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Vacation in Great Lakes Bay Region - Michigan

Jump to: Overview, Things To Do, Transportation, Climate, Accommodations, Cost

Area Overview

The Great Lakes Bay Region covers 6 cities: Saginaw, Midland, Bay City, Birch Run, Frankenmuth, and Chesaning. It is located in Central Michigan, just off of I-75. Home to MBS International Airport, Dow Chemical Company, The Michigan Sugar Company, and many other large corporations. We have many hotels, restaurants, attractions, and shopping outlets that will not disappoint! In its own simple way, the Great Lakes Bay caters to the true foodie. You may not find it in overpriced small plates drizzled with truffle oil or expensive cuts of steak, but you'll find it in the stories and passion of the people who make our culinary scene alive. Sure, your overnight stay is about the free continental breakfast and the size of the indoor pool. But it's also about feeling at home when you're away. When you Go Great Lakes Bay, you'll find places as affordable as they are accommodating. There's always something to celebrate here! Whether you're into out-there extravaganzas like Bringin' Back the 80's or the Linwood Pickle Festival, or some of Michigan's oldest and most traditional festivals like the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival, one thing's for sure-Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region knows how to keep the good times rolling.

Includes Cities/Towns: Bay City, Birch Run, Chesaning, Frankenmuth, Midland, Saginaw.

Things to Do

Recreation & Fitness

Along one cozy, waterfront town (Bay City) nestled on the banks of Lake Huron, you can watch tall ship schooners set sail right from your hotel window, shop the largest antique mart in the state, or even attend a cutting edge film and music festival on historic Hell's Half Mile. Take your kids for a 360-degree experience under the stars at Delta College Planetarium, or leave the kids at home and escape for a late-night cruise aboard the Appledore Tall Ship or Bay City Boat Lines. Tour our stately mansions and historic homes, or stroll the scenic waterfront riverwalk. Midland is city of modern explorers... a city that blends the best in art and innovation. From our 110-acre botanical dreamland at Dow Gardens to creative spaces like Space Studios and Creative 360 where you can be a potter, a painter, or any kind of maker, you'll find that expression is the way of life here. In Saginaw, we're reinventing the family vacation. Where interactive fun replaces the boring drives, the sing-a-longs, and the are-we-there-yets. That's because we're home to 1 of only 5 AZA-Accredited zoos in Michigan, a bright and playful Children's Museum, and tons of family fun celebrations and events year round. With just one stroll along our charming boulevard (in Chesaning), you'll remember why it feels so great to leave behind the hustle of everyday life and rediscover the simple joys. You'll see it in the local shop owners waving and smiling from their storefronts. In our cozy inns and crop and quilt retreats. In Frankenmuth, a place where our family-style chicken dinners are nothing short of world-famous, and it's Christmas all year long. You might come for one of our many traditional Frankenmuth festivals, but we think you'll stay for the Bavarian hospitality and charm. Get lost in over 40 unique shops at Frankenmuth River Place, ride the Bavarian Belle Riverboat or Frankenmuth FunShips, sip craft beer insideMichigan's oldest brewery, feel the magic of the season at the World's Largest CHRISTmas Store, or delight in a wine tasting at our own St. Julian Winery. Just 10 minutes from Michigan's top tourist destination, Frankenmuth, you'll find Birch Run. It's home to the Midwest's largest outlet mall - a shopping hub with over 145 brand name retail stores (at up to 65% savings!)

Cultural Activities

We have many museums, including a destroyer that is a National Historic Landmark, she also is a Michigan Historic Landmark. She is a static Naval Ship museum located in Bay City called the USS Edson DD-946. We great theaters including the State Theatre and the Temple Theatre, both putting on shows consistently. Midland, Michigan is a great place to experience is the arts as they are known to be the city of modern explorers. Check out Midland Center for the Arts, Alden B. Dow Museum and inspired homes.


There is a wide range of attractions available here. The Bay City State Park has a beach for relaxation and access to the water, along with the Appledore and BaySail boat rides in Downtown Bay City, plus the Delta College Planetarium (to name a few). Saginaw has the Children's Zoo and Johnny Panther Quest Tours (airboat ride through the Shiawassee Flats) as two popular attractions. Frankenmuth is known for its German architecture and home to Zehnder's Splash Village Waterpark, Bavarian Inn Lodge, and the largest Christmas store in America, Birch Run is home to the Birch Run Premium Outlets - the largest outdoor outlet mall in the Midwest, Chesaning is the place to be creative at the Creative Passions Crop & Quilt Retreats. Also, we have many breweries and wineries!


MBS International Airport is located in Freeland, Michigan. There are public transportation bus routes that shuttle at certain times of the day to certain locations.


Monthly Temperatures / Rainfall

 Month  Low  Avg  High  Rain
 January  16.0  22.7  29.4  1.6 "
 February  17.6  25.2  32.8  1.3 "
 March  26.0  34.8  43.7  2.2 "
 April  36.4  46.7  57.0  2.8 "
 May  47.6  59.1  70.5  2.9 "
 June  57.0  68.2  79.3  3.5 "
 July  61.6  72.5  83.5  2.4 "
 August  59.8  70.4  80.9  3.4 "
 September  52.0  62.6  73.3  4.0 "
 October  41.7  51.2  60.8  2.7 "
 November  32.4  39.4  46.5  2.6 "
 December  22.1  28.2  34.3  1.9 "

Best Time To Go:

Summer and fall.

We have all four seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter. Summer is very popular here due to the access to water on the Saginaw River and the Saginaw Bay. Fall is also great with the colors on the trees and our much-loved color tours. Winter is nice for ice fishing, snoeshowing, and skiing. Can't forget about spring with many festivals and beautiful attractions, such as the Dow Gardens.


We have everything from hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, and campgrounds including a State Park in Bay City


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Additional Information

Visitor Information

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