10 Things to do in Saugatuck Michigan – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents


Welcome to Saugatuck, Michigan, a charming lakeside town bursting with a plethora of exciting things to do in Saugatuck Michigan. Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, this picturesque destination offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, artistic flair, and small-town charm. From sandy beaches and scenic dunes to art galleries and boutique shops, Saugatuck has something for every traveler to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing getaway, Saugatuck promises to captivate your senses and leave you wanting more. Join us as we explore the endless possibilities awaiting you in this enchanting Michigan gem.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Oval Beach:

Essential Information

– Address: Oval Beach, 69999 Oval Drive, Saugatuck, MI 49453
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM daily
– Fee: $10 per vehicle for a day pass
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: Families, couples, beach enthusiasts


Oval Beach in Saugatuck, Michigan, is a must-see destination for those seeking a relaxing day by the water. With its pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, this beach offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, take a refreshing dip in Lake Michigan, or simply unwind with a picnic on the beach, Oval Beach has something for everyone.

The beach’s convenient amenities, including restrooms, picnic areas, and a concession stand, make it a great spot for families and couples alike. The gentle waves and shallow waters also make it an ideal location for swimming and water activities. Additionally, the stunning views of the lake and surrounding dunes provide a picturesque backdrop for a day of relaxation.

Overall, Oval Beach’s natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere make it a top choice for a day trip or weekend getaway in Saugatuck. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick escape or a visitor exploring the area, a visit to Oval Beach is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 6575 138th Ave, Saugatuck, MI 49453
– Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
– Fee: $9 for a Michigan Recreation Passport
– Visit Duration: 2-4 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, birdwatchers


Saugatuck Dunes State Park in Saugatuck, Michigan, is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a peaceful retreat in nature. The park boasts stunning sand dunes that offer panoramic views of Lake Michigan, making it a must-see destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With over 1,000 acres of rolling dunes, lush forests, and pristine beaches, this state park provides ample opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking.

Visitors can explore the park’s extensive trail system, which winds through diverse ecosystems and offers glimpses of native wildlife along the way. The park’s secluded beaches are perfect for a relaxing day by the water or a scenic sunset stroll. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking to unwind in nature, Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers a tranquil setting to recharge and reconnect with the great outdoors.

Mount Baldhead Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 985 Lake St, Saugatuck, MI 49453
– Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, families


Perched on the shores of Lake Michigan, Mount Baldhead Park in Saugatuck, Michigan offers visitors a serene escape into nature. The park’s main attraction is the 282-step stairway that leads to the top of Mount Baldhead, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast looking to explore the lush greenery or a hiking enthusiast seeking a challenging trek, Mount Baldhead Park offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventure.

The park’s diverse ecosystem is home to a variety of flora and fauna, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching and wildlife photography. As you ascend the stairway, you’ll be greeted by the soothing sounds of rustling leaves and chirping birds, creating a peaceful ambiance that is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a heart-pumping hike. With its convenient location and free admission, Mount Baldhead Park is a must-see destination for anyone looking to reconnect with nature and experience the beauty of Michigan’s great outdoors.

Saugatuck Chain Ferry:

Essential Information

– Address: Saugatuck, Michigan
– Opening Hours: Varies by season, typically 10am-6pm
– Fee: $4 per person, cash only
– Visit Duration: 15-20 minutes
– Ideal for: Families, couples, solo travelers


The Saugatuck Chain Ferry in Saugatuck, Michigan, is a charming and historic attraction that offers visitors a unique way to experience the beauty of the Kalamazoo River. This iconic ferry has been in operation for over a century, providing a quick and scenic crossing for locals and tourists alike. A ride on the Saugatuck Chain Ferry is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the area, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich maritime history.

As you glide across the river on the quaint ferry, you’ll be treated to picturesque views of the surrounding landscape, including lush greenery and quaint waterfront homes. The gentle swaying of the ferry and the soothing sounds of the water create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere, making it the perfect way to unwind and take in the natural beauty of Saugatuck.

Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or on your own, the Saugatuck Chain Ferry is a delightful experience that captures the essence of this charming lakeside town. So, be sure to add a ride on the Saugatuck Chain Ferry to your itinerary and discover the beauty and history of this hidden gem in Michigan.

Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area:

Essential Information

– Address: 676 Holland St, Saugatuck, MI 49453
– Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, bird watchers, hikers


Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area in Saugatuck, Michigan, is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts seeking a peaceful retreat. This pristine natural area offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, making it a must-see destination for those looking to reconnect with the great outdoors. With its diverse ecosystem of wetlands, dunes, and forests, the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area provides a unique opportunity to observe a wide variety of plant and animal species in their natural habitat.

Visitors to this scenic spot can enjoy leisurely walks along the well-maintained trails, taking in the sights and sounds of the surrounding wilderness. Bird watchers will be delighted by the abundance of avian species that call this area home, making it a prime location for birdwatching enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to unwind in nature, capture stunning photographs, or simply appreciate the beauty of the outdoors, Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area offers something for everyone.

So, if you’re in search of a tranquil escape where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, be sure to add Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area to your travel itinerary. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a peaceful stroll, this hidden oasis is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

Butler Street:

Essential Information

– Address: Butler Street, Saugatuck, Michigan
– Opening Hours: Varies by establishment
– Fee: Free to explore
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Shopping enthusiasts and foodies


Butler Street in Saugatuck, Michigan, is a vibrant hub that beckons visitors with its charming mix of boutique shops, art galleries, and eateries. Strolling down this bustling street, you’ll find yourself immersed in a lively atmosphere where local artisans showcase their creations and culinary delights tempt your taste buds. Whether you’re on the hunt for unique souvenirs, craving a delicious meal, or simply want to soak up the local culture, Butler Street offers a little something for everyone. With its picturesque storefronts and friendly locals, a visit to Butler Street is a must for anyone looking to experience the heart and soul of Saugatuck.

Saugatuck Center for the Arts:

Essential Information

– Address: 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI 49453
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
– Fee: Admission is free, donations are appreciated
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts, families, and culture seekers


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts in Saugatuck, Michigan, is a vibrant cultural hub that showcases the creativity and talent of local and regional artists. With a diverse range of exhibitions, performances, and educational programs, this center offers a unique opportunity to experience the rich artistic heritage of the area. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious about the local arts scene, a visit to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts is a must-do activity during your time in Saugatuck.

The center’s dynamic calendar of events includes rotating art exhibitions featuring works in various mediums, from painting and sculpture to photography and mixed media. Visitors can immerse themselves in the creative process by attending artist talks, workshops, and demonstrations that provide insight into the artistic techniques and inspirations behind the pieces on display. Additionally, the center hosts live performances, film screenings, and cultural events that showcase the diverse talents of the local community.

Whether you’re exploring the galleries, attending a performance, or participating in a hands-on workshop, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts offers a welcoming and engaging environment for visitors of all ages. With its commitment to promoting artistic expression and fostering cultural exchange, this cultural institution plays a vital role in enriching the cultural landscape of Saugatuck and inspiring creativity in its visitors.

Felt Mansion:

Essential Information

– Address: 6597 138th Ave, Holland, MI 49423
– Opening Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 10am-4pm
– Fee: $12 for adults, $7 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and architecture lovers


Felt Mansion in Saugatuck, Michigan, stands as a historic gem that beckons visitors to step back in time. Originally built in the early 20th century by millionaire Dorr Felt, this grand estate offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the era. The mansion’s stunning architecture, characterized by its neoclassical design and intricate details, is a testament to the craftsmanship of the past.

Exploring the rooms of Felt Mansion allows visitors to immerse themselves in a bygone era, where elegance and luxury reigned supreme. From the grand ballroom to the ornate dining hall, each space tells a story of wealth and sophistication. History enthusiasts will appreciate the guided tours that provide fascinating insights into the mansion’s past, shedding light on the lives of the Felt family and the legacy they left behind.

A visit to Felt Mansion is a must for those seeking a glimpse into Michigan’s rich history and architectural heritage. Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate the beauty of well-preserved estates, this historic landmark offers a captivating experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Saugatuck Waterfront Film Festival:

Essential Information

– Address: Saugatuck, Michigan
– Opening Hours: Varies based on film schedule
– Fee: Ticket prices vary
– Visit Duration: Typically a weekend event
– Ideal for: Film enthusiasts and tourists looking for a unique cultural experience


The Saugatuck Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, Michigan, is a must-see event for film enthusiasts and travelers seeking a unique cultural experience. This annual festival showcases a diverse selection of independent films, documentaries, and shorts against the picturesque backdrop of Saugatuck’s waterfront. Visitors can immerse themselves in a weekend of cinematic delights, featuring thought-provoking storytelling and engaging performances.

