What are some of the best things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan?
After all, when we think about the city of Saugatuck in Michigan, what typically comes to mind?
Well for starters, the city of Saugatuck is located inside Allegan County of Michigan. It is within the Saugatuck Township, but is administratively autonomous. But not only that, the city itself is also amazingly small.
The entire size of Saugatuck, Michigan is estimated to be around 1.77 square miles, with over half of it being land, while the other portion is water. But even though it is small in size, there are still people living here. In fact, according to the 2019 Census, the population was estimated to be around 960.
Aside from that information, the city of Saugatuck, Michigan is also a tourist destination for any and all visitors. There are simply so many amazing things to see or do here, visitors will have the time of their lives visiting this city.
For instance, visitors who come here can expect to find things such as award-winning beaches, scenic waterways, grassy dunes and even fun-filled attractions. And with a host of open-minded people combined with a culinary landscape, this city is the place to be for any and all travelers.
Plus, some of the highlights of this city includes things like the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum, Fenn Valley Vineyards and Wine Cellar, Ox-Bow, All Saints Episcopal Church, Oval Beach, Kalamazoo River and more.
With so many things to see or do here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, it’s no wonder this place is a tourist dream come true.
Which is why, if you’re wondering exactly what there is to do here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, then you are in luck.
In this post, we’ll be detailing all the best things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
- Things To Do In Saugatuck, Michigan
- Have Some Fun With Saugatuck Dune Rides
- Visit Oval Beach
- Roam Around Butler Street
- Eat Some Southern Food At The Southerner
- Check Out Mount Baldhead Park
- Ride Around The Saugatuck Chain Ferry
- Drink Some Brew At Saugatuck Brewing Company
- Try Some Comfort Food At Phil’s Bar & Grille
- Explore Around Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum
- Enjoy Some Wine At Fenn Valley Vineyards and Wine Cellar
- View Some Art At Ox-Bow
- Eat Some Brunch Foods At Grow Cafe + Bistro
- Drink Some Coffee At Uncommon Coffee Roasters
- Check Out The All Saints Episcopal Church
- Take A Day Trip to Lansing, Michigan
- FAQS About Saugatuck, Michigan
- Visit Saugatuck, Michigan
Things To Do In Saugatuck, Michigan
In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Have Some Fun With Saugatuck Dune Rides
One of the most interesting and fascinating things you can ever do here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan is to simply go dune riding.
After all, the area around Saugatuck is filled with various kinds of lakeshore dunes just waiting for people to explore. And what better way to explore these dunes than by dune riding?
Here in Saugatuck, there are a variety of different companies that provide this experience. However, one of which is the most popular. Known as “Saugatuck Dune Rides“, they are a company that provides dune tours in and around the surrounding area.
Visitors will be able to hop on a car while being driven around the dunes where they can see the beautiful sands to the plants and flowers and more. While you are riding, the driver will also be interacting with you telling you all about the geology of the area as well as the history.
The entire ride lasts around half an hour and is one of the safest things you can ever do. You’ll be able to visit places that not many people see or travel to as well as get an in-depth lesson about the entire area.
Definitely one of the best things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Visit Oval Beach
In terms of fun and excitement, nothing really beats the beach.
And here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, one of the best beaches you can ever visit is one known as “Oval Beach”
Oval Beach is located only minutes away from Saugatuck and is absolutely one of the best beaches you can visit. It’s open all year round and is often celebrated for having beautiful sweeping views of the shorelines as well as the backdrop of rolling dunes.
In fact, this beach is often considered to be one of the best in the world. With various awards such as Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 25 Beaches in the World, National Geographic Traveler’s Top Freshwater Beaches in the USA, and MTV’s Top 5 Beaches in the USA and more.
Because of this, visitors from all over love to flock down to this beach and have a chance to relax around and enjoy the outdoors. Plus, it’s also a very popular place where many visitors come and enjoy a wide range of recreational activities.
