Top-Rated Things to Do in Midland, MI


By Sarah Anderson

Welcome to Midland, Michigan – a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Lakes Bay Region! This charming city offers a wide variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing getaway, Midland has something for everyone.

One of the must-visit attractions in Midland is the Dow Gardens. Spanning over 100 acres, this beautifully landscaped garden is a true oasis of tranquility. Take a leisurely stroll through the vibrant flower beds, explore the winding pathways, and marvel at the stunning architectural features. With its picturesque vistas and serene atmosphere, Dow Gardens is the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with nature.

If you’re interested in history and science, make sure to visit the Midland Center for the Arts. This cultural hub houses the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art, offering a fascinating blend of exhibits and interactive displays. Learn about the region’s rich industrial heritage, discover the wonders of the natural world, or admire the works of local artists. The Midland Center for the Arts is a true haven for knowledge seekers and art enthusiasts alike.

No visit to Midland is complete without exploring its extensive network of outdoor trails and parks. The Pere Marquette Rail-Trail, spanning 30 miles, is a popular choice for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Enjoy the scenic views as you meander through picturesque landscapes, pass by charming towns, and cross over historic bridges. For a more rugged adventure, head to the Chippewa Nature Center, where you can hike, kayak, and observe wildlife in its natural habitat.

In addition to its natural beauty, Midland also boasts a thriving arts scene. The Midland Symphony Orchestra, the Center Stage Choirs, and the Midland Theatre Guild are just a few of the organizations that regularly host performances and events throughout the year. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, theater, or contemporary art, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your cultural cravings in Midland.

With its diverse range of attractions and activities, Midland, MI is truly a destination worth exploring. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural enlightenment, this charming city has it all. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in Midland!

Explore Dow Gardens

Dow Gardens is a beautiful botanical garden located in Midland, MI. Spanning over 110 acres, it offers a variety of outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery for visitors to enjoy.

One of the main attractions at Dow Gardens is the Dow Gardens Conservatory, which houses a diverse collection of plant species from around the world. Inside the conservatory, you can explore different climate zones, such as tropical rainforests and arid deserts, and admire the unique and exotic plants that thrive in each environment.

Outside the conservatory, you can take a leisurely stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens, which feature a wide range of flora and fauna. Whether you’re interested in colorful flowers, towering trees, or tranquil ponds, there is something for everyone to appreciate.

For those looking for more adventurous activities, Dow Gardens also offers several miles of hiking trails. These trails wind through the woods and along the banks of the Tittabawassee River, providing opportunities for nature enthusiasts to observe wildlife and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

If you’re visiting Dow Gardens with children, be sure to check out the Children’s Garden. This interactive and educational space is designed to engage young visitors with hands-on activities and sensory experiences that teach them about plants and the natural world.

In addition to its natural wonders, Dow Gardens also hosts various events and programs throughout the year. From summer concerts and art exhibits to workshops and garden tours, there is always something happening at Dow Gardens to entertain and inspire visitors of all ages.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a gardening enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful and beautiful retreat, Dow Gardens is a must-visit destination in Midland, MI. With its stunning gardens, diverse plant collections, and engaging activities, it offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Visit the Midland Center for the Arts

When in Midland, Michigan, make sure to stop by the Midland Center for the Arts, a premier destination for art and culture in the region.

Featuring a stunning architectural design and state-of-the-art facilities, the Midland Center for the Arts offers a wide range of artistic and educational experiences for visitors of all ages.

Whether you are a fan of performing arts, visual arts, or both, this center has something for everyone. The facility includes a theater, galleries, classrooms, and a museum, making it a hub for creativity and inspiration.

Attend a live performance at the theater and be enthralled by the talented local actors, musicians, and dancers. The center hosts a variety of theatrical productions, concerts, and dance performances throughout the year, showcasing both local talent and renowned artists from around the world.

Explore the galleries and immerse yourself in the world of contemporary and traditional art. The rotating exhibits feature a diverse range of artistic styles and mediums, allowing visitors to experience the beauty and power of visual arts up close.

For those seeking to expand their artistic skills or knowledge, the Midland Center for the Arts offers a wide variety of classes and workshops. From painting and pottery to photography and music, there are numerous opportunities to learn, grow, and express your creativity.

Don’t forget to visit the museum, which is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the cultural heritage of the region. Learn about the history and significance of Midland through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations.

Whether you are a local resident or a visitor to the area, a visit to the Midland Center for the Arts is a must. Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts community and be inspired by the incredible talent and creativity on display.

