When you drive into Bay City, you can't help seeing why we are so proud of our downtown. We worked hard to become a designated Texas Main Street participant so we could preserve our unique community heritage. Every year, our downtown revitalization and preservation goals help us advance our historic downtown and improve our economic sustainability. The vision of our Bay City Main Street program is for downtown Bay City to be the pulse of the County: celebrating historic pride, economic vitality and the best of Texas hospitality. It is easy to appreciate life in a community with such pride in its history and vision for its future.
We love our city's history and work together to maintain the rich historical aspects important to the charm of our community. Our projects include facade grants, historical building upgrades, as well as many local and county-wide preservation activities.
The Matagorda County Historical Commission is a very active group of residents whose efforts make our history accessible to everyone. From collecting local narratives and documenting historical homes to creating Downtown Walking Tours and Drive By History guides, the Commission consistently reminds us of what is important and what it means to be part of historic Texas.
EAT. PLAY. SHOP. EXPLORE. LIVE DOWNTOWN
From Boots to bangles, glitter to rust, gourmet to home cooking ... you'll experience friendly faces, unique shops and a piece of Texas history when you visit historic downtown Bay City, "The Gateway to the Great Outdoors."
We also invite you to join us in our restaurants for a chance to taste our famous Gulf shrimp or fine Texas BBQ. Seafood, steak, BBQ, Cajun and Mexican cuisine top our list of favorite foods and can be found on menus all over the city. Lunch time downtown is a favorite time for locals who know where to go for a bowl of gumbo, gourmet sandwich, chicken & dumplings, a burger, steak or elevated American cuisine.
For some of us shopping is more than a quick trip to the grocery store, it is an enjoyable pastime with friends and Bay City has just what we look for--from national big box retailers and unique strip malls to distinctive stores in the historic downtown square. Strolling wide sidewalks among unique buildings full of history and beauty is a very different experience than huge parking lots and large malls. We think you will love the small town charm as you make a day of wandering through the specialty shops around the Square, perusing the local stores and finishing your outing at one of our dinner locales.
Downtown Bay City is a great place to experience our southern hospitality and charm. The "Square," all that surrounds our County Courthouse, offers a collection of unique retail shops with everything from western wear and local artisan products to boutique houseware items and gourmet coffee. The Square is also a center for local events and activities and a place to make new friends. Downtown Bay City boasts family owned businesses who have been around for decades as well as new specialty shops owned and operated by a new generation of entrepreneurs.
When you step out to dine in Bay City be sure to bring your appetite because, in true Texas style, most restaurants serve generous portions. Whether it is seafood, BBQ, steak or Mexican cuisine you are hankering for, we are sure you will find it somewhere in town. Experience uniquely southern dishes such as grits, okra or buttermilk pie. Try some choice barbecued meats or step out for fried catfish or gumbo. There are about forty eateries in Bay City and with more opening up all the time you are sure to discover something you love.
Around the Square
“Shop the Block” the second Thursday of each month while enjoying late evening shopping around the square. Downtown retailers offer store specials and refreshments for all to enjoy. Visitors and locals are invited to stroll the beautiful brick sidewalks, sit a spell, and enjoy ambient music as they meet their neighbors on Main Street.
The Full Moon Concert Series, sponsored by the Bay City Convention & Visitors Bureau, brings a variety of music genres to downtown Bay City each season of the year. The series celebrate the Wolf Moon (winter), Flower Moon (spring), Strawberry Moon (summer) and Harvest Moon (fall).
Trick or Treat Around the Square is enjoyed by hundreds of Bay City children (of all ages) on Halloween afternoon. Downtown businesses get into the spirit, dress up and hand out goodies to super heroes, ghosts, goblins, lions, tigers and bears.
Downtown gets “all dressed up for Christmas” just in time for Christmas Around the Square, held the third Thursday each November. Catching the Christmas spirit is easy in downtown Bay City.
Bay City Wild Game & Wine Camofest acclaims Bay City Native and artist, Forrest Clemenger Bess, designer of camouflage. Camofest celebrates Bay City as the "Gateway to the Great Outdoors" and includes a full weekend of music, wine tasting, wild game tasting and more. Held the last weekend each January, Camofest is a unique event you won't want to miss.
Love Bay City and wanna stay? You can live in downtown Bay City in any number of apartments that have been rennovated in historic properties or take a look at our North Downtown Development of new housing.