Places to Visit in Michigan’s Thumb

Share Our Happy!!

Not that I would have ever needed an excuse to head back to Caseville, being that I spent many summers there as a young girl, but we all know how it goes, putting things off. Next thing we knew, it had been 18 years since we made our last trip up to Michigan’s Thumb, and Caseville. Wanting to share our love of brewery hopping with others, was just the excuse we needed to stop procrastinating, and take that Michigan Thumb Road Trip. Enjoy these 7 places to visit in Michigan’s Thumb!!  

Caseville, One of Our Favorite Places to Visit in Michigan’s Thumb

Screen shot map of places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

With a couple different road trip itineraries, we chose to head out toward Caseville first. It’s just over an hour drive from Frankenmuth to Caseville, so here’s our first tip… breakfast before heading out!! You don’t pass much on the way. Some of us were pretty “hangry” by the time we reached Caseville.

Lefty’s Diner

Lefty's Diner in Caseville, Michigan, places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

As we entered town, Lefty’s Diner was right next to the roller rink I used to frequent during summers as a youngster. Lefty’s has a great menu of fresh homemade diner staples. The wait staff was super friendly, and you could see how well they know their regulars!! 

The handcut chili cheese fries, grilled ham & cheese, steak sandwich, and onion rings were enough to fuel us for our next stop. 

Key North Family Fun Center

View from bottom of big slide in Caseville, places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

Let’s just say I was beyond happy to see Caseville still had their famous “Big Slide” I loved as a child. Back in my summer days, it was just the slide and putt putt. Over years, go karts and other activities have been added to the fun!! 

Dad's and child on big slide in Michigan's Thumb,places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

Last time we visited, back in 2000, we only had our oldest, so this was the first time on the big slide for our younger girls. 

View from large slide in Caseville, Michigan, places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

Also our first time all doing go karts together!! So much fun adding new adventures!! 

Large slide at Key North Family Fun Center, places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

After some research, I wasn’t able to find an answer to how old the big slide is, but I do know it was there in the 1970’s. So I know it’s t least over 40 years old!

Caseville County Park

Beach at Caseville County Park in Michigan, places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

Celebrating 100 years this year, Caseville County Park is where our trailer was when I was a young girl. We were able to drive through so I could show the girls where our trailer was located, and I shared some memories with them. 

We parked at the beach to take a short stroll, put our feet in the water, and I shared more childhood memories with my girls. I love how they like to hear about my younger days. 

Thumb Brewery

As I said earlier, wanting to share our love of brewery hopping is what finally made our trip back to Caseville happen. After looking up breweries, and seeing there was one in Caseville, I told Matt we had to go. 

Thumb Brewery in Michigan's Thumb, places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

Loved the laid back atmosphere of the late 1800’s home. Although I’m sure the nights and weekends get a little more wild. You can read our full review on Thumb Brewery HERE

Port Austin, the Tip of Michigan’s Thumb

Grindstone General Store

Scrolling Facebook before our Michigan trip, a friend posted about Grindstone General Store, and the ice cream. I knew I wanted to add this to our road trip as we headed through Port Austin. Have you ever seen such a HUGE ice cream cone? 

Grindstone General Store in Michigan's Thumb, places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

Grindstone General Store, 131 years old, is the last original operating business in Grindstone City, and a historic landmark. Boasting the largest ice cream cones in the thumb, they also have a Made in Michigan Gift Shop, and support local artists. 

The Tap Room at Bird Creek Farms

Outdoor view of Bird Creek Farms in Michigan's Thumb,places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

Although their brewery, Broken Rock Brewery, did not have any of their own beers on tap, this has been one of my most favorite atmospheres for sitting back to drink a brew. A small menu of food is available, but after our ice cream. we had no room to try anything. 

Couple sitting at outdoor bar of Bird Creek Farms, places to visit in Michigan's Thumb

The outdoor seating area overlooked the farm. We sat at their beautiful wood bar top, and enjoyed a brew on a perfect Michigan summer day. I know if we lived in this area, we would spend lots of time here. So peaceful and relaxing. 


