The Saugatuck and Douglas area of Western Michigan, located along the shores of Lake Michigan, was part of the arts and crafts movement of the late 19th century, leading to a rise in tourism and its development as an art colony. This noteworthy background still drives the culture of the area, as many art galleries line the streets of these adjacent towns. While art is the predominant reason individuals seek out this area, the amazing views and activities associated with Lake Michigan keep them coming back year after year.
After arriving in Saugatuck, many individuals want to relax and stroll the streets of the “Art Coast” in search of a find that will complement their collection. Whether you are looking for a piece that represents a specific period or something that simply catches your eye, there is bound to be a gallery that services your style. The Joyce Petter Gallery is a great option if you are open to a variety of styles and appreciate historical architectural elements, which surround the artwork in this refurbished landmark building. For a more contemporary slant on art, head over to the Water Street Gallery and peruse the exceptional photos, sculptures, and paintings that accommodate every budget.
A great entertainment option for children and a popular take on the artistic thread running through Saugatuck and Douglas is the do-it-yourself art creation. At places such as the Express Yourself Art Barn, adults and children alike can make their own pottery, jewelry, mosaic, or painted glass with the assistance of a trained staff. You select the centerpiece of your work of art, choose all the colors, and paint a piece that reflects your personality and personal tastes. It is the perfect way to occupy an afternoon, and children love being able to express their creative side and take their masterpiece home.
With its prime location on the Kalamazoo River and near Lake Michigan, boat cruises can easily be found in any of the numerous Saugatuck marinas. Boat cruises are an ideal way to take in all the breathtaking scenery and learn more about the ecology and history of the area. Take the entire family aboard an authentic sternwheel paddleboat for a narrated sunset cruise along the Kalamazoo River, and catch a different view of the city and the spectacular sight of the sun setting into Lake Michigan.
Sport fishing is also a popular activity in the Saugatuck area since the rocky reef off of Douglas Point causes a current that keeps the game fish nearby all year long. Reel in Lake Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, Walleye, Brown Trout, and a few other species aboard a private fishing charter with one of the knowledgeable and experienced captains of this area.
If you prefer your vacation entertainment to take place on land, ride through the Saugatuck sand dunes on a scenic tour. There is enough room for the entire family in these extended, open top trucks, which provide a unique look at the local vegetation and wildlife of the dunes in addition to entertaining visitors with stories about the lore of the land.
For views and an adventure, make your way from Saugatuck to Oval Beach by crossing the Kalamazoo River on a hand-pulled chain ferry and then climbing the steps of Mount Baldhead. This is well worth the effort when you catch sight of the sand dunes and seclusion you have discovered on this grassy coastal beach. You can walk along the beautiful shoreline, which has been named among the 25 best in the world by Conde Nast’s Traveler, or make your way into the cool, clean, and refreshing water. Stay for the sunset, but take notice that there is a liberal clothing policy so it may not be the most child-friendly beach.
Since the Saugatuck and Douglas area is a place where individuals come for a peaceful, restful vacation away from the stresses of daily life, why not choose accommodations that allow easy access to the activities on your itinerary. A Saugatuck vacation rental can be secluded in the woods or ideally situated on the water, depending on what meets your needs and facilitates your vacation experience. With all the amenities of home at your fingertips and the attractions of Saugatuck a walk out the door, you simply cannot go wrong with a cottage or condo rental for your next stay in Western Michigan.