Make sure to check the center’s website for updated information on current exhibitions, performances, and events, and plan your visit accordingly. Experience the magic of the arts at the Midland Center for the Arts!

Take a Stroll through the Whiting Forest

If you’re looking for a tranquil and nature-filled activity in Midland, MI, be sure to take a stroll through the enchanting Whiting Forest. This unique forest is located adjacent to the Dow Gardens and offers visitors a captivating experience.

Whiting Forest is known for its towering trees, serene walking trails, and breathtaking scenery. As you wander through the forest, you’ll be surrounded by a diverse array of plant life, including vibrant wildflowers and majestic ferns. The air is filled with the soothing sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling in the wind.

One of the highlights of the forest is the Canopy Walk, a suspended pathway that takes you high above the trees and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Walking along the Canopy Walk is a truly unforgettable experience that allows you to see the forest from a unique perspective.

In addition to the Canopy Walk, the Whiting Forest also features numerous other recreational areas. You can explore the forest’s many ponds, meadows, and wetlands, which are teeming with wildlife. The forest also has picnic areas and outdoor seating, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing lunch or a quiet afternoon with a book.

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply looking for a peaceful retreat in Midland, MI, a visit to the Whiting Forest should be at the top of your list. This hidden gem offers a serene environment that allows you to reconnect with the beauty of the natural world.

Go for a Bike Ride along the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail

If you’re looking for a fun and scenic activity in Midland, MI, be sure to go for a bike ride along the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail. This popular trail is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

The Pere Marquette Rail-Trail is a 30-mile paved path that stretches from Midland to Clare, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. As you pedal along the trail, you’ll pass through lush forests, charming small towns, and picturesque farmland.

Whether you’re a solo rider or have the whole family in tow, the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail has something for everyone. You can choose to bike the entire 30-mile trail or simply explore a shorter section. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of rest areas, picnic spots, and historic points of interest.

Make sure to pack a water bottle and some snacks, as there are no concessions along the trail. And don’t forget your helmet – safety first!

For those who don’t have their own bikes, don’t worry – there are several bike rental shops in the area that offer hourly and daily rates. You can easily rent a bike and enjoy a leisurely ride along the trail.

So grab your helmet, hop on a bike, and experience the beauty of Midland, MI from a whole new perspective on the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail. It’s a fantastic way to get some exercise, take in the sights, and create lasting memories with family and friends.

Enjoy the Outdoors at the Chippewa Nature Center

If you love spending time in nature and exploring the great outdoors, a visit to the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, MI should be on your list of top-rated things to do. This 1,348-acre nature preserve offers a wide range of activities and attractions that will delight nature enthusiasts of all ages.

One of the highlights of the Chippewa Nature Center is its extensive trail system. With over 19 miles of trails, visitors can hike, walk, or bike their way through the beautiful landscape and enjoy the serene surroundings. The trails wind through various habitats, including forests, wetlands, and meadows, providing ample opportunities to observe wildlife and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

In addition to the trails, the Chippewa Nature Center also offers guided nature walks and educational programs. These programs are led by knowledgeable naturalists who are passionate about sharing their love for the environment. Visitors can learn about the plants, animals, and ecosystems that call the nature center home, and gain a deeper understanding of the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship.

For those who prefer a more relaxed outdoor experience, the Chippewa Nature Center features several picnic areas and a nature play area. These areas are perfect for families or groups looking to enjoy a meal surrounded by nature or for children to play and explore in a safe and natural environment.

Additionally, the Chippewa Nature Center is home to a visitor center with interactive exhibits, a gift shop, and informational resources. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of the region, discover the various wildlife species that inhabit the area, and find resources for outdoor activities and exploration.

Address 400 S Badour Rd, Midland, MI 48640
Hours Open daily from dawn to dusk
Contact Phone: (989) 631-0830
Email: [email protected]

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful hike, educational opportunities, or a place to connect with nature, the Chippewa Nature Center is a must-visit destination in Midland, MI. Plan your visit today and experience the beauty and tranquility of this exceptional outdoor oasis.

Discover the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio

If you’re interested in architecture and design, a visit to the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio is a must-do when in Midland. Alden B. Dow was a prominent architect known for his modern and innovative designs, and his home and studio showcase his unique style.

The home, built in the 1930s, is a masterpiece of organic architecture. It seamlessly combines natural elements with modernist design principles, creating a harmonious and visually stunning space. Take a guided tour of the home to explore its various rooms and learn about the design philosophy behind each space.

