Support Local Saugatuck Vacation Rental Managers by Booking Direct

#bookdirect

With so many vacation rental websites like Homeaway/VRBO, Airbnb and Booking.com, it can be hard to find a manager or owner you can count on to deliver an amazing vacation experience for you and your family or group.

The big vacation rental websites make browsing countless options easy. But don’t you want to know who’s behind the vacation rental you’re booking for your next family vacation?

This isn’t always evident when you use a third-party booking site. By booking directly with a vacation rental manager you can be sure of the service you expect to receive from the moment you book through your stay. But that isn’t the only benefit of working directly with a local vacation rental manager.

Other reasons to book directly with a local vacation rental manager include:

  • Saving on substantial third-party booking fees from big vacation rental websites.
  • Finding special offers not available on big vacation rental websites.
  • Access to local events and current area information to help plan your trip.
  • Working with hospitality professionals. It’s our job to make sure you have the best experience possible.

Almost all vacation rental managers (including Lakeshore Lodging) have their own website where you can check live availability and book the home of your choosing instantly, making it just as easy as using a big vacation rental website but without additional fees.

When you do this you’re also supporting small business in your favorite vacation destination. Help us support local vacation rental managers everywhere by booking your next vacation direct.

#BookDirect Guest Education Day recurs the first Wednesday in February and is a worldwide effort encouraging travelers to book directly with local vacation rental managers.

The Best Dog Friendly Saugatuck Spots Your Pup Will Love

dog friendly saugatuck

Saugatuck is highly acclaimed vacation destination for humans. And if dogs could write travel blogs, we’d probably find they feel the same way! With an array of dog-friendly accommodations to choose from, Saugatuck is a great spot to vacation with your pup. Read on to find out just how dog friendly Saugatuck is.

dog friendly saugatuck
Jack and Gabby

Dog Friendly Saugatuck Shopping and Restaurants

Just Dogs Saugatuck

Many of downtown Saugatuck’s unique shops and art galleries welcome dogs to browse alongside you. Make your first stop Just Dogs Saugatuck to see what’s in the fresh-baked treat case. Or grab a serving of Yoghund Frozen Yogurt. Just Dogs Saugatuck also hosts a dog from a local shelter on most Saturdays. So, stop in and say hello!

Just Add Water

You can’t miss Just Add Water’s faux beach stocked with yard games and beach gear that surrounds the brightly painted building. This cool beach store is  a must-see destination that also welcomes your pooch to join in the fun. You’ll most likely meet Jack & Gabby, the owner’s dogs,  roaming the store.

Scooters Café & Pizzeria

During the summer months, Scooters Café & Pizzeria on Culver Street allows dogs on their patio. Scooters serves up hand-tossed pizzas and a classic pizza parlor vibe perfect for relaxing with your pup and grabbing some lunch! Try the deluxe, and we won’t judge if you give Fido a small bite of that delicious Italian sausage.

Wag-worthy Attractions

Tails n’ Trails Dog Park

Tails n’ Trails Dog Park offers space for your dog to get out and run. This Saugatuck dog park has separate areas for small and large dogs to keep the peace and make sure everyone has a good time. The runs have trees, grassy and sandy areas, and plenty of room for your pup to expel some of that energy. There is also a woodland trail for walking with your dog.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Saugatuck Dunes State Park has various hiking trails through woodland and dune habitats that are dog friendly, although dogs are not allowed on the beach. With miles and miles of trails and smells for days, your dog will be in heaven on a hike in this park. After all that walking, your pooch will be ready to take a big nap and dream about vacationing in dog friendly Saugatuck.

Camp Saugapup

If you and your family have some plans during your vacation that aren’t dog friendly, and you don’t want to leave your pup cooped up, take him to Camp Saugapup! This cage-free, country doggy daycare is located on over four acres of fenced-in natural area. With a temperature-controlled play barn and lots of room to roam and play, Spike won’t have any hard feelings about you leaving him for a day.

