Bay City is known for its antiques, beautiful river walk, and picturesque downtown.
The center has grown over the last 3 years, featuring many fantastic restaurants, boutiques, and cafes. Be sure to also shop at City Market
It’s a great city to live in, with facilities and amenities that make almost 35,000 people call it home.
All these people live in just 11.20 square miles of an urban area. This is because the Saginaw River runs through the city intermittently, with four major bridges connecting the areas.
The Liberty Bridge, Veterans Memorial Bridge, Independence Bridge, and Lafayette Avenue Bridge are among them.
All are located in a drawbridge of the lifting type, meaning the bridges are movable; watching these bridges move is pure fun.
Bay City is located at the foot of Lake Huron, just on the edge of Saginaw Bay in Michigan.
The city itself is not very large, covering only about 11.2 square miles. The population here is roughly 35,000, making the area feel like quite a large city.
Bay city used to be a booming shipbuilding and timber town; today, there are many great things to do in Bay City as it provides visitors with an amazing vacation experience.
The birthplace of the famous singer Madonna, you will be more tempted by its historical buildings, delicious food, fantastic festivals, libraries, museums and more.
The weather and seasons make for great outdoor experiences, so you won’t want to miss the Bay City. For fun, below are the best things to do in Bay City.
Want to know more about this place? Below are the top 27 things to do in Bay City, Michigan.
Fun Things to Do in Bay City, MI
1. Center Avenue Historic District
The Center Avenue Historic District is an architectural legacy created by the Bay City loggers, industrialists, and shipbuilders who built their fortunes here in the mid-1800s.
In 1982, the district was on the National Register of Historic Places and was expanded in 2011.
The area boasts a total of 936 collections of buildings, 879 of which make up the district’s historic character.
These structures display a range of styles, including some of the city’s finest Gothic Revival, Victorian Italianate, Queen Anne, Greek Revival, Richardson Romanesque, Tudor Revival, and palatial buildings.
You will also notice the presence of many “Kit homes” on display. They were designed and manufactured by Aladdin and Lewis & Liberty – pioneering modular home manufacturers at their base of operations in Bay City.
Visit this area and imagine what it was like when guests partied in the third-floor ballrooms and rode in horse-drawn carriages.
2. Riverwalk Pier
Part of the best things to do in Bay City is the view of the Saginaw River from the Riverwalk.
Overlooking the Saginaw River, this charming boardwalk is known for its peaceful setting and scenic vantage points.
A stroll along the Riverwalk will give you glimpses of Bay City’s exceptional maritime history. You can only get this incredible view from the boardwalk overlooking the Saginaw River.
A bridge crosses the bay and cuts into the banks of the Saginaw River. However, this phenomenon is not natural. It is a man-made slip and was once used to launch Henry Davidson’s ships.
As you walk along the shore, you will see the remains of some wooden ships from the 19th century.
These wooden skeletons were pushed to the Saginaw River’s banks after being dumped there a few years ago.
3. Bay Antique Center
Bay Antique Center is a two-story, 60,000-square-foot multi-dealer building located in the heart of downtown Bay City.
You can spend an hour, a day, or even a weekend shopping in this large store.
Antiques, dolls, glass, license plates, memorabilia, Victorian furniture, china, quilts, ceramics, jewelry, bottles, old comics, vintage clothing, trading cards, and much more are available.
It is truly a destination for a discerning collection and display of antique extravagance.
This long showroom offers great merchandise, a variety of antiques, and friendly, knowledgeable salespeople.
It is spacious and covers a wide range of antiques to suit any area of interest.
The Bay Antique Center is family-friendly and opens year-round Mon-Thu, and Sat 10 am-5 pm, Fri 10 am-8 pm, and Sunday 12 pm-5 pm.
Things to Do in Bay City, MI, at night
1. Riverfront Grille
The Riverfront Grille offers not only food and drink but also entertainment and relaxation.
This restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, so stop by with friends and family to enjoy some food while watching sports.
Riverfront Grille combines pub-style cuisine with Tex-Mex cuisine.
Don’t miss some of the many Mexican-style dishes, such as fajitas, Mexi-Ranch dips, Big Ten dip, fish tacos, or quesadillas.
For fun starters, try Southwestern Egg Rolls, Steamed Fries, Pretzel Bites, or Raspberry Dip.
