Flint/Tri-Cities is the third of Michigan’s regions that we are exploring this month. Our goal with this series of articles is to give you a little taste of some great vacation opportunities that are probably less than a tank of gas away and an idea of what is going on in the region, so if you have suggestions or questions about visiting the area, please post them in the comments!
Michigan’s Most Enduring Settlement
Wikipedia’s Flint, Michigan page says that some scholars consider the Saginaw Valley, particularly the vicinity of Flint, to be the oldest continually inhabited part of Michigan. The Flint River had several convenient fords which became points of contention among rival tribes, as attested by the presence of arrowheads and burial mounds near Flushing. The region is a microcosm for the development of Michigan, transition from lumbering in the 19th century to carriages at the dawn of the 20th and on to a prominent role in the auto industry where it became the birthplace of the UAW.
Photos from the Region
The photo above is Old Flint HDR by hemicuda8. It’s one of a number of photos that can be explored in the Flint, MI group on Flickr. Other groups from the region include Tri-cities Michigan, Saginaw, Michigan and Bay City MI. Some searches you might enjoy include Flint Michigan, Saginaw (and Saginaw River), Midland Michigan and Port Huron.
Sugar & Wind
While the beleaguered auto industry gets much of the regional press, there are a lot of other industries in the region. One of the oldest is sugar. The Michigan Sugar Company’s history page says that after loggers had cleared the pine forests in the area, the land was virtually unusable due to the massive expanse of tree stumps left behind and (eventually) sugar beets became the solution. Fast forward 125 years and once again the resourcefulness of folks in the region is being demonstrated. Michigan’s Thumb has become the seat
What is there to DO in Flint/Tri-cities?
With its enduring history and a number of wealthy patrons of arts & culture, all kinds of cool cultural attractions have been established in the region. Some of our favorites include the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum in University Center – home to the greatest collection of work from this longtime Michigan resident, the The Castle Museum of Saginaw, the Port Huron Museum and the Frankenmuth Historical Museum. The Flint Institute of Arts features work by Renoir, Cassatt & Wyeth and the Saginaw Art Museum boasts a collection of art and artifacts in excess of 2,500 pieces that 4,500 years of art history. If you never have, a walk through the Dow Gardens is not to be missed.
There’s of course plenty of auto & vehicle history at sites like Junction Valley Railroad (Bridgeport – very cool) and Michigan’s Own Military & Space Museum. Children (of all ages) will enjoy the Antique Toy & Firehouse Museum in Bay City, Crossroads Village in Flint, Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum (Saginaw) and the Saginaw Children’s Zoo.
Where do I go for more?
To explore the region, check out the county pages for Arenac, Bay, Genesee, Gladwin, Huron, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, St Clair, Tuscola Counties. You’ll also want to see visitflint.org
Visit Saginaw County, Tour Bay City, The Midland CVB and Blue Water CVB (Port Huron).