Bring your pup to Saugatuck

If any of those places sound like a fun time your pooch will love, bring him along on your next vacation in Saugatuck. Stay in one of these great dog friendly vacation rentals.

Uncommon Coffee Roasters Will Energize Your Day

uncommon coffee roasters

Whether you need a morning pick-me-up or a warm place to spend an afternoon of work, you definitely want to stop by one of Saugatuck’s best cafes:  Uncommon Coffee Roasters. Making great coffee since 1994 in Saugatuck, owners Guy Darienzo and Stephen Keye produce coffee with a purpose. Their excellent coffee also provides a place for conversation and the exchanging of ideas. You’ll love the vibe, and we bet you’ll love the coffee, too.

Uncommon Grounds at Uncommon Coffee Roasters

Uncommon Coffee Roasters roast, in small batches, high-quality coffee from around the world. You can find this coffee for sale in any of their coffee shops as well as featured in any of their coffee and espresso drinks. Due to popular demand, they opened a wholesale coffee business in 2010 in neighboring Douglas, shipping their fresh roasted coffee all over the country.

Equally unique as their coffee roasting ventures, Uncommon Coffee Roasters create uncommon grounds as an NGLCC Certified LGBT Business Enterprise. That means they fully support diversity and inclusion when it comes to people from all walks of life. They strive to create a safe space for everyone, but especially the LGBT community of West Michigan. After all, everyone should be able to comfortably enjoy quality coffee from Uncommon Coffee Roasters.

Sustainable Quality for Coffee Lovers

The company also works with coffee producers from all over the world to better understand their beans and culture, sourcing coffee only from producers to whom they’ve traveled. Uncommon Coffee Roasters prides themselves in their diverse partnerships and seeks to promote fellow companies that share the same values. The end result is sustainable, high-quality, and delicious coffee responsibly sourced from incredible producers.

You’ll find sustainability in the way they do everything. From 100% compostable single serve coffee pods to cold brew in recyclable paper cartons to 100% compostable coffee cups, UCR strives to be ecologically responsible for minimizing their carbon footprint as a company. You can find their fully compostable products at their wholesale store. That’s because they don’t just seek to reduce their own carbon footprint, but that of everyone who enjoys their coffee!

Check Out Landsharks in Saugatuck!

landsharks in saugatuck snowshoe

One store outdoor enthusiasts can’t miss is Landsharks in Saugatuck. At Landsharks, you’ll find an array of excellent quality outdoor apparel, gear, and accessories to outfit the entire excursion. Here’s why you need to stop by.

Store History

Sally Troutman founded Landsharks in 1989. You will still find her in the store daily with her son David. The rest of the team is comprised of energetic, joyful, and talented Landsharks. The family-owned-and-operated business employs locals and empowers them to be entrepreneurs as well. Landsharks in Saugatuck strives to create an environment that is fun, adventurous–and one that loves to party!

Landsharks in Saugatuck is Your Adventure Outfitter

The undeniable lightheartedness of the storefront is something to behold. Shelves lined with empty bottles of Patrón Tequila and a paper maché octopus inspire the camaraderie only adventurers share. Whether you seek the trail as a casual hiker or look for more heavy duty outdoor gear, Landsharks in Saugatuck is your base camp.

Rent Cross Country Skis and Snowshoes at Landsharks in Winter

Want to play in the snow during your winter stay in Saugatuck? Don’t worry about bringing your own equipment on vacation. You can rent skis and snowshoes at Landsharks in Saugatuck. For just $14/day for adults and $10/day for children, you can take your own pair of cross country skis–including bindings, boots, and poles–or snowshoes for a spin. Equipment is due the following day by 11 a.m. Try the trails at Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Allegan State Game Area, the Outdoor Discovery Center, Pigeon Creek Park, or the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area.