The festival attracts filmmakers, actors, and industry professionals, creating a vibrant atmosphere that celebrates the art of filmmaking. Attendees have the opportunity to engage in Q&A sessions with filmmakers, attend panel discussions, and participate in networking events. Whether you’re a seasoned cinephile or simply looking to expand your cinematic horizons, the Saugatuck Waterfront Film Festival offers a memorable and enriching experience that shouldn’t be missed. Plan your visit to Saugatuck, Michigan, and immerse yourself in the magic of independent cinema at this one-of-a-kind event.

Saugatuck Brewing Company:

Essential Information

– Address: 2948 Blue Star Hwy, Douglas, MI 49406
– Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 11am-10pm
– Fee: No entrance fee, prices vary for beer tastings
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Beer enthusiasts and casual visitors


Saugatuck Brewing Company in Saugatuck, Michigan, is a must-see destination for those seeking a taste of local craft beer culture. With a wide selection of handcrafted brews, this brewery offers a unique experience for beer enthusiasts and casual visitors alike. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff make it a welcoming spot to relax and enjoy a cold pint. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or simply looking to try something new, Saugatuck Brewing Company provides a refreshing stop on your Michigan travel itinerary. Don’t miss the chance to savor the flavors of the region and discover why this brewery is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Food and Cuisine

Whitefish Chowder

Why is it so special:

Whitefish chowder is a beloved local dish in Saugatuck, Michigan, known for its creamy texture and rich flavor. Made with fresh Lake Michigan whitefish, potatoes, onions, and a blend of herbs and spices, this hearty soup is a comforting and satisfying choice for seafood lovers. The dish has deep roots in the region’s fishing heritage and is a staple on many local restaurant menus.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic taste of whitefish chowder, head to The Southerner, a popular restaurant in Saugatuck known for its delicious seafood dishes. Another great spot to try this specialty is Phil’s Bar & Grille, a cozy eatery that serves up traditional Midwestern fare with a modern twist.

Blueberry Pancakes

Why is it so special:

Saugatuck is famous for its blueberries, and one of the best ways to enjoy them is in a stack of fluffy blueberry pancakes. These pancakes are made with fresh local blueberries, giving them a burst of sweet and tangy flavor in every bite. Whether enjoyed for breakfast or brunch, blueberry pancakes are a delightful treat that showcases the best of Michigan’s produce.

Where to Try It:

For a delicious plate of blueberry pancakes, visit The Pumpernickel Inn, a charming bed and breakfast that serves up a scrumptious breakfast spread featuring these delightful pancakes. Another great option is The Butler, a cozy cafe known for its homemade baked goods and breakfast offerings.

Events and Festivals

Saugatuck Venetian Festival

The Saugatuck Venetian Festival is a beloved annual event that takes place in July, featuring a stunning boat parade on the Kalamazoo River. Visitors can enjoy live music, delicious food vendors, and a spectacular fireworks display over the water. This family-friendly festival also includes activities such as a kids’ parade and a lighted boat parade in the evening.

Saugatuck Art Trunk Show

The Saugatuck Art Trunk Show is a must-visit event for art enthusiasts, showcasing a wide variety of unique and handcrafted artworks from local and regional artists. Held in August, this outdoor art show allows visitors to browse and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces directly from the artists themselves. It’s a great opportunity to support the local art community and take home a special memento from your trip.

Saugatuck Douglas Blue Star Trail Hike-A-Thon

The Saugatuck Douglas Blue Star Trail Hike-A-Thon is a fun and active event that takes place in September, inviting participants to explore the scenic Blue Star Trail on foot. Hikers can choose from different trail lengths and difficulty levels, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. This event not only promotes outdoor recreation but also raises funds to support the maintenance and development of the Blue Star Trail for future enjoyment.

Interesting Facts

– Saugatuck, Michigan is known as the “Art Coast of Michigan” due to its vibrant arts community and numerous galleries showcasing local and regional artists.
– The town is home to Oval Beach, which has been ranked as one of the top freshwater beaches in the United States by national publications.
– Saugatuck is a popular LGBTQ-friendly destination, with a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that has earned it a reputation as a safe and accepting community.

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