Chesaning Michigan: Best Things to Do, Top Restaurants (Killer Chicken!) and Scenic Walking Trails. Discover Showboat Restaurant and Park, Stone House Inn

Chesaning Michigan: Best Things to Do, Top Restaurants (Killer Chicken!) and Scenic Walking TrailsChesaning Michigan: Best Things to Do, Top Restaurants (Killer Chicken!) and Scenic Walking Trails

Chesaning Michigan: Best Things To Do | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

So, guys, if you are out touring Michigan, be sure to visit the quaint village of Chesaning MI. 

You will love the historic inn we discovered with a nostalgic wrap around porch. 

So come along as we find fun outdoor activities ... scenic walking trails and a bubbling fish ladder and warm homecooked meals recommended by the locals (hello, juicy broasted chicken!)

  • Keep reading to get inspired for your next Michigan road trip!  

Where in the World is Chesaning Michigan?

Chesaning Michigan is south of Saginaw about 30 minutes and just west of FrankenmuthSo when you are in the Great Lakes area, come check out this charming small village located in eastern Michigan.

Chesaning to Saginaw: 25 miles, 32 minutes

Chesaning to Detroit: 98 miles, 1 hour, 45 minutes 

Interactive Map of Chesaning Michigan

***Remember to use the Chesaning interactive map link for LIVE connection to Google Maps!!

  • Zooming in: Click on the plus and minus buttons at the bottom left of the map to narrow in or out of the map. Or scroll with your mouse or use two fingers on your phone.
  • Moving the Map: If using a mouse, click on the little hand icon to move the map around. 
  • More Info: Click or touch the colorful pins to obtain more information about the event or schedule. 
  • Drop Down Menu: Click or touch the square with the small arrow on the upper left side of the map for a drop down menu to find particular events or locations.
  • Expanded Map View: Click the grid marks on the upper right of the map to expand the map.

Top Fun Things to Do in Chesaning Michigan

From quilt retreats, to parks with scenic walking trails and disc golf, you will stay entertained while exploring Chesaning Michigan!

Creative Passions Crop & Quilt Retreats is the Biggest Quilting Retreat in Michigan!

Do you love quilting or quilt retreats? What about pedicures and massages?

  • If you need a little "you time" and a break from your hectic world, check out Creative Passions Crop & Quilt Retreats! 

We recently met with the super friendly owner, Laura Greenfelder, for a fascinating tour of the main retreat building. I am a beginner quilter and my aunt is an expert quilter so Chris and I were excited to learn all about these creative retreats.  

But first, a little history! 

Above is a photo of Creative Passions before it was converted into a lovely quilt retreat.  It used to be a grain elevator (photo from a post card given to me by Laura).  The elevator was then transformed into a lovely Victorian bed and breakfast for several years.  

And now? 

Grain elevator --> bed and breakfast --> sprawling crop and quilt retreat!!

Laura's passion for creating a happy, sharing and relaxed atmosphere for ladies was palpable as she excitedly showed us each room during our tour. 

She wishes to create a space for women to unwind, escape from stresses of everyday life, build relationships and have uninterrupted time to work on their artistic pursuits. 

For the past few years, Laura has purchased, remodeled and updated several local buildings including former churches, a Victorian home and former mill as the demand for more spare arose. Since community is very important to her, she insisted on utilizing local resources and contractors to refurbish these new retreats. 

Laura also believes in action over words when it comes to getting involved with the growth of local youth.  Each year, she hires Chesaning high school students to help with gardening, customer service and housekeeping.  Several local high schoolers even help guests bring in heavy sewing equipment at certain times.  

We asked what the community thought about her Chesaning Michigan quilting retreats.  Laura told us a funny story about a local farmer that stopped by asking what her business was all about. 

Her perfect answer was, "It's a deer camp for women!" 

Women love her retreats as they can feel at home during their stay.


  • Full kitchens
  • Bedrooms with furnished linens and towels
  • Lots of work spaces
  • Lounging areas
  • Outside spaces
  • Restrooms.  

