20 Best Things to Do in Bay City, Michigan

20 Best Things to Do in Bay City, Michigan

This lake side city in Michigan is one of the smallest in terms of land area but highly populated.

It is a great city to live in with all facilities and amenities which led to almost 35,000 people calling it their home. All these people living in just 11.20 square miles of city area!

Since the Saginaw River passes through the city intermittently, it has four main bridges cross linking the areas. These are the Liberty Bridge, the Veterans Memorial Bridge, the Independence Bridge, and the Lafayette Avenue Bridge.

These are all set in a bascule type drawbridge, which means the bridges are movable to help boat traffic crossings as well. Watching these bridges is in itself fun and awesome as they move about to facilitate boats to move.

Learn about space at the Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center

Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center
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The space has always been a fascinating subject and what better way to explore more about it than visiting a planetarium.

But, this planetarium is very hi tech and was built with a whopping grant of $8.75 million from NASA. So, you can very well imagine how awesome it must be!

This Learning center is a definite recommendation if you are planning a family outing as your kids will love this sci-fi place. The 360 degree screen located inside makes for great star gazing or watching space related movies.

The center also has various exhibits about NASA and its research including moon rocks, space facts and mores. Gift your children a beautiful and fun educational experience by visiting here.

Take a walk at the Riverwalk Pier

Riverwalk Pier
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It’s always a beautiful sight to stroll down the pier as the water flows around you. Walkways are a great place to spend some quiet, alone time with your lover or even by yourself.

Take a walk down this Riverwalk and spend some time with yourself. Think about your goals and find peace amidst the beautiful, serene surroundings.

The viewing points are all strategically placed and at the most scenic spots. You can even rent a bicycle to zoom your way about. The gardens nearby are also very green and pretty. You will also find various locals here that come to walk their dogs.

Recreational activities at the Veterans Memorial Park

This great park has many different features and areas in it that you would love visiting about. Spread over a large land area of 97 acres, this park has very beautiful features in it.

These include an arboretum, a memorial, a public marina and even a sports field. The Kantzler Memorial Arboretum has very different beautiful plant species in its premises.

It is maintained by the civil bodies and located near the Community Center. There is also a dry dock called Davidson near the north-side.

Bay County’s first ever frame house, the Trombley House is situated here. The Bay County Historical Society owns and maintain this public house today.

It finds a place on the National Register of Historical Places. The Fitness Park is specifically made keeping in mind people with disabilities. It has a beautiful exercise track equipped with special equipment for special people.

Visit the Liberty Harbor Marina

This is located inside the Veterans Memorial Park mentioned above. This is the public marina that we have mentioned. It finds a special place on the article since marinas are really fun places to visit.

There is a parking lot and stand building nearby. The staff is very helpful and warm. The operations run from May to October every year. You can choose from a variety of boats for your boat launch as per your needs.

Explore the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum

Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum
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This wonderful museum is housed inside the U.S. Destroyer, the USS Edison. Learn about the great history of naval services and ships in the United States located inside a ship.

The motto of the ship used to be “Three Guns, No Waiting”. This real life ship is complete with all the amenities like ladders and doorways so have fun while exploring through. It is 418 feet tall and all areas are open to public display.

Halloween times are even more fun times to visit. The ship features themed attractions during the September-October period which include Dismazed or the Edison Incident.

Have fun at Wenonah Park

Wenonah Park
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During summer and spring there are various fun activities that you can enjoy here.

The amphitheater located inside the park hosts many events and movie screenings for the crowd. There are also concerts that take place here where you can groove to some funky music.

The Nickless Family Community Pavilion is great to conduct parties and weddings. Many locals rent it out to host these special events.

In the winter times, the entire pavilion is covered with ice and gets converted to a glossy ice rink. Try out ice skating during the Christmas holidays with your family. The Saginaw River that is near to this huge 6.1 acre park has a very well built mooring station.

There are various boats of different shapes and sizes here.

Tour through the Sage Library

A part of the National Register of Historic Places list, this beautiful library is a storehouse of books. The building was constructed in 1884 and is set in a typical Victorian style.

With over 110,000 books spread over two and a half stories, this library is a haven for book lovers. There are tours available too which you can undertake to explore through this huge Victorian building.

It is one of the four components of the Bay County Library System. There are meeting rooms and local Wi-Fi too present inside. The library is only open on weekdays.

Buy fresh produce at the City Market

One of the most visited farmer’s market in the 1800s to 1900s was the city market. It has today been refurbished with a modern take and houses many vendors selling fresh, organic produce.

With as many as 45 stalls selling various organic vegetables, fruits, flowers and others selling various types of meats, and baked delicacies in its premises, it surely is a hit among all gourmet lovers. There are great sales and shopping deals too for shoppers.

