. Find the ship in Pine Grove Park permanently moored in the sand. Ticket prices start from $7 and opening hours are 11am to 5pm at the weekend only.
6. Blue Water Bridge
This cool international twin bridge links Michigan to Point Edward, Ontario Canada. Blue Water Bridge is the most photographed places to visit in Port Huron. It is also the second busiest crossing between the United States and Canada. The area surrounding Blue Water has lovely scenery and is a great place to watch the world go by and take a peek over the border. If visitors wish to cross the bridge, there’s a $3 per car toll rate. Duty free shopping is available at both ends and remember there are the necessary border checks when crossing over to Canada.
5. Thomas Edison Depot Museum
This museum is housed inside the Fort Gratiot depot which was built in 1858 by the Grand Trunk Railway. Exhibits display Edison’s story and it traces the Edison family from Ohio to Port Edison. Inside a restored baggage car there is a re-creation of Thomas Edison’s mobile chemistry lab and printing shop. Students or groups of 20 visitors or more can get involved in a two-hour program about electricity, communication and magnetism. All of Tomas Edison’s scientific principles. Opening hours are 11am to 5pm at the weekend and admission costs $7 for adults and $5 for students.
4. Studio 1219
An art gallery which holds classes, workshops and parties. The studio contains six art galleries that contain art and handmade pieces from the local area. Plenty of gifts, prints, paintings and more are for sale for art lovers and admirers. The exhibits are often changing to show a wide selection of items in different formats. Located on Military Street in the shopping district opening hours are 11am to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday opening later on Fridays until 8pm admission to the galleries is free. The studio is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
3. Pine Grove Park
Pine Grove is amongst the oldest and most popular parks in the area. The park is perfect for romantic walks, watching the passing ships on the river and fishing off the boardwalk. Facilities include picnic areas, playground equipment and shuffleboard courts. During the summer there are portable restrooms and concession stands available. Lots of shade is offered from the beautiful old oak trees which makes it a lovely place for friends to set down a blanket and enjoy a picnic on a summer day. The location is also great for its proximity to the local museums.
2. Maritime Centre and Vantage Point
The Great Lakes Maritime Centre provide opportunities to learn about the history and current events on the lakes. Visitors can also learn from the staff about the different types of fish and other aquatic life in the waters. Videos, displays and speaker programs provide a range of information to guests. Inside is an underwater camera to view what is happening out there in real time and also find the shipping schedule. When visitors get hungry there’s an ice cream wagon and French fries truck. Summer hours are 8am to 7pm and 8am to 5pm during Winter.
1. Fort Gratiot Lighthouse
Fort Gratiot is the first lighthouse in the area built in 1825 but was built in a bad location and collapsed during a storm in1828. The new lighthouse location built in 1829 made it much easier for ships to see and a safer spot for the lighthouse. Tours of the lighthouse brings history to life and visitors get the best views by walking to the top. The grounds are free to walk around and tours and access to the top are available with a fee. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 5pm.
Port Huron is one-hour north of Detroit, getting here is easy by driving, Amtrak rail service and the blue water area transit bus service. Being so close to Canada the area is often used as a stopping or starting point for vacations, but there are plenty of things to do in Port Huron in its own right. A top tip for American visitors is to remember to bring their passports if they want to take the journey over Blue Water Bridge.