Things to Do in Bay City: the Ultimate Pure Michigan Guide

Photo Courtesy of baycitymilove

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For Uptown, Downtown and all-around experiences in Bay City—shows to catch, boats to board, antiques to find, and flavors to never forget—read on to discover popular things to do in Bay City, an artistic epicenter and historic waterfront community.

1. Float through the Waters 

Sailing along sparkling blue waters (or underneath starry night skies) aboard BaySail's Appledore Tall Ships or enjoying dinner and dancing aboard Entertainment Cruises with Bay City Boat Lines, explore waterways from the Saginaw River to Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay and beyond while in Bay City.

2. Explore the Bay City Antiques Center 

With more than 400 booths situated inside Michigan's largest antique locale, find vintage glory inside the historic, corner building that is Bay City Antiques Center.

3. Strike a Pose at Third Street Star Bridge 

Pose for a picture underneath the Third Street Star Bridge and know that each luminescent light in this "Project With Heart" was purchased in honor of a loved one.

4. Stroll a Trail 

Discover boundless options along the Bay City Area Riverwalk/Rail Trail with dozens of places to access. View Tobico Marsh and all of Bay City State Park, jump off for lunch in Downtown Bay City, or enjoy a bustling marina by Veterans Memorial Park, to name a few options.

5. Tour Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum 

Touring the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum will have you aboard the U.S.S. Edson DD-946, a destroyer ship designated a National Historic Landmark as well as a Michigan Historic Landmark. Don't miss this!

6. Dine Downtown 

Enjoy an innovative breakfast at Mornin' at Maggie's Omelette Shop, Bay City's only sushi bar Fusion 1 Café, a casual upscale bistro with an unforgettable wine list at Old City Hall or mouthwatering steaks at Gatsby's Seafood & Steakhouse, plus hand-dipped chocolates for dessert from St. Laurent Brothers.

7. Taste Uptown Eats

Experience a breakfast, brunch, or lunch of diner classics with upscale twists at Uptown Grill and take your pick of indoor or outdoor seating overlooking the scenic Saginaw River when you dine on fresh-catch flavors at Real Seafood Company.

8. Shop Your Style 

Find inspired décor, gifts, and more at Violets Blue and "I-need-now" outfits and accessories inside Ferne Boutique, or hand-crafted goods and Mitten-inspired gear at Half Mile Handmade and an indoor selection of farm-fresh options and artisan vendors at City Market all in Downtown, or step into OMONI Boutique in Uptown for on-trend, cultured fashion finds.

9. Visit the State Theatre of Bay City 

Home to musical acts and movies (and even serving as the rain-out site for summer events at Wenonah Park, the State Theatre of Bay City was built in 1908 and is a must-experience historic gem, especially for lovers of Art Deco design.

10. Ride the Sunrise Pedal Trolley 

Book a ride aboard a 16-passenger Dutch-made pedal bike with Sunrise Pedal Trolley and enjoy a pint or two as you pedal the streets of Bay City. 

11. Indulge in Samples at Artigiano Artisan Cheese Shoppe

Experience mouthwatering traditional European cheeses and American originals, cured meats, and even authentic gelato inside Artigiano Artisan Cheese Shoppe in Downtown Bay City. (Be sure to check out their tasting and pairing events, too!)

12. Sip a Brew or Cocktail

Down a pint of memorable craft brew at Tri-City Brewing Company, Lumber Barons Brewery or Tavern 101, and sip artisan craft cocktails with house-made soda at The Public House.  

13. Reach for the Stars at Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center 

Out of this world, actually, at the Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center. Enjoy visually stunning planetarium shows and events, and explore the outdoor observation deck for a memorable birds-eye view of Bay City!

14. Take a Guided Fishing Excursion

From Bay Sportfishing Charters to The Michigan Experience Charters and so many more, experience the world-class walleye fishing our Saginaw Bay fishing charters have to offer here in Bay City.
Whether you spend a day, a week, or even longer, enjoy these experiences you'll find iconic to Bay City (and the reasons you'll return time and again)!
About the Author:  Jen W. O'Deay is a writer and small business owner in Saginaw. You can find Jen reading, always, camping with her family, or at: