Bay City Tall Ships Festival is a Must-See Family Event!

By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

Bay City Tall Ships Celebration is an absolute must-see fun family event.  Enjoy maritime-themed music as you tour vintage sailing ships on both sides of the Saginaw River, wave to the spirited pirate stilt walkers, learn about life on a tall ship and grab a photo as you steer the ship!

Every July, the waterfront city of Bay City gears up for its much-anticipated Tall Ship Celebration.  The festival draws thousands of pirate and ship loving fans. It's a festival we never miss!  


My friend Allison and I are considering the pirate life after donning our pirate hats and taking control of the wheel!


"You can always trust the untrustworthy because you can always trust that they will be untrustworthy. Its the trustworthy you can’t trust."
– Captain Jack Sparrow

Climb Aboard Matey! 


There's a fee of approximately $10 per person to enter the festival grounds and few the ships from the ground. 

If you wish to tour the ships, you will need to obtain a passport book that is $10 at the time of this writing.  This passport book allows you to tour all of the ships.  


Bay City Tall Ships Tips and Know Before You Go


  • We highly recommend that you arrive early as the heat is usually quite intense in the afternoons.
  • The ships are positioned on both sides of the river so you will need to walk over the bridge to tour the other ships.  Be mindful of traffic on the bridge as it is not closed to vehicles during the festival. 
  • Again, arrive early as the lines to board the ships get very long by noon.
  • You must stand in line for each ship so pick your top 4 favorites and start there. You may find it's too hot to see all of them and you won't want to miss your favorites.
  • There are vendors for food available on the festival grounds
  • Porta-Johns are available
  • There are white tents available for shade and rain relief.
  • Your purses and bags will be searched before entering the festival grounds.
  • We brought in water bottles but glass is not allowed.


Subscribe To Receive Exciting Destinations, Day Trips and Fun Directly to Your Inbox!

Traveling Michigan NewsletterTraveling Michigan Newsletter

Sign Up to Our Newsletter to Get the 5 Free Must Have Apps to Travel in Michigan Like a Boss!

Follow Us on Instagram 

View this post on Instagram

Had the funniest conversation with this talented artist at the Bay City Tall Ships Celebration yesterday. He said all the good artists were down further and when I balked at that statement, he says, "WELL I guess that's the only way I can get a complement!" LOL! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There were several artists painting the gorgeous tall ships. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I loved watching them work! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ All of the paintings produced are for sale at Studio 23 in Bay City. How cool is that?!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #tallship #baycitymi #baycitytallships #baycitymichigan #tallships #michigan #michigander #visitbaycitymi #onlyinmichigan #michigansummers #summer #laketown #lakehuron #michiganfestivals #puremi #puremichiganders #puremichigan #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #michiganstate #travelingmichigan #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #exploremichigan #puremittigan #greatlakeslocals ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #midwestmoment #oilpainters #michiganart

A post shared by Michigan Travel+Food Adventure (@travelingmichigan) on

YouTube Video Below

Coming Soon!

You May Also Like...

There are so many things to do and see in Bay City, Michigan and nearby Midland, Michigan.  Plan to spend the weekend so you can relax and enjoy the beautiful region!  No reason to hurry home after the festival!

  1. Traveling Michigan Home Page
  2.  ›
  3. Tall-Ships

Voted Top Influencer for Michigan!

Booking.com


Love Adventures?
Join our network of Traveling Michigan Explorers! 

Be a part of this amazing community of travelers!

We'll send you the best local adventures, upcoming events, tips and inspiration right to your inbox!

Join Our Boarding Pass Newsletter, Your Ticket to Adventure!

* indicates required

We hate spam! Your email is safe with us.

TESTIMONIALS

"I just moved to Midland a month ago from out of state.  Your account has been a FABULOUS source of adventures for me.  Thanks for making such an informative account!"

~Jillian

"You two definitely know how to transport to the destination with your pics!"

~Lenny

"Seriously, Michigan is gorgeous all year round! I'm excited to see where you go, then I'll get inspired to go places!"

~Diana