Bay City, Michigan is nothing short of a great weekend getaway on the East side of the state. I had never even visited Bay City until a few years ago. This quaint little town has so much to offer from incredible food to unique things to do. Summer is the best time to visit with warm weather and a variety of outdoor activities. This town is always adding new shops and restaurants every time I visit making it hard to ever run out of things to do. If you want to plan a trip here, here is your guide to getting started with things to do, the best restaurants, and where to stay.
Things to Do
Sunrise Pedal Trolley
401 Washington Avenue | 989.391.9028 | Website
For a unique way to see Bay City, hop on the pedal trolley that takes you through downtown while stopping at 12 different pubs and eateries along the way. Not only will you be able to try out different beers, but you are also working it off at the same time by pedaling the trolley to each place. If you have certain places you know you want to visit, you can even tailor your tour unique to the group you are with. This is a fun experience for everyone!
South Arbor Street | 989.894.8314 | Website
Take a stroll down Bay City’s winding path along the Saginaw River for incredible water views during the day and at night. There is also a lot of wildlife that hangs out around this area. Choose to walk, run, or bike along this path while stopping to read about the history of Bay City on signs along the way. There are also different restaurants and shops that you can stop at along the Riverwalk. This is the perfect place to begin your day peacefully watching the sunrise or end your day watching the sunset over the sparkling water.
Artigiano Artisan Cheese Shoppe
815 Saginaw Street | 989.391.4200 | Website
Stop here to try out an extensive selection of Traditional European cheeses, meats, artisan crackers, authentic gelato, and more! This is the ultimate spot to stop by midafternoon to taste authentic cow, goat, and sheep cheeses while creating your own charcuterie board. If you enjoy the cheeses here, you can purchase them to bring home with you and even place orders online depending on their current selection. Before you go, don’t forget to get a cup of their incredible gelato!
401 Center Avenue, Suite 100 | 989.402.7963 | Website
City Market is a completely indoor farmer’s market that stays open year-round. Not only will you be able to find different fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, but there are also places to eat here as well. There are events that take place here regularly, so be sure to check their website before planning your trip to see what will be happening. This is a must visit spot during your getaway to Bay City!
107 5th Street | 989.895.5193 | Website
Get out on the water with Bay Sail’s sailboats and ships. You can choose from Classic Sails and Specialty Sails that are planned around events and activities that are taking place in the Bay City area. This is a fun summer activity to enjoy the beautiful weather and take a ride on a sailboat. Check their website to see the full schedule and the special events that they will be taking part in.
Where to Eat & Drink
The Public House
811 Adams Street | 989.778.1779 | Website
Not only will you find some of the most exquisite handcrafted cocktails in the city, but also incredible food to pair with it. The interior is light and airy with a simplistic design throughout making it the perfect place to capture an Instagram worthy picture. I highly recommend trying one of the pineapple drinks that is served in an adorable pineapple cup made to share between two people. It’s hard to find something you won’t like here – everything is amazing!
101 Center Avenue | 989.778.1431 | Website
Here you will find a huge variety of craft beers on draft along with traditional American cuisine. If you aren’t a beer drinker, they also have specialty cocktails to choose from and a list of other spirits. I recommend trying the Korean Calamari as an appetizer – some of the best I’ve ever had! Even for picky eaters, there is something on the menu that can appeal to everyone’s taste buds. Be sure to check out their website before going as they regularly host different events!
Mussell Beach Drive In
3540 State Park Drive | 989.686.0575 | Website
This is truly a Bay City gem with a variety of different menu items including coney dogs, sandwiches, fried mushrooms, and of course, ice cream! They make everything here with fresh ingredients from the hand-dipped onion rings to the French fries. Be prepared, there is usually a bit of a wait to stand in line and order your food however, it is absolutely worth the wait!
Cops & Doughnuts
710 East Midland Street | 989.892.3932 | Website
There’s nothing like enjoying a donut early in the morning or late at night. Here, you can enjoy fresh, delightful donuts as early as 5:00 AM or as late as midnight depending on what your taste buds want. Each morning, donuts are freshly prepared, and flavors are rotated. They also make their very own line of coffee beans called “Cops Coffee” that pairs perfectly with one of their many donuts. This is a must stop place to begin your morning in Bay City!
Real Seafood Company
199 Uptown Drive | 989.778.1501 | Website
For an incredible dining experience, don’t miss out on Real Seafood Company that sits right on the Saginaw River. Their selection of fresh seafood dishes to the wonderful outdoor seating area makes for the perfect place to end your day exploring Bay City. I recommend trying the Lobster Roll and choosing from one of their many wines. Dine here on your birthday and receive your meal for free!
Where to Stay
Historic Webster House
900 5th Street | 989.316.2552 | Website
For an unforgettable experience, stay at the Historic Webster House for the ultimate romantic and comfortable accommodation in the city. Each guest room has been carefully appointed with historic décor with upscale, modern amenities you would expect out of a hotel. Each morning you will wake up to a gourmet breakfast and each night you will be able to enjoy a wine and cheese reception. You’ll never want to leave this place after paying a visit to their new Spa & Sauna for services.
Courtyard by Marriott Bay City
2 East Main Street | 989.778.1800 | Website
Enjoy a stay at Courtyard by Marriott in Bay City’s downtown area putting you near the top attractions. Each guest room has contemporary designs with plush bedding making it perfect for relaxation after a long day of exploring the area. There is also an on-site restaurant where you can get a variety of different food items, cocktails, and coffee. This option is conveniently located and will put you in the middle of all the popular things to do in Bay City.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bay City
1 Wenonah Park Place | 989.891.9680 | Website
For a beautiful view, stay in a room at DoubleTree by Hilton that is located right on the banks of the Saginaw River. Make yourself at home in one of the many guest rooms here and take advantage of the many amenities including an on-site restaurant, indoor pool, fitness center, and more. This hotel is also conveniently located in the heart of downtown Bay City making it easy to get where you’re going.