Blast from the Past

Our glorious past offers nostalgic experiences that are still enjoyed by generations of visitors.

Chain Ferry
Chain Ferry
Star of Saugatuck
Star of Saugatuck
Root Beer Barrel
People in line standing outside of the Root Beer Barrel.

Excursion boats have been a longtime fixture of summertime fun in the area. Originally launched in 1978, this quintessential Saugatuck water experience now offers paddlewheel boat tours along the Kalamazoo River on the Star of Saugatuck, a 51-ton authentic sternwheeler.

Climb aboard the Diane, the only remaining hand-cranked Chain Ferry of its kind in the United States. Part of the unique character of our town since 1857, today’s boat has been crossing the Kalamazoo River since 1965.

Relive the kitsch and character of the novelty sites of the 1950s with a visit to Douglas’s 17-foot tall Root Beer Barrel, a beloved hangout of beachgoers. This concession stand has been newly restored and is right on the way to Oval Beach.

Felt Mansion
The Felt Mansion during sunset.
Saugatuck Pump House
Saugatuck Pump House

The historic Saugatuck Pump House now serves as the Saugatuck-Douglas History Museum. Built initially as Saugatuck’s first water pumping station in 1904, the building is now home to one of Michigan’s best-known and most-visited small-town museums.

Completed in 1928, the Felt Estate recalls a lavish history with tours featuring the mansion’s 25 rooms and extravagant ballroom, a Carriage House, historic Chapel, and expansive grounds, which include the Shore Acres Farm buildings.

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