Film festival on tour to come to Saugatuck: Mountainfilm

For the third year, Saugatuck Center for the Arts is bringing the touring film festival Mountainfilm to Saugatuck—and this year is going to be better than ever. This documentary film festival showcases stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues. The films are always beautiful, thought provoking and inspiring. This year, you can catch them amidst a number of fun events throughout Saugatuck and Douglas. Here’s everything you need to know about Mountainfilm.

Stay with Lakeshore Lodging on Mountainfilm weekend (March 22-24) and get a deal on tickets to the festival’s main events. Learn more here.

mountainfilm saugatuckMountainfilm Saugatuck takes place March 22 & 23, 2019

Here’s a taste of the events taking place throughout Saugatuck and Douglas over the two-day film festival. Purchase weekend passes and individual event tickets here. View the complete schedule with details here.

Friday

  • 10 am – Mountainfilm HQ opens at Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Pick up your passes and tickets at the Mountainfilm Saugatuck headquarters and check out event artist Erica Lang‘s exhibition and Woosah pop-up shop.
  • 6 pm – Cocktails, craft beers and appetizers at Saugatuck Center for the Arts.
  • 7 pm – “The Medley”: Showing of a selection of Mountainfilm shorts.
  • 9:30 pm – The official After Party. Enjoy live music, drinks and late-night food from local vendors.

Saturday

  • 10-11:30 am – Film screenings at Saugatuck Brewing Company and the Saugatuck Women’s Center. Enjoy a bloody mary bar at SBC and Uncommon Coffee Roasters coffee at the Women’s Center.
  • 12-1 pm – Artist demo by Erica Lang from Woosah. See how Lang makes her signature wood cuts.
  • 12-3 pm – Family programming at the Saugatuck-Douglas Library.
  • 3-4:30 pm – More film screenings at Saugatuck Brewing Company and the Saugatuck Women’s Center. Visit each location early for happy hour specials.
  • 6 pm – Cocktail hour at Saugatuck Center for the Arts.
  • 7 pm – Feature film (TBD) at Saugatuck Center for the Arts.

There’s sure to be plenty more going on this March weekend in Saugatuck, so keep an eye out for Mountainfilm related announcements as the festival approaches. Secure your tickets and lodging now—this festival is sure to sell out quick.

Best Lake Michigan cottages to rent

best lake michigan beach cottages to rent

Endless horizons, awe-inspiring sunsets, invigorating lake breezes—these are a few of the reasons people love spending time on Lake Michigan. West Michigan’s picturesque lakeshore is an enchanting place to be. Why limit your experience of the lake to day trips to public beaches and state parks? Find a vacation rental perched on the lakeshore and fill your whole vacation with the beauty of Lake Michigan. Here are some of the best Lake Michigan cottages to rent.

Best Lake Michigan cottages to rent

Mixed Doubles

Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 3, Sleeps: 11

This newly remodeled home boasts beautiful lake views. Enjoy them in the cozy living room, the spacious dining room, or in the breezy screened porch. This home also boasts its own private beach, so you can sunbathe and swim to your heart’s content.

Beach Cottage

Bedrooms: 3, Bathrooms: 2, Sleeps: 8

This quaint cottage is tucked in a shady woodland on the Lake Michigan coast. It’s a warm, cozy retreat that feels like home. It also offers a spacious private beach right on the lake, as well as some gorgeous bluff-top views.

Edgewater Beach Cottage

Bedrooms: 3, Bathrooms: 2, Sleeps: 8

Edgewater Beach Cottage’s decor seamlessly integrates its impeccable lake views. This cute cottage is a truly dreamy Lake Michigan escape. It’s great for a family vacation or a romantic couple’s getaway.

Bluffs Cove

Bedrooms: 2, Bathrooms: 1, Sleeps: 6

This cottage on the corner of a Lake Michigan bluff is a perfect escape. Take in wall-to-wall lake views whether you’re relaxing in the living room, dining with a view, or kicking back in the hot tub.

Spend New Year’s Eve in Saugatuck, Michigan

After a Christmas holiday spent with family, a New Year’s Eve celebration can be the perfect time to let loose and have a good time with friends. Spend New Year’s Eve in Saugatuck, Michigan and you’ll find great places to eat, drink and party–without the overwhelming crowds. Plus, after you’ve sufficiently rung in 2019, you can get a free ride home from the Interurban.

Visit Saugatuck for New Year’s Eve to take part in the fun activities. Get a Lakeshore Lodging vacation rental to return to when the night is over. Here’s what’s going on in town.

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve in Saugatuck, Michigan?

New Year’s Eve Dinner at The Kirby

A special 5-course dinner is on the menu at J. Paul’s at The Kirby for New Year’s Eve. $70 per person includes a delicious 5-course meal and a bubbly toast. Reservations are required.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display

Count down to midnight with the rest of town and celebrate 2019 with a gorgeous display of fireworks. Catch them in downtown Saugatuck when the clock strikes 12.

New Year’s Eve Celebration at The Dunes

Play bingo and celebrate the New Year well into the night at The Dunes Hotel & Resort.

Free rides from the Interurban

Don’t worry about driving to and from your Saugatuck/Douglas celebration destinations. From 6pm-2am, the Interurban will be offering free rides around town, so you can count on getting from A to B safe and sound.

Find your NYE home base

Saugatuck Townhome 7

Sleeps: 6, Bedrooms: 3, Bathrooms: 3.5

Located right downtown, this charming townhome is perfect for a New Year’s stay. Entertain your guests on the spacious main floor, and watch the fireworks from the living room balcony.

Roan and Black

Sleeps: 4, Bedrooms: 2, Bathrooms: 2

This stylish loft is perched above a contemporary art gallery. It’s a perfect spot to ring in the new year with the one you love.

Hoopdee Scootee Suite

Sleeps: 4, Bedrooms: 1, Bathrooms: 1.5

This centrally located apartment puts you in walking distance of the holiday festivities. It’ll be a cozy place to return to after a night celebrating 2019.

Where to do your holiday shopping in Saugatuck

holiday shopping in saugatuck

The countdown to the holidays has officially begun, and that means it’s time to start shopping for gifts. You’ll find plenty of unique gifts for everyone on your list here in Saugatuck. This year, browse the offerings of our local artists and makers at any of the following events and kickstart your holiday shopping in Saugatuck.

Holiday shopping in Saugatuck

The Button Holiday Sale

November 1-30

Visit The Button Gallery to participate in their annual mystery discount sale. Choose your button and find out how much you will save! A discount of 5, 10, 15, or 20 percent will be applied to your purchase.

Friends of the Library Silent Auction

November 3-17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Bid on gift certificates and new items donated by local artists, area businesses and individuals at this annual auction. Stop by the library between November 3rd and 17th to view the items and place your bids!

FennMagic Makers Market

November 23-25, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Visit downtown Fennville for three days of holiday shopping on Thanksgiving weekend. Find deals and holiday inspiration at Fernwood 1891 and Root Coffee House & Cafe.

Saugatuck Center for the Arts Holiday Market

November 24, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Head to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts lobby and shop the offerings of over 30 vendors. Ceramics, jewelry, clothing, jams, spices, baked goods and more compose the potential gifts you’ll find at this holiday market.  There will also be a Christmas Tree lot on the grounds as well.

Shop Small Saturday

November 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Every year, the day after the deals of Black Friday, we encourage residents and visitors alike to support our local economy. Shop small in Saugatuck. Take advantage of the free tote bags filled with coupons and samples.

Saugatuck United Methodist Church Christmas Bazaar

December 1, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Visit this annual Christmas Bazaar for crafts, a sloppy joe lunch, baked goods, candy and gifts.

Fenn Valley Sip & Shop Artisan and Craft Market

December 8, 2018, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Support local artists while enjoying wine and cider. Shop the selections of 17 carefully picked local vendors and find one-of-a-kind gifts while tasting delicious locally made wine and cider.

Celebrate friendship with a Friendsgiving vacation

friendsgiving vacation

Thanksgiving is typically thought of as an opportunity to reunite with family. But it can also be a chance to bring together your chosen family—the friends you’ve surrounded yourself with over the years. These are the people who will always pick up the phone when you need to talk at some early morning hour. Who will listen to your stories, remind you of your strength when you’re down, and make fun of you when you deserve it. Thanksgiving can be the perfect time to reconvene with them and serve a home-cooked meal to express your gratitude for their company on the roller coaster of life. Things change as time passes, but a Friendsgiving vacation could be a great way to celebrate that which doesn’t: the love and support of your dearest friends.

How to plan a Friendsgiving vacation

1. Figure out who’s coming

Send out some feelers for who would be interested and able to attend your Friendsgiving vacation. You’ll want an idea of how big your party is going to be before you start planning where to stay and what your menu will look like.

2. Determine where you’ll host

While many of your friends may live near you, others have moved far and wide. Choose a convenient place for everyone to travel to and make a vacation out of the event. Ideally, your location will have a variety of vacation rentals to choose from so you can find the one best suited to your group. It will also have some cool attractions so you can make a whole weekend vacation and have fun with your friends. We recommend Saugatuck—but we’re biased.

3. Select your vacation rental

Find a vacation rental that suits your group. Make sure it has enough sleeping arrangements for your guest list, a well-equipped kitchen, spacious dining table, and any special amenities you think will bring your Friendsgiving vacation to the next level. Decide if you want it to be close to any attractions you’ll want to take advantage of or if you’d rather it be tucked away and private for a weekend spent in.

