Some may daydream about taking a dip in the ocean... but around here, the waters are salt-and-shark-free, and there's no better place to dive right in! Spend days with the wind flying through your hair while boating the sparkling waters of the Great Lakes Bay, or let the rhythmic sound of paddles soothe as you kayak our inland streams and rivers.

Magnificent miles of the nation's longest freshwater coastline will welcome you here to Pure Michigan, but the wet, wild, and wonderful fun found only when you Go Great Lakes Bay will keep you here long after the sails roll up and the sun goes down.

Sail On  

Taking in beautiful blue waters aboard BaySail's grandiose Appledore IV tall ship schooner is an opportunity not to let sail by. Board this majestic beauty! Prepare for sunsets over the water (swoon) amidst Legends of the Saginaw Sails or Stargazer & Moonlight Dinner Sails. And in October, witness Mother Nature's fall glory like never before during Autumn Color Tour River Cruises. (Think: hot cider, chili and cornbread, and even cozy quilts, while sailing through radiant scenery of reds and golds, oh yes)!

Quest for Adventure

Johnny Panther Quests 

Boarding a shallow-bottom boat and readying to experience the "Everglades of Michigan" means you're hanging out on the waters of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge-one of Michigan's 7 Wetland Wonders-with the one-and-only Johnny Panther Quest Adventure Trips! (And you are in for a show!) 

Wil Hufton III (better known around these parts as Johnny Panther) is the lovable local legend and all-out aficionado of our 9,800-acre Refuge, where four rivers converge and thousands of wildlife species make home. And, like the boats that take you through, each quest is custom: birding with this group on an Ecotour, taking these lovebirds on a romantic getaway complete with B&B. Pick your adventure, and enjoy the waters!

(Psst! Johnny Panther may affectionately call his Fall Color Tours by Boat the "cheap trips", but they're also one of the most gorgeous and unforgettable experiences around!)

Paddling Pleasure


Looking to spend time idling along, or forging the narrow waterways in a sturdy but svelte kayak with your paddle leading the way? Venture out to Midland's Chippewa Nature Center for a guided Evening Kayak on the Chippewa River (pre-registration required), or head to Ike's Mobile Kayak Rentals in Midland for both guided or on-your-own good times! 

Paddle through the waters of Midland (and maybe even beneath our unique 3-legged bridge, The Tridge) to experience an enjoyable outing on our rivers, or join a guided Fall Color Tour or Sunset Paddle to discover deeper. 

Fun Ships  

Cruising along on the 12-passenger electric boats of Frankenmuth FunShips, you'll experience the scenic waters of the Cass River and sights of Michigan's Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth-quite possibly aboard a Wine & Chocolate Tasting Cruise! What sounds too-good-to-be-true is an hour-long joyride that includes five wine samplings, paired with five handmade chocolates, and a glass of wine (complimentary wine glass included)! Raise your glass to riding this FunShip, May through October. Or cruise the Cass River aboard the Bavarian Belle Riverboat, and appreciate a one-hour, narrated sightseeing cruise complete with bird sightings and memorable stories!

Fishing Expeditions

Let Boomerang Fishing Charters take you boating on the 1,143-square-mile Saginaw Bay, and lead you right to reeling in some serious catches of walleye and perch! Or drop anchor with Little Forks Outfitters in Midland, and plan for a Guided Fly-Fishing Trip. All the while, enjoy inside tips on fly-angling local fish (and which waters to frequent)!

Beach Days


There's nothing quite like a day at the beach, with sandy shores and cool waters, volleyball nets and coolers packed for picnics! If hitting the beach is your focus, and snorkeling to sandcastle-building is in your future, get to William H. Haithco Recreation Area in Saginaw (better known by our locals as Haithco Beach) for paddleboat, canoe, rowboat and kayak rentals (not to mention horseshoes, fishing access and five pavilions for rent)! Or splash it up at the spray park, and enjoy "days of ahhh" at Sanford Lake Park Beach amidst 1,100 feet of clean, sandy beach just outside of Midland.

Whether boating or beaching, fishing with charter companies or hand-tied flies, kayaking inland lakes or water-skiing the Saginaw Bay, water-enthusiasts have endless options to explore Pure Michigan waters when they Go Great Lakes Bay - and the inside know-how to experience them all like a local!  

Want even more waterfront fun? Check out this video and dip into some of our favorite ways to Go Great Lakes Bay on the water: