Just a dot of a town on the western shore of Saginaw Bay, Pinconning is called “The Cheese Capital of Michigan” because this is where the Pinconning Cheese Company first opened in 1915.
Aged 120 days, most of their cheese is sold throughout the region, but their original super sharp cheese is only available at the store in Pinconning. While there, check out the made-in-Michigan pops, including the classic Vernon’s Ginger Ale and Faygo’s Moon Mist, as well as pickled meats (another local tradition) like the smoked pickled bologna.
Be sure not to miss the annual Cheesetown Races, held every year for more than three decades. In case you’re wondering, Pinconning means “place where the wild potatoes grow.”
For those who love to fish, cast a line as fish abound throughout the year in the waters around Pinconning. Check out Nayanquing Point for walleye and perch fishing. Saginaw Bay’s shallow waters are good in both spring and fall for bluegill, catfish, bass, pike and crappie.
Interested in camping? Try Pinconning Park where you can set up camp or spend the night at one of the cabins near the shore. Boaters can access the bay via the boat launch at the end of Pinconning Road.
Pinconning isn’t Saginaw Bay’s only tiny town with big cheese. The Williams Cheese Company, which is celebrating its 71st anniversary this year, is located in nearby Linwood. Still family-owned, the factory outlet is open seven days a week and offers cheeses such as peppercorn, bacon, Swiss and caraway. For a tiny place, Williams Cheese Company has some serious cheeses. In 2016, the company took home gold, silver and bronze medals in three categories at the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association World Championships Cheese Contest held every year in Wisconsin.
Here are the medal winners at the World Championship:
Gold medal: Garden Vegetable Gourmet Spreadable Cheese in the “Cheese Based Spreads” category.
Silver medal: Buffalo Blue Cheese Spread in the “Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread” category.
Bronze medal: Smoked Pepper Pasteurized Cheese in the “Pasteurized Process Cheeses, Flavor” category.