Guidebook for Saugatuck

Matthew
Guidebook for Saugatuck

Food Scene

Want views of all the fun traffic on the river leading out to Lake Michigan-- along with great drinks and surprisingly delicious bar food? The Barge is the place to be!
Call (well) ahead for reservations! If you are looking for amazing steak presented big-city style, look no further. Intimate setting (with big city prices to boot), we still love this place. Try the truffle fries with your steak. Heaven!
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Bowdies Chophouse
230 Culver St
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Call (well) ahead for reservations! If you are looking for amazing steak presented big-city style, look no further. Intimate setting (with big city prices to boot), we still love this place. Try the truffle fries with your steak. Heaven!
We love Wilde Dog for Bloodies and Burgers on the terrace on weekends, but their main dining room is also lovely. Food is consistently good and the service is impeccable
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Wild Dog Grille
24 East Center Street
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We love Wilde Dog for Bloodies and Burgers on the terrace on weekends, but their main dining room is also lovely. Food is consistently good and the service is impeccable
This is the see and be seen scene-- in the most fun way possible. Old friends gather (Fridays are a big night) not just because it's habit, but also because the food is consistently delicious. My favorite? Order their side salad with dinner with Creamy Gorgonzola and Sweet Balsamic dressings on the side. The combo on your salad is amazing! Favorite entrees are Ahi Tuna and the Parmesan Encrusted Pork Chop. Yum!
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Everyday People Cafe
11 East Center Street
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This is the see and be seen scene-- in the most fun way possible. Old friends gather (Fridays are a big night) not just because it's habit, but also because the food is consistently delicious. My favorite? Order their side salad with dinner with Creamy Gorgonzola and Sweet Balsamic dressings on the side. The combo on your salad is amazing! Favorite entrees are Ahi Tuna and the Parmesan Encrusted Pork Chop. Yum!
We have a special history with Chris and her team of amazing food creators- she catered our wedding and afterglow brunch! Now instead of weddings, she is focused on giving her special kind of culinary delights to everyone. Drop in for a picnic carry out for the beach or hike, or dine in. Everything delicacy is made in small batches-- from her Kale Caesar salads to bacon wrapped meatloaf, and everything in between, this place is the BOMB!
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The Farmhouse Deli & Pantry
100 Blue Star Highway
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We have a special history with Chris and her team of amazing food creators- she catered our wedding and afterglow brunch! Now instead of weddings, she is focused on giving her special kind of culinary delights to everyone. Drop in for a picnic carry out for the beach or hike, or dine in. Everything delicacy is made in small batches-- from her Kale Caesar salads to bacon wrapped meatloaf, and everything in between, this place is the BOMB!
Step into a fun, nostalgic atmosphere-- whether you're ordering soft serve on the outside, or going in for a heart breakfast or lunch. The quality of the food and the overall value can't be beat. We highly recommend!
Blue Star Cafe & Ice Cream Treats
141 Blue Star Hwy
Step into a fun, nostalgic atmosphere-- whether you're ordering soft serve on the outside, or going in for a heart breakfast or lunch. The quality of the food and the overall value can't be beat. We highly recommend!
Worth the trip into Douglas (just across Blue Star Hwy from Saugatuck--- the town of Douglas is the more sedate, local , sister city). Delicious specialty coffees and teas and a friendly small town atmosphere
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Respite Cappuccino Court
48 East Center Street
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Worth the trip into Douglas (just across Blue Star Hwy from Saugatuck--- the town of Douglas is the more sedate, local , sister city). Delicious specialty coffees and teas and a friendly small town atmosphere
We love Pumpernickels -- going with the little ones especially. The no fuss in-line ordering, with table delivery-- makes for an easy brunch experience. Kids will love the live music on the weekends-- a guitarist plays requests (our nieces and nephews always ask for "Puff the Magic Dragon"). Food is good too-- kids love the cinnamon buns and French Toast.
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Pumpernickels
202 Butler Street
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We love Pumpernickels -- going with the little ones especially. The no fuss in-line ordering, with table delivery-- makes for an easy brunch experience. Kids will love the live music on the weekends-- a guitarist plays requests (our nieces and nephews always ask for "Puff the Magic Dragon"). Food is good too-- kids love the cinnamon buns and French Toast.
This place is so good, we dedicated a Blog post to it. Is it the homemade jam and honey to go with their fresh made biscuits? The fried chicken entrees? Or is it the beautiful views of the river traffic -- boats going out on Lake Michigan, or returning. This place combines it all-- phenomenal southern food with a fun atmosphere. Highly recommended!
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The Southerner
880 Holland Street
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This place is so good, we dedicated a Blog post to it. Is it the homemade jam and honey to go with their fresh made biscuits? The fried chicken entrees? Or is it the beautiful views of the river traffic -- boats going out on Lake Michigan, or returning. This place combines it all-- phenomenal southern food with a fun atmosphere. Highly recommended!
Great views, delicious (bar) food, and flowing drinks-- this is the place to see and be seen. Our own little slice of St. Barth's -- right here on the Art Coast of Michigan!
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The BARge
528 Water St
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Great views, delicious (bar) food, and flowing drinks-- this is the place to see and be seen. Our own little slice of St. Barth's -- right here on the Art Coast of Michigan!

