Top Ten Things to Do in Midland

“Peter Owen, Adventure/Nature/Travel” is the heading for Peter Owen’s YouTube channel. The Midland native’s most recent video that’s drawing some attention is “Midland, Michigan: Top 10 Things to Do.”  Owen, who now lives in West Hollywood, California, recently produced the video on a two-week trip to Midland in May.  Owen says, “Midland is not like every other small town. You don’t realize that until you leave.”
Peter Owen's You Tube channel features over 40 videos.
Owen and his brother, Will, who lives in New York City, visited their parents, Peter and Ellen, with the main goal of helping their dad get his garden ready for the summer. Owen says, “I’m very into gardening.” His dad is a retired research chemist at Dow, his mom is a retired music teacher from the Midland Public Schools. Owen is one of their four sons.

He had the idea to do the video before he arrived in Midland, “It was a goal of mine to get that accomplished.” Owen decided on what to cover after some discussions with his family.  The six and a half minute program narrated by Owen features video from his drone, a Mavic Air2S, which he says gives you a “neat perspective.”  It takes viewers to several locations including the Tridge. Owens says, “How could you not, it’s the number one claim to fame.”

Dow Gardens, Santa House, Midland Center for the Arts, Whiting Forest, Chippewa Nature Center, downtown Midland, Whiting Overlook,  and the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio are featured as well as the Midland Community Tennis Center. Owens adds, “It’s one of the best tennis centers in the country.” He also says, “Our downtown has gotten so much better. It’s really nice. I love those fire pits.” He recognizes there are more places he could have covered.  When he was shooting video near Sugnet Street, one passerby said to Owen, “Top Ten in Midland? Are there ten things to do here?”  Owen says, “Some people don’t realize all the things that are here.”
Image of the Tridge captured in Peter Owen's video.Owen was able to work remotely while in Midland. For the past four years, he’s been a client executive for IBM, selling software to other companies. He moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2020. Prior to that, he was living in New York when the COVID-19 virus hit in March 2020. He returned to Midland for five months and was here during the flood.  After he acquired his drone, he was able to get video of the Nature Center and Whiting Overlook. Owen captured the rest of the video in May, “I ran all over town in between pulling weeds.”  

Growing up here, Owen was an altar boy at St. Brigid Catholic Church.  He’s a 2002 graduate of H.H. Dow High School, a 2006 graduate of the University of Wisconsin where he earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and a 2014 graduate of the Columbia Business School in New York.

Peter Owen has a passion for travel, hiking, and editing videos.
He doesn’t plan to turn his video work into a career, “It’s definitely just a hobby.” His YouTube channel features over 40 videos and has 350 followers.  He edits on an i-Mac using Final Cut Pro software. He posted the Midland video on June 2. It’s already his fourth most popular video.

Some of his other titles feature Mount Baldy, The Hollywood Sign, and the “8 Best Ocean View Hikes.” He says he likes to showcase cool places on the West Coast, “I’ve got a great video on Utah, which I think is the most beautiful state, like an alien planet.” Most of his videos are five to ten minutes in length. He has 10,000 followers on TikTok but will have to adapt his Midland video to meet their specifications. He also posts on Instagram. Look for PeterOwenFilms.  

Owen says, “It’s a passion. I have a love for local travel, I love to hike, and edit videos.”


Read more articles by Ron Beacom.

Ron Beacom has served as the managing editor of Catalyst Midland since October 2020. He's also a freelance writer for the Midland Daily News and the producer/host of "Second Act: Life at 50 Plus" for WDCQ-Delta College Public Media (PBS). He's the co-producer of two WDCQ documentaries about the Tittabawassee River Disaster in 2020, "Breached! and Breached!2-The Recovery."