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While this quaint town along the coast of Lake Michigan might not be the most popular travel destination, there are plenty of things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan!
Saugatuck makes for a perfect weekend getaway with its unique landscape along the lake and all the other small towns in western Michigan.
Well, let’s get into the 11 things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan, so you can plan your next trip there!
1. Oval Beach
Perhaps the most popular thing to do in Saugatuck is to go to the beach. While Lake Michigan isn’t exactly the Caribbean, it’s still a great place to relax and enjoy the sounds of the waves.
The Michigan side of Lake Michigan is way nicer than the Wisconsin side—trust us, we are from the Wisconsin side. This is at least true in terms of southern Wisconsin vs. southern Michigan, which is why you should take advantage of Oval Beach in Saugatuck.
2. Sand Dunes
If being on the beach for an entire day isn’t your definition of a vacation or you just want to do something different while visiting Saugatuck, check out the nearby sand dunes that line Lake Michigan and separate it from Saugatuck.
One way you can explore the sand dunes is to just walk along the base of them near the beach and take in their natural beauty, but another fantastic way to explore them is to hike the trails through them. This leads us to number 3 on our list of things to do in Saugatuck…
There are plenty of trails to explore the san dunes between Lake Michigan and Saugatuck. The most famous of all of them is the short, but steep, hike up to Mount Baldhead, which is the highest point in the area and offers fantastic views including Lake Michigan, Oval beach, Kalamazoo Lake, and Saugatuck.
Mount Baldhead is about 734 feet high and can be accessed from both the lake side and the Saugatuck side. However, the Saugatuck side is much easier. There is a staircase built on the side of the sand dune to help hikers get to the top, whereas hiking up Mount Baldhead from the lake side involves hiking straight up in the sand…
Aside from hiking up Mount Baldhead and taking in the views of Saugatuck, make sure to hike around the other trails in the Tallmadge Nature Preserve Area. There are tons of other trails that will take you up and down the sand dunes and through the woods in the area. It’s an area you could spend hours exploring, and it’s an area that you don’t really have to worry about getting lost in as it’s surrounded by water on 3 sides so you can easily get back out.
Western Michigan might not be known for its breweries, like Denver, but there are tons of fantastic breweries near Saugatuck all along the coast of western Michigan.
The most well-known brewery near Saugatuck is New Holland Brewing, which is famous for its Dragon’s Milk Barrel-Aged Stout. This exquisite beer isn’t for the faint of heart at around 11% ABV. If a deep, rich stout is not your style of beer, they have other variations of it that are much lighter and definitely worth the try!
There are other great breweries in and near Saugatuck, Michigan, like Guardian Brewing Company and Threes Blondes Brewing in South Haven, Michigan.
4. Uncommon Coffee Roasters
The best place for coffee in Saugatuck is Uncommon Coffee Roasters. It’s right in the center of Saugatuck, not that it’s a big city at all, but they have a fantastic patio and lots of outdoor seating. Plus, their breakfast food is excellent!
While Saugatuck is more well-known, Douglas, Michigan is right next to it. Douglas has a lot of cute little restaurants, art galleries, and shops to explore. It’s worth the quick trip to see what it has to offer.
One of the best things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan is to go shopping. There are a ton of small, local businesses that have so many local goods. It’s always great to support local businesses, and there are plenty of opportunities to do so in Saugatuck and the nearby cities.
8. Trip to South Haven
Speaking of cities near Saugatuck and things to do, let’s start looking at a few of the different places to visit, like taking a trip to South Haven!
South Haven is just south of Saugatuck. This coastal city is a little larger than Saugatuck and has a little beach, shops, restaurants, and the aforementioned, Three Blondes Brewing.
It’s a fun city to visit if you are visiting Saugatuck for a weekend or a long weekend because you get to see a different part of western Michigan along the lake.
9. Trip to Holland
Next up is a just trip to Holland, Michigan, just north of Saugatuck. Holland is definitely bigger than Saugatuck and has a bigger downtown with more to do.
There are tons of shops that line Holland’s downtown with Michigan products, like Cherry Republic and New Holland Brewing, among many others.
You can also visit the Holland Beach State Park and Windmill Island Gardens. Windmill Island Gardens is also right next to Neil’s Dutch Village. It’s a big area that was created to replicate Holland. There are tulip gardens, buildings that look straight out of Amsterdam, and windmills that are actually from Holland!
If you aren’t a fan of beer, you probably skipped right over our brewery recommendations for Saugatuck, but lucky for you there are actually vineyards in western Michigan!
Honestly, we didn’t even know there were vineyards in Michigan…Oops!
As there are quite a few wineries near Saugatuck to choose from, check out this post on 15 wineries in Southwest Michigan to get tons of ideas for which ones to visit.
Lastly, marijuana is legal in Michigan, and if you happen to miss the hundreds of billboards when driving around, you will see quite a few dispensaries popping up. If you choose to partake in this, there are plenty of options to choose from scattered around western Michigan.
All in all, there are plenty of things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan, so you won’t get bored while spending a weekend in Saugatuck!
Excellent narrative and photography, it looks like the kind of place we will be visiting soon. Thank you
Thank you for the kind words, Rafael! We’re glad Saugatuck sounds like a place that you’ll be visiting soon. It’s definitely worth the visit!