Dow Gardens | @calvinmarteen

Find yourself immersed in more than 22,000 budding blooms this spring at Dow Gardens, and stroll through glorious acres including the Color Garden and Stream Walk. Be sure to experience the nation's longest treetop canopy walk — with a glass-floor viewing platform 40 feet high!

Refresh at Chippewa Nature Center this spring. Enjoy a guided bike ride on the Chippewa Trail — or an evening kayak trip with a naturalist. With 19 miles of trails, join a Spring Wildflower Walk or Full Moon Stroll!

Feel like you're flying at Frankenmuth Aerial Park! A sky-high obstacle course with adventures for all skill levels, this wooded park is woven with ladders, rope bridges, and ziplines for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Put your toes in the sand along the shoreline at Bay City State Park. With a boat launch and picnic areas, save time to explore Tobico Marsh, a scenic coastal wetland that’s home to wildlife, trails, and observation towers.

Go exploring to see where four rivers converge at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest wetland ecosystems in Michigan and a scenic home to egrets, geese, warblers, and more.

The Tridge | @mi_playground
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Outdoor Adventures
Boat Tours in Frankenmuth | @michiganaddicts

Go wine tasting on the water! Book a Wine & Chocolate River Tour with Frankenmuth FunShips to enjoy wines expertly paired with handmade chocolates while relaxing aboard a 12-passenger tour boat. Cheers!

Boat through pristine nature on a personally guided tour of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge with Johnny Panther Quests Adventure Trips — and discover the “Everglades of Michigan” with an expert guide.

Relax on the canopied upper deck of the iconic Bavarian Belle Riverboat. Discover fascinating facts about Frankenmuth and enjoy scenic views of the Cass River on the one-hour narrated tour.

Spend the day catching big ones on Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay with the pros of a Saginaw Bay walleye fishing charter — and study these tips for targeting spring walleye before you go!

Float into a radiant sunset this spring on a Sunset Paddle Tour with Ike’s Mobile Kayak Rentals. Paddle yourself along the Cass River on a self-guided tour with Frankenmuth Kayak Adventures, pick a pre-set trip from Nor’East Outdoors, or venture onto Saginaw Bay with Cattail Kayak Rental.

Saginaw River in Bay City | @mi_playground
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Must-Try Waterfront Attractions
Downtown Frankenmuth

Enjoy a guided tour of Little Bavaria with Fantasy Carriage Company or Frankenmuth Carriage Company. With beautifully carved carriages and extraordinary horses, your leisurely ride with either will include intriguing scenery and insider gems about Frankenmuth.

Ride through fields of wildflowers on the Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail! Comprised of the 30-mile Pere Marquette Rail Trail, 21-mile Bay City Area Riverwalk/RailTrail, and 11-mile Saginaw Valley Rail Trail — this trail system offers spectacular scenery and even some waterfront views.

Spot a peregrine falcon this spring! Bring your binoculars to the Saginaw Bay Birding Trail, a birder’s paradise of sprawling shoreline that is a natural habitat for more than 200 species of birds.

Feet on the Street in Bay City | @miles2gobeforeisleep

Partake in a mobile party on a pedal-powered trolley with Sunrise Pedal Trolley! Guests choose drinks, festivities, and music, and each tour can include architecture, ambiance, shops, and local pubs of Bay City.

Power through Frankenmuth with PedAle Trolley. City River Tours on this 16-person trolley include 3 - 5 stops at local shops, pubs, and attractions. (PedAle sells single seats, too, on its evening pub crawl tours!)

Catch a game ball! Grab your lucky baseball and softball mitts, and head out to a Great Lakes Loons game. Watch riveting Minor League Baseball from stadium seats — or bring a blanket to cheer from the lawn!

Take on eight miles of winding bike trails through Midland City Forest! A mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, City Forest is home to Ray’s Bike Shop where thrill-seekers can test out mountain bikes on the trails.

Get a hole-in-one this spring, or have fun trying! Set your tee time at Apple Mountain or The Fortress, two of Michigan's must-play public golf courses, or your choice from more than a dozen others!

The Fortress | @thefortressgolf
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Public Golf Courses
Downtown Frankenmuth | @roaming_michigan_together

Take a riveting route through public art with the Great Lakes Bay Region Public Art Passport. Uncover intriguing details about outdoor art on display — with photos, Google map locations, and aerial viewing!

Snap a photo by the wall-sized butterfly at Old Town Saginaw Street Art Park. Explore a mecca of murals and an impressive array of street art.

Visit the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum and the outdoor Sculpture Garden to enjoy beautiful bronze sculptures, botanical beds, and the sounds of water created by the Day and Night Fountain.

Riverfront Saginaw | @with_hayes
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Places to See Public Art
Bringing the kids? Add these outings to your list!
Grandpa Tiny's Farm | @x_stina

Pet Rosie The Donkey and meet Mr. Nibbles at Grandpa Tiny’s Heritage Farm. Enjoy hands-on learning experiences, hayrides, and a magical place where petting and holding the farm animals is always welcomed!

Ride the miniature train and hand-carved carousel at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo! Swing like a capuchin in Monkey Jungle, dive into an Underwater Viewing Cave, and meet more than 150 animals. Enjoy lunch at the Train Whistle Café, and don’t leave without pictures of the peacocks!

Go wild at Wilderness Trails Zoo in Birch Run! With a petting area, Parakeet Encounter, and Rainforest Experience, this zoo is home to more than 200 exotic animals, including lions, reptiles, bears, and zebras.

Hit the batting cages, race go-karts, or team up for laser tag at Fun Way Amusement Park! With a mini-golf course, bumper boats, and arcade games, this place has something for everyone this spring!

Try bank-shot basketball before deciding between two mini-golf courses at Alpine Mountain, or play both! Ride bumper boats and go-karts, and enjoy time together at the small arcade.

Slap high-fives in the batting cages and golf your way around a waterfall while playing 18 holes of mini-golf at Dutch Village Adventure Park!

Enjoy a waffle cone (and the view) at Buoy 18 Miniature Golf, Arcade & Ice Cream Shop! Spend a delicious day putt-putting your way through 18 holes, overlooking the scenic Liberty Harbor Marina.

Saginaw Children's Zoo | @shineonsunfish
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Spring Fun for Families
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Things To Do

Whether you take in a ball game or a guided boat tour, hike new trails or taste fresh cocktails, discover the best of all that spring brings when you Go Great Lakes Bay in Pure Michigan!

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Things To Do

Squeal with delight while zooming through treetops at an unforgettable aerial park. Take in a ball game, travel the zoo, or tap maple trees together. When the kiddos are ready for easy-breezy fun, discover the best of what spring brings when you Go Great Lakes Bay in Pure Michigan as a family!

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Jen W. O'Deay + Go Great Lakes Bay

By: Jen W. O'Deay | Updates: Go Great Lakes Bay | Jen is a Saginaw native and owner of Feel These Words, an independent copywriting studio & home to the free "5 Day Website MiniBoost". Jen specializes in writing that connects, delivered through website copy, branded content articles, and WingWoman writing services. You'll find Jen camping with her family, laughing, and at