When you think of Detroits music scene, you probably think of the Motown greats like Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and The Temptations. But did you know that St. Clair Shores claimed its own status as an extension of the Detroit scene, too? St. Clair Shores definitely had its heyday in the 1960s, but the remnants of its resort town beginnings are still all around.
St. Clair Shores is 19 miles away from downtown Detroit, but it lacks the gritty urban reality of the city. Once upon a time, this town on Lake St. Clair was part of Erin Township, which today includes not only St. Clair Shores, but also Roseville, Eastpointe and the Grosse Pointes. In the 1950s and 60s, St. Clair Shores used to be a hopping beach town, with people cruising in their cars and buying records at stores like Car City Records. There was even an amusement park called Jefferson Beach that existed until it burned down in 1955 and was converted to a marina.
Mixing and Moving
Even though this resort town is no longer the hotbed of excitement it once was, its still a nice waterfront suburb and a pleasant place to live. Even though St. Clair Shores is one of the nicest northeastern Detroit burbs, its still much more affordable than the more popular northern and western parts of the metro Detroit region.
Location, Location, Location
If you want to move to St. Clair Shores, the first thing you need to ask yourself is how close you want to be to the water. The closeness to the lake is one of the best selling points of St. Clair Shores, but not surprisingly the closer you want to be to the waterfront, the more youre going to pay. The vacancy rate in St. Clair Shores is far lower than the national average, so it may take a little more time than average to find the right place. However, one-bedroom apartments in St. Clair Shores tend to be easier to get than apartments with more bedrooms.
Meet the Minimum
In general, when youre looking for an apartment to rent, you need to have a good job history and your income should be about three times the monthly rent. You may be able to find an alternative arrangement in St. Clair Shores that will work with your particular circumstances even if your job history is shaky, if you have bad credit or if you need an apartment with all bills paid. However, the more specific your requirements are, the more time you should allow for finding the right place. People here like to stay in one place, which may make it a little harder to find an apartment but makes it easier to build some roots in your new community.
For the Little Ones
The school district here is another selling point, because its quite a bit better than some of the surrounding suburbs. You have a few choices, from the Lake Shore Public Schools to the South Lake Schools, and even the parochial St. Clair Catholic District.
If youre having trouble finding just the right place in St. Clair Shores, you might want to see an apartment locator to get some help. Apartment locators are familiar with all the apartments for rent, so they can match you up with just the right one. That way you dont have to waste time driving around to look at places that might be a total dud. With gas almost $4 a gallon and everyone totally short on free time, who has that kind of time and money to waste? You can look for houses for rent in nearby towns like Clinton Township, Eastpointe, Roseville or Harrison Township.
Thriving in the Shore
St. Clair Shores is located close to I-696 and I-94, so that makes it easy to get in and out of town. Thats a good thing, because people are doing lots of commuting around here. The average commute is only 27 minutes, but that doesnt account for the fact that 36 percent of people here spend 30 minutes to an hour commuting one way. There arent many people taking public transportation or carpooling around here, either.
As if the nearby lake isnt reason enough to want to live here, the fact that everything else you need is right here should do it. If you want used books, you cant beat Browns Family Bookstore, the only used bookstore in the area. Whistle Stop Toy & Hobby is a great independent store to buy high-quality childrens toys that are a step above what you can find at the big chain stores.
Staying Healthy (and Full)
There are great mom and pop restaurants here, too, so youll never be at a loss for something tasty to eat! Of course all the chain restaurants have locations here, but why wouldnt you want to check out one of the many independent places to grab a bite? If delis are your style, you should try Uncle Harrys Deli Restaurant, New York Deli or the Greek and Middle Eastern fare at Emilys Delicatessen. Try Celina Polish Kitchen for some authentic Polish cooking, or Sy Thai Shores for Thai food. And there are lots of amazing waterfront restaurants where you can have a beer and a burger on a patio with a great lakeshore view.
You can enjoy the citys "Nautical Mile" that runs along Jefferson Avenue between 9 Mile and 10 Mile Roads, which is home to a lot of restaurants, shops, marinas, and boat dealerships. St. Clair Shores is not only known for boating and water sports during the summer, but also for hockey in the winter. The city has actually won more hockey championships than any other city in the whole state.
Canada is just on the other side of the lake, so you can cross the bridge at either Port Huron or downtown Detroit into another country for a day trip or long weekend. On top of all this, if you want to drive just over 20 miles, you can be in downtown Detroit for all the big city culture and nightlife you could possibly want. From a Tigers baseball game to a day at the Detroit Institute of Arts or Detroit Historical Museum, anything you could want is just a short drive away.
These days, people may not be cruising up and down streets along the beach, but this is still a pretty chill place to live. Check it out, because this overlooked gem in the Detroit area just might be your best place, too!