Treve’s Pizza

Inside Treve's Pizza in Marlette, Places to visit in Michigan's Thumb
Photo Credit: Treve’s Pizza

After leaving Port Austin, we headed south toward Marlette, thanks to my friend Michele. She is originally from Marlette, so she recommended we check out Treve’s Pizza

Let me say, we are pretty picky about our pizza, and Treve’s did not disappoint. Family owned and operated since 1993, they use grandma’s authentic recipes and bake their own homemade fresh breads. 

Where to Stay When Visiting Michigan’s Thumb

We thought about staying up in the area, but the girls didn’t want to give up staying at Frankenmuth’s Bavarian Inn. Since it’s a reasonable day trip to The Thumb, we figured staying in Frankenmuth would be best. What exactly would they have missed out on? You can learn more about why we keep going back to Bavarian Inn here

If you like to camp, there is always Caseville County Park. But there are also a couple state parks just north of Caseville. We camped at Sleeper State Park back in 2000. 

What have you done lately that you enjoyed as a kid? Come let us know on Instagram!!

We hope these places to visit in Michigan’s Thumb inspire you to check out the Mitten State!

For more Michigan fun, check out our:

Things to do Around Detroit: Summer Edition

Share Our Happy!!

Julie Gazdecki

Julie is owner and founder of How We Find Happy. As an optimist, the name is perfect as we share the ways we find happy living in Florida, visiting breweries, spending time with our adult children, and getting away on some couples trips. As previous residents of Michigan, we still spend lots of time each year visiting our family up there, along with new and favorite places. My hope is to encourage others to spend time exploring this beautiful world, and finding happy in unexpected places.

32 thoughts on “Places to Visit in Michigan’s Thumb

  • Yuri

    I love ❤️ cheese steak ?. Never visited Michigan. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cindy

    I have never heard of the “thumb” term. The trip looks amazing!

  • oh I love the title of this article LOL fabulous

  • I don’t usually make it much more north than Detroit. That may have to change. That pizza alone makes me want to go!

  • Cathy

    That slide looks like fun for the entire family. And the food – oh my! Definitely want to visit!

  • Wow, now I have a reason to travel farther north in the US! Thanks for the tips on things to see and do.

  • What a fun trip. A taste of nostalgia is always a good thing. I love it when we go back to NY where I grew up. The girls definitely get a kick out of it and really enjoy going to my favorite places too.

  • Lisa Manderino

    The ice cream and pizza look amazing! So delicious! Looks like a fun trip!

  • That slide reminds me of one at the fair when I was young. Great memories! And that ice cream cone looks delicious!

  • The water slide looks like a fun experience

  • I would spend hours on the “Big Slide”. Over and over again. 🙂

  • haha I’ve tried those slides before and it’s scary but fun at the same time!

  • What a fun road trip down memory lane! Love the giant slide. Wheeeee! And that ice cream…yes, please.

  • Great suggestions! There is something for everyone to do in the “thumb”. I would personally like to go get pizza and hit up the breweries.

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Must visit Michigan!! So much to do and see!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    If not from the area, most people don’t know the reference. Also known as the “mitten” state!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Thank you! Most people are not familiar with the term, so I had to share!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Many generations in our family have been on it!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    That sounds like a fun trip!! Because we moved to Florida almost 12 years ago, we just realized that some of our girls have not seen some of my hubby’s family homes and such. So we plan to do that next time!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Then you really need to check out the Upper Peninsula!! So many beautiful places to hike. You would love it!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    I love it that my girls enjoy it too. Those will be memories they will never forget.

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Both were delicious!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Love that it brought back a happy memory for you too.

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Hubby is the best at finding great diners!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Fun and brought back so many memories!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Me too!! I wanted to stay and do more!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    I agree. A little scary, but way too much fun!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    I’m a sucker for ice cream!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    If beer and pizza are your things, then there are plenty of places to hit up in Michigan!

  • Michigan’s Thumb? Funny name but There’s so much more to Michigan I know we’re missing. Seen it only during a wedding but it has beaches and hiking we need to discover

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Love sharing that name with people! Michigan is totally worth exploring more!

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