Prefer not to cook?  Meals can be catered in from Chesaning Michigan's Riverfront Grill or other local sources.

Laura even built a quilt shop where you can purchase fabric and notions for your projects

She taught us all about her new "Grunge" line and precut coordinating fabric kits called Jellyrolls.  Basically, there's something for everyone in her quilt shop so you will never hit a creative wall!

Laura says, "You can open cupboards, cook, bring crock pots and enjoy a glass of wine in your pajamas on the porch if you wish."  

At this point, the majority of the weekday and weekend retreats are simply that, a time to sneak away for a few days and sew with family and friends. 

  • Crop and Quilt also brings in big name instructors for quilting classes and instruction if you wish to hone your skills or learn a new technique. 

Oh, and if you enjoy a little pampering while at the Crop and Quilt retreat in Chesaning MI, book an onsite pedicure and massage!

So, gather together some crafty friends (anywhere from 2 to 40 can be accommodated at the five different retreat centers) and start creating at the largest quilting retreat in Michigan! 

Some spaces are small so groups of 2-4 women can have their own kitchen, bathroom, work space and bedroom. Overall, Laura's crafting retreat centers can accommodate 117 people, so see which location works best for your group!  

Discover Beautiful Showboat Park: Perfect for Disc Golf, Baseball and Walking Trails!

Showboat Park: 805 S Front St, Chesaning, MI

If you are searching for things to do in Chesaning Michigan, check out Showboat Park! This beautiful park, located in the Great Lakes Bay region, is located right along the beautiful winding Shiawassee River.  You can also play a game of baseball, basketball, or disc golf while enjoying the great outdoors.

We really liked the paved and gravel walking trail that winds along the Shiawassee river.  There are so many scenic views and shade trees along the trail. 

Discover Beautiful Showboat Park: Perfect for Disc Golf, Baseball and Walking Trails!Discover Beautiful Showboat Park: Perfect for Disc Golf, Baseball and Walking Trails!

Showboat Park is undergoing a multi-year revitalization, so keep an eye on the changes.

Love camping? The Showboat Park is home to Tom Graham Memorial Campground.  The campground has 70 lots with electrical hookups, restrooms and showers. This campground is so conveniently located along the pretty Shiawassee River in a shaded wooded area.  There are also several primitive campsites situated along the river bank. 

Cole Park's Fish Ladder and Bridge are Extremely Scenic and Photo Worthy! 

Cole Park, located in Chesaning Michigan, flanks the Shiawassee River. Parking is located along Canal Street. 

This lovely park has a great playground for kids, picnic area, young tot play area and more! 

Another neat thing to check out...

The recent river restoration project that took the remnants of the old dam and turned it into a rock rapids waterway/fish ladder. It's very relaxing to sit along the bank and listen to the rushing river!

There are restrooms and a drinking fountain. 

A walking trail passes over a scenic pedestrian bridge crossing the Shiawassee River.  Come check it out!

Love to Golf? Check Out This Chesaning MI Golf Course!

Add 18 holes to your getaway at the Twin Brooks Golf Club!  There's a driving range, chipping green and putting green.  Plus, there's a tee time every 8 minutes!  If you need a break, there's a full bar and lounge!

Best Chesaning MI Restaurants

While visiting Chesaning, we dined at the Showboat Restaurant and The Malt Shoppe as they came highly recommended by Go Great Lakes Bay and locals that we met while wandering around downtown.

The Showboat Restaurant in Chesaning Michigan (Order Their Cod, Trust Me!) 

Address; 242 W Broad St, Chesaning, MI 

The Showboat Restaurant, located in Chesaning MI is a huge source of pride for the local community.  If you are hungry first thing in the morning, this quaint restaurant offers homemade omelets, waffles, French toast, eggs, hash browns, oatmeal, bacon, sausage and the works! 

We were there for dinner and I decided to try one of their specials for the evening: Broiled Cod. Their perch also came highly recommended.  I also ordered a salad, green beans and baked potato.  

Let me just say, my cod dinner was freakin' awesome.  It was very fresh, tender and juicy. 

