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OUTDOORS

Pandemic Pastimes

 


 

Pandemic life has undoubtedly brought with it a profound change to everyone’s routines. But for many, this change has included the opportunity to pursue new hobbies and activities, like baking bread, birdwatching, or even bringing home a new puppy. If you’ve discovered joy in these newfound pursuits, here’s how to take them to the next level while here visiting Saugatuck/Douglas.

One of the most popular pastimes during COVID lockdown was baking/cooking. If you developed a recent passion for this activity, we encourage you to discover the various cooking classes we have in our area. Isabel’s Market + Eatery offers in-depth cooking demonstrations where hearty samples of each dish will be given to participants to enjoy along with a glass of a perfectly paired wine, beer, or cocktail. Or hone your skills in a cooking workshop at Lulu Cadieux, a lifestyle boutique filled with a blend of modern and vintage items for your kitchen and home. If a private class tailored to your specific interests is what you’re looking for, broaden your culinary knowledge with Chef Jim LaPerriere at Distinctive Dining. His "must-see" teaching and demonstration kitchen features a Forno Bravo wood-fired pizza and bread oven, twenty feet of work islands, and a wood-burning rotisserie fireplace. 

Crafting and artistic exploits also saw a tremendous surge this past year. Try your hands at fusing glass, making mosaics, painting ceramics or wood, stringing beads, and more outdoors in a garden or in a beautiful old barn at Express Yourself Art Barn. Or consider signing up for a 1-4 day workshop this summer at the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency. Topics include Watercolor, Charcoal Drawing, Landscape Painting, Writing, and much more.

It’s no surprise that getting closer to nature topped the list of pandemic activities undertaken in 2020. If birdwatching became a new hobby, you’ll delight in all the species of birds you can encounter in our area. We’ve pulled together some of the best birding hotspots for you here. If taking to the trails is how you spent some of your free time, you'll be interested to know that there are nearly 30 miles of hiking trails within 10 minutes of Saugatuck/Douglas. Come celebrate National Trails Day with us on Saturday, June 5, which will feature special events, maps, and prizes. More information can be found here. No matter when your travels bring you to the area, you can still be inspired by the stunning scenery of coastal dunes and shoreline at the Saugatuck Dunes State Park and the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area. Trails range from easy to moderate to accommodate all levels. Hiking the dunes is a great way to get some fresh air and shed any extra unwanted pandemic pounds.

Did last year find you rescuing a dog or welcoming a “pandemic puppy” into your life? Bring your pooch along during your visit with us. We’ve pulled together some ideas of pet-friendly activities here as well as a list of dining and drinking establishments here that will welcome your furry friend. Wrap up your visit with a stop at Lakeshore Pet Boutique in Douglas for a gourmet doggie snack or special souvenir chew toy.

Got into reading for the first time? There is no end to the subjects and titles you can get buried in while vacationing with us. Stop by The Book Nook, an independent book store in Saugatuck that offers both new and used books. Or visit the Singapore Bank Bookstore, which specializes in mysteries, local history, nautical, children's, and books about Native Americans.

And if your lockdown time involved tackling home improvement projects, we’ve got plenty of home décor boutiques to help you enliven those refreshed spaces. Peruse shops like Kindel & Company Lifestyle Mercantile, Articles Wardrobe & Home, Brackett & Co, and Upscale Mercantile or go antiquing at the Saugatuck Antique Pavilion or Featherstone Antique Mall.

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