In addition to the home, the adjacent studio provides a glimpse into Alden B. Dow’s creative process. The studio is filled with architectural models, sketches, and other artifacts that offer insight into his design techniques and inspirations. Visitors can also see some of Dow’s completed projects through photographs and exhibits.

Throughout the tour, knowledgeable guides provide informative commentary on Dow’s life and work, giving visitors a deeper understanding of his contributions to the field of architecture. They also highlight the impressive attention to detail found in every aspect of the home and studio.

After the tour, take some time to explore the surrounding gardens. The landscape was designed by Alden B. Dow himself and features sculptural elements, water features, and lush greenery. It’s the perfect place to relax and appreciate the beauty of nature, while also gaining a greater appreciation for Dow’s architectural vision.

Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates beautiful design, a visit to the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio is sure to inspire and captivate. It’s a testament to the creativity and talent of one of Midland’s most celebrated architects.

Attend a Performance at the Midland Symphony Orchestra

If you’re a fan of classical music or enjoy experiencing beautiful live performances, make sure to catch a show at the Midland Symphony Orchestra. With its talented musicians and stunning repertoire, the orchestra consistently delivers captivating and memorable performances.

Founded in 1936, the Midland Symphony Orchestra has become a cultural centerpiece of the city. From classical masterpieces to contemporary compositions, the orchestra’s diverse programming caters to a wide range of musical tastes. Whether you’re a seasoned classical music enthusiast or just looking to explore something new, attending a performance at the Midland Symphony Orchestra is sure to be a treat for your ears.

One of the highlights of the Midland Symphony Orchestra’s season is its annual holiday concert, which is a cherished tradition for many families in the area. With festive and heartwarming performances of beloved holiday favorites, the concert is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.

In addition to their regular concert series, the Midland Symphony Orchestra also collaborates with other local arts organizations, such as the Midland Center for the Arts, to offer unique and exciting performances. These collaborations often feature guest artists and special productions, adding an extra layer of artistry and creativity to the performances.

Attending a performance at the Midland Symphony Orchestra is not just about listening to beautiful music, but also about supporting the arts in the community. The orchestra plays a vital role in enriching the cultural landscape of Midland, Michigan, and attending their performances helps ensure the continued success and growth of the organization.

If you’re visiting Midland or are a local looking for a memorable night out, make sure to check the Midland Symphony Orchestra’s schedule and book your tickets in advance. Whether you’re enjoying a solo performance or attending with friends and family, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience filled with incredible music and artistry.

Check out the Midland Farmers Market

If you’re looking for fresh produce and locally made goods, be sure to visit the Midland Farmers Market. Open every Wednesday and Saturday from May to October, this market offers a wide variety of products from local farmers and artisans.

Stroll through the market and you’ll find an abundance of fruits and vegetables, ranging from seasonal favorites like strawberries and tomatoes to unique varieties like heirloom apples and purple carrots. You can also pick up fresh herbs and spices to add flavor to your dishes.

In addition to the fresh produce, the Midland Farmers Market also features a selection of artisanal products. Browse through the stalls and you’ll discover handmade soaps, candles, jewelry, and artwork created by talented local craftsmen and women. These unique items make for great gifts or mementos of your trip to Midland.

While you’re at the market, take the opportunity to chat with the vendors and learn more about their products. They are passionate about what they do and love to share their knowledge and expertise with visitors. You might even get some recipe ideas or gardening tips!

Whether you’re a local resident or a tourist passing through, the Midland Farmers Market is a must-visit destination. Support local businesses and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere as you explore the wide array of fresh produce and handmade goods. It’s a great way to experience the community spirit and see what Midland has to offer.

Note: The market operates rain or shine, so come prepared with appropriate attire. Don’t forget to bring reusable bags to carry your purchases and help reduce waste. Additionally, be mindful of social distancing guidelines and adhere to any safety measures put in place by the market organizers. Enjoy your visit!

Explore the Midland Antique Festival

If you’re a lover of all things vintage, the Midland Antique Festival is a must-visit event in Midland, MI. This popular festival, held twice a year, gathers antique dealers from all around the country to showcase their unique and one-of-a-kind treasures.

With over 1,000 vendors spread across acres of outdoor space, the Midland Antique Festival is a treasure trove for antique enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or simply enjoy browsing through vintage items, you’ll be sure to find something that catches your eye.

From furniture and home decor to jewelry, artwork, and collectibles, there’s something for everyone at this festival. You can spend hours wandering through the aisles, exploring each booth and discovering hidden gems.

But the Midland Antique Festival is more than just a shopping experience. It’s also a chance to connect with fellow antique enthusiasts and learn more about the history and stories behind each item. Many of the vendors are passionate experts in their field and love sharing their knowledge and insights with visitors.

