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Vacation in Saugatuck and Douglas - Michigan

Jump to: Overview, Things To Do, Transportation, Climate, Accommodations, Cost

Area Overview

Saugatuck and Douglas are harbor villages that celebrate diversity – small-town America at its best! Here visitors can turn back the pages of time to enjoy a simpler life where no one hurries, and no one hurries you. A place where everyone is special and everyone is welcome. Recently the National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Saugatuck/Douglas as one of the “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in the U.S. and the writers and editors of Midwest Livingmagazine ranked Saugatuck/ Douglas fifth among the top 100 vacation destinations in the Midwest.
Enjoy "The Great Art-Doors" while visiting either downtown area, you can walk – in a safe and friendly environment – to almost everything. In Saugatuck, you can stroll along the boardwalk admiring the boats and explore the dockside shops. Picnic by a gazebo overlooking the harbor then ride the Victorian hand-cranked ferry to visit our historic museum or climb Mount Baldhead. You can rent a canoe, paddle board, kayak, charter a sailboat or tour our waterways on board an old-fashioned sternwheeler or WWII amphibious “Duck.” End your excursion at the corner drug store soda fountain where hand-creamed sodas and malted shakes have been a specialty for over 100 years!
Just across the river, Douglas is the perfect place to explore historical buildings such as the Old Schoolhouse, Dutcher Lodge, the library and various churches and residences which have been restored to enhance their 19th century charm while still serving our community. Shopping in downtown Douglas is a pleasure too, whether you’re looking for fine art, home accessories, retro collectibles, or hard to find children’s toys and rare books. Douglas is also home to the area’s first microbrewery, a do-it-yourself Art Barn and West Michigan’s largest Antique Pavilion. Shop a little, eat a little, relax a lot.
For over a century artists have been drawn to the area's towering dunes, pristine beaches and natural splendors of this jewel-like setting on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore. Today that artistic heritage persists through strong ties to the Art Institute of Chicago with its affiliated summer school at Ox-Bow as well as a broad spectrum of art galleries and art-based activities and events. Consistently named one of America’s top 25 arts destinations, it’s no wonder the area has become known as “The Art Coast ™ of Michigan”!
You’ll find great lodging options in modern, privately-owned motels, cottages, suites and charming retro auto courts. Or, if you prefer a country inn, our “Bed and Breakfast Capital of the Midwest” offers an extensive variety of historic accommodations. Regardless of your preference, travelers are always treated like friends of the family!
It’s easy to understand why Michigan’s governor named Saugatuck one of Michigan’s 19 “Coolest Cities.” The town’s Oval Beach is ranked one of the top 25 beaches in the world by Condé Nast Traveler and one of the top two in the USA by National Geographic Traveler. More recently, the Chicago Tribune rated it number one out of the Midwest’s five best beaches and USA Today readers voted us the #1 Weekend Getaway in the USA.

Things to Do

Recreation & Fitness

Saugatuck/Douglas has plenty of physical, outdoor diversions for the young and restless - Swimming at Oval Beach, charter fishing, canoeing, jet skiing and horseback riding can be arranged from several locales, and premier hiking awaits at Saugatuck Dunes State Park and Allegan State Park. Big Lake Outfitters of Saugatuck/Best Chance Charters/ Boat, kayak, moped, bike rentals. Bait & tackle, clothing & charter fishing, boat launching, Clearbrook Golf Club/ Golf Digest 4 1/2 stars, classic, challenging, walkable, pubic, drier and faster .Dunes Resort/ Midwest largest gay & lesbian resort/entertainment complex .Fenn Valley Vineyards Tasting Room/ Fenn Valley Tasting Room. Award winning wines of distinction Harbor Duck Adventures Co. Amphibious touring water taxi. See Two Towns, One River, One Harbor, Land & Water !Hungry Village Tours at the SCA Saugatuck's guided culinary walk or take a delicious drive to area farms. Laketown Golf & Conference Center/ West Michigan's premier location for events . Felt Estate & Garden Tours,Running Rivers Kayak Rental/l no experience needed. All ages welcome! Saugatuck Area Charter boat Association Lake Michigan charter sport fishing Association, Yacht Club Charters Saugatuck Dune Rides/ 35 minute scenic tour thru the sand dunes of Lake Michigan. Saugatuck, Wooden Boat/ Offering daily river cruises for one to six passengers. Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society, Shaka Surf/ Saugatuck’s premier on water stand up paddle board !Sounds of Saugatuck/April- Nov. Outdoor Live music 6pm - 1am Saugatuck & Douglas,
Star of Saugatuck Boat Cruises/1 1/2 hour cruise on authentic Sternwheeler – snacks & spirits. Venetian Festival/ July 25-27 Friday Beer Tent, Saturday Boat Parade, Fireworks. Douglas Dutchers Vintage Base Ball Club. Farmer’s Market. Several parks, and children's playground, two locations.