For instance, some of the most popular things to do here includes walking around the dunes, sunbathing, hiking and even swimming around in the waters around. There is even some concessions and a picnic area around which makes the entire experience so much more enjoyable.
With everything that this place has to offer, it’s no wonder it is always regarded as being one of the best places to visit here in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Roam Around Butler Street
If you’re interested in exploring what the city of Saugatuck, Michigan has to offer, then there is no better place to visit than “Butler Street”.
Butler Street is the main street of Saugatuck, Michigan and was named for the town’s founder “William Gay Butler”. This street is basically the life of the city as almost all the important places are located here on this street.
In fact, visitors who come to this street will find that there are an abundant amount of delicious restaurants, cafes, and plenty of shops for you to visit. It’s the perfect place to spend a day eating, relaxing and shopping for all of your needs.
For instance, here you can find plenty of art shops where locals are selling their art works, homemade beauty and health products, authentic Michigan antiques, as well as many clothing stores too! You’ll never know what you might find by browsing in and around these shops.
Plus, once you are tired of shopping or just want to take a break, you can simply head on into any one of the restaurants or cafes in the area. Phil’s Bar & Grille is a popular choice as they serve some really delicious foods for people to eat.
Overall, it’s a really joyful and fun street to roam around in. With so many things to see and explore, this is one of the best ways to fully tour around the city of Saugatuck, Michigan.
Eat Some Southern Food At The Southerner
If you’re ever in the mood to eat some delicious foods, then one restaurant you might want to visit is called “The Southerner”.
The Southerner is a restaurant that specializes in serving up delicious southern style dishes for people to enjoy. They are a very popular restaurant to visit as their foods are extremely flavorful and tasty.
In fact, according to Yelp, they are one of the highest rated restaurants as well as being one of the most reviewed restaurants in the entire city of Saugatuck, Michigan.
Visitors who come to this restaurant will find that they have so many delicious food choices to choose from. The most popular definitely has to be the Fried Chicken which comes in a variety of different heat levels. Mac and Cheese, Shrimp and Grits, Catfish and more can be found here too.
Best of all is that the entire experience here is unlike anything else you have ever witnessed. The staff who works here are extremely friendly and nice while also being hardworking. Plus, the pricing for the foods are all extremely affordable.
Overall, it’s definitely one of the best restaurants to eat at here in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Check Out Mount Baldhead Park
If you’re into beautiful scenic views, then one amazing place you absolutely must visit here in Saugatuck, Michigan is called “Mount Baldhead Park”.
Mount Baldhead Park is an attraction that spans over 100 acres and is located on the west bank of Kalamazoo River. It is in the heart of a critical dune area that leads to Oval Beach and Lake Michigan.
Visitors who come here will find that this park has so much to offer in terms of what you can see or do. In fact, the primary use of this park for most people is to actually go exercising. After all, there is a 1 mile loop trail that is commonly used for hiking, walking and trail running.
Aside from that, the park also features a picnic pavilion, gravel parking, tables, and even a restroom for people who need it.
But for those more adventurous and wants to see some truly beautiful views, then you’ll have to make your way up to the submit of this park. In fact, visitors will have to climb around 300 steps and over 250 feet upwards in order to make it all the way to the top.
But once you are at the top, you will be blown away by all that you see. For instance, once at the top, you’ll be able to head to the observation deck which offers panoramic views of Kalamazoo River Valley and even Lake Michigan. It’s one of the most beautiful sights you can ever see.
So if you have the time to spare while visiting the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, then this is one attraction you definitely can not miss!
Ride Around The Saugatuck Chain Ferry
One of the best ways to travel around as well as doing some sightseeing is by going on a ferry.
And here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, one of the best ferries you can go on is the “Saugatuck Chain Ferry”.
The Saugatuck Chain Ferry is a very historic and important ferry here in this city. In fact, it is claimed to be the only remaining chain driven ferry in the United States. It’s been in operation for almost 200 years, dating back to 1838.