In addition to the vast selection of antiques, the festival also offers delicious food options, live music, and entertainment for the whole family. You can grab a bite to eat from one of the food trucks or enjoy a picnic on the grass while listening to live music.

Whether you’re a serious collector or just looking for a fun day out, the Midland Antique Festival is an event that shouldn’t be missed. Mark your calendar for the next edition and get ready to embark on a nostalgic journey through time.

Visit the Midland County Historical Society

Located in the heart of Midland, the Midland County Historical Society is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. This historical society aims to preserve and promote the rich heritage of the area.

When you visit the Midland County Historical Society, you will have the opportunity to explore their extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that showcase the history of Midland County. The collection covers a wide range of topics, including the founding of the city, the early settlers, the industrial development, and more.

One of the highlights of the Midland County Historical Society is the Bradley Home Museum. This beautifully restored historic home provides a glimpse into the daily life of Midland’s early residents. As you explore the rooms, you can see authentic period furniture, decorations, and personal items that belonged to the Bradley family.

In addition to the Bradley Home Museum, the Midland County Historical Society also offers guided tours of the Carriage House Hall. This hall is home to an impressive display of carriages, sleighs, and other modes of transportation used in the past. The knowledgeable guides will provide interesting insights into the history of these vehicles and their significance in the development of Midland County.

For those looking to delve deeper into the history of Midland County, the Midland County Historical Society offers educational programs, exhibits, and events throughout the year. From lectures to hands-on activities, there is something for visitors of all ages to enjoy and learn from.

Whether you are a local resident or a visitor to Midland, a visit to the Midland County Historical Society is sure to be a fascinating and educational experience. Take a step back in time and learn more about the rich history of this vibrant community.

Take a Boat Tour on the Chippewa River

One of the most enjoyable ways to experience the beauty of Midland, MI is by taking a boat tour on the Chippewa River. This picturesque river winds its way through the heart of the city, offering stunning views and a calming atmosphere.

On a boat tour, you can leisurely cruise along the river while learning about the history and landmarks of Midland, MI. Knowledgeable and friendly tour guides will provide interesting facts and stories about the area, making the experience educational as well as enjoyable.

The Chippewa River is known for its tranquility and natural beauty. As you float along the water, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the lush forests and abundant wildlife that call this river home. Keep an eye out for deer, herons, turtles, and maybe even a majestic bald eagle soaring above.

Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or someone simply seeking a serene and relaxing experience, a boat tour on the Chippewa River is a must-do when visiting Midland, MI. The tours are suitable for all ages and can be a great activity for families, couples, or solo travelers.

So sit back, relax, and let the flow of the river carry you away as you enjoy the sights and sounds of Midland, MI on a boat tour of the Chippewa River. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

Go Fishing at Sanford Lake

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, a visit to Sanford Lake is a must when you’re in Midland, MI. This beautiful lake, located just a short drive from downtown Midland, offers a relaxing and enjoyable fishing experience for anglers of all skill levels.

With its calm waters and abundant fish species, Sanford Lake provides a perfect setting for a day of fishing. Whether you prefer freshwater fishing or casting your line from the shore, this lake has something for everyone.

The lake is home to a variety of fish, including largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and northern pike. You can also find walleye, muskie, and catfish in these waters. With such a diverse range of fish, you’re bound to have a successful day on the lake.

Sanford Lake offers several fishing spots, including fishing piers and boat launches. If you have your own boat, you can launch it at one of the public ramps and explore the lake at your own pace. If you prefer to fish from the shore, there are plenty of accessible areas where you can set up your gear and cast your line.

When you’re fishing at Sanford Lake, make sure to follow all fishing regulations and obtain the necessary fishing license. It’s important to respect the environment and ensure the sustainability of the fish population.

So grab your fishing gear, pack a picnic, and head to Sanford Lake for a day of relaxation and angling adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, this picturesque lake is sure to provide you with a memorable fishing experience.

Explore Midland City Forest

If you’re looking for outdoor activities in Midland, MI, be sure to visit Midland City Forest. This expansive forested area offers a variety of recreational opportunities for all ages.

One of the main attractions at Midland City Forest is its extensive trail system. Whether you’re a hiker, biker, or runner, there are plenty of paths to explore. The trails wind through towering trees and provide beautiful views of the surrounding nature.

In addition to the trails, Midland City Forest also features a large picnic area, making it a great spot for a family outing or gathering with friends. Enjoy a leisurely picnic surrounded by the serene forest setting.

