Three Perfect Days In Winter
If you’ve experienced the energy and buzz of an Art Coast summer, we invite you to luxuriate in the peace and quiet of winter here along the lakeshore. Explore our tranquil woods and snow-covered dunes. Get inspired by our vibrant art scene. Indulge in healing body treatments and farm-to-table focused cuisine. With stunning scenery and a host of activities that are sure to rejuvenate you, winter is the perfect time for a long weekend or mid-week getaway to the Art Coast of Michigan.
For some ideas on what to do during this season, consider this suggested 3-day itinerary. Be sure to check out our current business hours listing to see what’s open during the days you plan to visit.
Start your morning early with a hearty breakfast at Ida Red’s Cottage. This cash-only establishment is a Saugatuck local favorite featuring classic breakfast dishes along with daily specials. Portions are generous, but you’ll need that extra energy for your outdoor adventures. After your meal, stop over at nearby Landsharks to rent snowshoes or cross-country skis, boots, and poles. Then bundle up and head over to Saugatuck Dunes State Park, where you’ll enjoy exploring miles of stunning scenic trails that will make you forget all about the hustle and bustle of urban life.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, make your way back into town and grab lunch at Wally’s Bar & Grill. Their famous wild-caught Great Lakes perch is a must-try menu item that has both locals and visitors raving. Afterward, head to Oval Beach to see if you can spot any ice volcanoes or ice balls along the shoreline. Even if these weather-related phenomena aren’t present, the stunning views of Lake Michigan will be worth the stop. When you’re ready to warm up, stop over at Uncommon Coffee Roasters for a freshly brewed mocha or latte. After experiencing the enticing aromas in their café, you’ll want to purchase a bag of their specialty roasted coffee beans to enjoy at home.
After all that activity, show your body some love by scheduling a deep tissue massage from Thrive Massage & Wellness or a Swedish massage at Bella Vita Spa. Plan on a casual and cozy dinner in laid-back style at The Southerner, where fried chicken and biscuits have been elevated to an art form, and the craft cocktails are superb.
Begin your day with a visit to The Farmhouse Deli & Pantry for freshly baked pastries or gourmet breakfast sandwiches. Then head off on a gallery stroll to discover why we’re called the Art Coast of Michigan. Starting in Douglas, visit the Button Gallery, Water Street Gallery, Krista Reuter Studio, Mr. Miller’s Art Emporium, and the J. Petter Galleries to explore fine art in every medium from a mix of local and national artists. Make your way to Fennville and check out Fernwood 1891, Peachbelt Studio, and Khenmu Studio.
For a spectacular and intimate way to enjoy some refreshments, reserve a private heated greenhouse at Virtue Cider, where you can sip on cider and nibble on some delectable curated bites from a charcuterie tray. Or simply kick back at one of their fire pits or at a table under their heated pergola. There’s still more art in Saugatuck yet to explore. Be sure to check out Roan and Black, Amazwi Contemporary Art, Armstrong De Graaf International Fine Art, James Brandess Studios & Gallery, and Mixed Media Gallery, just to name a few. In between galleries, explore our many shops and boutiques to find treasures to take home.
Arrange for a peaceful and scenic private horse-drawn sleigh ride through tranquil, snow-covered woods with Wild West Ranch. Weather permitting, they offer 40-minutes long private rides for a breathtaking way to take in the beauty of the season. Finish out the evening with dinner at Bowdie’s Chophouse for the ultimate steakhouse experience with exceptional drinks.
Rise and shine with some delicious coffee and a Michigan Maple Waffle or Avocado Toast from Respite Cappuccino Court. Then ease away any leftover tension with a class at Satya Yoga, where walk-ins of any level are welcome. Do some shopping or catch up on some reading before grabbing lunch later at Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant & Winery, a family-owned and operated institution famous for their Sloppy Joes and, of course, pies. Can’t decide on which pie to try? No worries. Order their Pie Flight for the chance to sample four different kinds. Start your wine tasting adventure here and then visit our other wineries, including Fenn Valley Vineyards, Michigan Wine Company, and Modales Wines, which features ample seating on their heated outdoor patio.
Or embark on a winter-focused craft beer tour if ale is more your style. Saugatuck Brewing Company, Guardian Brewing Company, Waypost Brewing Co., and the Mitten Brewing Company are only a short drive apart yet offer distinctly different flavor profiles that are sure to treat your tastebuds. Enjoy an unforgettable dinner on your last night at Coast 236 in Saugatuck, Everyday People Café in Douglas, or Salt of the Earth in Fennville, depending on which town you want to further explore. Then wrap up your trip by planning your next visit with us.