On the Dock of the Gluten-Free Bay- A #GFGetaway

Bay City Sunrise
Early morning sunrise over the Saginaw River in Bay City

My husband and I recently took a trip to Bay City and Midland, two major cities in the Great Lakes Bay region. We tried some amazing gluten-free food, experienced some great attractions, and met some amazing people. After reading this, I hope you'll be encouraged to take a getaway to these great cities too! 

Harvey's Grill & Bar 
Bay City Harvey's Grill Gluten Free Burger
This Turkey Apple Brie burger is the shut-yo-mouth good! 

Our first gluten-free meal of the weekend was at Harvey's Grill and Bar in Bay City on Wilder Rd. We were directed there by the owners of Artigiano's (an AMAZING cheese shop you HAVE to visit) after it was clear that another local restaurant didn't understand gluten-free dining at all. When we entered Harvey's, the hostess immediately reassured me of the steps they take to prevent cross-contact at their establishment and showed me their gluten-free menu.

We arrived a later in the evening, so we were quickly seated. The hostess had taken care to mention my Celiac Disease to our waitress, who in turn told the head chef. His wife also has Celiac Disease, and came to our table personally to address my concerns and give her dish recommendations. My husband ordered the Turkey Apple Brie burger with a side of rice, on a gluten-free bun so I could try it. I ordered the Thai Glazed Grilled Salmon. Both dishes were amazing! Make sure to check out their extensive gluten-free menu on their website.

The Uptown Grill 

Bay City Uptown Grill Gluten Free Pancakes
"I'll take the carb coma on a plate please" Nom, nom, nom.

Breakfast is the hardest meal of the day when you're gluten-free. Most places don't have dedicated grills or kitchen space to use individual pans. Luckily The Uptown Grill in Bay City was able to make me not just one, but THREE gluten-free pancakes the size of my head. I was told I even got the last of their gluten-free batter. They were super delicious, but because they were so huge, I made myself stop at one and a half, and took the rest in a box to go.

Bay City Coffee

Bay City Coffee Harless & Hugh Front Window
The front window at Harless & Hugh. The dog had a food delivery, but he'll be back.

I don't drink coffee but I can honestly say I'm jealous of the coffee scene in Bay City. In the the downtown district alone, there are multiple coffee shops. The Fix focuses on fair trade and local, Espresso Express is decorated in floor to ceiling Beatles memorabilia, and Brewtopia is the quaint local coffee shop you want to spend hours just lounging. Harless & Hugh has the most amazing craft coffee drinks I've ever seen and has a dog that lounges in the window front, just waiting for you to reach out and scratch it behind the ears. Even the local gourmet candy shop has a small cafe in back where people gather for a cuppa and a chat. So if you're a caffeine craver, Bay City has more than enough options!

Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe

Bay City Gluten Free Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe
I don't really need a cupcake....said no one. Ever. 
The Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe in Bay City is not a 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery. They do however use dedicated pans and utensils, and bake their gluten-free cupcakes at a separate location. Gluten-free cupcakes are always designated by green cupcake wrappers. They keep their gluten-free cupcakes in back storage until they are requested. If memory serves me right, the only vanilla and chocolate cupcakes they keep in the shop are gluten-free. They can also accommodate vegan requests. They have locations in Midland, Saginaw and Mt. Pleasant as well. 

Basil Thai Bistro 

Midland Basil Thai Bistro Gluten Free Spring Rolls
Husband's allergic to shrimp so these spring rolls are ALL. MINE! 

Basil Thai is Midland's only authentic Thai restaurant. They have an extensive gluten-free menu and the food is impeccable. It was all so amazing that I wrote a separate post just about them. You can read more here and see more amazing pictures of their food. 

Dow Diamond and the Great Lakes Loons

Midland Dow Diamond

I think Class A baseball games are the best. The prices are reasonable, there's tons of family fun, and they have the best theme nights. Like Star Wars. Or Carnival themes. What's even better? Dow Diamond, home to the Great Lakes Loons has a LOT of gluten-free options. Burgers for dogs and burgers. Gluten-free chips for nachos. Barbecue that is intentionally prepared gluten-free. Check out my full review and their full gluten-free menu on my write-up about the stadium. 

Midland Center for the Arts

Midland Center for the Arts Skeleton


This venue gets a lot of press on radio and TV for their performance hall, but there's way more to do here than catch a play, symphony or comic. The Midland Center for the Arts also houses the Alden B Dow Museum of Science and Art. Three levels of interactive exhibits about science will keep kids and adults busy. My husband was especially fond of the percussion and strings exhibit. The fourth floor has a rotating exhibit, which currently is showing the private collection of Dr. Seuss. Make sure to check out the breathtaking Dow Gardens next door as well.

Pere Marquette Trail 

Midland Tridge Pere Marquette Trailhead

The Pere Marquette Trail starts at the famous Tridge in downtown Midland and continues to Clare.There are many attractions along the trail in Midland, including a splashpad for children, the Midland Brewing Company and Cottage Creamery. Many businesses and staging areas along the trail have bike parking, air stations and other features for cyclists. The trail is 30 miles long, and is a healthy way to experience the beauty of the Pure Michigan.

We experienced many more things during our weekend, but can't possibly mention them all here. My trip was sponsored through the website Awesome Mitten, for whom I am a writer.

What are your favorite gluten-free places to eat in Bay City and Midland? What are your favorite things to do in the Great Lakes Bay Region?


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