Entertainment & Activities

The Dune Rides are our answer to Cedar Point/Disney World. A family has owned this property-- 350+ acres of Lake Michigan adjacent dunes- for generations. They preserve and protect this spectacular land by running vintage open air Jimmys through the twisty paths leading to the lake. Corny jokes? Check. Hands in the air going down the steep hills? Check. Beautiful views of Lake Michigan? Check. Learn a few things about the history and ecology of the area? Double check. I personally have been on this tour 5+ times and the "Dune times" never get old!
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Saugatuck Dune Rides
6495 Blue Star Highway
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The Dune Rides are our answer to Cedar Point/Disney World. A family has owned this property-- 350+ acres of Lake Michigan adjacent dunes- for generations. They preserve and protect this spectacular land by running vintage open air Jimmys through the twisty paths leading to the lake. Corny jokes? Check. Hands in the air going down the steep hills? Check. Beautiful views of Lake Michigan? Check. Learn a few things about the history and ecology of the area? Double check. I personally have been on this tour 5+ times and the "Dune times" never get old!
The cultural heart of the Saugatuck-Douglas area, SCA caters to the public. Offering concerts, events, plays and musicals, this venue is modern and expansive. Summer performances are "New York" quality because often, Broadway performers are spending their summers in the area, and sharing their talents with us. So- for instance- if you are seeing Mamma Mia! the musical (e.g. playing Summer 2018 through 7.15)-- this is not your high school/local troupe performance. It is a professionally executed, amazing performance.
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Saugatuck Center for the Arts
400 Culver St
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The cultural heart of the Saugatuck-Douglas area, SCA caters to the public. Offering concerts, events, plays and musicals, this venue is modern and expansive. Summer performances are "New York" quality because often, Broadway performers are spending their summers in the area, and sharing their talents with us. So- for instance- if you are seeing Mamma Mia! the musical (e.g. playing Summer 2018 through 7.15)-- this is not your high school/local troupe performance. It is a professionally executed, amazing performance.
A short 12 minute drive to Holland-- which is well worth a day trip-- can take you to this weekend market (look online ahead to ensure it's open). The term "farm to table" was probably born here, as you'll see all the area farmers displaying the fruits (vegetables, flowers, breads and cheeses) of their labor! A long pedestrian walk way, you'll encounter local musicians busking for a buck, and/or face painting for the kids. Food trucks also surround the area- my favorite being the Mexican truck-- try their tamales, or their "walkie-tacos"-- an open bag of Fritos, with taco meat and toppings!
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Farmers' Market
150 West 8th Street
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A short 12 minute drive to Holland-- which is well worth a day trip-- can take you to this weekend market (look online ahead to ensure it's open). The term "farm to table" was probably born here, as you'll see all the area farmers displaying the fruits (vegetables, flowers, breads and cheeses) of their labor! A long pedestrian walk way, you'll encounter local musicians busking for a buck, and/or face painting for the kids. Food trucks also surround the area- my favorite being the Mexican truck-- try their tamales, or their "walkie-tacos"-- an open bag of Fritos, with taco meat and toppings!
Great for the "wee" little ones, the jewel of this visit is the petting zoo. Kids go nuts for the animals-- which include goats, sheep, and chickens. There is also a tiny Ferris wheel and few other rides that anyone under 6 will appreciate.
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Nelis' Dutch Village
12350 James Street
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Great for the "wee" little ones, the jewel of this visit is the petting zoo. Kids go nuts for the animals-- which include goats, sheep, and chickens. There is also a tiny Ferris wheel and few other rides that anyone under 6 will appreciate.
A short bike/drive to Douglas, this place is super fun for Paddle-Boarding (core workout, anyone?) or kayaking. Although a small operation, they are super organized. If you choose to kayak, they load you and your kayak onto a truck and drop you off so you can take a leisurely (or challenging) paddle down the river.
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Running Rivers
120 E Center St
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A short bike/drive to Douglas, this place is super fun for Paddle-Boarding (core workout, anyone?) or kayaking. Although a small operation, they are super organized. If you choose to kayak, they load you and your kayak onto a truck and drop you off so you can take a leisurely (or challenging) paddle down the river.

