Saugatuck, Michigan does not get as much credit as it should. Actually the southern west part of Michigan doesn’t get as much credit as it should. I always read about Northern Michigan, Traverse City, etc. but we have some of the most beautiful beaches and cute towns in the south part of the state. Saugatuck being at the top of my list!
My 13 year old cousin, Grace, and I took a day trip to Saugatuck (she still thinks I’m cool!). It’s about a 55 minute drive from where I live. As a kid, I never remember going to Saugatuck. I’m still scratching my head wondering why it took me until I was 28 years old to visit this lovely place. Known as the “art coast”, this cute and small beach town is everything you would imagine it to be.
Unlike some beach towns along Lake Michigan that I am used to, the town portion of Saugatuck is not connected to the beach. It sits along the Kalamazoo River which leads into Lake Michigan. You can sit along the Kalamazoo River and watch the boats coming up and down at the Mermaid Bar & Grill. We stopped by Mitten Brewing Co. to grab a quick pizza and beer. Both were very good and vegan pizza options too! It is in this cute building that looks like a house and has great outdoor seating area. Definitely could spend all day drinking beer here! We stopped by Kilwin’s to get ice cream which they do have non-dairy options so that is a plus. If I had to chose again though I would have went across the street to Charlie’s Round the Corner. Next time, for breakfast/lunch I am going to stop by Grow. The menu looks great!
The best part, Oval Beach! I could have slept there, right in the sand…it was that good! During the day the beach is super busy but that is expected since it is one of Conde’ Nast Traveler’s “Top 25 Beaches in the World”. Oval Beach reminds me of the beaches in Cape Cod. There are a couple houses that you can see off in the distance but that is it. No hotels, no condominiums- just the beach!
Getting to the beach is easy but right when you turn onto the road that heads into the beach, no cellphone service! It is actually nice to be completely disconnected. It does cost $10 per vehicle to park at the beach. They do take cards though, yayyy! I am sure people park along the road and walk but it would be quite the hike. We stayed for the sunset which was so gorgeous! There were hardly any people there which was great! Note to self: BRING WINE!
Spending the day in Saugatuck is not enough! I wish we would have planned ahead and stayed the night to enjoy the beach again the next day. Live and learn! This is definitely in my top 5 favorite beaches I’ve ever been to and it is right here in Michigan.