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Felicia V. Fairchild, Executive Director
Saugatuck and Douglas are harbor villages that celebrate diversity—small-town America at its best! Here visitors can turn back the pages of time to enjoy a simpler life where no one hurries, and no one hurries you. A place where everyone is special and everyone is welcome. Recently The National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Saugatuck/Douglas as one of the "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" in the U.S. and the writers and editors of Midwest Living Magazine ranked Saugatuck/Douglas fifth among the top 100 vacation destinations in the Midwest.
While visiting either downtown area, you can walk – in a safe and friendly environment – to almost everything. In Saugatuck, you can stroll along the boardwalk admiring the boats and explore the dockside shops. Picnic by the gazebo in Wicks Park overlooking the harbor then ride the Victorian hand-cranked ferry. Or rent a canoe, charter a sailboat, or tour our waterways onboard an old-fashioned sternwheeler, dinner cruiser or WWII amphibious "Duck" vehicle. End your excursion at the corner drug store soda fountain where hand-creamed sodas and malted shakes have been a specialty for 85 years!
Just across the river, Douglas is home to the SS Keewatin, a Titanic-era steamship, now a museum. Take a self-guided tour of the elegant historical buildings that provide the 19th century charm, then indulge yourself in Douglas' downtown shopping area that has become a magnet for home accessory, antique and interior design enthusiasts. Douglas is also home to the area's first microbrewery, a do-it-yourself Art Barn and West Michigan's largest Antiques Pavilion.
For over a century, artists have been drawn to the area’s towering dunes, pristine beaches and natural splendors of this jewel-like setting on Lake Michigan's eastern shore. Today that artistic heritage persists through strong ties to the Art Institute of Chicago with its affiliated summer school at Ox-Bow as well as a broad spectrum of art galleries and art-based activities and events. Consistently named one of America's top 25 arts destinations, it's no wonder the area has become known as “The Art Coast of Michigan”!
You'll find great lodging options in modern privately-owned motels, cottages, suites and charming retro auto courts. Or, if you prefer a country inn, our "Bed and Breakfast Capital of the Midwest" offers an extensive variety of historic accommodations. Regardless of your preference, travelers are always treated like friends of the family!
Golf enthusiasts can hit the links at one of our three 18-hole championship golf courses while the kids take sailing lessons or an art class. And don't leave without taking the family on a thrilling dune buggy ride! Blending so many attractions you can easily create your own "masterpiece" vacation.
It's easy to understand why Michigan’s governor named Saugatuck one of Michigan's 19 "Coolest Cities." The town's Oval Beach is ranked one of the top 25 beaches in the world by Condé Nast and one of the top two in the USA by National Geographic Traveler. More recently, the Chicago Tribune rated it number one out of the Midwest’s five best beaches. Plus, Saugatuck hosts the internationally-acclaimed Waterfront Film Festival each June, named the third most popular film festival in the world – after Sundance and Cannes – by the Screen Actors Guild’s national magazine.
Mason Street Warehouse, an "incubator for Broadway", provides uptown theatre in downtown Saugatuck all summer long at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts where arts, cultural performances, classes and workshops abound year ‘round. Our Chamber Music Festival, and frequent jazz concerts highlight a topflight eclectic music scene. At the historic Red Barn Playhouse community theatre blossoms and the area offers a variety of arts and cultural programs for all ages including summertime Saturday performances by The Village Puppeteers. Outdoor art shows, gallery openings and culinary events add extra spice to the Saugatuck/Douglas recipe for fun.
Our lakeshore community offers a place to rest or play any time of the year. Whether you come for an executive retreat, a corporate meeting, a family reunion or your own romantic getaway vacation, you'll be glad you discovered the treasure that is Saugatuck and Douglas. See you soon!
Copyright Saugatuck/Douglas Convention & Visitors Bureau All Rights Reserved 1996
Photography by Felicia Fairchild - All Rights Reserved