THINGS TO DO
ARTS & CULTURE
Arts and cultural enjoyment can certainly be found year round in our “Up North” haven. You can choose from theater and musical productions that include nationally recognized productions and musicals as well as locally written plays. And for music lovers, there is a winter concert series, summer music festivals, downtown dances with live entertainment, and weekly music performances in the park. You are sure to find a venue to delight you and your family.
Be sure to also take the time to visit our wonderful Historical Museum to capture a glimpse of the area’s pride in its heritage of the lumbering days, railroad era, fishing industry, and more. You’ll also be pleasantry surprised by the many art galleries and antique shops we offer for your shopping pleasure.
Agri-Tourism is fast becoming a popular tourist attraction and can definitely be experienced on your visit to the Tawases and surrounding areas. From the very popular weekly Farmers Market to picking your own blueberries or enjoying wine tastings and tours from nearby local wineries, there is abundant bounty and natural beauty found in the area’s growing adventure.
BEACHES & BOATING
The East Tawas State Dock has seasonal and transient slips if you plan to cruise into town. The dock is an easy walk from unique shopping and dining, a weekly farmers market, weekly concerts in the park, and more. If you are looking to capture a slow relaxing pace, grab a paddle and canoe or kayak down a river, around the bay or down the majestic AuSable River.
Don’t forget the beautiful beaches of Tawas Bay that are perfect for all kinds of recreation. A gradual drop off from the beach into the bay makes it a fantastic family beach with lots of room for kids of all ages to play, picnic and relax. Choose from Tawas Point State Park, East Tawas Day Use Park, Harbor Park, Shoreline Park and Gateway Park.
The Bay is also perfect for sailing, paddling, power boating, wave runners and is even recognized as a premier kiteboarding destination. Paddle boarding has become a new favorite pastime with instructional opportunities for the novice.
BICYCLISTS AND BIRDERS
Bicyclists and walkers both appreciate the paved Tawas Bike Path. Shadowing U.S. 23 along the sparkling waters of Lake Huron, the path provides a front row view of the area’s loveliest landscape for ten miles through town, all the way out to the historic lighthouse at Tawas Point State Park.
For our birding enthusiasts, Tawas Bay offers some of the finest bird watching experiences in the Great Lakes region. Tawas Point is well known for high concentrations of migrating warblers in May; but there can be over 200 species during peak migration times. Tuttle Marsh Wildlife Area is a birder’s paradise that’s only seven miles north of town. Bald eagles can also be sighted along the River Road Scenic Byway.
Take advantage of this 44-mile groomed trail system to hike, run, walk, bird, snowshoe, and ski, depending on the season. The trails are a series of loops that offer users a variety of challenges from easy to difficult. Trails cross forest and meadows, hills and valleys, taking you through sunny open vistas, into hushed stands of sweet-smelling firs and towering hardwoods, and along the edge of winding streams.
The Tawas area has fishing galore, regardless of season or how much gear you have. Fishing in Tawas Bay includes walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, brown trout and smallmouth bass. During the spring and fall, whitefish, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleye move along the shoreline of the bay. Fish from riverbanks, the shore, the dock, your own boat or grab a charter. In the winter, ice fishing is very popular. And, don’t forget to try your luck on the AuSable River, Tawas Lake, Sand Lake, Van Ettan and Cedar Lakes in Oscoda, along with a host of 60+ smaller inland lakes throughout the Tawases and surrounding areas.
DNR FISHING REPORT: Find out where the fish are in Iosco County. Plan your fishing trip with weekly fishing reports and more outdoor information from the DNR.
Grab your clubs for a change of pace and tee it up at your choice of a variety of award winning golf courses. All courses are well maintained and each has their own personality, from breathtaking views, to wide open fairways, to delightful and challenging hazards. Pick your favorite, or better yet, try them all; you won’t be disappointed!
HURON-MANISTEE NATIONAL FOREST
With almost a million acres of public lands (much of which comprises Iosco County around the Tawases), this gorgeous forest provides recreation opportunities for visitors, habitat for fish and wildlife, and resources for local industry. Whether you like camping, hiking, walking, or spending time on the AuSable River that runs through the forest, you won’t want to miss the only National Forest in Lower Michigan.
RIVER ROAD NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY
If you haven’t driven the River Road National Scenic Byway, you’ll be amazed by this 22-mile long byway showcasing the beauty of the AuSable River valley and all the roadside (and riverside) parks. Be sure to visit the Eagle’s Nest Lookout or Canoer’s Memorial. Lumberman’s Monument features a visitor’s center and gift shop, a log pile for climbing, a stairway down to a floating logger’s kitchen and trails through the woods to an observation deck overseeing the river and dunes. Iargo Springs has a lovely observation deck and interpretive kiosk; 294 steps down a wooden stairway lead to a mystical place where underground springs come together and form cold water streams featuring a 1,000 feet of elevated boardwalk to meander on and enjoy the serenity.
Whether you’re a photography buff, hiker, birder, fisherman, paddler, or just looking for an awesome place to have a picnic, there are countless spots to enjoy along the Scenic Byway.
Iosco County has 94 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. The Huron Snowmobile Trail has five starting points in Iosco County and connects to trails across the state. The two trailheads closest to town are the Tawas Area Trailhead (off Monument Road on the left before Camel Road) and the Sand Lake Area Trailhead (off Esmond Road and Indian Lake Road). ORVs are allowed on parts of the Huron Snowmobile Trail.
The Tawases are full of beautiful and interesting shops just waiting for you. Wide, brick paved sidewalks are lined with trees and benches making shopping an enjoyable experience.
TAWAS POINT LIGHTHOUSE
In operation since 1876, the lighthouse is the feature of the Tawas Point State Park, situated on a 200 acre peninsula that defines the southeast boundary of Tawas Bay. The 70 foot lighthouse is open for tours six days a week from May through September. Ask about the Lighthouse Keeper Program that allows registered volunteers to stay in the keeper’s cottage for up to two weeks while serving as lighthouse volunteers. Special events include the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, the Haunted Lighthouse, and Christmas programs.