Road trip to the Great Lakes Bay Region - WNEM TV 5

Road trip to the Great Lakes Bay Region

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) -

Are you weary from winter?

The cure for cabin fever is a dose of pure Michigan.

Perhaps the power of flowers can add some spring to your step. They are part of the new discoveries you can make at Dow Gardens.
Herbert H. Dow, founder of Dow Chemical and the garden's creator, once said, "civilization advances through the medium of new discoveries."

You can make plenty of those at Dow Gardens every day.

"I like to walk out in the garden and see the little changes. The garden is different every day if you stop to look,” said Elizabeth Lumbert, director of Dow Gardens.

Lumbert loves the little things, but thinks the garden's greater qualities include features like films and music.

“Of course the ones that kind of really hit you are when we have 28,000 tulips in bloom, or the perennials are in full color. And then you throw in a concert or an outdoor movie into that beautiful environment, it's just an amazing experience,” she said.

Along with the acres of lush garden grounds, there is plenty of artwork to enjoy.  That includes quotes from Dow to ponder, sculptures to see and even a vegetable garden to feed the body.

“Actually, the children's garden is for people of all ages. But you can pick vegetables in the middle of summer, one for each hand and take home and cook up those vegetables," Lumbert said.

It’s no secret the weather in Michigan, even in the spring and summer, can be kind of a fickle. There’s a place where the climate is so good, it’s almost like you’re making the weather yourself.  

"It's always 82 degrees and sunny here at Splash Village. So, it's really ironic when you're here in January. You're looking outside and seeing snowflakes, and people are in bathing suits, and you don't have to go to Florida to do it,” said John Shelton, with Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth.

Even with winter in the rear-view mirror, the great indoors of Zehnder’s Splash Village is a great destination with luxury cabanas, tons of water features. It’s all fun oriented and family friendly.

There’s also a place if you’d rather putt around instead of splashing.

"It's Zehnder's Fortress. The golf course has been recognized as one of the top 25 in the state. They do a fantastic job. What we really talk about at the golf course is we want to provide the best conditioned course and give the best service,” Shelton said.

If towns can have cheerleaders, Shelton’s team is Frankenmuth.

“Whether it's the water park, there's the aerial park, the Frankenmuth aerial park. That's a lot of fun activity outside. Whether you want to go in the summertime to Bavarian Belle, you want to go kayaking or canoeing on the Cass River. We think there's a lot of different outdoor activities, other than shopping. Shopping can be an activity for some,” Shelton said. "Once you leave here, you can always go to Zehnder's restaurant and have one of our famous chicken dinners. So, we think we've kind of covered all avenues and we just encourage people to come out, come and visit not only us, but everything we have in town to offer."

If you’d rather spend your day with animals, head on over to the Saginaw Children’s Zoo.

"The Ibershoff Special, our miniature train, is now fully accessible. So, that's our big thing for the 2018 season. But we also have a couple new animal friends for everybody to meet and some other improvements in the zoo as well,” said Robin Carey, with the zoo.

Carey is wild about three new Bennett's wallabies joining the eastern grey kangaroos in the Australian outback.

“So, people will be able to go into the exhibit just like always and get up close and personal with our new tiny little friends,” Carey said. “A lot of our animals, they really look forward to this time of year."

Carey said it’s important to build the bond between nature and humans.

“By having that interactive element and that's something that we're very passionate about. So, we want to bring the zoo to everybody," Carey said. “The staff can get them through the winter, but they really seem to perk up in the spring when other people start to come back into the zoo."

Don’t forget about Bay City.

"We've got so many things going on this summer,” said Scott Ellis, with BaySail.

You can make waves of family fun aboard the Appledore IV.

“On weekends we have our public sailing opportunities. So, you can bring the whole family out for ‘Legends of the Saginaw Sail’ or a dinner sail. We have summer camp programs for teenagers called ‘Windward Bound.’ That's a really popular program and we are accepting applications,” Ellis said.

Tall ship adventures aboard the Appledore IV foster environmental stewardship of the Saginaw Bay watershed and the Great Lakes ecosystem.

“And then we have a camp, a day camp happening in July that is a steam camp. That's stem plus art,” Ellis said “You definitely have to come and check it out and see what Bay City has to offer."

A dose of pure Michigan, the cure for the winter blahs, is waiting for you in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

You can learn more about all the fun experiences the state of Michigan has to offer by visiting their website. You can also read more about Michigan in the Midwest Living magazine, a publication of TV5's parent company Meredith Corporation.

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