This “Thumb” region of Michigan’s mitten is rich with family friendly destinations, local farms and hidden gems like 150 miles of shoreline, 2,100 miles of rivers and streams, and 51,000 acres of public recreation land. Explore east Michigan, and you’ll find there’s something for everyone here.
What’s it like to live in East Michigan?
From small towns to urban neighborhoods, lakefront homes to downtown loft apartments, horse farms to golf course properties, east central Michigan suits any lifestyle. Anchored by Flint and connected to Canada by the Blue Water Bridge, this is a region where possibility meets practicality.
- There are many universities, community colleges, and trade schools located within the region, including:
- The Flint School of Performing Arts (FSPA) is Michigan’s largest community school of the arts and among the largest in the United States.
- The innovative Blue Water Middle College Academy provides students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree at no cost by attending school for an extra year.
- The Thumb Area of Michigan’s mitten boasts 150 miles of shoreline, 2,100 miles of rivers and streams, 51,000 acres of public recreation land and 49,000 acres of state game and wildlife areas.
- St. Clair County is home to the Annual Port Huron-to-Mackinac Sailboat Race, the largest freshwater sailing event of its kind in the world.
- Seven Ponds Nature Center is a nature sanctuary, environmental education center and a peaceful retreat with seven glacial lakes, a cedar swamp, woodlands, wetlands and a reconstructed prairie.
- The Lapeer County Courthouse is the oldest continually operating courthouse in Michigan and one of the 10 oldest courthouses in the U.S.
Where do people work in East Michigan?
East Michigan offers plenty of opportunities in a wide variety of occupations.
- Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy
- Machine Tool & Gear
- McLaren Health Care
- Pinnacle Foods Group
- SMR Automotive
- Health care and social assistance (community and social service occupations; healthcare practitioners and technical occupations)
- Manufacturing (motor vehicle parts manufacturing; resin, synthetic rubber, and artificial synthetic fibers and filaments manufacturing)
- Professional, scientific, and technical services
- Finance and insurance
What do people do for fun in East Michigan?
Variety is at the heart of east Michigan’s cultural life. From traditional museums and the fine arts that thrive from strong community support to diverse recreational and educational attractions, the region will satisfy your cultural appetite.
Places to see, things to do
- Farmers’ markets and a growing number of farm-to-table restaurants.
- The Thumbs Up Wine Trail, meandering for 270 miles round trip, includes vineyards, wineries, a meadery and a cider house.
- St. Clair County offers unmatched kayaking, whether in the marshes of the St. Clair Flats—the nation’s largest freshwater delta—or along the 10.2-mile Island Loop, Michigan’s first and only link to the National Water Trail System.
- Ride the North Pole Express at the Steam Railroading Institute or visit the Durand Union Station to get a glimpse at the region’s rich railroading history.
- Genesee County Parks is Michigan’s largest county park system with more than 11,000 acres of woods, rivers, lakes, trails, beaches and campgrounds.
- Take in an Ontario Hockey League Flint Firebirds game at their newly renovated arena.
- The Flint Symphony Orchestra is one of the finest orchestras of its size in the nation.
- Port Huron’s vibrant Studio 1219, with five galleries and a pottery studio, is the largest public art facility in Michigan’s Thumb region.
- Enjoy live theater in Owosso at the state-of-the-art and LEED certified Lebowsky Center.
- The Flint Children’s Museum’s Sproutside is a Nature Explore-certified outdoor classroom.
- Step back in history at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad, a magnificent steam railroad and living history village of 34 historic structures.