Brands to Take on Your Trail

Landsharks in Saugatuck will surprise you with their amount of selection. Sure, they have every major brand in the industry, but they also offer more fashion-oriented brands, too. Plus, it’s a point of pride for them that they offer completely new brands each new season. This keeps the stock fresh, and their customers delighted. Will you be one of them? Check out some of the brands they carry.

Patagonia

Smartwool

Oakley

Maui Jim

Keen

Chaco

Merrell

Vibram

Ugg

Agave

Splendid

EQ

Pure

In addition to these great brands, the store also carries a variety of great souvenir shirts, hats, and accessories. You’ll find clever screen-printed, Michigan-oriented tees and even stickers for your car!

How to get around in Saugatuck

An ode to the Interurban

Oh, Saugatuck Interurban, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. The Saugatuck Interurban is a demand response public bus system that moves people from A to B in Saugatuck, Douglas, and Saugatuck Township. All you need to do is call, and they’ll pick you up with as little as 15 minutes notice. Transportation in Saugatuck has never been easier.

It’s public transportation at your beck and call—so long as your demands are within the boundaries of Saugatuck Township.

The best part? Each ride costs only a dollar, or only fifty cents for children under 12, seniors 62 and over, and those physically challenged.

Imagine the possibilities.

In peak summertime, finding parking in our tiny town can be a patience-testing quest. But you don’t have to worry about parking at all when you take the Interurban. Plus, on summer weekends between 11am and 5pm, the Interurban Transit Authority offers a Free Parking Shuttle. Park your car for free in the Saugatuck High School parking lot and then hitch a free ride to downtown Saugatuck.

Planning a day at the beach? Parking at Douglas Beach is always limited, and you’ll have to pay to park at Oval Beach. Swiftly avoid both of those problems when you choose to take the Interurban. For merely $1, the Interurban will caravan you and your crew to a day of sun, sand, and those gorgeous Lake Michigan waves.

Or perhaps a night on the town is in order, and you plan on imbibing some refreshments of the alcoholic variety. Let the Interurban be your safe ride home—it runs until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays*.

We all need to get from one place to the next. When you’re staying in Saugatuck, the Interurban makes it easy and stress free. Call 269-857-1418 for your ride.

*If you happen to stay out later than 11pm, fret not. You can still get home safely with an Uber or local taxi service. Make good choices!!

This Is Why Your Kids Will Love Express Yourself Art Barn

The appreciation and creation of art aren’t restricted to adults. Sometimes, the most memorable artwork is created by the youngest among us. At Express Yourself Art Barn, children and adults alike have the freedom and tools to create whatever they want. That’s part of the beauty of art, right? The next time your kids (or you!) feel the need to create, head to Fennville, MI and enjoy an afternoon of artistic freedom.

Vacation activities like the Express Yourself Art Barn are an excellent way to engage in the culturally rich landscape of the Saugatuck area. And there’s more to discover. Here at Lakeshore Lodging, we have firsthand knowledge of our area. So, you can trust our expertise when we say, “You should try this!”

Express Yourself Art Barn

The Express Yourself Art Barn is exactly what it sounds like! Most farm structures as old as this 19th-century building are often used for events like weddings, storage, or simply as a landmark. However, this barn has found new life as an art studio. The owner, Carole, was a frequent visitor of Saugatuck, eventually moving to the area and purchasing the barn. What was once home to animals and an orchard is now a welcoming environment centered around fun and creativity!

For over a decade, people of all ages have been coming to the art barn to craft, create, and construct artwork from a variety of mediums. Kids will love the exciting options they have, whether that’s creating necklaces and bracelets, or trying out the pottery wheel. Materials to work with include wood, glass, ceramics, and silk, according to the website. Whatever you create, you’ll get to take home, too! It’s the perfect way to let your children discover new art forms, develop their sense of creativity, and have fun. Parents can join, too! Spending an afternoon crafting a new piece of art is a great way to bond.

A trip to the art barn is budget-friendly, and the average customer spends $20 between studio and project fees. You can contact Carole by calling (269) 857-5566. The Express Yourself Art Barn is located at 6459 – 130th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408.