3. Plan the menu

Will you do all the cooking? Or will it be a potluck? Get an idea of what you’d like to eat and coordinate how to execute the feast with your friends. Don’t forget to bring some tasty beverages to pair with your Friendsgiving meal, too.

4. Send the invite

Make it official with a nice invitation. Let your friends know where and when the dinner will take place. If you’re doing a potluck, you could have your friends RSVP with the dish they plan to bring. Once you receive the RSVPs, you can figure out how to balance out your meal. Sending paper invites may seem over-the-top, but it’s an easy way to add an extra layer of care and cuteness to the party.

5. Make a Friendsgiving playlist

Get on Spotify and start compiling songs to play during your gathering. Make a mix of light dining music and toss in some throwback songs that will send your friends down memory lane and maybe catch some laughs. Background music is a necessary component of a dinner party, and it will set a festive mood.

6. Arrive, set up, and let your Friendsgiving vacation take off

Once you’ve planned everything, the next step is just to show up and let your vacation take whatever shape it wants to take. You’ve got all the ingredients you need for a memorable, unique Thanksgiving spent expressing gratitude for the wonder of friendship.

How to survive a Michigan winter

how to survive a michigan winter

Things are about to get frigid here in the upper midwest. For some, that’s no big deal. Snow bunnies, skiers and snowboarders who love winter have a little more ease navigating the harsh season. For those of us who have a harder time embracing winter, the season can be long and unforgiving. But this winter doesn’t have to be like the others. With these tips and a little determination, you could walk away with a newfound appreciation for the season. Here’s our advice on how to survive a Michigan winter.

How to survive a Michigan winter

how to survive a michigan winter
how to survive a michigan winter
how to survive a michigan winter

Layer up

Get smart about keeping yourself warm. Buy some cozy sweaters and warm socks. Don’t write off long underwear either—those extra layers will help keep you toasty and comfortable. When you venture outside, make sure you’re equipped with a wind-resistant coat, a scarf, a good hat, and a pair of mittens. Prioritizing warmth is going to make moving through the winter world so much easier.

Get cozy

When you’re settled in the warmth of your home, get extra cozy. Swaddle yourself in soft fabrics, comfy clothes, and big throws. Hot tip: invest in some hot water bottles or a heated blanket to add an extra layer of warmth to your home life. A hot water bottle at your feet feels like you hired a litter of puppies to sleep on you. It’s that cozy. You’ll have a hard time resenting the frigid temperatures outdoors while you’re this snuggled up.

Invest in some hygge lighting solutions

Daylight is painfully brief in the winter months, but the dark can create a cozy feeling if you decorate your home with soft, warm lighting. Avoid turning on overhead lights if you don’t need them. Think candles, string lights, maybe even an oil lamp. Flickering flames give the feeling of being near a fireplace. The warmth you’ll feel from these simple lighting solutions will make you fall a little in love with the winter darkness.

Pamper yourself

Let’s face it: if you’re reading this, winter probably makes you feel like a big baby. So why not treat yourself like one? Give yourself the care, comfort and attention a mother would give an infant child. Devote time to pampering yourself with hot baths and an elaborate skin care routine. Invest in some sheet face masks, bath bombs, and some extra fluffy towels. Wrap yourself in an even fluffier bathrobe. You are worth it.

Moisturize, hydrate, humidify

Dry, scratchy skin is one of the worst side effects of winter. Fight it by slathering yourself with a good moisturizer on the daily. Stay good and hydrated with lots of H2O. And have a humidifier running at night. Give your houseplants the same treatment—they’re going to need it too.

On second thought, maybe don’t slather your houseplants in lotion.

Embrace the outdoors

You can’t hide from the realities of winter forever. As appealing as a winter hibernation sounds, especially after following all of the aforementioned tips, you will eventually need to leave your house. Finding ways to embrace the harsh winter landscape is going to make doing this a lot easier. Meet up with a friend and go snowshoeing or cross country skiing at a local park. There are plenty of fun winter activities to do here in Michigan that will leave you with a newfound appreciation of this season’s unique beauty.

Take a wintry vacation

Winter vacations usually look like a trip to someplace warm or to a destination ski resort. But small town Michigan has its share of appeal during this chilly time of year. Find a log cabin-style vacation rental with a fireplace and a view of a snow-covered woodland. Devote a vacation to winter appreciation and follow each of these tips while you get away from it all. Book a winter vacation here in Saugatuck. The months that remain between us and the spring thaw will become not only bearable, but maybe even a little enjoyable.

