It’s no secret that there are lots of things to do in Saugatuck Michigan; it’s full of must-visit destinations! From beautiful beaches to historical sites to countless manmade treasures, visitors to the Great Lakes State will unearth charm around every bend. While there’s a seemingly endless supply of must-visit towns to choose from, Saugatuck is among the most worthwhile when you’re seeking a dreamy weekend getaway. With our Saugatuck travel guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about planning an exceptional escape to this coastal town in Michigan. 

Saugatuck itself is the very definition of a small town, housing approximately 900 residents. While there are plenty of full-timers in the area, others flock to the charming community during warmer months or drop by for weekend stays. With its location just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan and unique frontage along both Lake Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo River, this Allegan County treasure stands out as a top-of-the-line locale for tourists and locals alike.

From the Hawaiian Island of Oahu to the coast of Massachusetts and everywhere in between, come along with OnlyInYourState as we introduce you to the best Small Town Getaways you can take this year. From nature lovers and foodies to history buffs and shopaholics, there’s something for everyone within these unforgettable, two-day itineraries curated by our local travel experts just for you.

So, what is Saugatuck known for? If its pure charm and welcoming vibes weren’t enough, the area boasts a fascinating history. In fact, the town has roots in the local lumber industry that date back to the mid-1800s. By the turn of the century, the community had earned notoriety as a so-called “art colony,” drawing in creative minds from throughout the country who sought a like-minded place to craft, collaborate, and build. As the years progressed, tourism became an increasingly integral part of Saugatuck’s economy – and it remains so today. It’s easy to see why this lovely little town along the water continues to draw in visitors of all ages. 

Is Saugatuck Worth Visiting? 

How To Get To Saugatuck

Getting Around Saugatuck

Best Time To Visit Saugatuck

Where To Stay In Saugatuck

Morning One: Coffee And Shopping In Downtown Saugatuck

Afternoon One: Saugatuck Dunes, Lake Michigan, And Great Food

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Morning Two: Laid-Back Breakfast and Boating

Afternoon Two: Lunch On The Water And Local History

Not Your Average Bucket List Podcast

Only In Your State’s podcast Not Your Average Bucket List took a journey around Saugatuck, Michigan, and found some incredible hidden gems. Our hosts, Marisa Roman and Sara Heddleston discuss what goes on in Saugatuck every year and what some of the best attractions and hidden gems are. From art galleries to true beach vibes, you won’t want to leave this small town.

To discover even more things to do in Saugatuck Michigan in a fun, easily-digestible manner, tune in to OnlyInYourState’s brand new podcast, Not Your Average Bucket List, where we talk all about this charming Michigan town. Listen now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

This waterfront town might be tiny, but it’s loaded to the brim with art, culture, history, great food, and natural splendor. Even if you’re only able to budget for a day trip to Saugatuck, you’ll find yourself counting down the days until your next visit. As you plot your next great adventure, remember that this creative and beautiful shoreline community is waiting to welcome you with open arms. There are so many things to do in Saugatuck Michigan!

Looking for more beautiful places to visit? Check out these other charming small towns in Michigan!

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Things To Do In Saugatuck Michigan

What is Saugatuck Michigan known for?

Saugatuck Michigan is a wonderful small town filled with big charm. From a strong artistic community to plenty of fun on the water, there is plenty to do when you visit.

Here are some of the best things Saugatuck Michigan is known for:

  • Artistic Community: Saugatuck has a vibrant artistic community, with numerous art galleries, studios, and workshops. It attracts artists and art enthusiasts from around the region.
  • Coastal Beauty: The town is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, and its scenic beauty is one of its main attractions. Visitors can enjoy sandy beaches, dunes, and stunning sunsets over the lake.
  • Oval Beach: Oval Beach, situated in Saugatuck, is frequently recognized as one of the top freshwater beaches in the United States. It offers clean sands, clear waters, and picturesque views.
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park: This state park, adjacent to Oval Beach, encompasses a diverse ecosystem of dunes, forests, and wetlands. It provides opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and enjoying nature.
  • Historic Downtown: Saugatuck's downtown area features charming streets lined with boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and unique shops. It has a small-town atmosphere and is a popular destination for shopping and dining.
  • Boating and Water Activities: The town's location on the Kalamazoo River and its proximity to Lake Michigan make it an ideal place for boating, fishing, kayaking, and other water-based activities.
  • Saugatuck Chain Ferry: The Saugatuck Chain Ferry is a hand-cranked ferry that shuttles passengers across the Kalamazoo River. It is one of the few remaining chain ferries in the United States and adds to the town's charm.
  • Annual Festivals: Saugatuck hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, including the Waterfront Film Festival, the Venetian Festival, and the Gallery Stroll. These events attract visitors and showcase the town's cultural vibrancy.


How do I spend a day in Saugatuck Michigan?

Start by exploring downtown, filled with unique shops and art galleries. Grab a tasty lunch at a local café to fuel up. Then, head to Oval Beach for a dose of coastal beauty—enjoy the sandy shores and stunning sunsets. In the afternoon, go for a hike in Saugatuck Dunes State Park and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the dunes and forests. Wrap up your day with a delicious dinner at a waterfront restaurant.