Things to do in Sterling Heights

November 29, 2022 | Story by Marissa Russo

As the second largest suburb in Metro Detroit and the fourth largest city in Michigan, the city of Sterling Heights is bustling with activities for you to check out 365 days of the year!

Dodge Park

They say Dodge Park is the place to be on Thursday nights in the summer as Sterling Heights presents its premier farmers market featuring locally grown produce and fresh foods! The market also features many artisans and crafters as well as many yummy food trucks to enjoy!

Alongside the farmers market is also the Music in the Park summer concert series that is known to get the well-attended crowd dancing all night long.

As the season changes, so does the Dodge Park Farmers Market pavilion into an ice rink for all to enjoy! Lace-up your skates and hit the ice all winter long. Ice skating is free for residents and $5 for non-residents. Skate rentals and sharpening are also available.

The Splash Pad in Dodge Park is also a great time to cool down during the warmer months and is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The hours of operation are listed here.

Dodge Park Ice Rink, @patriciaberteli

Trails & Parks

The City of Sterling Heights is home to over fifteen miles of dedicated trails and 31 parks and green spaces throughout its vast park system.

Dodge Park, Nelson Park, Delia Park, Clinton River Park North, and Baumgartner are the City’s major parks and feature many athletic courts, trails, playgrounds, and more!

Hundreds of thousands of park users also traverse the various trails annually that range from soft surfaced gravel to asphalt and concrete with goals of extreme physical fitness to enjoying a peaceful and serene time away from the rigors of everyday life.

No matter the purpose, these trails are truly a treasured resource in Macomb County!

View the trail use and maps here.

Clinton River Canoe and Kayak

Come out and explore the Clinton River! Kayak and canoe your way through nine miles of wildlife areas running through Sterling Heights.

The city of Sterling Heights has installed two EZDock launches at Rotary Park (37328 Utica Road) and North Clinton River Park (8600 Riverland Drive) which are designed for easy launching and docking, even for beginners. The accompanying EZ Launch Accessible Transfer System provides individuals with disabilities accessibility that exceeds ADA compliance, with a transfer bench and slide boards of two different heights, allowing users to simply sit, slide over and drop down into a kayak or canoe, then use the side rails to pull off or back on. The landings are both public and available for use at no charge.

Clinton River Canoe and Kayak is also a great resource if you are looking for equipment rentals and a more guided experience.

Clinton River Canoe and Kayak, @sustainable.qt

Sterling Heights Community Center

The 98,000-square-foot Sterling Heights Community Center is a state-of-the-art building that places focus on offering a wide variety of unique programs!

The Community Center features two multipurpose gymnasiums that host drop-in style basketball, pickleball, volleyball, and other activities, as well as an indoor walking/running track.

There are also many programs that you can register for and enjoy such as fitness classes, meal-prep courses, early-childhood development, and more!

Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill

Known locally as “Freedom Hill”, the outdoor venue brings exciting entertainment to Sterling Heights! Through a diverse array of top touring acts and special events, the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre serves as Macomb County’s premier outdoor amphitheater.

For more information on upcoming events, visit their website.

Urban Air Adventure Park

Urban Air is the ultimate indoor adventure park and a destination for family fun! The park feature attractions perfect for all ages! Explore thrilling attractions and challenge yourself through their battle beams, climbing walls, dodgeball, go-karts, rope courses, and much more! Urban Air is more than a trampoline park.

Visit their website for full details on their amenities.

Full Throttle Adrenaline Park

Experience an adrenaline rush at Full Throttle Adrenaline Park in Sterling Heights! Offering competitive indoor experiences through a go-kart track for drop-in and league racing, a rage room, axe throwing, virtual reality, and even a café – you’re guaranteed to have a good time with your family and friends!

For more info, visit their website here.

Notable Eats

Shake Shack

13883 Lakeside Circle, Sterling Heights, MI 48313

Burgers, shakes, and fries – oh my! The gourmet take on an American classic is something to experience! It started out as a New York City hot dog cart in 2001, Shake Shack in Sterling Heights is the first location in Macomb County!

Portillo’s

14425 Lakeside Cir, Sterling Heights, MI 48313

As the first location in Michigan, Windy City’s favorite restaurant is serving up its famous eats in Sterling Heights! Portillo’s is home to America’s favorite Italian beef, burgers, salads, Chicago-style hot dogs, and chocolate cake.

Portillo’s, @brunchlikeabosslady

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse

14455 Lakeside Cir, Sterling Heights, MI 48313

With an extensive list of house brews and award-winning craft beer, a Southern California Twist on Chicago-style pizza, world-renowned dessert – the Pizookie, and much more, it’s hard not to want to dine at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse!

Las Tortugas Taqueria

40850 Van Dyke Ave, Sterling Heights, MI 48313

Look no further for the best Mexican food on this side of the Clinton River! Los Tortugas is a family-owned restaurant with a laid-back atmosphere, serving home-style favorites like enchiladas, barria tacos, and gorditas, plus a bar.

Ventimiglia Italian Foods

35197 Dodge Park, Sterling Heights, MI 48312

You can’t drive through Sterling Heights without stopping to get a bite of the best subs in Michigan! Ventimiglia’s has made their famous subs by hand every day since the 1960s. As legend has it, it all began when Grandpa Vic would bring sandwiches to all his friends down at Tiger Stadium to watch the Lions games. Since then, the family has continued to serve Ventimiglia subs using fresh bread, Italian meats, and cheeses.

Mangiabevi Urban Italian

35215 Dodge Park Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48312

Recently voted the best Italian restaurant in metro Detroit, Mangiabevi Urban Italian provides a modern yet classic take on Italian cuisine. The upscale restaurant provides a unique dining experience that takes you out of metro Detroit for a brief moment as you indulge in an evening of food and wine! Mangiabevi will be the go-to spot for your evening out!

La Saj Lebanese Bistro

13776 Southcove Dr, Sterling Heights, MI 48313

Known for their refined Lebanese specialties plus wine & spirits served in a sophisticated setting, La Saj is a staple in Sterling Heights! Every dish on the menu is handmade, and they promise once you dine in it will be your first of many visits to La Saj.

Naruto Sushi

34788 Van Dyke Ave, Sterling Heights, MI 48312

Naruto Sushi has been serving authentic Japanese food in the Sterling Heights area since 2014. They ensure to provide the freshest and most flavorful rolls that will keep you coming back for more!

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