With rehabbed historical districts, shopping and restaurants on both sides of the Saginaw River, Bay City (population: 33,200) exudes a lively urban river-town feel.

What to do

Appledore IV or V Vintage-looking schooners departs from the north end of Wenonah Park. Sail on weekend sightseeing cruises and dinner cruises. baysailbaycity.org

From May to October, the tall ship Appledore sails Saginaw Bay.
From May to October, the tall ship Appledore sails Saginaw Bay.

Downtown waterfront Once a gritty lumberjack hangout, the district on the river's east side now is known for condos, antiques stores, clothing shops, galleries, restaurants, and an annual independent film and music festival. downtownbaycity.com

City Market The space is inside a former department store where up to 45 vendors sell flowers, fish, fresh produce, baked goods and crafts. citymarketbc.com

Sunrise Pedal Trolley Grab eight to 15 friends for a fun night riding around Bay City, stopping at any restaurant or bar you wish. sunrisepedaltrolley.com

Saginaw Riverwalk A stroll takes you through flower gardens, over a bridge and by a pier, all with views of the Saginaw River. 

Bay City State Park Relax in the sand here and take a walk through the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center. dnr.state.mi.us

State Theatre Catch an evening concert or film at the restored. stateandbijou.org

Where to eat

Jake's Old City Grill Saginaw's high-end steak house delivers well-prepared food (try the seasonal pan-seared walleye and Caesar salad), polished service, microbrews and stylish cocktails in a historical building. It's located 17 miles south of Bay City. jakesforsteaks.com

Krzysiak's House Authentic Polish dishes, including golabki, pierogi, and famous homemade sausage and noodles, draw hungry crowds to this friendly spot. krzysiaks.com

Beatles and Beans Coffee Emporium Grab a blended beverage and admire Beatles memorabilia that covers the shop from top to bottom.

Mussel Beach Drive-In Stop here for burgers, fries and Michigan-made ice cream. Mussel Beach Drive-In on Facebook

Tavern 101 If you'd rather stay in one place, sit on the patio at Tavern 101 while mulling which of the 54 on-tap beers to order. tavern101restaurant.com

Where to stay

Montague Inn The 1930 Georgian mansion stands on 8 acres in Saginaw. All rooms feature private baths and simple, period-appropriate furnishings (some show their age). montagueinn.com

For information gogreat.com