A Romantic 4-Day Fall Adventure
Autumn in the Art Coast brings a unique blend of crisp air, dazzling foliage, and cozy moments to share, making it an ideal season for a romantic getaway. Whether you're exploring art galleries, sipping local wines, or taking in the fall colors, this suggested 4-day itinerary promises an enchanting escape for you and your significant other.
There’s nothing more romantic than a charming Bed & Breakfast, and Saugatuck/Douglas has no shortage of them. A few of our favorites offering luxurious accommodations perfect for celebrating love include the Wickwood Inn, the Judson Health Colonial Inn, the Belvedere Inn, and the Hotel Saugatuck. For a full listing of all the quaint B&Bs in the area, check out our website here.
After a sumptuous breakfast at your B&B, take a stroll along the downtown area of Saugatuck and explore the many shops, boutiques, and galleries featuring a wide array of artwork, jewelry, clothing, and home décor. Grab lunch at Wicks Park Bar & Grille before taking a 90-minute ride on the Star of Saugatuck paddleboat, where you can admire the fall colors in all their glory as you cruise along the Kalamazoo River into Lake Michigan. Afterward, stop by Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream for a sweet treat, like some hand-crafted Mackinac Island-style fudge to share. Plan on toasting each other with a craft cocktail from Coppercraft Distillery Tasting Room, followed by a romantic and decadent dinner at Bowdie’s Chophouse.
Begin your day with an invigorating stroll along Oval Beach, and get ready to be dazzled by a sparkling freshwater sea that reaches all the way to the horizon. Your uninterrupted view of Lake Michigan’s expanse could be streaked with whitecaps or be as smooth as glass, depending on the day. After you’ve had your fill of the breathtaking views (as if that’s possible), get ready to spend the day savoring the fruit of the vine with a wine-tasting tour of our local wineries. Explore the art of winemaking with a behind-the-scenes tour at Modales, Fenn Valley Vineyards, and Michigan Wine Co. and discover what makes the Southwest Michigan region so special for crafting fine wines. In between stops, have lunch at Root Café in Fennville for a fusion of flavors that will delight your senses. Finish out your day with a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through the Allegan woods with Wild West Ranch, followed by an unforgettable farm-to-table dinner at Salt of the Earth in Fennville.
It’s time to experience fall’s bounty with some quality time spent apple picking at Crane Orchards, where you can also indulge in some fresh cider and donuts. Snuggle up for a tractor-driven hayride and then challenge yourselves through their 20-acre, intricately designed corn maze, available September through October. Lunch at Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant & Winery is a must-do, as is ordering their famous Pie Flight, which allows you to sample four of their delicious fruit pies. Next, it’s time to take a scenic ride through our picturesque region to admire all the fall colors. Arrange for a ride in an antique pre-war era open Ford Model A car with Antique Joy Rides for a romantic and relaxing way to tour the area. Your personal chauffeur will drive you through downtown Saugatuck and Douglas, on the quiet back roads by the Felt Mansion, and along the high bluffs of Lake Michigan with its stunning views. If riding around under your own power sounds more like your vibe, you can rent bikes from Big Lake Outfitters or Blue Star Barns. Cap off your evening with an intimate dinner and craft cocktails at Coast 236, where Chef Rick Bower is a Smart Catch Ambassador, the highest sustainable seafood designation bestowed by the James Beard Foundation.
Venture out for breakfast on this day and dine at Pennyroyal Café and Provisions, where the ingredients are ultra-fresh and locally sourced. You’ll need some hearty sustenance as you take to the trails to experience the fall colors at their peak. Explore the gently rolling dunes and shoreline of the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area or the sandy forest paths of Saugatuck Dunes State Park. For a more intense challenge, climb up the steps to Mt. Baldhead and treat yourselves to the breathtaking panoramic views of the area. Afterward, book a greenhouse or outpost at Virtue Cider for a private retreat to enjoy some hard cider, snacks, and each other’s company on their idyllic 48-acre farm. Arrange for a couples massage with Bella Vita Spa and relax for a bit before enjoying dinner and drinks at Borrowed Time in Douglas.
Have a bit more time? Stay for a week and add to your adventure with the following activities.
Take a craft beer tour.
Discover our region’s finest microbrews with a craft beer tour at Saugatuck Brewing Company, Guardian Brewing Company, Waypost Brewing Co., and the Mitten Brewing Company. Charter a private tour through Coastal Tours, Singapore Shuttles, or Untapped Sights & Tours for worry-free transportation.
Go for a gallery stroll.
Explore our many galleries and artist studios to discover fine art in every medium. Check out the Saugatuck Center for the Arts and Ox-Bow House for exhibits and open markets.
Admire the sunset.
Go on a sunset cruise along Lake Michigan through the end of September on the Schooner Serenity or through Sailing on Desire (or through October on the Star of Saugatuck.) Or arrange for a luxury sunset picnic on Oval Beach for a thoroughly unforgettable romantic experience.