DescriptionSaugatuck is a picturesque small town overflowing with nostalgic charm thanks to sand dunes, Lake Michigan, an array of boutiques and beautiful 19th-century architecture as well as orchards in the outlying areas. A particularly scenic view awaits those who are willing to climb the 282 steps to the top of Mt. Baldhead sand dune, which hovers above Oval Beach. This 2-mile stretch of beach with sand dunes has received high rankings for its beautiful undeveloped shoreline.
Along with neighboring Douglas, Saugatuck is a popular resort area. The Kalamazoo River connects Lake Michigan to the harbor, which is the focal point of downtown. Here you can stroll along the boardwalk and find nearly 1,000 docked boats. Since the early 1900s artists have been drawn to Saugatuck and Douglas for the abundance of natural scenery, and this lakeside environment where art continues to thrive has become known as the Art Coast of Michigan. Together the two towns boast more than 35 craft, fine art, specialty and studio art galleries. Ox-Bow, an art school founded in the early 20th century by artists from the Art Institute of Chicago, is still offering summer classes at its campus off Park Street; phone (269) 857-5811.
For live summer theater, see a performance at Mason Street Warehouse, which is in the Saugatuck Center for the Arts across from Coughlin Park at 400 Culver St. at the junction of Griffith Street. The center offers concerts, theater productions and rotating exhibits in a small gallery; phone (269) 857-2399.
Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding and golf. Bicycles, canoes, kayaks and mopeds can be rented downtown. In winter, nearby Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers cross-country skiing.
Just west of Water Street is the departure point for the Victorian hand-cranked chain ferry that transports pedestrians and their bicycles to the other side of the Kalamazoo River. The ferry operates daily dawn to dusk Memorial Day through Labor Day; the season may be extended in May or September, weather permitting.
Self-guiding toursA walking-tour brochure can be picked up from the information booth at Culver and Butler streets, the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum, and in downtown Douglas at the convention and visitors bureau at 95 Blue Star Hwy. The route highlights 50 sites depicting local history since the pioneer era. Phone (269) 857-5751 for more information.
ShoppingButler, Water, Culver, Hoffman, Main and Mason streets in downtown Saugatuck feature an array of specialty shops.
A farmers market is held at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts parking lot Fri. 9-3, mid-May to late Sept.
Things to SeeThe Harbor Duck Adventures Tour