Enjoy the Art Coast of Michigan!

If you love art, then Saugatuck and the surrounding area is for you. The town’s thriving art community is home to numerous art galleries and studios! Of course, you can’t experience art in Saugatuck without a trip to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Exhibitions, live music and theatre, art programs for kids, and more are all in store here. Make an art tour of the area by visiting the art barn, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, and any of the great local galleries.

Create Your Own Adventure and Vacation in Saugatuck

Where do you go when you want Lake Michigan beauty, excellent art galleries, and great local dining? Saugatuck, MI, of course! Home to Oval Beach and an inviting, diverse community, Saugatuck makes for an unforgettable summer vacation spot. Let Lakeshore Lodging help you, with our selection of Lake Michigan vacation homes. Whether you’re looking for a lakefront house or a cozy home in town, we have a vacation rental for you. With features like fully equipped kitchens, WiFi, hot tubs, and more, you’ll be able to relax, worry-free. Plus, thanks to our convenient location, the best attractions in the area are only minutes away! Contact us today to start planning your Saugatuck getaway.

Spend Labor Day in Saugatuck

Start planning your summer send-off

The end of summer is probably the last thing you want to think about right now. But if you’re looking to end the season with a bang, you should start planning your vacation ASAP.

Labor Day is one of the most popular times to visit Saugatuck, and availability for vacation rentals becomes limited fast. Book your Saugatuck vacation now.

What will you do when you get here? Whether you want to partake in our town festivities, enjoy a celebration with close friends and family, or make the most of the end of beach season, there’s lots to do in Saugatuck around Labor Day. Allow us to give you some ideas:

Your in-town itinerary

Catch one of these great Saugatuck-area events during your Labor Day stay.

Saugatuck-Douglas 19th Annual Bridge Walk – Join the community in a walk across the Blue Star Bridge on September 4, 9-10am. Starts on the Douglas side and proceeds to the Saugatuck side. Held in solidarity with the annual walk across the Mackinac Bridge, this walk is quite a bit shorter.

Labor Day Truck Parade – Celebrate the businesses of West Michigan in Holland’s annual parade of big trucks. Bring your family, some earplugs, and an appetite for ice cream.

All-Crafts Fair – Peruse hundreds of exhibitors with fine arts, crafts, and food in South Haven during Labor Day weekend.

Fenn Valley Fall Vineyard Tour – Take part in one of Fenn Valley’s first fall vineyard tours. Learn about grape growing and winemaking.

Saugatuck Chain Ferry – Labor Day weekend is your last chance of the year to ride aboard the Saugatuck Chain Ferry—the only remaining hand-cranked ferry in the country. Hitch a ride across the Kalamazoo River for a shortcut to Oval Beach.

Music on the Lawn at Borrowed Time – Catch some outdoor tunes on the lawn at Borrowed Time before they’re done for the season.

Find the best home for Labor Day festivities

The perfect Labor Day vacation requires a home base that’s best suited to your planned activities. We have properties that’ll make your weekend unforgettable.

Grill out

Ferry’s Landing – This tastefully modern, farmhouse-inspired home has a spacious backyard with a firepit. Grill your meal and enjoy it on the screened-in porch. Spend the evening around the fire with friends.

Kingfisher Cove Cabin 28 – A log-cabin inspired home on the shores of Goshorn Lake with plenty of space for entertaining both indoors and out. Grill out in the wooded, secluded backyard and later enjoy a fire in the firepit or a dip in the hot tub.

Stay in town


Mason Loft
– Stay above a Saugatuck storefront in this quaint apartment. This shotgun-style loft has a fully equipped kitchen and is awash in natural light. You’ll be within walking distance of many great Saugatuck activities when you stay here.

Cozy Hideaway – This cute cottager is perfect for small groups and families and is located just a walk from the action downtown Saugatuck.

