Top Ten Winter Activities for 2020
Winter in 2020 may find many of you looking for a long-awaited change of scenery and some different activities to try out. Only a short road trip away from the metropolitan areas of Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis, Saugatuck/Douglas makes for a charming winter escape.
Check out our top ten list of fun, unique, and socially-distanced activities that will make you glad you made the drive.
1. Put Your Best Foot Forward
Bundle up and slap on some snowshoes for a trek through Saugatuck Dunes State Park to explore miles of stunning scenic trails that will make you forget all about urban life. No snowshoes? No problem. Rent them from Landsharks in Saugatuck along with skis, boots, and poles if cross-country skiing is more of your vibe.
2. Step Right Up
They say that challenges are what make life interesting. Take on the 302-step upward climb to the top of Mt. Baldy (as Mount Baldhead is affectionately known to locals.) Once at the summit, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Saugatuck, Douglas, and Lake Michigan.
3. Never Too Cold for a Cold One
Bring your designated driver and embark on a winter-focused craft beer tour. 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.
4. Feast Your Eyes
Even if there’s no official Gallery Stroll happening while you’re here, you can plan your own personalized Gallery Hop in the Art Coast of Michigan. Discover fine art in every medium from a mix of local and national artists. In Saugatuck, check out Amazwi Contemporary Art, James Brandess Studios & Gallery, and Good Goods, to name a few. As you make your way towards Douglas on Blue Star Highway, be sure to stop by Roan and Black. Then, head to downtown Douglas and visit Water Street Gallery and the Button Gallery.
5. Play The Market
No stay in Saugatuck/Douglas would be complete without a visit to the recently opened Isabel’s Market + Eatery. From the moment you enter this vibrant European-style specialty market, you’ll understand how their warm environment upholds their motto, “Goodness Served.” Committed to providing “unique culinary experiences that highlight and celebrate our local community,” Isabel’s offers fresh seafood, meat, and produce for sale. It also features a bakery, full bar, and other delicious food items to savor.
6. Snap A Selfie
While there's no shortage of artwork here to explore, there is a new Smile! You’re in Saugatuck mural that makes the perfect colorful backdrop for a pic to commemorate your time with us. Located on Water Street in downtown Saugatuck, the mural lives on the Dockside Market Place building, home to Baldy’s Smoked Meats and the Coppercraft Distillery Tasting Room. Grab a bite and sip after your photo op.
7. Eat Your Heart Out
Now’s the time to enjoy that restaurant you’ve been dying to try. With reduced capacity limits and seasonal crowds, some of our favorite culinary spots had long waits this summer and fall. Take advantage of the shoulder season and relax in a cozy setting with some delicious farm-to-table fare.
8. Take With A Grain Of Salt
Ever have a salt cave experience? Salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, is a spa treatment shown to be beneficial for overall immune functionality, respiratory issues, and a number of skin issues. Designed to mimic the environment of the original salt caves and salt mines of Eastern Europe, salt rooms are also thought to improve energy levels and treat depression and anxiety. Discover the benefits for yourself with a relaxing visit to the salt therapy room at Massa Body.
9. O’er The Fields You’ll Go
Take a one-horse open sleigh ride through magical snow-covered woods. Weather permitting, Wild West Ranch offers private horse-drawn sleigh rides that are 40-minutes long. It’s a spectacular way to celebrate the season with your significant other.
10. Encounter the Extraordinary
Of course, the weather conditions need to be just right, but you could bear witness to some unusual phenomenon like ice volcanoes and ice balls along the shoreline at Oval Beach. Ice balls are formed when cold temperatures in the teens and single digits cause a layer of floating slush on the lake to be sculpted into ice spheres by the waves. “Erupting” ice volcanoes happen where waves hit accumulated ice on the shoreline with enough force to spout water upwards, resembling volcanic activity. Should you be fortunate enough to catch these weather-related occurrences, we ask that you please enjoy the beauty of the ice from the safety of the shore.