More tempting delicacies are enjoying a delicious burger with a Brioche bun or moving to a classic club.
2. Ted Putz Natural Area
Ted Putz Natural Area is located on the west bank of the Saginaw River. That is, on Ivy Avenue, which is located in the business district of Salzburg.
Covering 4 acres, this park is one place you should not miss in Bay City. You can enjoy the open space in the park and admire the wetlands along the river floodplain through the fixed boardwalk here.
Other features of the Ted Putz Nature Area include picnic areas and tables where you can relax with family and friends. You can also fish in the waters.
3. Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center
The Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center is a great place for families who want to broaden their horizons on their travels.
Delta College constructed this planetarium and learning center after receiving an $8.75 million NASA grant.
The aim is to attract attention to the wonders of science, celestial bodies, and the universe.
Visitors can view one of the planets on the planetarium’s 360-degree screen. There are also many high-definition science films, and star shows ready to watch.
On the roof is an observation deck where guests can see the real planets and stars at night.
The entire building features traveling exhibits of various aspects of NASA and space studies, including simulated moon rocks.
Things to Do in Bay City, MI For Couples
1. Veterans Memorial Park
Among the best things to do in Bay City is visiting the Veterans Memorial Park, Bay County’s central park.
This park covers an area of approximately 97 acres; its size is about 1.2 miles in length and 0.2 miles in width.
The Veterans Memorial Park ball fields, Liberty Harbor, Trombley House, Fitness Park, and Kanzler Arboretum are all located in this section of the park.
The Riverwalk/Railtrail loop is visible here, as is enough water depth at the hard surface boat launch to accommodate most boats.
The park hosts great social events like the River of Time and the 4th of July Fireworks Celebration.
Other features include parking, pavilion, picnic areas, shelters and tables, children’s playground, tennis court, walking trail, chemical toilets, and more.
This park is open 24 hours a week.
2. Alice & Jack Wirt Public Library
The Alice & Jack Wirt Public Library is located downtown, just on the east side of Bay City.
It is recognized as the main library center for the Bay County Library System.
The library has a history and genealogy room, an outdoor reading garden, a computer lab, a resource center and main reference collection, a large community meeting room, and numerous study rooms.
In addition to this, it also has the largest collection of materials in the system. The Alice & Jack Wirt Public Library is well-planned and organized, with administrative offices on the second floor.
3. Quanicasee Wildlife Area
Quanicassee Wildlife Area is a 1,922-acre site located just outside of Essexville that is home to a diverse variety of wildlife.
This area is managed by the DNR and has a lightly traveled 3.1-mile out and back trail.
Fishing is possible (although seasonal); what you catch depends on your skill level.
Suckers, carp, walleye, sunfish, perch, pike, perch, and catfish are among the fish that can be caught.
These trails provide a variety of activities as well as opportunities to see wildlife.
Things to Do in Bay City, MI For Kids
1. Hewitt Park
In 1994, the park’s name was changed from Hewitt Field to Hewitt Park.
Hewitt Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Bay City. This park is located on a 6.1-acre lot and is bordered by Hampton Street, Johnson Street, and 19th and 20th Streets.
Parks are short on geometry, but Hewitt Park is rectangular and features two tennis courts, a field, and a baseball/softball diamond.
Here you can also fill your eyes with the peace from a beautiful fountain.
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m
Address: 19th St, Bay City, MI 48708
2. Antique Toy Museum and Fire Station
The museum of antique toys and the firehouse is designed for children aged 1 to 10 years.
This museum is a gem for kids because it combines two things they love: fire engines and toys.
After entering the antique toy museum and firehouse, you will notice the NASCAR room. This room has almost every car that graced Motorsport in its models.
If you want to see some famous toys, you can look through a collection that spans 50 years.
Hess trucks, Tonka, and Betty Boop items are among them.
The museum houses over 70 genuine antique pumps and fire engines. Plus, it’s free for children under the age of four.
This museum is one of the fun things to do in Bay City, MI, with kids; include it on your itinerary if you’re bringing them.
3. Bay City State Recreation Area
Bay City State Park is an amazing place to go if you want to see some of the wildlife in Bay City.
It is exciting to visit, especially in summer.
