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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.


  • 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

Flint area

Tri-Cities Area

The Tri-Cities are in bold.

The Thumb

  • Caseville - Home of the Cheeseburger in Paradise festival
  • Bad Axe - Largest city in Huron County
  • Harbor Beach - Home to the self proclaimed "Greatest Man-Made Harbor in the World"
  • Port Hope - Home to the Leroy Burger, the biggest burger on the Thumb
  • Port Austin - Small town home to some local charter fishers
  • 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

  • Lake Isabella, a recently formed village, is located 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). Most of the land is pleasant, flat farmland, with modest groves of trees and the occasional small town.


Get in

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

By plane

  • Capital Region International Airport (Lansing), 4100 Capitol City Blvd; Lansing, MI 48906, +1 517 321 6121. Serves Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Washington-National, and Chicago O'Hare airports.
  • Bishop International Airport (Flint), G-3425 W Bristol Road; Flint, MI 48507, +1 810 235 6560. Serves Orlando, Tampa, Chicago-O'Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson (Atlanta), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Baltimore, and McCarran (Las Vegas) airports.
  • MBS International Airport (Tri-Cities; Midland/Bay City/Saginaw), 8500 Garfield Road; Freeland, MI 48623, +1 989 695 5555. Serves Detroit, Chicago-O'Hare, and Minneapolis/St. Paul airports.

Get around

By car


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.



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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!