Sunny afternoons, sandals, and sangria. Cool evenings, sunsets, and nights spent underneath starry skies. It's summertime in Pure Michigan, folks, and being "cooped up and cold" is a distant memory! Now's the time to get outside (and stay outside) to fully enjoy!
And there's no better place than the Great Lakes Bay to take in this delicious season, al fresco. Our neighborhoods are pleasantly packed with outdoor patios where you can experience decadent flavors, cold brews, and even live music!
Read on for places to try when you're looking to go out — not in — this summer!
Restaurants in the Great Lakes Bay with Inviting Outdoor Patios
Real Seafood Company (Bay City) Dine on one of two levels of patios at Real Seafood Company in Uptown Bay City, and be ready for not only premium selections (and even Great Lakes catches) but also memorable views overlooking the Saginaw River alongside your exquisite dining experience.
ONe Eighteen (Midland) Delight in an American tavern — and a local, seasonal menu featuring Tavern Favorites to Chef's Premium Selections — when you dine on this 40-seat outdoor patio tucked into the intimate courtyard setting of the H Hotel. (Order one of their classic, handcrafted cocktails, too, and consider the experience complete!)
Tiffany's Food & Spirits (Frankenmuth) Time it right for front-row seating to many downtown Frankenmuth events on the sprawling patio at Tiffany's Food & Spirits! Dine and drink anytime, though, for good times and great food. (If their infamous "PastaPitza" doesn't bring you back, Tiffany's Pale Ale just might!)
Gratzi (Midland) Dine on chef-inspired dishes from the various regions of Italy (like Pappardelle Bolognese, Parmigiano di Coregone, or Neapolitan-style pizze) in the ambiance of this inviting outdoor patio with comfortable lounge seating and bistro lights overhead.
Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie (Frankenmuth) Cozy up on the intimate patio at Prost!, savoring select small plates and sipping handcrafted cocktails, brews, and wines while warming your hands around Frankenmuth's lone fire bar, to appreciate the full experience.
Whine (Midland) Bocce ball, anyone? There's a custom-made court along with a comfortable patio for you to experience at Whine in Midland, a "stylish (but not stuffy)" place. Order small plates created to be paired with an extensive wine list from across the world, and craft brews, too.
Michigan on Main Bar & Grill (Frankenmuth) Look out over Main Street while people-watching on this gorgeous Frankenmuth patio, part of Bavarian Inn Restaurant and in the center of it all! Sample 17 rotating Michigan craft brews on tap and locally-sourced, seasonal fare.
Frankenmuth Brewery (Frankenmuth) What's it like sipping seasonal flavors at the oldest microbrewery in America on an enclosed patio with ceiling-to-floor glass overlooking the Cass River? You'll have to venture to Frankenmuth to find out! Maybe order a Brewhouse Sandwich or Entree; definitely enjoy a flight and the view!
Midland Brewing Company (Midland) Serving pub-style food and inventive craft beers that honor regional history (try Lumberjack Brawl and Jenny Series selections), Midland Brewing Company is home to a patio beer garden, too! Or, it's the place to be for yard games, live entertainment, and summer nights spent around the firepit!
Big E's Sports Grill (Midland) With more than 60 HDTVs on-site, you won't miss the score at Big E's Sports Grill! With more than 28 beers on tap, burgers and wings "flying", and live music on the patio, you won't miss any part of a good time, either!
Slo' Bones BBQ Smokehaus (Frankenmuth) Soulful (ribs, chicken, pork & more) cuisine every day and live bluesy music every Thursday - Saturday, this spot is not to be missed! Neither is their wide-open patio with a pergola lined in bistro lights, where the tunes and tastes spill over all summer long!
WhichCraft Taproom (Midland) Experience inviting patios both in front and out back at this spot serving up only made-in-Michigan beer, wine, cider, and mead. Enjoy regular tap takeovers and the perfect picnic tables to try them all at!
Riverfront Grille & Lounge (Bay City) Dine on this expansive patio outside DoubleTree by Hilton and enjoy dreamy views of the Saginaw River (maybe even BaySail's Appledore tall ships setting sail) from the comfort of chic lounge furniture or even by the outdoor fire bar at night!
The Maple Grille Restaurant and Microbrewery (Hemlock) Choose something from the chalkboard menu, then grab a picnic table or a seat around the outdoor, wood-fired barrel grills to see your farm-to-table selections cooked up before your eyes! Wash it down with a wood-fired craft brew and unwind at this truly tucked-away spot.
More Outdoor Dining Options (Multiple Cities) Find even more small-but-special streetside patios peppered all throughout the region at places like Tavern 101 in Bay City, Molasses Smokehouse + Bar and Cafe Zinc in Midland, or Jake's Old City Grill and Liquid Lounge in Saginaw.
Outdoor Beer Gardens
Larkin Beer Garden (Midland) The "air is warm, the beer is cold, and the company is great" at Larkin Beer Garden, Midland's outdoor bar made from an old shipping container! Families (and even pets) are welcome on Thursday and Friday nights through September to enjoy brews, life-sized board games, and summer fun.
Drydock Beer Garden (Bay City) Seasonal, outdoor beer garden benefiting local non-profits — and bringing delicious sips to a one-of-a-kind gathering space tucked inside Unity Park. Look for them beneath the bistro lights strung between rooftops!
Schnitzelbank Biergarten (Frankenmuth) Outdoor biergarten bringing live, nightly entertainment (plus delicious food and drinks) to the welcoming patio in front of Bavarian Inn Lodge, May to October, weather permitting.
Whether you'll experience a taste of Italy while dining al fresco at Villa D'Alessandro's or DaVinci's, keep things casual with Timbers Bar & Grill or Castaways options, or explore dozens of other restaurants with outdoor seating in the Great Lakes Bay, enjoy every last moment sipping and savoring outside this season!