This park has the most swamp wetlands in the entire Great Lakes region, making it an ideal habitat for migratory birds and other wetland animals.
In addition to marshes, meadows, and forests, you can enjoy the beach if you are interested in swimming. Although sometimes the beach is closed for safety reasons.
If you still want to dance, there is a splash park for children and adults.
Indoor Activities to Do in Bay City (MI)
1. Sage Library
The Sage Library was on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, making this building a special stop for visitors to the Bay City.
This building was built in 1884 in the Victorian architectural style. This library houses over 110,000 books, with visitors having the freedom to roam the two floors of this building.
Visitors are also allowed to use any of the meeting rooms for their group meetings, where they can use free WiFi and computers with internet service.
The Sage Library is one of four Bay County Library System branches. They are only open on weekdays.
2. Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum
A handful of people who visit Bay City visit the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, which is housed in the USS Edison destroyer.
You will have the opportunity to see some of the country’s maritime history revealed on a tour of the ship that once had the motto “Three Guns, No Waiting.”
Visitors often walk through this 418-foot-long ship to improve their knowledge.
Prepare as if you are climbing up and down ladders and going through doors. Yes, this is a destroyer, you know?
If you visit in September or October, you’ll be lucky enough to join the Halloween fun with two themed attractions: The Disappointed or The Edison Incident.
That said, things to do in Bay City, MI; if you’re fascinated by boats, consider your list of things to do in Bay City, MI.
3. Lucky’s Steakhouse
While visiting Bay City, it will be nice to visit one of the popular restaurants, Lucky’s Steakhouse.
Named after Lucky Vasilakis, the restaurant’s owner, it promises to delight your taste buds with chicken, pasta, steak, and seafood on the menu.
He went on to create a brand including Lucky restaurants that offer seafood and Mexican cuisine in and around Michigan.
Here at Lucky’s Steakhouse, start with chunky potato cheese or flowering onion soup, then try an appetizer.
If you require more after dinner, proceed to the dessert menu, which includes cheesecake, key lime pie, and carrot cake.
That said, consider what to do in Bay City, Michigan, for food in your itinerary.
Romantic Things to Do in Bay City, MI
1. Bay City Hall
Bay City Hall is one of the most important buildings in the United States, according to the Smithsonian National Archives.
Built between 1894 and 1897, this town hall is highly regarded for its historic restoration.
Yes, this building is proof of total restoration in 1980 after the fire. The restoration cost $3.3 million, and in 2010, $5 million in upgrades and renovations.
This hall is an example of urban architecture built in the modern Romanesque style and demonstrates the Bay City’s outstanding contribution to the preservation of historic sites.
Visitors can enjoy a stunning 360° panoramic view of the city from the tower. This is one Bay City attraction you shouldn’t miss; City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2. Carroll Park
Carroll Park is located at the northeast corner of Groveland Road and Park Avenue.
It was established in 1885 and is the city’s oldest park, covering 13.7 acres.
Some of the special features you’ll find in the park include a bridge and a duck pond. There are oaks and a large stand of old maple in this park.
In addition to the fun, you can check out the history as the park has several historic homes on its borders and is easily accessible via the Riverwalk/Railtrail loop.
Park amenities include a pavilion, tennis courts, a pavilion, chemical restrooms, picnic areas, and a playground.
3. State Theatre
Catching a movie at the State Theater is one of the fun things to do in Bay City.
The State Theater opened in 1998 and was only a vaudeville theater, but after the roar in the movies, a screen was added, and the theater was renamed.
This structure saw the transfer of ownership and administrative authority to the city, and it has since been renovated to showcase its unique Aztec architecture.
Visitors can watch some of the films and be part of the film festivals held throughout the year.
The State Theater also partners with Wenonah Park (a local park) to show free movies throughout the summer months.
But during the rains, these films were shifted to the State Theater for viewing. Most of the events are now sponsored by families and local businesses, so you can get involved.
Things to Do in Bay City (MI) For Free
1. Bay City Town Center
If you feel like going shopping, then Bay City Town Center is one Bay City attraction that you should not miss.
Originally known as Bay City Mall before it was recently renamed. This mall has a lot of popular stores.
In this mall, people of all ages can find their favorite brands and stores, whether they are children, teenagers, or adults.
