BaySail’s impressive Appledore Tall Ships setting sail
A veil of sunshine falls through the trees at Chippewa Nature Center
Tulips in bloom at Dow Gardens
Practicing customs at Saginaw’s Japanese Cultural Center
Boating through the “Everglades of Michigan” with Johnny Panther Quest Adventure Trips
Boats posed like toys in Saginaw Bay
Historic Temple Theatre in all its glory
One last group shot before ziplining at Adventure Park at Frankenmuth
Adventure Park Frankenmuth’s lit up treetops
The imposing USS Edson Naval Ship Museum
Surrounding the city, 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. Explore the parks and paths at the Tridge, a mashup of “tri” and “bridge” and a three-way footbridge over two rivers that marks the start of the 48-kilometer Pere Marquette Trail. For a leisurely stroll, head to Dow Gardens, where trails, a greenhouse and a rainbow of seasonally-blooming flowers and plants await. Venture through Chippewa Nature Center’s woodlands and wetlands on 24 kilometers of trails, stopping at River Overlook for views of Pine River.
Fun on the Water
Go for a scenic, three-hour sail on the iconic Appledore Tall Ships schooners in Saginaw Bay, or 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 or 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. For little adrenaline junkies, Adventure Park at Frankenmuth offers zip-lines, trails and other challenges among the treetops.
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. A visit to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth – the largest store of its kind in the world – is like stepping into Santa’s workshop (snag a personalized ornament while you’re there). Enjoy a little culture at Midland Center for the Arts, where world-class entertainers and artworks combine in two performance venues and two museums. Downtown Saginaw’s historic Temple Theater cuts a glamorous figure inside and showcases a variety of live acts. 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.
More than 200 species of songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl live in Tobico Marsh.