Saugatuck MI Trip Planner For Families & Couples

Saugatuck MI is a Great Vacation Destination

Saugatuck MI is lowkey, art-infused beach town filled with galleries, studios and art classes.

Farm-to-table restaurants, outdoor recreation, miles of sandy Lake Michigan beaches, and wineries round out the experience.

From strolling the cute shops to the beautiful beaches to grabbing a bite at one of their many restaurants, there’s plenty for the whole family to do and see. We also love some of the special attractions that are offered in Saugatuck that will make you feel like you’re truly on vacation!

Where is Saugatuck MI?

Saugatuck is located on the west coast of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Saugatuck, coupled with the adjacent village of Douglas, make up Michigan’s Art Coast. Nearby Fennville supports the area with its diverse agriculture and local farm fare, making this the ultimate foodie destination.

Best Things to Do in Saugatuck MI

1) Visit Oval Beach

Oval Beach which is a is a short drive from downtown Saugatuck. An entrance fee allows you to park at Oval Beach all day long. You can even leave, grab a bite to eat, and come back to watch the sunset.

2) Ride the Chain Ferry

Chain Ferry-You can take the hand-cranked ferry across the Kalamazoo River from Saugatuck right to the entrance of Mt. Baldy or you can just stay on the ferry for the return trip. This is a fun way to see the Kalamazoo River and it only costs $1 each way.

saugatuck ferry

3) Harbor Duck Boat

Harbor Duck Boat-The Duck Boat explores Saugatuck, Douglas, the harbor, and the Kalamazoo River. This transformed World War II Army amphibious vessel (part boat/part big truck) gives a humorous glimpse of the surrounding area.

4) Zoom, Zoom, Zoom on a Sand Dune Ride

Saugatuck Dune Rides
6495 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck, MI 49453

If you love thrill rides, Saugatuck Dune Rides has a sandy roller coaster ride for you.

This 40-minute ride is part thrill ride/part historic ride. Offering a great view of the dunes and some adventure along the way.

Saugatuck Dune Rides are different than the dune rides at Silver Lake – the Saugatuck rides have more of a diverse landscape with a wooded area.

Each dune schooner holds at least 20 -25 people. The vehicle has long seat belts that reach across from one side to the other. Just fasten your belt, say your prayers and hang on.

After you load up, your driver takes you on a ride that feels like part roller coaster, part tour.

The driver also doubled as a comedian/ tour guide, who shares with you the history of the area along with a lot of jokes.

You’ll get time to stop, get out, and explore the dunes, too.

Dune Ride Pro Tips:

  • Buy tickets online before arriving.
  • Bring sunglasses.
  • Don’t wear a hat – it will likely fly away.
  • Children under two years of age are not permitted. The ride is best suited for children 4+

5) Relax to the Rhythm of a Paddleboat

Star of Saugatuck-Located right in downtown Saugatuck, this paddle wheel gives you a smooth sail as you navigate through the channel and to Lake Michigan. I love the narration given by the boat captain such as learning about Old Singapore and other tidbits about Saugatuck’s history.

Shops Galore! There is something for everyone in the shops, even for the kids. Take time to window shop, enjoy an ice cream cone, or grab a bite for lunch.

6) Enjoy Saugatuck Restaurants

Phil’s Bar & Grille has been out “go-to” place for lunch whenever we head to Saugatuck. There’s something for everyone to order and a good kids’ menu, too. Want to grab a quick pizza to go and head to the beach? Check out Back Alley Pizza Joint in Douglas for some of the yummiest pizza in town. Pumpkernickel’s Eatery is a low-key place to grab breakfast or a sandwich for lunch.

The Barge

The Southerner

The Mitten

7) Make it to the Top of Mt. Baldhead

Mt. Baldhead (“Mt. Baldy”): Climb the 282 steps that will take you to the top of the Mt. Baldhead dune and you’ll be treated to a gorgeous view of Saugatuck, Douglas, and Lake Michigan. It’s a perfect way to burn off excess energy.


8) Take a Playground Pit Stop

Right in the center of town (on Main & Butler), there’s a cute playground that is easy to access. We always stop by for some quick playtime.

Saugatuck playground-2

9) Climb & Beach at Saugatuck Dunes State Park

10) Find Your Zen at Summerhouse Lavender Farm

Summerhouse Lavender Farm
2975 65th St, Fennville, MI 49408

Their season begins May 8th 2021 and they will be open for guided tours Thursday-Sunday 11am-5pm all summer! Book your tour here.

11) Visit the Baby Goats and Stock Up on Cheese

Evergreen Lane Creamery
1824 66th St Fennville, MI 49408

Artisan goat & cow’s milk cheeses. Browse our online store for cheese, order, and curbside pickup. Cheese Shop is open Saturdays from 12pm-5pm.

12) Get a Photo at the Root Beer Barrel

Root Beer Barrel
455 W Center St, Douglas, MI 49406

13) Find Treasures in Twin Downtowns

14) Let Your Inner Artist Out

Express Yourself Art Barn
6459 130th Avenue, (Riverside) Fennville, MI 49408

Create in the barn or in the garden! Anyone, regardless of talent, can come and explore something new. Choose from over 800 different projects they have on hand.

$8 studio fee for spending the day creating… Projects begin at $2. Average customer spends $20-30…
• Open Sat & Sun beginning 5/1/21. Open 7 days a week beginning 5/28/21 to 9/6/21 (10 am – 5 pm)
• In the fall, we will be open 9/10/21-10/3/21, only on Fri, Sat & Sun, then closed for the season. 

15) Enjoy the Vineyards, Cideries, and Breweries

Fenn Valley Vineyards

• In-depth tours and wine tasting.
Virtue Cider
2170 62nd Street, Fennville, MI, 49408
• Tastings by reservation. Book a greenhouse for a cozy experience.
• Heritage pigs, sheep, chickens, and ducks on-site. If you’re interested in seeing the animals, please let one of their Bottle Shop staff know and they’ll connect you with a farmer to show you around.
2128 62nd St, Fennville, MI, 49408
• Outdoor wine tasting room with stunning views. Public or private tasting tours.

16) Enjoy the Vino & Vines

17) Crane Orchards

18) Go Old School with a Retro Boat Rental

Felt Mansion

Where to Stay in Saugatuck MI

So who needs to travel hundred of miles or more to take a great vacation? You can quickly gather the kiddos and head to Saugatuck for the day and truly experience a great one-day vacation.

Hope you have a great time on your next trip to Saugatuck!

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