Early Risers: 7 Breathtaking Sunrise Photo Spots

August 11, 2016  |   Story by Danielle Alexander  

Many photographers argue that a sunrise trumps a sunset. August 19 is World Photo Day, and to show your Detroit pride, Visit Detroit is encouraging you to wake up early and check out these seven spots to take a sunrise photo in Detroit. (Oh! And don’t forget to share your morning photos with us via #depictthed!).


Ambassador Bridge

Since 1929, the Ambassador Bridge has linked Detroit to Windsor. Whether you’re taking a picture of or off the bridge, you’re guaranteed a beautiful view of the Detroit River.

Belle Isle

Belle Isle is a 1,000-acre island that is accessible by a bridge at the foot of East Grand Boulevard. Opening daily at 5 a.m., Belle Isle is situated on the Detroit River, and its zoo, aquarium, fountain, conservatory and museum would serve as great post-sunrise destinations.

Campus Martius

Known as “Detroit’s official gathering place,” Campus Martius is a 2.5-acre park that is open year-round. Located on Woodward Avenue and opening at 7 a.m., the beautiful gardens can yield peaceful morning photos.

Comerica Park

Comerica Park‘s giant tiger statue is certainly a city favorite; however, since baseball games do not occur during the early hours, not many people have posed with it during a Detroit sunrise.

Hart Plaza

Located in the heart of the city and home to many riverfront festivals (including September’s Detroit Jazz Festival), Hart Plaza has been a long-time Detroit destination, especially because of its large water feature.

Hotels in The D

The higher you are, the more of the city you can see. A Detroit hotel would not only provide excellent sunrise views but also comfortable beds in which to climb back into afterward.


When completed, the Detroit International Riverwalk will span 5.5 miles of riverfront from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park. As of now, however, 2.5 miles are open to the public, and no matter which direction you face, you’ll inarguably be able to showcase the city during a sunrise.

Caffeine Bonus: I don’t know about you, but I would need some coffee to motivate me to wake up early enough to take sunrise photos. Astro Coffee, The Bean Bar, Coffee Beanery, Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co., Starbucks and Urban Bean Co. are not only open early but have a latte options for Detroiters.

Mentioned Attractions And Venues
  1. Belle Isle Park
    Michigan State Park, 2 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit, MI 48207313-821-9844 Highlight on map | More Details
  2. Campus Martius Park
    800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-962-0101 Highlight on map | More Details
  3. Comerica Park
    2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-471-2283 Highlight on map | More Details
  4. Hart Plaza
    1 Hart Plaza, Jefferson Avenue at Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226313-877-8057 Highlight on map | More Details
  5. Detroit International RiverWalk
    1340 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207313-566-8200 Highlight on map | More Details