Girls on the Run
When planning your next girl’s trip to the Art Coast, why not consider adding an active element to your weekend itinerary of shopping and wine tasting. If completing a 5K has been on your bucket list, there’s no better time to achieve that goal than by being surrounded by your best gal pals (a.k.a. accountability buddies.) Whether your friend group is full of seasoned runners or those who are new to the activity, Saugatuck/Douglas promises to be a getaway destination filled with physical challenge and fun.
When winter in Michigan eventually ends, the lakeshore is a runner’s paradise for three glorious seasons. (Some might even argue that all four seasons are great for running outdoors, but that totally depends on your chill tolerance!) With beautiful scenery and plenty to do, the Saugatuck/Douglas/Fennville area is an ideal location for a ladies’ running weekend. Especially if you’re into burning a ton of calories, eating delicious food, and enjoying a few drinks—all with your favorite running crew.
Don your finest Irish attire and ease into the running season with a fun 5K run through downtown Saugatuck. The registration fee will get you a long sleeve shirt, a finishers medal, and a complimentary beverage from Wicks Park Bar & Grille. This festive event is a fundraiser for Operation Hope for Allegan Youth, a local non-profit committed to giving all youth a chance to excel at extracurricular activities.
Stay and Play: Since you’ll already be at Wicks Park enjoying a free beverage, you might as well stay for a laid-back lunch. Their menu includes fresh lake perch, homemade burgers, New Orleans-style gumbo, and mouthwatering desserts.
Saturday, June 17, 2023
If your gang has various abilities (and interest levels), this race is perfect for you. Choose from a half marathon, 10K run/walk, 5K run/walk, or a 5K walk through the streets of Saugatuck/Douglas, with the longer races trailing along the lakeshore. All racers receive a finisher’s medal, custom bib, t-shirt and are eligible for age-group awards. A majority of the proceeds from this event benefit the running programs at Saugatuck Public Schools.
Get Your Pre-Game On: Enjoy beautiful views of the Kalamazoo River at The BARge, which offers waterfront dining, delicious cocktails, and plenty of light, refreshing fare that won’t leave you feeling too full before the big race.
Saturday, September 9, 2023
This unique, multi-terrain race is one of the best ways to explore the natural beauty of the Art Coast. The course changes yearly, but you will likely encounter pavement, trails, dunes, and a trek up 302 stairs. If you’re feeling spry, opt for the 12.52-mile extreme challenge. Or for a slightly less difficult challenge, choose the 8.22-mile distance. The best part is that every dollar of net proceeds raised from registration fees and donations go directly to support free after-school and summer life-enrichment programs at Saugatuck Public Schools.
Relax and Refuel: Once you’ve all stretched and showered, head to the Mitten Brewing Company for some post-race gourmet pizza and microbrews.
Saturday, October 7, 2023
If your ideal weekend getaway involves running and wine tasting, this race is for you. This 5K or 1-mile race will take you on a scenic tour of Fenn Valley Winery’s vineyards and surrounding farm. After you’ve finished your time on the trails, you’ll celebrate at a post-race party with live music, wine/cider by the glass, and food.
Where to After Party: Head over to Virtue Cider and sample cider freshly brewed from heirloom apples. Grab a pint and stroll through the farm, where you might encounter pigs, chickens, and more.