The way it works is that three pullies keep it in line as it is being pulled across the Kalamazoo River. It’s very interesting to watch as you’ll probably never see anything else like in in the world. Once it’s ready to cross the river, it’ll blow a loud horn alerting boats to stop moving, and then it’ll move.
Visitors are able to ride this ferry as it’ll take them directly to Oval Beach. Usually the other method which can get you to Oval Beach is by driving around the lake which can be quite time consuming. Riding the ferry is a lot faster and also makes for a fun and pleasant experience.
Best of all is that riding this ferry is an extremely cheap thing to do. In fact, all it costs is around $2 dollars per person, each way and is cash only.
So if you are ever in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan and want to do something historic or maybe just to sightsee, then riding this ferry is something you should definitely think about doing.
Drink Some Brew At Saugatuck Brewing Company
One of the best things about traveling to a new city or town is that you’ll get a chance to try out all the amazing local beers that the area has to offer.
And here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, one of the best breweries you can visit is called “Saugatuck Brewing Company”.
Saugatuck Brewing Company is one of the most popular breweries for people to visit. Here visitors can find some of the best tasting beers available in this side of the area.
For instance some of the beers you can find include things like Bonfire Brown, Lager of Love, Happy Pack, Impaled It!, Maggie’s Irish Ale, Backyard Low Calorie IPA, Beam Me Up, Stouty, and more all made fresh for you to enjoy.
But the most popular thing to do here at this brewery is the process of actually making your own beer. Yes, you heard that right! Visitors can come and actually brew their own beers. The brewery will provide the recipes, ingredients, equipment and more and allow you to brew your beer.
Then you return back in a few weeks and you’ll be able to bottle up your beer while also sampling it too. It’s one of the most interesting and unique features that this brewery has to offer.
So whether you are here to try one of the many beers on tap or simply here to just brew your own beer, the experience here is unforgettable.
Try Some Comfort Food At Phil’s Bar & Grille
If you’re ever feeling hungry and want to eat some delicious foods here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, then one restaurant you absolutely must visit is called the “Phil’s Bar & Grille”.
Phil’s Bar & Grille is a restaurant specializing in serving up delicious American style comfort foods for people to enjoy. Locals and tourists all love this place for all that they have to offer.
In fact, according to Yelp, they are one of the highest rated as well as being one of the most reviewed restaurants in the entire city of Saugatuck, Michigan.
Visitors who come to this restaurant will be able to find all kinds of delicious food choices for them to choose from. From things like Broasted Wings to Scallop Pad Thai or even Vegetarian Risotto and Lobster Cobb Salad, they have it all.
Plus, all of the staff who works here are incredibly nice and goes out of their way to make sure each and every one of your needs are carefully met. The only thing to note is that this might not be the cheapest restaurant for you to eat at.
Other than that, Phil’s Bar & Grille is conveniently located right on Butler Street, which means once you are finished eating, you can simply roam around and explore all the amazing shops that are in the area.
Definitely one of the best restaurants to eat at here in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Explore Around Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum
One of the best things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan is to visit the famed “Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum”.
The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum is a very popular and well known museum here in the state of Michigan. In fact, each and every year, thousands upon thousands of visitors come to check out all the things that this museum has to offer.
For instance, inside this museum visitors can find a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibits. Some of which deals in subjects like the history of artists, dancers, gangsters, shipwrecks and more. Plus, the theme and style will constantly change depending on the designers and writers.
Aside from that, there is also a really pretty outdoor garden where visitors can come visit and see a wide range of plants and flowers.
But best of all, is that because this museum is run by local volunteers, the entire place is completely free to enter. There is not even a parking fee! Everything is free but donations are always accepted which will help maintain the museum for future years to come.
The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum is truly a work of art. With everything that it has to offer, it is no wonder that it is always regarded as being one of the best places to visit here in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Enjoy Some Wine At Fenn Valley Vineyards and Wine Cellar
Who doesn’t love wine?