Beachside holiday

Beach Cottage – Enjoy the fresh lakeside air and a view of the lake framed by tall trees at Beach Cottage. Sunbathe on the private beach during the day, enjoy the gas grill and firepit in the evening.

Mixed Doubles – Recently re-furnished, this home is beautifully designed and has unreal views of Lake Michigan and a great beach. It has a traditional cottage charm and is nestled on a quiet, wooded acre.

Heron Creek – Descend the stairs to get to this property’s beach and catch a few great views along the way. Located in a deeply secluded, wooded area, this property is a perfect place to truly get away from it all.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Mount Baldhead

mount baldhead

When you think Lake Michigan, the first things that come to mind are typically water, the beach, fishing, boating, and other beach-related activities. But, did you know that not far from the lake’s Oval Beach, there’s a spot when you can get an incredible view of the surrounding area? Climb to the top of Mount Baldhead, and you’ll be rewarded with an amazing overlook of Oval Beach, the town of Saugatuck, and more! Whether you’re looking for a short hike, an exercise challenge, or simply a place to enjoy nature, Mount Baldhead is for you. Here’s why you should visit!

For more great ideas for things to do while you’re in Saugatuck, be sure to check out our recommendations! At Lakeshore Lodging, we’re your resource for all things Saugatuck and the surrounding area. So, enjoy the best of our area on us!

3 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Mount Baldhead

1. The Views

Everyone loves a great view, especially when it’s as beautiful as the one at the top of Mount Baldhead! The picturesque scenery at the top allows you to see Saugatuck, the Kalamazoo River, and Lake Michigan, providing an unforgettable look at the area. Make sure you have your camera or smartphone handy because you’ll want to snap plenty of pictures! Take the 302 steps to the top from the harbor side, or descend the trail on the opposite side to Oval Beach.

2. The Mt. Baldhead Challenge

If you spend your free time strapped into a pair of running shoes, the Mt. Baldhead Challenge is for you. The 17th Annual Mt. Baldhead Challenge will take place this year on September 10, and the area’s most popular race! According to the race’s website, the 15K race begins in nearby Douglas, runs by the Lake Michigan shore, and eventually to the steps leading to the top of Mount Baldhead. The course goes by Oval Beach Park, and ultimately back to Douglas at Beery Field. You’ll break a sweat, but the views along the way will be well worth it. More details about this exciting race can be found on the Mt. Baldhead Challenge website.

3. A Great Location

Most scenic overlooks are out of the way – usually off of a highway out of town, or at the end of a long hike. Not Mount Baldhead! You won’t have to leave town to get here, because it’s in here Saugatuck. Enjoy the convenience of cooling off at Oval Beach after your hike, or simply taking your time and relaxing. There’s no rush!

Relax in Saugatuck When You Stay with Lakeshore Lodging

Vacationers flock to Saugatuck every year, and with good reason! An inviting, creative atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and plenty of great places to dine are just a few of the reasons why Saugatuck is one of the nation’s best places to vacation. The team at Lakeshore Lodging wants you to see what makes Saugatuck so special, and the best way to do that is with a stay in one of our Lake Michigan vacation homes. Our vacation rentals feature everything you need for a relaxing, worry-free vacation. Fully-furnished kitchens, hot tubs, and decks are just a few of the amenities our homes include! Plus, no matter where you stay, you’ll be only minutes from Saugatuck’s best attractions. Contact us today to start planning your Lake Michigan vacation today.

5 Reasons You Need to Go on a Star of Saugatuck Cruise

When you want to experience the beauty of Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River from the deck of a sternwheeler boat, take a cruise on the Star of Saugatuck II. One of the most popular choices for exploring Lake Michigan, Star of Saugatuck II cruises are perfect for passengers of any age. Here are 5 great reasons why you should take a cruise on this beautiful boat.

