One of BaySail's Appledore tall ship schooners, docked on the water in Downtown Bay City with a colorful, cotton-candy sunset in the background

📍BaySail 📷 @jeffcaverlyphoto

 


 

Sailing Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay on a breathtaking tall ship, wine tasting on a tranquil river cruise, or channeling beach vibes on soft, sandy shores — warm, salt-free waters and dreamy summer days are calling you here to Pure Michigan's freshwater coastline.

 

Walleye fishing to freshwater sailing, boating to beaching — dive in here. The inland lakes, rivers, and streams you'll paddle in this waterfront region only add to the cool, blue serenity.

 


 

Freshwater Sailing + Guided Boat Tours

Bavarian Belle Riverboat and Frankenmuth FunShips passing under the Holz-Brucke Covered Bridge in Frankenmuth

📍Frankenmuth FunShips and Bavarian Belle Riverboat on the Cass River 📷 @michiganaddicts

 

BaySail (Bay City) Freshwater sailing excursions on Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay, aboard the Appledore tall ships. Take off from Downtown on a Sunset Sail and tuck away the memory of billowing sails against a sinking sunset. Or, set out late-night for a Celestial Excursion under the stars — with constellations overhead, artisan charcuterie served on-board, and live presentations by local astronomers.

Frankenmuth FunShips (Frankenmuth) 30-minute or one-hour river tours of Frankenmuth, where wine and chocolate tasting on the water isn't a summer daydream, but a reality too incredible to resist! Sip five wines paired with five handmade chocolates — then enjoy a full pour of your favorite — while you see Frankenmuth from the Cass River on this iconic summer outing.

Bavarian Belle Riverboat (Frankenmuth) 150-passenger riverboat with docks at Frankenmuth River Place Shops' iconic waterfalls, departing for one-hour narrated history tours of Frankenmuth on the Cass River. Relax on the canopied upper deck or in the fully-enclosed lower salon, and enjoy a snack bar, soft drinks, and restrooms, all on-board.

Johnny Panther Quests Adventure Trips (Saginaw) Soft-adventure, shallow-draft boat tours through one of our state's richest wildlife habitats — the "Everglades of Michigan" — led by a legendary local guide. Wildlife sightings, scenic waterways, and sheer Pure Michigan bliss with every trip — from educational ecotours to relaxing outings.

Bay City Boat Lines (Bay City) Public cruises on the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay aboard two excursion boats — Princess Wenonah and The Islander. Try a Free Narrated History Tour (offered weekdays), a Friday Evening Cruise (with live, on-deck entertainment and a dinner buffet), or a Saturdays on the Saginaw River Tour (where a live guide highlights wildlife and what else to see and do while here).

 

Beaches

Woman standing on the beach near the water, watching the sun set at Bay City State Park

📍Bay City State Park 📷 @andweheldhands

 

Bay City State Park (Bay City) Almost one mile of natural Saginaw Bay shoreline, with boat launches, picnic areas, sand volleyball courts, and a swimming beach. Let the kids cool off at Spray by the Bay spray park, then explore Tobico Marsh — one of the Great Lakes' largest freshwater coastal wetlands and a National Natural Landmark — together.

William H. Haithco Recreation Area (Saginaw) 40-acre, man-made lake and sandy, supervised swimming beach — tucked inside a 76-acre park. Rent paddleboats, rowboats, canoes, or kayaks on-site, fish along the shores or from the docks, then grill up some eats and enjoy at a shaded picnic table before a game of horseshoes or beach volleyball!

 

Walleye Fishing + Saginaw Bay Fishing Charters

Fishing poles cast out on Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay

📍Saginaw Bay 📷 @gsp_rufflife

 

World-class Walleye Fishing (Saginaw Bay) Hands down one of Michigan's best walleye fisheries, Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay is alive with trophy walleye and other great catch from perch to bass — whether you take to the waters solo or go with a guided charter.

Guided Saginaw Bay Fishing Charters (Linwood, Bay City) From The Michigan Experience to Adventure 1 Charters and more, top-notch Saginaw Bay charter fishing lives here — and there's no shortage of avid anglers who are ready to take you out trolling. Expert guides provide the craft, gear, and local know-how; our fishery offers up the unbelievable catch... and the unforgettable experience to match!

 

Kayak Rentals

Views from a bright yellow kayak on the Cass River in Frankenmuth, with the Marv Herzog Hotel reflected on the water

📍Kayaking the Cass River 📷 @krista_b_fitness

 

Float Paddle Center (Bay City) Single or tandem kayak rentals, and stand-up paddleboards, too! Rent your craft of choice or book a guided ecotour and "go with the float".

Frankenmuth Kayak Adventures (Frankenmuth) Self-guided kayaking on Frankenmuth's scenic Cass River, with pre-set trips or hourly rates on single and double kayaks.

Ike's Mobile Kayak Rentals (Midland) Relaxing sunset paddles to all-day kayaking excursions, rent sit-in or sit-on crafts here — and consider a paddle that passes under Midland's three-legged bridge, The Tridge.

Cattail Kayak Rental (Pinconning) Single and double kayak rentals setting out from Pinconning Park's shoreline, with affordable hourly rates.

 

Waterfront Restaurants + Waterfront Hotels

Views of the sun setting over the waterfront through a gorgeous wall of windows at Real Seafood Company Bay City

📍Real Seafood Company 📷 @maditaylorphoto

 

Restaurants on the Water (Multiple Cities) Enjoying top-catch seafood with panoramic waterfront views at Real Seafood Company in Bay City, cozying up on the riverfront deck of Castaways for Famous Hand-Breaded Walleye and Cajun Catfish Dinners, or overlooking the scenic Cass River with Frankenmuth Brewery's craft beer and comfort food in-hand — there are plenty of places to dine with jaw-dropping waterfront views.

Hotels on the Water (Multiple Cities) Staying at Bavarian Inn Lodge, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, or Marv Herzog Hotel in Frankenmuth will put the Cass River right outside your window, while a stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott, or Comfort Inn — all along Bay City's riverfront — will leave you with sweet, summer dreams of the Saginaw River... and maybe tall ships sailing by!