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Felicia V. Fairchild, Executive Director
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 Living magazine 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 onboard 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 collectables, 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!
Golf enthusiasts can hit the links at one of our two 18-hole championship golf courses while the kids take sailing lessons or an art class. And don’t leave without taking the family on a thrilling dune buggy ride! Blending so many attractions you can easily create your own “masterpiece” vacation.
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.
Saugatuck Center for the Arts provides uptown theatre in downtown Saugatuck all summer long. Cultural performances, classes and workshops abound there year ‘round. Our Chamber Music Festival and frequent jazz concerts highlight a topflight eclectic music scene. Through the Lakeshore Arts Alliance community theatre blossoms. Outdoor art shows, gallery openings and culinary events add extra spice to the Saugatuck/ Douglas recipe for fun.
Our "great art-doors" offers a place to rest or play any time of the year. Whether you come for an executive retreat, a corporate meeting, a family reunion or your own romantic getaway vacation, you’ll be glad you discovered the treasure that is Saugatuck and Douglas. See you soon!
Copyright Saugatuck/Douglas Convention & Visitors Bureau All Rights Reserved 1996
Photography by Felicia Fairchild - All Rights Reserved