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Fish sculptures at Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan

Michigan

Great Lakes Bay, Michigan: 6 Lovely Cities, One Great Region

By: Shannon Doe Ewing

Anton Fresco/James McGaw
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The Tridge three-way footbridge in Midland, Michigan

Michigan

Great Lakes Bay, Michigan: 6 Lovely Cities, One Great Region

By: Shannon Doe Ewing

Anton Fresco/James McGaw
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Roses blooming at Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan

Michigan

Great Lakes Bay, Michigan: 6 Lovely Cities, One Great Region

By: Shannon Doe Ewing

Anton Fresco/James McGaw
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Appledore Tall Ship in Bay City, Michigan

Michigan

Great Lakes Bay, Michigan: 6 Lovely Cities, One Great Region

By: Shannon Doe Ewing

Anton Fresco/James McGaw
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Cafe Zinc in Midland, Michigan

Michigan

Great Lakes Bay, Michigan: 6 Lovely Cities, One Great Region

By: Shannon Doe Ewing

Anton Fresco/James McGaw
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Dessert at Cafe Zinc in Midland, Michigan

Michigan

Great Lakes Bay, Michigan: 6 Lovely Cities, One Great Region

By: Shannon Doe Ewing

Anton Fresco/James McGaw
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Antique shopping in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region

Michigan

Great Lakes Bay, Michigan: 6 Lovely Cities, One Great Region

By: Shannon Doe Ewing

Anton Fresco/James McGaw
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Birch Run Premium Outlets in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region

Michigan

Great Lakes Bay, Michigan: 6 Lovely Cities, One Great Region

By: Shannon Doe Ewing

Anton Fresco/James McGaw
8 of 8
  • States:
    Michigan

Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region is a great place to enjoy a mini vacation.

Only a two-hour drive from the U.S./Canada border, it’s a perfect destination for outdoor family fun, water sports and excellent shopping. Explore all six cities – Bay City, Birch Run, Chesaning, Frankenmuth, Midland and Saginaw – in one fun road trip!

Fantastic Shopping at Birch Run Premium Outlets

Enjoy a fun morning of shopping at Birch Run Premium Outlets, then spend an afternoon in nature. After breakfast, I drove over to the conveniently located shopping outlets. Birch Run Premium Outlets has 145 stores, so stop by the information center to pick up a map and plan your shopping trip. Excellent coupons are available at guest services, so just ask the helpful staff. I planned my ideal shopping day and hit the stores. There were so many fantastic deals on up-to-date and chic fashions.

Shopping for bargains in the Great Lakes Bay region in Michigan

Shopping for bargains in the Great Lakes Bay region in Michigan
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Anton Fresco/James McGaw

Bring Your Appetite: Enormous Portions at Tony’s I-75 Restaurant

I normally eat healthy fare, but I had heard about a local favorite spot that I just had to check out while I was in town. Tony’s I-75 Restaurant has been featured on numerous food shows for its epic-sized portions and for its traditional American diner-style menu. Plan to share with friends or family when you dine here. It’s not a vegetarian-friendly spot, but if you enjoy a good BLT, this is the place for you. They even have poutine on the menu!

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Nature Walks, Bike Rides and Great Lakes Adventure

After my shopping outing and my gluttonous indulgence at Tony’s, I decided it was a perfect time to enjoy some leisurely exercise at the Tridge in Midland. It’s a fantastic three-way pedestrian footbridge that connects 1,000 kilometers of rail trails. You can take the whole family and bike, skateboard or walk. I enjoyed a beautiful walk in the fresh air.

Another special place to experience in Midland is the beautiful Dow Gardens. It’s not often that nature and the visual arts integrated into one venue so well. The Dow Gardens were founded in 1899 by Herbert Dow, who had a deep interest in agriculture and design. Strolling through these pristine gardens, I was completely in awe of all the colors. There’s even a children’s playground for little ones to enjoy.

No vacation in the Great Lakes Bay Region is complete without experiencing the area’s namesake lakes. Lake Huron is so vast and beautiful, it’s like a freshwater ocean. For those who love to sail or enjoy the adrenaline of speedboats or personal watercraft, Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay is the perfect place to enjoy the water and a gorgeous sunset. Take an Appledore tall ship ride and take in the refreshing summer breeze and deep blue stretching out before you.

A lovely area of Michigan, the Great Lakes Bay region has much to offer. Road trip, anyone?

Bridges and ponds at The Dow Gardens in Midland

Bridges and ponds at The Dow Gardens in Midland
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Anton Fresco/James McGaw

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