Cultural Activities

Saugatuck Center for the Arts provides uptown theater in downtown Saugatuck all summer long. Cultural performances, classes and workshops abound here year ‘round. Our Chamber Music Festival and frequent jazz concerts highlight a topflight eclectic music scene. Through the Lakeshore Arts Alliance community theater blossoms. Outdoor art shows, gallery openings and festivals, including Old School House History Center Exhibition, "Rowing them Safely Home-Lifesaving and Shipwrecks on Lake Michigan.


Oval Beach-one of the highest rated beaches in the United States,Dunes State Park, Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area, Wineries - There are three tasting rooms in Saugatuck, Fenn Valley Winery in Fennville, about ten miles south of Saugatuck, which offers tours of the vineyards and production facilities in addition to a large wine tasting room. Beer making classes and craft beers at the Saugatuck Brewery.
Cranes orchards - U-Pick fruit,(multiple varieties of apples, peaches, and cherries) Corn Maze and the Haunted Corn Maze.
Coral Gables Comedy, Club, Express Yourself Art Barn,
Cranes pie pantry - A great family restaurant outside Fennville! Yummy pies!

Saugatuck Chain Ferry - The chain ferry is one of the oldest hand-cranked chain ferries in America.
Take a ride on the Chain Ferry across the Kalamazoo River and visit the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum, or climb the 282 steps the top of Mt. Baldhead.
Harbor Duck boat - Take a fun ride on an amphibious vehicle through the streets of Saugatuck and Douglas and down the Kalamazoo River!
Saugatuck Center for the Arts - Performances, exhibitions, classes, cultural events!
Mason Street Warehouse - Plays and musicals that enrich the audience, the art, and the artists.
Ox-Bow School of Art - Summer art classes, exhibitions, open studios.
Felt Mansion- A restored mansion just north of Saugatuck, listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.Antique shops and pavilion
Star of Saugatuck Paddle wheeler - Take a ride on a genuine paddle wheel boat out the Kalamazoo River into Lake Michigan!
Golf Courses - Three great golf courses in the Saugatuck/Douglas at Clearbrook Golf Club and Ravines


Our downtown shuttle is free, running every 15 min in the summer months located on Elizabeth Street at the Saugatuck High School. In addition to your downtown shuttle, we offer the Interurban,dependable reliable, and convenient.


Monthly Temperatures / Rainfall

 Month  Low  Avg  High  Rain
 January  17.6  24.4  31.1  2.3 "
 February  19.1  26.9  34.6  1.4 "
 March  26.6  35.7  44.8  2.1 "
 April  36.1  46.4  56.7  3.1 "
 May  46.3  57.8  69.2  3.4 "
 June  55.2  66.8  78.5  3.7 "
 July  60.2  71.3  82.5  3.5 "
 August  59.0  70.0  80.9  3.6 "
 September  51.8  62.4  73.0  4.0 "
 October  41.6  51.1  60.7  2.9 "
 November  32.6  40.0  47.4  3.2 "
 December  22.9  29.4  35.9  2.9 "

Best Time To Go:

Summer and fall.

Summers are warm and sunny for swimming, boating, kayaking,and sailing. Fall is beautiful and captivating with the fall colors of various hardwood trees, plus winter is magical,dressed in white lights throughout the downtown shops and stores, and of course spring is full bloom of soft yet vibrant colors of spring-time perennials and annals.


You’ll find great lodging options in modern, privately-owned motels, cottages, suites and charming retro auto courts. Or, if you prefer a country inn, our “Bed and Breakfast Capital of the Midwest” offers an extensive variety of historic accommodations. Regardless of your preference, travelers are always treated like friends of the family!


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