Arts & Culture

If SCA is the cultural heart of the area, Ox-Bow is the soul. It is why we refer to the area as the "Art Coast of Michigan." From their own web site, " Since 1910 (and part of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago)..Students from schools across the country visit Ox-Bow to study and make art on the school’s 115-acre campus in Saugatuck, Michigan, 150 miles northeast of Chicago." Although focused on artists, Ox-Bow does offer public access- including 1 and 2 week intensive courses in various disciplines such as glass blowing, paper making and ceramics. "As much as Ox-Bow is a place, it is also an experience"- the campus looks and feels like camp-- with stunning surroundings.
Ox Bow, School of Art and Artists' Residency
3435 Rupprect Way
If SCA is the cultural heart of the area, Ox-Bow is the soul. It is why we refer to the area as the "Art Coast of Michigan." From their own web site, " Since 1910 (and part of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago)..Students from schools across the country visit Ox-Bow to study and make art on the school’s 115-acre campus in Saugatuck, Michigan, 150 miles northeast of Chicago." Although focused on artists, Ox-Bow does offer public access- including 1 and 2 week intensive courses in various disciplines such as glass blowing, paper making and ceramics. "As much as Ox-Bow is a place, it is also an experience"- the campus looks and feels like camp-- with stunning surroundings.

Drinks & Nightlife

Catering to the LGTBQ community, the Dunes is an expansive resort with the center attraction being the "gargantuan" outdoor dance floor. The most epic weekend "tea dances"-- the DJs are always on-point. This scene is definitely (open-minded) adults only, and for them-- a very fun time!
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The Dunes Resort
333 Blue Star Highway
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Catering to the LGTBQ community, the Dunes is an expansive resort with the center attraction being the "gargantuan" outdoor dance floor. The most epic weekend "tea dances"-- the DJs are always on-point. This scene is definitely (open-minded) adults only, and for them-- a very fun time!
A friend from Ohio just tagged us because she was enjoying a "Blueberry Lemonade Shandy from Douglas, MI at my local Hy-Vee". On investigation, indeed it came from Saugatuck Brewing Co. This was one of the first area micro brews, and they only get better with the variety and quality of their brews. They also have a bit a local fame in that the Stanley Cup came here 2 summers ago. A very fun experience-- combined with a good lunch on their big outdoor patio.
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Saugatuck Brewing Company
2948 Blue Star Highway
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A friend from Ohio just tagged us because she was enjoying a "Blueberry Lemonade Shandy from Douglas, MI at my local Hy-Vee". On investigation, indeed it came from Saugatuck Brewing Co. This was one of the first area micro brews, and they only get better with the variety and quality of their brews. They also have a bit a local fame in that the Stanley Cup came here 2 summers ago. A very fun experience-- combined with a good lunch on their big outdoor patio.

Shopping

Let's start with the fact that upstairs from this well-edited mid century antique market --is an expansive art gallery and wine bar. What a great combination. We always have fun seeing what fun, "new" items they have displayed. These folks are experts at staging-- the visit alone is worth a tour.
Upscale Mercantile
161 Blue Star Hwy
Let's start with the fact that upstairs from this well-edited mid century antique market --is an expansive art gallery and wine bar. What a great combination. We always have fun seeing what fun, "new" items they have displayed. These folks are experts at staging-- the visit alone is worth a tour.

Parks & Nature

So iconic, Oval Beach is typically the first aspect one hears about the Saugatuck - Douglas area. And it is that way for a reason. Aside from the Pacific West Coast, it is one of the few places you can watch the sunset over nothing but a horizon of blue water. That, after a day soaking up the rays on the sandy beach (SPF, people!), playing Kadima, and swimming in the clear water!
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Oval Beach
690 Perryman Street
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So iconic, Oval Beach is typically the first aspect one hears about the Saugatuck - Douglas area. And it is that way for a reason. Aside from the Pacific West Coast, it is one of the few places you can watch the sunset over nothing but a horizon of blue water. That, after a day soaking up the rays on the sandy beach (SPF, people!), playing Kadima, and swimming in the clear water!