In Port Austin, Turnip Rock rising from frozen Lake Huron in winter
Dow Gardens, a botanical dreamland in Midland
The Tridge, an unusual three-way footbridge over two rivers in Midland
Appledore Tall Ships sailing in Saginaw Bay near Bay City
Hot-air balloons glowing in the evening at the Frankenmuth Auto Festival
The River Walk on Lake Huron in Bay City
The Bavarian Inn on Main Street in Frankenmuth
The Gothic-style Saginaw Water Works building
Fun pursuits in the family-friendly Great Lakes Bay region
Hit the Trails
Whether it’s for snowshoeing in the winter, or biking and jogging in the summer, the Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail system offers 161 kilometers of outdoor trails. Be sure to explore the parks and paths at the Tridge, a mashup of “tri” and “bridge,” which is a three-way footbridge over two rivers that marks the start of the 48-kilometer Pere Marquette Trail.
Fun on the Water
Go for a scenic sail on the iconic Appledore Tall Ships schooners in Saginaw Bay. Take an eco-tour through Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, an outdoor paradise known as “The Everglades of Michigan.” Fishing enthusiasts can sign up for a charter out of Saginaw Bay and into Lake Huron in search of walleye, yellow perch and salmon.
Take children foraging for fresh berries, hunting for fat pumpkins or apple-picking right off the tree at one of the region’s orchards and farms. Explore the hands-on exhibits at the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum. From April through October, you can visit penguins, monkeys, exotic reptiles and other creatures great and small at the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square.
Shopping and Entertainment
With discounts from retailers such as Coach, Under Armour and The North Face, Birch Run Premium Outlets is a must-stop for shoppers. Spend hours browsing one-of-a-kind novelties at Bay Antique Center, the largest antiques shop in Michigan. Old Town Saginaw is a hot spot of locally owned shops, art galleries and pubs. Enjoy craft brews at Lumber Barons Brewery in Bay City. Wine aficionados can sip a glass of Get Outta My Way Cabernet and Feeling Blah Pinot Noir at the humorously named Whine Bar.