If you’re a nature enthusiast, be sure to check out the nature center at Midland City Forest. Here, you can learn about the local flora and fauna through interactive exhibits and educational programs. It’s a great way to deepen your understanding and appreciation for the natural world.

During the winter months, Midland City Forest transforms into a winter wonderland. The forest offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, providing a fun and active way to enjoy the snowy landscape. You can even try your hand at sledding on the designated hills.

Whether you’re visiting in the summer or winter, Midland City Forest is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With its trails, picnic areas, nature center, and winter sports opportunities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful natural setting.

Attend the Midland Balloon Festival

If you’re visiting Midland, Michigan, during the summer months, don’t miss out on the Midland Balloon Festival. This annual event draws visitors from all over the region to witness the beauty of hot air balloons in flight.

The Midland Balloon Festival typically takes place in July and lasts for three days. During this time, the skies above Midland are filled with colorful balloons of all shapes and sizes. Visitors can watch as the balloons are inflated and take flight, creating a stunning spectacle in the sky.

In addition to the balloon flights, the festival also features a variety of activities for attendees to enjoy. There are live music performances, food vendors offering delicious local cuisine, and craft booths where you can find unique souvenirs and handmade goods.

For those who want to experience the thrill of a hot air balloon ride themselves, tethered rides are available at the festival. This gives visitors the opportunity to go up in a balloon and enjoy panoramic views of Midland and the surrounding area.

The Midland Balloon Festival is a family-friendly event, with children’s activities and entertainment provided throughout the festival grounds. Kids can enjoy face painting, bounce houses, and even take a ride in a miniature hot air balloon.

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience in Midland, make sure to attend the Midland Balloon Festival. Whether you’re admiring the beauty of the balloons from the ground or taking a ride in the sky, this event is sure to be a highlight of your visit.


What are some top-rated activities to do in Midland, MI?

There are plenty of top-rated activities to do in Midland, MI. Some of the most highly recommended ones include visiting the Dow Gardens, exploring the Midland Center for the Arts, taking a tour of the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, going hiking or biking in the Chippewa Nature Center, and attending a Great Lakes Loons baseball game.

Which is the best time of year to visit Midland, MI?

The best time of year to visit Midland, MI depends on personal preference and what type of activities you enjoy. In general, the summer months of June, July, and August offer warm temperatures, perfect for outdoor activities like hiking or exploring the gardens. Additionally, the fall season from September to November is known for its beautiful foliage and pleasant temperatures. Winter can be quite cold, but it offers the opportunity for ice skating, skiing, and other winter activities. Spring, from March to May, is another lovely time to visit as the flowers begin to bloom and the weather starts to warm up.

Is Midland, MI a family-friendly destination?

Yes, Midland, MI is a family-friendly destination with plenty of activities for all ages. Families can visit the Chippewa Nature Center for outdoor adventures, explore the Midland Center for the Arts for cultural experiences, and attend a Great Lakes Loons baseball game for some sports entertainment. The Dow Gardens is also a great place to take kids for a walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

How can I get to Midland, MI?

There are several ways to get to Midland, MI depending on your location. If you are traveling by air, the closest airport is MBS International Airport, located about 20 minutes away from Midland. Alternatively, you can drive to Midland if you are coming from a nearby city or state. The city is easily accessible via major highways such as I-75 and US-10. There is also an Amtrak station in Midland for those traveling by train.

Are there any free activities to do in Midland, MI?

Yes, there are several free activities to do in Midland, MI. The Chippewa Nature Center is a great place to explore and offers free admission. The downtown area of Midland is also worth visiting, with its unique shops, galleries, and beautiful architecture. Walking or biking along the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail is another free activity that offers scenic views of the area. Additionally, the Tridge, a three-way pedestrian bridge, is a popular spot for walking and enjoying the outdoors.

What are some top-rated attractions in Midland, MI?

Some top-rated attractions in Midland, MI include the Dow Gardens, the Midland Center for the Arts, and the Chippewa Nature Center.

Are there any outdoor activities to do in Midland, MI?

Yes, Midland, MI has several outdoor activities to enjoy. Visitors can explore the trails at the Chippewa Nature Center, go kayaking or fishing on the nearby rivers, or have a picnic at one of the many parks in the area.


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Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson, an Anchorage-based travel writer contributing her expertise to TravelAsker. Her in-depth knowledge of Alaska, both in her hometown and throughout the state, makes her the go-to local expert. From top-notch accommodations to delectable dining spots and thrilling activities, Sarah’s insightful recommendations ensure you’ll have a fantastic family trip in Alaska.

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