5 Reasons You Need to Go On a Star of Saugatuck Cruise

1. Enjoy the Unique Experience of a Sternwheeler Boat Ride

When you think of a boat cruise, a ship that looks to be at least a century outdated probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but that’s one of the best features about the Star of Saugatuck II. Reminiscent of the type of ship that you would see cruising the waters near New Orleans or the Mississippi River, the Star of Saugatuck II is a sternwheeler (a steam-drive paddleboat). According to company’s website, the boat is 80 feet long, can seat 150 people between its upper and lower decks, and is run by a three-man crew.

2. A Narrated Guide to Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River

As you enjoy the cruise, your captain will narrate your trip! You’ll learn about the history and features of the boat and the surrounding area while you take in the beauty of the scenery.

3. Food and Drink!

You won’t go hungry or thirsty when you take a ride on the Star of Saugatuck II. Bring your own snacks with you, or choose from the onboard selection of chips, juice, beer, wine, and more!

4. See Local Wildlife and Attractions

Lake Michigan is home to an abundance of wildlife, including rainbow trout, herons, fox, eagles and much more! You’ll be able to see local wildlife, as well as sand dunes, lighthouses, and more. For more information, visit the General & Route Information page.

5. The Sunset Cruise

Witness the beauty of the sun setting over Lake Michigan on the 90 minutes Sunset Cruise. This picturesque cruise is sure to be unforgettable!

Tickets and More Information

Star of Saugatuck II cruises start at the dock at 716 Water Street in Saugatuck. According to the website, tours last 70-90 minutes, and travel the Kalamazoo River, Lake Kalamazoo, and Lake Michigan.

Tickets are budget friendly. Adult admission is $19, for both the Daytime and Sunset cruises. Tickets are available online, or in-person on a first come, first serve basis, and reservations for large groups (20+) can be made over the phone. This information and more can found be on Saugatuck Boat Cruises’ FAQ page.

Saugatuck Boat Cruises is located at 716 Water Street, Saugatuck, MI. For more information, visit their website, or call them at (269) 857-4261.

Experience the Best of Saugatuck and Lake Michigan with Lakeshore Lodging

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Saugatuck is a small but vibrant town, featuring excellent beaches, a thriving arts culture, great dining, and much more. The best way to see this beautiful beach town is by staying in a Lakeshore Lodging vacation rental! Lakeshore Lodging offers everything from cozy cottages to houses big enough to comfortably sleep you and a dozen other people. Our vacation rentals feature fireplaces, hot tubs, WiFi, and locations perfect for both exploring Saugatuck and enjoying Lake Michigan. Contact us today, online or by calling (866) 765-7522 and start planning your Saugatuck vacation.

Practice safe beach bumming

Be safe on Lake Michigan beaches

Saugatuck’s prime location on Lake Michigan means there are many gorgeous beaches at which to sunbathe, play, and swim. The water is pleasantly warm this year, thanks to the mild winter, and that means a lot more people are going to be swimming in our Great Lake. But it’s important to remember the importance of beach safety.

While a day at the beach can be beautiful and refreshing, it’s important to remember that it can also be dangerous. Many people underestimate the strength of the currents Lake Michigan can produce—a mistake which can be deadly. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to understand when it’s safe to swim, which circumstances create more danger, and what to do when you find yourself in trouble.

Luckily, there’s a one-stop resource available to help you do just that. Here’s how to prepare for your next trip to the beach:

Check the National Weather Service Great Lakes Beach Hazards Tool before you head to the beach. There, you’ll find out if there are any safety warnings issued at your beach. Peruse the tabs to learn about currents and what to do when you find yourself swept up in one. Many beaches don’t have lifeguards, so it’s important to practice good judgment and learn how to identify when someone in your group is struggling and help them should you need to.

We want you to have the safest experiences at our Lake Michigan beaches. Have fun, but be smart. Study up on beach safety before you hit the water.

Some key tips from MI Sea Grant

If in danger

  • Stay calm, focus on breathing and keeping your head above water

  • Swim to the side, then back to shore. Alternate between swimming and floating if tired.

  • Face the shore and call for help

Before you swim