Saginaw is a city in Central Michigan; it is the largest of the "Tri-Cities" of the Saginaw Bay area with Bay City and Midland.


About 60,000 people live in this town that survived an economic downturn when the logging industry ended at the turn of the 20th century. As with many Michigan cities, it is currently struggling to adapt to the challenges of having an economy based on the automotive industry. A recent article on AOL listed Saginaw in the Top 10 of 'Ghost Towns of the Future', due to its declining population, vacant downtown area, and lack of services

Over the past 15 years, Saginaw has built an impressive network of health care facilities - hospitals, specialists, cancer treatment centers - that serves residents from many of the surrounding counties.

Get in

By car

Interstate 75 runs east of the city and links Saginaw to Mackinaw City and the Upper Peninsula to the north, plus Flint, Detroit, and Ann Arbor (the latter via US-23) to the south. Interstate 675 links to I-75 and leads directly to Downtown Saginaw.

By plane

  MBS International Airport (IATA: MBS) is located in nearby Freeland, about midway between Midland, Bay City, and Saginaw. The airport is served by United Express flights from Chicago-O'Hare, plus Delta Connection flights from Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul, plus seasonal flights from Atlanta.

Get around

You'll need a car. Public transportation is limited. The Saginaw Valley has five primary tourist areas: Birch Run, Chesaning, Frankenmuth, Saginaw City and Saginaw Township. These are spread out by as much as 25-30 minutes by car.










Spatz's Hot Bread The ubiquitous bread of Mid-Michigan. Available at almost any grocery store, this bakery product is produced locally and is the great secret of the area. It has a distinctive wax wrap in solid white and red. People as far away as Marin County, California have it shipped to them. The bread is best described as 'Your Grandmother's Bread'. It is heavy, turns rock hard in about three days (great for toasting then), but it is the closest to fresh baked bread you will find. Many locals don't say they're going to get a loaf of bread, instead they say, 'I need to pick up some Spatz's.'


Hamilton Street in Old Town Saginaw City has a variety of bars and taverns that attract drinkers of all ages.


Check out the Montague Inn, a restored lumber baron's mansion. A very popular place for summer weddings, with beautiful grounds and a lovely honeymoon suite and guest cottage.

Most of the hotels lie outside the city limits. There are many national chains available.

Stay safe

Saginaw does have its challenges with crime just like every other major city in the United States, with much of the criminal activity related to drug and gang activity. Fortunately for Saginaw, these areas for crime are largely centered in areas NOT frequented by visitors to the area. Visitors unfamiliar with the area would be wise to avoid residential neighborhoods in the city of Saginaw, especially east of the river and particularly at night. Old Town Saginaw can also get a bit rough, especially late at night when the bars clear out. It is highly advisable to travel in groups and avoid poorly lit or deserted areas as the occasional mugging, while hardly commonplace, is not uneard of. That being said, if you exercise common sense and don't go looking for trouble, you'll be fine.


Go next

Flint -- The home of the modern labor union movement in the US. Flint has a great art scene for a city of its size and is much less pretentious.

Bay City -- Less than 20 minutes from downtown Saginaw, downtown Bay City is known for diverse local eateries and shopping. Also visit the scenic Riverwalk and other public parks along the Saginaw River.

Routes through Saginaw

Mackinaw City Bay City  N  S  Flint Detroit
Alpena Bay City  N  S  Flint Ann Arbor
Alma St. Louis  W  E  Sandusky Port Sanilac
END Midland  N  S  END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, October 22, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.