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Central Michigan is a region of the state that had a population of 1,879,076 (2010 Census). Most area residents live in and around the hub cities of Flint, Lansing, Saginaw, Midland, and Bay City.


Map of Central Michigan
  • South Central Michigan — includes the counties of Clare, Clinton, Gratiot, Eaton, Ingham, and Isabella
  • Flint Area — the counties of Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee
  • Tri-Counties/Cities — Bay, Saginaw, and Midland counties
  • The Thumb — Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, and St. Clair counties


South Central Michigan[edit]

  • 1 Lansing -- State capital
  • 2 Alma
  • 3 Clare
  • 4 East Lansing
  • 5 Eaton Rapids
  • 6 Harrison
  • 7 Ithaca
  • 8 Mount Pleasant
  • 9 St. Louis
  • Mason - County seat of Ingham County
  • Leslie - place that the Cream of Wheat guy died
  • Williamston - nearby to Rose Lake State Park and Dansville State Game area

Flint area[edit]

Tri-Cities Area[edit]

Caution Note: The Sanford Dam and the Edenville Dam on the Tittabawassee River failed in mid-May 2020. Evacuations were ordered, and travel-related services will be disrupted for some time.
(Information last updated 21 May 2020)

The Thumb[edit]

  • 16 Caseville Caseville, Michigan on Wikipedia - Home of the Cheeseburger in Paradise festival
  • 17 Bad Axe - Largest city in Huron County
  • 18 Harbor Beach - Home to the self-proclaimed "Greatest Man-Made Harbor in the World"
  • 19 Port Hope - Home to the Leroy Burger, the biggest burger on the Thumb
  • Port Austin - Small town home to some local charter fishers
  • 20 Sandusky - County seat and largest city in Sanilac County
  • Caro - Largest city in the Thumb (Huron-Tuscola-Sanilac) excluding Port Huron (included in Metro Detroit)

Other destinations[edit]

  • 21 Lake Isabella Lake Isabella, Michigan on Wikipedia , a village incorporated in 1998, is approximately 13 miles west of Mt. Pleasant in western Isabella County.


Central Michigan is not a cosmopolitan area. The largest city is Lansing, only containing 400,000 people (if you count the suburbs and rural area around it). Most of the land is pleasant, flat farmland, with modest groves of trees and the occasional small town.

Get in[edit]

The main roads leading into Central Michigan are I-69, I-75, I-94, and I-96.

By plane[edit]

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

The Thumb

Most of the main roads in the Thumb are State Roads:

  • Huron County: M-19, M-142 (Sand Beach Road)
  • Tuscola County: M-15, M-24, M-138
  • Sanilac County: M-90
    • Huron-Tuscola: M-53
    • Tuscola-Sanilac: M-46, M-81
      • Huron-Tuscola-Sanilac: M-25


  • Harbor Beach has what is considered to be the "Greatest Man-Made Harbor in the World".
  • Lansing is the capital city of the state, and the largest city in the area, full of amazing architecture; and east of the city is Michigan State University.
  • Port Huron is one of the busiest border crossings from Michigan to Canada (behind Detroit and Windsor); the bridge connecting Port Huron to Point Edward/Sarnia is the Blue Water Bridge.
  • Flint is one of the largest cities in Michigan; though it is a crumbling city of 99,000 residents, there is still a vibrant downtown and is still a small hub for transportation, as with many other cities in the area.


  • The inner Thumb is mostly fertile farmland, but the Lake Huron coastline provides many beach opportunities. Go swimming, jet-skiing or catch a tan on the shores of Lake Huron.



Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Central Michigan is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!