DETROIT (February 17, 2023) -- The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is excited to announce that the Detroit Riverwalk has been named the Best Riverwalk in America – three years in a row – by the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

The announcement of this national award kicks off a milestone year for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy as it celebrates two decades of transforming the Detroit Riverfront into beautiful public spaces, including more than 3.5 miles of Riverwalk, world-class parks and greenways and major new projects underway. USA TODAY’s news reveal may be found at Images of the Detroit Riverfront available here.  

The award-winning Detroit Riverwalk won the top spot over other notable cities including Tampa, Louisville, Cincinnati, San Antonio, Boston and Indianapolis. Nominees were selected by USA TODAY 10Best editors and a panel of urban planning experts, and members of the general public voted for their favorites throughout the competition. 

“We are thrilled to be named America’s Best Riverwalk once again,” said Matt Cullen, Chairman of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. “The transformation of our riverfront over these past two decades has been tremendous.  To go from a blighted and underused riverfront to one that is recognized as the best in the country three years in a row is a testament to how much people love the riverfront and to what our community can achieve when we all work together.”

The Conservancy is building on its mission to “bring everybody” by inviting the entire community to participate in a year-long celebration of its 20th anniversary through free programs, grand openings and special events.

“This is a big year for the Detroit Riverfront,” said Mark Wallace, President & CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.  “People from throughout the community have helped shape this riverfront from the very beginning, and now 20 years into the project we can all celebrate our many successes.  We have a lot of fun plans for this year and are looking forward to celebrating this milestone all year long.”

A preview of the 20th includes:

  • A grand opening of the Southwest Greenway in May, which links the riverfront with Michigan Central.
  • Free summertime boat cruises on the stunning Detroit River, details to be announced.
  • The premiere of a new documentary in collaboration with DPTV that tells the story of the riverfront revitalization and the visionaries behind it.
  • A book highlighting the history of the Detroit riverfront’s transformation.
  • A grand opening of the Uniroyal Promenade that will complete the East Riverfront and link two beautiful parks—Mt. Elliott Park and Gabriel Richard Park—and provides a pathway to the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle
  • All annual special events, such as the Riverfront Run, Shimmer on the River, Detroit Harvest Fest & Food Truck Rally, Soiree on the Greenway and others will feature special celebrations of the 20th anniversary

Since 2003, the Conservancy has invested more than $200 million in the revitalization of the Detroit Riverfront, which in turn has generated more than $2 billion in public and private investment.  The Conservancy is continuing its transformation of 5.5 miles of revitalized riverfront and bridge-to-bridge vision, with 90 percent of the East Riverfront complete. In addition to the Southwest Greenway and Uniroyal Promenade, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park (opening in 2024) is also currently underway.

The Conservancy most recently announced the Unified Greenway Partnership, an unprecedented alliance with the City of Detroit and the Joe Louis Greenway Partnership. This $350 million transformative campaign will complete the Detroit Riverfront and Joe Louis Greenway and endow it for generations to come.

Each year, 3.5 million people visit the Detroit Riverfront. The Detroit Riverwalk was named Best in America in 2021, 2022 and 2023 by USA TODAY.

For exciting news about the Detroit Riverfront, visit and the Conservancy’s social channels including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.