Written by Ellen Honey
March 2020
Tucked into western Michigan’s sunset coast, Saugatuck is a delightful blend of beach town, shopping paradise, foodie heaven and artist colony. With its pristine shoreline, soft sands and rolling grass-covered dunes, Saugatuck is a frequent topic for national travel magazines, gaining a reputation as one of the top beach towns in the world. Oval Beach is a favorite among Lake Michigan’s serene beaches.
Kalamazoo River by Gail K. E. | Saugatuck, Michigan | Marinalife
Kalamazoo River by Gail K E

Stroll the sidewalks amid locally owned art galleries, upscale boutiques carrying Michigan-made goodies and artisan shops. Mr. Miller’s Art Emporium … and Other Useful Things is a working studio and gallery offering works by regional and nationally known artists. Good Goods carries hand-made in America items from more than 150 artisans. Singapore Bank Bookstore specializes in mysteries, local history and nautical books.

Known as “the art coast of Michigan,” Saugatuck is home to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, which hosts art exhibits, stage productions and cultural events year-round. Neighboring Center Street galleries have teamed up to form a consortium called “Art on Center.”

Aboard the Star of Saugatuck in Lake Michigan by Al Weber | Saugatuck, Michigan | Marinalife
Aboard the Star of Saugatuck in Lake Michigan by Al Weber

Time for a shopping break? Stop in for a treat at Saugatuck Drugstore & Soda Fountain on Butler Street. All types of ice cream, floats and burgers are made to order at this nostalgic 1950s-era soda fountain. Catch a performance by The Village Puppeteers, a world-class touring company giving shows at the American Legion Hall during the summer. Or, hop aboard The Star of Saugatuck, a large paddle-wheel boat, for a tour of the Kalamazoo River and Lake Michigan. 

Guardian Brewing offers 10 year-round and 12 seasonal taps, as well as 14 wines and two hard ciders on tap. Try an Imperial IPA with Blue Juniper Berries at the horseshoe bar or dine on seasonally rotating menu choices on the covered patio.


Sergeant Marina


Opening on April 15, the marina is conveniently located at the end of Butler Street and its deep-water slips accommodate vessels up to 50 feet.





This newly renovated restaurant chooses locally sourced produce, seafood and meat to create classic American dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Craft cocktails brighten up the bar.

Lucy’s Sauggy Dollar Bar


What began in 2012 as a hotdog stand has transformed into an upbeat eatery in a restored vintage house with a front porch, patio, dining room and lounge. The menu presents casual fare, such as burgers, pizza and pasta, with a nod to island cuisine and Tiki cocktails.

Sand Bar Saloon


This lively rustic pub is a favorite hangout for cold drinks and local bands. Open mike night on Sundays lets everyone be part of the show.