In Michigan, we are fortunate to be surrounded by one of the largest groups of freshwater lakes on Earth. Our Great Lakes make up 84% of North America’s surface fresh water and about 21% of the world’s fresh water supply. These lakes are part of what makes Michigan such a great place to live and visit. One particular region especially benefits from the beauty and resources these lakes provide – the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Made up by six cities – Bay City, Birch Run, Chesaning, Frankenmuth, Midland, and Saginaw – it is considered one of the best vacation spots in the state. With each city providing something different from the next, the Great Lakes Bay Region makes for a wonderful weekend getaway. Planning a visit? Take a look inside each city’s must-see sights to build your to-do list.

Bay City

Known as an urban, eclectic waterfront escape, Bay City sits along Saginaw Bay which feeds into Lake Huron. When visiting you can look forward to:

Birch Run

Most people have heard of or visited the Birch Run Premium Outlets – one of the largest outlet malls in the Midwest – but there is plenty more to do besides shop. While you’re in Birch Run, make sure to:


This city is the perfect place to take a break from the hustle & bustle and enjoy the simplicities of life again. When you’re visiting Chesaning, you should:


It’s like visiting two places at once when you’re in Frankenmuth thanks to the German inspirations all around. In Michigan’s Little Bavaria, don’t forget to:


Seamlessly blending nature and cityscapes, Midland is filled with beautiful views all around. There is so much to see, but you should consider:


From Riverfront Saginaw to Old Saginaw City (or “Old Town”), enjoy a diverse mix of old and new when visiting Saginaw. You have to:

There is plenty to see and experience while visiting the Great Lakes Bay Region. Whether you only have a weekend or can stretch it out over a week, you’re guaranteed to enjoy one of Michigan’s most beautiful, diverse regions. For more happening in your neighborhood, check out Empowering Michigan.


Photo credit: Catia Sabak

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