Around the beginning of spring, we always get those deceptively sunny days. When you're drinking your coffee while the sun streams through your windows, you might forget that it's actually ten degrees below freezing. That warm weather bug is hard to get rid of even though a trip outside confirms that it is indeed still parka-weather. Belle Isle has a hidden greenhouse that will help you get a taste of real warmth that you're craving in the last of the cold months.
The greenhouse is on Belle Isle, a state park on an island in the Detroit River. You can drive over a bridge onto the island on E. Jefferson Ave. and E. Grand Blvd.
Admission to the conservatory itself is free although you do need a recreation passport ($11) to enter the island in a car.
The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory has been open for over a century and is the longest continually operated conservatory in the country.
There are five sections of the garden that house a huge variety of plants from different climates.
The largest dome that stands on Belle Isle's horizon like its crowning jewel is home to tropical plants that reach towards the magnificent glass ceiling like they're trying to get as close to the light as possible.
The greenhouse was named after a woman that donated a massive collection of rare orchids in the '50s.
You can take five mini-vacations just walking through the different rooms. Take a hike out to the desert in the Cactus House and then imagine you're enjoying the California sun in the Palm House.
Next time you have a weekend free and you can't stand to stare at the gray sky anymore, take advantage of this gorgeous oasis.
Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory @ Belle Isle
Price: Entrance to the park in a car requires a recreational pass. You can buy one at the entrance for $11. If you enter on foot or on a bike you can go in for free!
Hours: Open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Wednesday - Saturday.
Address: You can reach the conservatory (4 Inselruhe Ave, Detroit, MI) by going over the bridge at E. Jefferson Ave. and E. Grand Blvd.
Why You Need To Go: This huge collection of plants will lift your spirits when you're just dying for summer to come sooner. The glass dome is something that you have to see sparkling in the light.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.