SHOCKER: I might be so bold to say it was the best cod I have ever had.  Yep, it was that good.

The Showboat Restaurant in Chesaning MichiganThe Showboat Restaurant in Chesaning Michigan

Chris ordered a bacon and blue cheese burger with homemade chips and ranch dip (shown above).

He enjoyed his dinner too. He's a homemade chip aficionado and he ate every last chip on his plate!

Other Showboat restaurant menu items to try include the Salmon BLT, grilled cheese, wraps, steak, chicken tenders and so much more.  Our food came out fast and hot and our server was friendly and attentive.

So come on out and experience this family owned restaurant located in Chesaning Michigan!  The Showboat Restaurant is one of our favorite Chesaning MI restaurants!

The Malt Shoppe: Wonderful Nostalgic Restaurant in Chesaning Michigan

Address: 228 W Broad St, Chesaning, MI 

The Malt Shoppe is a locally owned restaurant located in Chesaning Michigan. Bob Fish and Laura Stasek are the owners and they strive to bring a great experience to all those who join them for meals and comradery. 

Their Specialty?  The broasted chicken! Did we try it?  Duh.

And let me tell you, it was incredible.  Chris and I ordered the three piece broasted chicken meal with fries, cole slaw and a bun. 


Our chicken was crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and very tender.  We couldn't get enough. So we got more.

To the guy that broasted my rock! (I'm not really sure what broasting is, but I dig it.)

The Malt Shoppe's large menu also offers burgers, hotdogs, onion rings, sandwiches and lots more. 

Did you think we forgot about dessert? 

Duh, not us.

Of course, The Malt Shoppe is known for their hand dipped ice cream sundaes (my weakness), slushies, malts, shakes and floats.  I indulged in an ice cream sundae with fresh cut strawberries, hot fudge, nuts and whipped cream.  mmmmm.  

Chris got a chocolate took some silly effort to suck through the straw because it was so thick and creamy!  

The Malt Shoppe is now one of our favorite Chesaning MI stops!  The locals love it and so do we! 

Where to Stay in Chesaning Michigan-See Our Favorite Inn!

When visiting Chesaning Michigan, we recommend staying at the Stone House Inn located at 405 W Broad St, Chesaning, MI.  We greatly enjoyed our stay as the owner and inn keeper were so friendly!  We talked to them about things to do in the area and the history of the inn. 

Top Perk: This Michigan Inn is located within walking distance of the downtown (which I love) as it's one of my favorite things to do in the evening...explore!

Watch the video above for a virtual tour of each of the lovely bedrooms except the Howard and Angela Suite on the third floor (it was inhabited by guests). 

The Stone House Inn was built in 1909 for the Louis Perrot family.  When you visit, you can see the beautiful original leaded glass windows, hardwood floors and oak woodwork. 

This Tudor style home has a complete basement, two stories and full attic.  The walls are 18" of solid stone and 2nd floor is constructed of Saginaw brick.  You will love the oak beam ceiling work in the dining and entrances.  

If you love reading, there is a lovely window seat on the landing of the oak staircase just begging for you to sit for a bit.

If you love fireplaces as much as the original owners, be sure to book either the Jonah Michael Room on the second floor and the Howard and Angela Suite on the third floor.

Oh, and get this, we loved that the kitchen is always open for late night complimentary beverages and snacks! I enjoyed a yogurt, banana and orange juice while I read my book in a comfy chair in the living room.  

I also might have had a bit of chocolate ice cream too.  Maybe.

In the morning, after a good night's rest, you can enjoy a continental breakfast which may include warm cinnamon croissants, breakfast sandwiches (from the freezer), hard boiled eggs and fruit.  The cinnamon croissants were divine during our visit! 

Of course, coffee, water and juice are always available. 

The Stonehouse Inn has five nicely decorated rooms on the second floor and one on the third floor.  

If the weather is nice during your stay, be sure to spend some time on the lovely front porch! There are several chairs and a swinging seat. 

Keep Reading! So Much Fun Within An Hour Of Chesaning!

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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