After all, when you are on a vacation or traveling around, one of the best things to do is to simply drink some wine and relax.
And here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, one of the best places to do that is at the “Fenn Valley Vineyards and Wine Cellar”.
The Fenn Valley Vineyards and Wine Cellar was created back in 1973 and is a family owned and operated business. The goal of opening this establishment was to “produce world-class wines from grapes grown along the shore of Lake Michigan.”
Ever since it’s creation, it has become one of the most popular places to visit where people can enjoy some really nice glasses of wine. For instance, some of the wines they produce includes things like True Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, 42 Ice Wine, Briarwood Blush and more.
And depending on when you come, the vineyard will be able to host things like vineyard tours, private tasting events, and even educational wine tasting tours where you can sample all the delicious wines that they make.
Plus, all throughout the year, they will also be host to a wide range of events held here at the vineyard. Some of which includes things like Vine Wine’d Trail Run, a Chili Cookoff, a Wine Festival, and Winemaker’s Dinners.
Overall, it’s a fantastic place to visit where you and your entire family will have a whole lot of fun.
View Some Art At Ox-Bow
If you has a passion for art and want to learn more about it, then one of the best things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan is to simply visit “Ox-Bow”.
Ox-Bow is an unusual name for a building, but it is the name for an art school located here in Saugatuck. It was created back in 1910 by two Chicago artists, Frederick Fursman and Walter Marshall,
The school which is situated on an 115-acre campus, is a place where any and all art lovers can come visit. In fact, all year round they will help provide programs for professional artists, degree-seeking students and for those who are just barely getting into the world of art.
Fun Fact: The school also offers course credit for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Because of this, the classes taken here can help complete the degree requirements as well as off-campus study requirements. Because of this, many young and budding artists flock to this campus to get their start in art.
Plus, all throughout the year, this school will even be host to a wide range of programs and events where students can come participate in. New and future students can even use this time to apply for work scholarships or even financial aid here at Ox-Bow.
So if you have a passion for art and want to further your career into art, then a trip to Ox-Bow might just be something you will be interested in.
Eat Some Brunch Foods At Grow Cafe + Bistro
In the mood for Brunch?
If so, then one restaurant you would absolutely love to visit is called the “Grow Cafe + Bistro”.
Grow Cafe + Bistro is a restaurant located here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan. Here they proudly specialize in serving up delicious American style Brunch foods for people to enjoy.
And according to Yelp, they are one of the highest rated as well as being one of the most reviewed restaurants in the entire city of Saugatuck, Michigan.
Visitors who come here will find that their menu features all the comforting foods that you come to know and love. For instance, you can find things like Egg Sandwiches to Carrot Cake Pancakes or even Fish Tacos and Spring Nachos, the choices are endless.
Plus, they also have a very nice alcoholic menu which pairs perfectly well with any and all foods that you might order. From things like Mimosas to Cocktails or even Beer and Wine, they have it all here at this restaurant.
The pricing for the foods here are also really affordable, which means you won’t have to go broke when you eat here. The staff are also extremely friendly and nice which is a pleasant experience.
Overall, if you’re looking to eat some delicious American style Brunch foods, then look no further. Grow Cafe + Bistro is the place for you.
Drink Some Coffee At Uncommon Coffee Roasters
Who doesn’t love coffee?
One of the best things to do in Saugatuck, Michigan when you are tired or just want to be energized is to drink some coffee. And the best place for that is at “Uncommon Coffee Roasters”.
Uncommon Coffee Roasters or UCR for short, is a staple here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan. In fact, they originally opened back in 1994 under the name of Uncommon Grounds and have been serving coffee ever since.
However at that time, this place was only sourcing its coffee from a local coffee roaster. But in the year 2000, it all changed when the founders Guy Darienzo and Stephen Keye started to roased their own coffee.
