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).



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!