Among them are GameStop, Label $hopper, Clarie’s, PetSmart, Spencer’s, and Olie’s Bargain Outlet.
If you want to do something else, you can go to Planet Fitness or the nearby movie theater.
Although the Bay City Town Center is mostly associated with shopping, visitors can enjoy a pretzel as a snack at Auntie Anna’s.
2. Bay City Farmers Market
Between the 19th and early 19th centuries, the Bay City Farmers Market is a beautiful farmers market in the Bay City area.
That feeling resurfaced today with a new imagination that brought the market back to life. This market provides local and fresh produce and other products to Bay City.
This large market holds 45 stalls with farmers and vendors selling fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, and fresh juices, among other things.
You will also find food vendors at this rustic market. He makes his food from local products.
This market also operates weekly shopping deals in an effort to make this fresh produce available to everyone.
3. Bay County Historical Museum
The Bay County Historical Museum is housed in an old 1910 National Guard Armory. The museum is featured on the State and National Historic Registers.
This museum has an extensive research library open to the public as well as various galleries.
“Bay City: Seaport to the World” and “Bay County…Trails Through Time,” commemorate the county’s distinctive heritage as well as the evolution of the Reservation International Seaport.
Cheap Things to Do in Bay City (MI)
1. Roosevelt Park
Roosevelt Park is one of the best things to do in Bay City. Roosevelt Park was originally known as Broadway Park before being renamed in 1907.
A plaque honoring American Indians can be found in this park. His remains are under the stone and it is a timely reminder.
This park is fun with open space, tennis court, and playground equipment all adding to its beauty.
This is one of the Bay City attractions you shouldn’t miss, making it the best thing to do in Bay City for outdoor fun.
2. Wenonah Park
One of the best things to do in Bay City, MI is to visit Wenonah Park, this park is located in downtown Bay City and covers 6.1 acres in space.
Behind the park is an amphitheater used for festivals and concerts in warm weather. There is also a pavilion called the Nickless Family Community Pavilion.
This pavilion can be rented for weddings, parties, and special events. The cooler months don’t stay bare, there are fun activities here.
The pavilion is transformed into an ice rink for ice skating and holiday entertainment.
With a park on the edge of the Saginaw River and boats of various sizes docked at the station, you can easily connect to Wenonah Park.
3. Visit Liberty Harbor
Liberty Harbor Marina is located inside Veterans Memorial Park. There is a parking lot and a stand building nearby.
The staff here is welcoming and warm. The operation takes place from May to October every year.
You can choose from different ships to launch your ship according to your needs.
Cool Places in Bay City (MI)
1. Play Some Brews at Coonan’s Irish Hub
Bay County’s best neighborhood bar certainly delivers. It offers 20 different types of beers, including craft beers and others.
The bar menu includes many types of beers, brewed drinks, cocktails, and more. Make sure you bring your friends to drink the night away.
Appetizers and appetizers are very great to complement your drinks. In addition, their menu includes parmesan fries, Irish fries, jalapeno poppers, onion rings, fried pickles, and Irish potato skins.
Their specialty is hot dogs, and there are seven types of dogs to choose from.
2. Fishing in Bigelow Park
Located near the Saginaw River, this beautiful park is the perfect place to fish for some freshwater game.
It’s on the north side of Middleground Island and is very pretty. The pedestrian bridge over the river is stunning, making it the perfect place to take photos.
There is also a typical children’s playground and a pavilion where you can play with children. The swing and slides are suitable for children and meet their needs of children.
3. Try Polish Cuisine at Krzysiak’s House Restaurant
Polish cuisine has a variety of flavors and spices that you should try. The restaurant staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is friendly and cheerful.
Appetizers have a quintessential American twist with items like cheese sticks, blooming onions, and fried mushrooms. Soups and appetizers are completely polished in taste, like the Czarina, which is a duck blood soup.
As the main course, try Polish sausages or Polish Philly, a Philly cheesesteak with a Polish taste and aroma.
Pizzas are also made on traditional focaccia bread. The noodles are a must-try and are famous throughout Bay City and Kentucky.
This has to be the best thing you’ve come across today regarding your vacation in Bay City, MI.
The fun and best things in Bay City, MI, as listed in this article, are only a tip of the iceberg, and we are optimistic that you’d experience more.