Downtown Bay City

Welcome to Downtown, soon to become your favorite place to visit, work and live. We offer festivals throughout the year, celebrating annual and special events. We have plenty of sites to see, one-of-a-kind shops and places to eat.

Located on the water you can stroll along the Riverwalk and enjoy the parks or visit one of our art galleries. At night the downtown comes alive with concerts, movies, and other special events.








2021 Facade Improvement Grant

The Facade Improvement Grant is designed to incentivize property owners to undertake exterior property improvements which will lead to a better utilization of properties within Downtown Bay City. The intent is to support building owners that will help move the needle forward to a more
aesthetically vibrant downtown.

This is a competitive, reimbursement, grant program. Applications will be scored and awarded base on identified metrics. The Facade Improvement Grant Committee, Downtown Bay City Management Board (DMB) and the Downtown Bay City Development Authority (DDA) Boards have an obligation to the Downtown Bay City property owners to invest in good, stable and
financially feasible projects with an end goal of raising the property values of the entire district.

Please download the PDF for more application information.


We Are Open for Business


Download our PDF that lists the businesses and restaurants, along with contact information and the special services that are being offered to you during the COVID-19 Pandemic





old city hall

Feet on the Street

There’s plenty of parking in Downtown Bay City! Please see the map indicating the five free
parking lots throughout the district highlighted in yellow. The orange areas indicate the street
closures that allow for businesses to set up outdoor seating for diners and shoppers.

No matter where you want to go, there’s parking within walking distance! On street parking and parking in visitor spaces is free. Permit spaces are available to everyone in the evenings and weekends as well. Come Downtown, get your feet on the street, and show our merchants some love!




Instagram and Social Media Feeds

The year 2020 brought a lot of things into focus – family and health included. And that’s certainly the case for Chris Garbe who just opened Water Street Nutrition, a healthy shake and tea bar in Downtown Bay City . Just a few years ago when Garbe entered college he had his sights set on ...becoming an ophthalmologist. When he graduates from Grand Valley State University later this year his degree will be in Biomedical Sciences. While Garbe’s focus on health and science hasn’t changed – it’s taken a new path. “When I worked at these types of places in the Grand Rapids area I started realizing it was more than a job. I loved interacting with people,” Garbe said. “I enjoy the personal connections.”

Garbe helped launch several similar businesses on the west side of the state but was an employee, not the owner. As the pandemic set in and his GVSU classes moved online, Garbe started to realize becoming an eye doctor wasn’t his true passion anymore. “It just made sense to bring this type of business to Bay City, my hometown. There’s nothing like it here,” Garbe shared. Juggling being a fulltime student and brand-new business owner has been educational. “My family put in a lot of time, energy and money to make this all happen. It was certainly eye opening.”

Water Street Nutrition, 904 N. Water Street, has been busy since it opened June 1. Customers are coming to get their tea and shake – yes, they come as a pair! “Think of the tea as your ‘coffee’ or boost of energy, while the shake is packed with nutrition,” Garbe said. “In order to get the most out of your shake, you need the tea. They work together.” Garbe explained for some people the tea and shake will be filling enough to act as a meal replacement, while for others they’ll simply be a supplement. Ingredients, such as extra protein and fiber, can be added to change the nutritional makeup. In just the first few days the most popular items have been the Paradise Punch Tea and Fruity Pebbles Shake. If those aren’t your cup of tea – there are dozens of other options featuring the Herbalife Nutrition products.

As much as Garbe wants customers to enjoy the drinks – he measures success in another way. Garbe explained the phrase ‘good vibes’ means a lot. “I hope people realize there’s so much more here than shakes and tea, I hope it becomes a community.” Already he’s seen groups of people come in to try them out, while others have made a solo trip. Customers have included everyone from high school students to retirees. Everyone who walks through the doors will be greeted – most likely by Garbe – to explain how to order and why the two drinks work as a team. “We’re already getting to know our regulars, there are some people who have been in every day,” Garbe said. “We absolutely love making those connections and seeing familiar faces.”

Other businesses have been welcoming too! Several other Downtown Bay City businesses donated items or services to help with Water Street Nutrition’s grand opening giveaway. Garbe had his sights set on downtown from the beginning – and the welcome he’s received helped him see it was the right decision. “Having grown up here, I’ve watched Downtown Bay City really blossom. I love the variety of businesses here,” Garbe said. “This is where we wanted to be. I’m so glad to be a part of it.”

The #SundaySpotlight is a regular feature here on Facebook. Each week we highlight a different business or non-profit in the City. If you have some great ideas for us, please email:

It's looking like another beautiful day to get out and support local artists and small business owners at the Riverside Art Festival!

We'll be in Downtown Bay City from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM today.

The festival is officially open in Downtown Bay City, stop by and shop these great vendors until 4:00!
Cool down with a drink while you’re here at Drydock Beer Garden, proceeds will help support YWCA Great Lakes Bay Region!

Have you done this bucket list yet? Be sure to get yourself to Bay City this summer! 😎 We have Downtown Bay City, Uptown Bay City Midland Street Business District ✅✅✅
Go Great Lakes Bay Bay County Chamber of Commerce Riverfront Grille Restaurant & Lounge

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First-Timer's Bucket List: A Long Weekend in the Great Lakes Bay | Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau

When talking “bucket list” in the Great Lakes Bay, let’s tackle a biggie right up front: pack the bigger suitcase! Because here, you can ...

Today’s #FiveOnFriday answers come from Larry Williams, a six-year City of Bay City employee.

1️⃣What is your job title and what department/division are you part of?
🌳I’m a crew leader with the Vegetation Management Division of Bay City Electric Light and Power.

...2️⃣How would you explain your job to someone?
🌳We’re just here to trim the trees and help keep the power on! While we are called on to trim trees for other purposes, our main role is to trim right-of-way trees in the BCELP service area – which includes outside the city limits.

3️⃣What is your proudest accomplishment as a City of Bay City employee?
🌳I’m proud that during the time I’ve been here – power outages due to tree issues has been reduced. While it happens from time-to-time, we really work to prevent outages before they happen.

4️⃣Where is your favorite place to eat or shop in Bay City?
🌳 Chan's Garden Bay City in Downtown Bay City has the BEST egg rolls!

5️⃣How does your job make a difference?
🌳I’d like to think we’re an important part of keeping the power on. The better we do to keep trees from interfering with power lines, the less likely our linemen will have to make a repair during a storm. We all have a part in keeping the lights on.

We had lots of fun with our friends last night at Drydock Beer Garden supporting the YWCA! There’s always great things happening in Downtown Bay City and I love that there’s always opportunities to support great organizations like this one. Don’t forget! The Riverside Art Festival is this ...weekend! Come check it out and support 😄👍

➡️ Princess Wenonah has returned to Downtown Bay City! 🛥 Enjoy a stroll on the Riverwalk tonight! There are so many great sites to see!
Riverfront Grille Restaurant & Lounge Go Great Lakes Bay DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City Boat Lines