Bird watching at the Bay City State Park

The largest marsh wetlands in the Great Lakes region, this State Park serves as a home to many migratory birds during the summers.

Enjoy some quaint eyed bird watching as you try spotting various species. It also has many wetland animal species that live here.

So try spotting different forms of wildlife here too. There are also woodlands and meadows here too so, there is an abundance of wildlife and flora.

The beach might be closed some days but the quirky and fun splash park serves all its functions. It has fun rides for all adults and kids to prance in the waters.

Visit the quirky Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum

Embrace your inner kid as you visit this sprawling, cheerful museum that houses beautiful toys and cars from the olden times.

It also has various classical times’ fire trucks and pumpers. The museum has collections of over 50 years of popular toys such as ships, Hess trucks, Tonka toys and Betty Boop toys.

The fire engines and antique cars will gain the interest of all ages including kids and adults, alike.

The entrance room is called the NASCAR room and as the name suggests it is the main display for all types of cars from many different periods of time.

There are also different varieties of cars showcased too. The best part is the museum is free for kids below the age of four. The tickets are also not very expensive and totally worth it.

Watch a movie at the State Theatre

State theatre
"Bay City, Michigan" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Jasperdo

This Aztec themed theatre is a piece of artwork in itself. The architecture is all very different and is heavily influenced by the Aztec styles.

It was first opened in 1908 and used to be a vaudeville theatre. It then underwent various changes and renovations to become what it is today.

It holds various free movie screenings in association with the Wenonah Park. Movies are also showcased at the State Theater in case of rains and monsoon.

Most of the events conducted here are free and sponsored by various businessmen.

Taste steaks at the Lucky’s Steakhouse

Lucky Vasilakis started this restaurant which has become a very popular eatery today. It has all kinds of steaks and chicken on its menu that you would love to try out.

There are various other namesakes too that sell seafood and Mexican food. This steakhouse is also selling great deal of sea fare too. The soups are very warm and filling like the flowering onion or the chunk potato cheese soup.

The entrée menu consists of very delicious burgers and sandwiches too. The dessert options include cheesecake, carrot cake and even lime pie.

Drinks at the Coonan’s Irish Pub

The Bay County’s Best Neighborhood Bar surely stands up to its tag. It has 20 types of beers to choose from including craft beers and more. The bar menu includes many types of ales, brews, cocktails and more.

Make sure you get your friends along to drink the night away. The appetizers and starters are all very great to complement your drinks and the menu includes parmesan fries, Irish fried, jalapeno poppers, onion rings, fried pickles, and Irish potato skins.

The hot dogs are a specialty of their menu and there are seven types of dogs to choose from.

Shopaholics throng to the Bay City Town Center

Christened Bay City Mall on its inception, this is the one stop shop for all your shopping needs.

Who doesn’t love getting shopping bags and clicking some shopaholic pictures, right? The shopping mall also has a movie theater and fitness area too if you are interested.

You can grab a quick bite of cute pretzels at Auntie Anne’s to munch on while shopping about with your family or girlfriends. But, the mall mainly focuses on shopping and clothes stores.

Fishing at the Bigelow Park

This beautiful park is located just near to the Saginaw River and makes for the perfect spot for fishing some great local species.

It is located to the north side of the Middleground Island and is very scenic to look at. The pedestrian bridge crossing over the river is very pretty and great to click some cool photos.

There is also the typical playground and pavilion to play at with your kids. Swing and slides are all kid friendly and suited to children’s needs.

Try out polish cuisine at the Krzysiak’s House Restaurant

Polish food has its different flavors and spices that are a must try by every foodie. The restaurant staff is very warm and the atmosphere is friendly and cheerful.

The appetizers have the typical American tinge with items like cheese sticks, blooming onion and fried mushrooms. The soups and entrees are completely polish in taste, like the Czarina, which is duck blood soup.

For the main course, do try out the Polish sausages, or Polish Philly, a philly cheesesteak with polish flavors and aromas. Pizzas are also made on the traditional focaccia bread as per your requirements. The noodles are a must try and famous all over Bay City all the way to Kentucky.

Bay City Downtown
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Thus, Bay City, Michigan is great for some quaint eyed museum visiting. The items on show are all very beautiful and antique at all the quirky and different museums.

The restaurants and eateries mentioned serve great local fare along with all the different cuisines that we have mentioned. Make sure you sample the delicious appetizers and food at all these restaurants for a great foodie experience.

The parks are also very beautiful and fun to visit. They are all family- friendly and will leave you confused with all the different recreational activities that you can enjoy here like baseball, fishing, jogging and more.

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Best Things to Do in Bay City, Michigan