Now a few decades later, they are one of the most popular places to visit here in Saugatuck, Michigan. In fact, they got so popular that they had to even open up a wholesale business.
But aside from that however, this place is also the premiere destination for people to visit where they can get some really good cups of coffee. Here visitors can find drinks such as crafted cold brews, coffee, expresso and even regular drinks like tea and lemonade.
They also serve some pretty delicious foods as well, although it is mainly breakfast style foods. From things like Plain Egg Sandwich to Yogurt Parfait or even Oatmeal and hashbrowns can all be found here.
Definitely one of the best places to visit here in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Check Out The All Saints Episcopal Church
IF you are a religious type of person, then one place you might like to visit here in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan is called the “All Saints Episcopal Church”.
The All Saints Episcopal Church is a Christian Church that is open to the public. Anyone who wants to visit are able to come and join in on the services. Doors are open, all you have to do is simply walk right on in and start participating.
And fun fact: This church is actually a very historical Church. It was built centuries ago back in 1872-1873, and is a historic Carpenter Gothic Church. Because of this, it was even added to the National Register of Historic Places for people to visit.
Aside from that, the best thing about this church is that no matter who you are, you can be a long term member or even a new visitor coming in for your first day, everyone is treated with the same kindness and inclusivity.
Plus, visitors are even able to participate in the after-church activities like coffee hour or any other parish events. There they can start to socialize with everyone and even make new friends and gain some deeper knowledge into Christianity.
Overall, it’s a pretty neat little place where you can meet new people and have fun with religion. So if you have the time to spare, this might be a place you’ll be interested in visiting.
Take A Day Trip to Lansing, Michigan
If you’re feeling adventurous and wanting to do a bit more exploring outside of the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, then one of the best things to do is to simply do a day trip.
After all, the city of Saugatuck is in close proximity to many major cities here in the state of Michigan. And the best place for you to visit is a city called “Lansing, Michigan”. It’s only located about an hour and a half away from the city of Saugatuck.
For those that don’t know, the city of Lansing is actually the capital city for the sate of Michigan. Because of this, it is a major destination and also a popular tourist area where many people come and go throughout the year.
Visitors who come here will find all kinds of amazing things to see or do. For instance, some of the highlights of this city includes places like Michigan State Capitol, Michigan History Center, Potter Park Zoo, Impression 5 Science Center, Abrams Planetarium and more.
And with an abundance of delicious restaurants, cute cafes, amazing galleries, historical museums, fun theaters and awesome attractions, visitors will have the time of their lives visiting this city.
Which is why, if you’re ever wanting to do a day trip type event away from the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, then Lansing will be the perfect place for you to visit.
FAQS About Saugatuck, Michigan
Saugatuck, Michigan is known to be home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Oval Beach is the best known beach where it has won countless awards as well as being featured on various TV shows and movies.
Yes, there is a beach located here in Saugatuck. Oval Beach is a world-renowned beach that is acclaimed as one of the best beaches in the world.
The distance between Saugatuck and Chicago is about 91 miles.
The distance between Saugatuck and Detroit is about 163 miles.
Visit Saugatuck, Michigan
Overall the city of Saugatuck, Michigan is one of the most fascinating places to visit. From it’s beautiful beaches to its small city culture and more, it’s definitely a tourists dream come true.
So hopefully this post about the “15 Best Things To Do In Saugatuck, Michigan” was able to give you some ideas and help you out. This way if you are ever in the city of Saugatuck, Michigan, you will know exactly what you should do to have some fun.
Also if you’re going to be visiting the state of Michigan anytime soon, then you might be interested in some of my other Michigan posts:
- Things To Do In New Buffalo, Michigan
- Things To Do In Jackson, Michigan
- Things To Do In Oscoda, Michigan
- Things To Do In Midland, Michigan
Or you can check out all my blog posts by clicking this link.
Hope you have a safe and fun trip~