Top 10 Things to Do in Monroe, Michigan (Latest List)

Monroe County, Michigan / Source: Wikipedia

Situated along the western shores of Lake Erie, Monroe provides small town charm coupled with historic sites, parks, and attractions.

Here are some of the top things to see and do during your getaway to Monroe, Michigan.

1. Tour the River Raisin National Battlefield Park

River Raisin National Battlefield Park / Source: Wikipedia

One of the largest and bloodiest battles during the War of 1812 took place right in Monroe, known as the Battle of the River Raisin. This national park preserves and commemorates the battlegrounds.

Start your visit at the educational visitors center, where exhibits and a movie explain the events of the battle. Revolutionary War and War of 1812 artifacts are on display as well.

After learning about the battle, walk through parts of the actual battlefield, following hiking trails along the River Raisin. Interpretive signs mark key troop movements and clashes.

Pick up a map of this informative 70-mile self-guided driving tour that visits War of 1812 sites across southeastern Michigan, including River Raisin park.

2. Explore Sterling State Park

Sterling State Park / Source: Wikipedia

Situated along over 2 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, Sterling State Park offers great recreation activities like swimming, boating, hiking, fishing, and camping.

The wide, sandy beach has a designated swim area with lifeguards and nearby restrooms/changing rooms. A playground overlooks the beach, perfect for kids.

The campground contains nearly 200 wooded sites for tents and RVs, most with electricity, along with modern bathhouses and a camp store. Advanced reservations recommended.

The visitor center has exhibits about the park’s ecosystems and local plants and wildlife. Join guided hikes and nature programs offered seasonally.

3. Stroll Through Charming Downtown Monroe

Downtown Monroe / Source: Monroe City

Downtown Monroe centers around Washington Street lined with historic commercial buildings and landmarks. Pop into shops, dine at restaurants, and admire the architecture. You can visit some of these destinations:

Loranger Square

Loranger Square Pavilion / Source: Monroe County, MI

This downtown plaza has a band shell, fountain, and monuments honoring veterans. On summer weekends, there are free band concerts in the gazebo.

Post Office Mural

Monroe Post Office / Source: Flickr

Inside the Monroe Post Office at 101 Washington Street, see the large historic mural depicting French colonists naming the River Raisin. This work was commissioned during the 1930s.

4. Ride the Train at the Sandy Creek Winery

Sandy Creek Winery / Source: West Sandy Creek Winery

Sandy Creek Winery offers free train rides through their picturesque vineyards and cider apple orchards during select hours on summer weekends.

You can catch the Whistle Stop Train which takes 15 minute ride. The Engine 1261 locomotive take visitors on a relaxing tour through the farm. While you’re there, visit the tasting room to try their wines and hard ciders.

5. Hike Through forests at Farnsworth Metropark

Farnsworth Metropark / Source: Wikipedia

Just south of Monroe, this 1,500 acre metropark has nearly 8 miles of hiking trails following the River Raisin through peaceful forests with some scenic overlooks along the waterway.

A 2 mile loop trail that passes through pine and oak forests with an overlook deck atop a high bluff along the river – one of the prettiest hikes in the park.

Here, you can find the unique 200+ year old bur oak tree right along the trail. At over 100 feet tall, it’s one of the largest oak trees in Michigan.

6. Ride the River Raisin

River Raisin / Source: Wikipedia

The River Raisin National Heritage Corridor offers great recreational paddling and boating opportunities right through the heart of Monroe. Rent a kayak or canoe and spend a few hours on the tranquil river. You can try renting:

  • River Raisin Canoe Livery: Provides canoe, kayak, and tube rentals for exploring the River Raisin. Shuttle services are available to transport you back to your starting point.
  • Sterling State Park Launch Site: Put in small non-motorized boats at the public launch site along the River Raisin within Sterling State Park. Peaceful waters here are great for beginners.

7. Cheer on the Timberwolves at Roederer Park

Monroe’s baseball players / Source: Monroe Township Baseball Association 

Address of the park: 612 Roederer St, Monroe, MI 48162

Monroe’s historic Roederer Park baseball stadium dates back to the 1930s and hosts the Southern Michigan Timberwolves baseball team during summer. Catch an affordable game in this nostalgic setting.

In addition to baseball games, the park hosts festivals, fireworks shows, and community events during the warmer months. The old-timey stadium adds to the charm of a game here.

8. Learn About Edison’s History in Monroe

Edison Institute Gallery / Source: Pinterest

Famed American inventor Thomas Edison spent his early childhood years living in Monroe, which inspired his interest in innovations and experiments. The Edison Institute museum and birthplace memorial mark his time here.

You can see some of Edison’s early battery experiments and telegraph prototypes on display at this downtown museum, along with exhibits about his upbringing in Monroe during the mid-1800s.

A large sculpture next to the museum marks the site of Edison’s birthplace along the River Raisin. Interpretive signs describe his profound impact on modern technology and innovation.

9. Check Out the Wildlife at the Sterns Road Fen

Monroe County nature preserve / Source: The Herald-Times

Address of Sterns Road Fen Nature Preserve: Sterns Rd. south of Flight Memorial Dr, Lambertville, MI 48144

This unique nature preserve contains extremely rare alkaline fens, wet meadows, and wetland environments. A hiking trail loops through the landscape, providing opportunities to spot fascinating plant and animal species.

Look for carnivorous sundew plants in the wetlands and listen for the calls of rare bird species that nest in the secluded habitat. Free public access daily during daylight hours.

10. Enjoy a Show at the Monroe County Fine Arts Center

Monroe County Fine Arts Center / Source: 41NBC News

Address: 1 S Macomb St, Monroe, MI 48161

This multi-use facility brings music, theater, and art to the community through its performance hall, outdoor amphitheater and art galleries. Check their event calendar for upcoming concerts, plays, classes and exhibits.

The 370-seat Worswick Theater and outdoor plaza amphitheater host touring acts and local performers throughout the year. Art classes and summer youth camps foster local creativity too.

Monroe County Fine Arts Facility / Source: SP Design Group

With its diversity of parks, museums, performing arts and historic sites, Monroe offers an authentic small town Michigan experience coupled with ample things to see and do. Walk in the footsteps of history and nature during your Monroe getaway.

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