Experience the ultimate fall festival at Virtue Cider Apple Fest

virtue cider apple fest

Virtue Cider Apple Fest is an annual family friendly celebration of the harvest season. It takes place on the cider house’s gorgeous Fennville farm grounds. This year’s festival will be a day-long party complete with live music, apple-themed games, food and of course, cider.

“We are excited to have our 3rd Annual Apple Fest as a celebration of not only the apple harvest, but the wide variety of ciders that we make from the region’s incredible fruit,” said Kim Vavrick, communications manager at Virtue Cider.

Virtue Cider Apple Fest is October 20

virtue cider apple ciderThe festival will take place on October 20, 2018 from 12-9 p.m., and it will feature a host of fun, family friendly activities including live music and apple-themed games.

“In the past, Apple Fest has been a multi-day affair, but this year we are putting all the fun in one day to really throw a great harvest-time festival for all ages,” Vavrick said.

Kids and adults alike can take part in activities like Percheron-led cart rides, cider house tours, and hikes through the trails on the grounds. Play games like apple slingshot, guess the apple crate weight, apple basket holding contests (think stein holding contest, but with apple baskets), bobbing for apples, and a variety of handmade carnival-style games.

“Our animals will be celebrating as well, as we will have opportunities for guests to view and even interact with a few of our heritage breeds including our Icelandic sheep and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs,” Vavrick said.

Food and drink at Virtue Cider Apple Fest

Throughout the day, guests of the festival can taste a variety of Virtue’s ciders, including selections from the Michigan Series, Lapinette, Percheron, The Mitten, Cherry Mitten, mulled cider and more. Guests can also sample food from a variety of area favorite vendors. A pig roast by ManBQue, candied apples from Farmhouse Deli, breads and donuts from Kismet Bakery, cheeses from Evergreen Lane Creamery, pies from Bang Bang pies and so much more.

“We have always had live music, and this year are excited to have a mini-music-fest of sorts featuring five bands from Michigan and Chicago,” Vavrick said.

The bands American Grizzly, The Family Gold, The Long Lost and Major Murphy will play sets throughout the day-long festival.

“It’s going to be busy and fun! It’s family-friendly and an all-day affair with neighbors and friends from far and wide, so guests can expect a boisterous day on the farm!” Vavrick said.

5 Reasons to start planning your 2019 summer vacation in Michigan now

2019 summer vacation in michigan

Planning your 2019 summer vacation in Michigan is nothing to procrastinate. Popular summer vacation dates are the first to book up here in Saugatuck. To make sure you get the summer vacation you’re dreaming of, start planning now. Not convinced? Read on for 5 reasons you should get those 2019 summer vacation plans in motion.

5 Reasons to start planning your 2019 summer vacation in Michigan right now

Get the dates you want at your ideal home base

Now is your chance to define your perfect summer vacation in Michigan and not let limitations on available dates do it for you. Popular summer vacation dates are already getting scooped up at some of our vacation rentals. Make your plans now and reap the benefits of having set your summer vacation plans in motion early.

Save on travel arrangements

If you’re arriving to your destination via plane, your best chance to save on airfare is to plan early—especially if your vacation falls on a popular travel time. Plus, you get first dibs on the best airplane seats.

Have something to look forward to through the dreary winter months

Winter is coming, and that means the sun is going to be hidden behind clouds more often than it isn’t for the next couple months. Getting your 2019 summer vacation plans set now means you’ll have something real to look forward to when it’s dark and dreary. Daydream about sunbathing on Oval Beach, hiking through Saugatuck Dunes State Park, and roasting s’mores around a beach bonfire.

Collaborate with travel companions more easily

One of the biggest struggles about travel planning is coordinating with everyone who’s going on the trip. When you start planning early on, it’s easier to make sure everyone is on the same page. Planning your summer vacation to Michigan early gives everyone ample time to request time off at work, make arrangements for pet sitters, and gear up for a fun trip to the Great Lakes state.

Reduce stress

Nothing takes a load off your shoulders like checking something off on your to-do list. Taking care of next summer’s vacation plans now will ensure everything comes together exactly how you’re imagining it in your head. Once that’s all set, you can relax and focus on what’s in front of you.

This is Why You’ll Love the Saugatuck Christmas Parade

saugatuck christmas

With the holiday season comes some of the best events in the entire calendar year. The Saugatuck Christmas Parade is no exception! Join in on the fun on Saturday, December 1, 2018 and see all the characters in costume. Per tradition, parade patrons are encouraged to dress up as their favorite character from the movie, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The parade isn’t the only fun Christmas event going on around that time, though. Read on to learn more.

whootville saugatuck christmas parade
Image: SDABA

The Saugatuck Christmas Parade Headlines the Day

Don’t miss the main event! The parade begins at 1 p.m., as it does every year, on Butler Street in downtown Saugatuck. Get into costume and join the ranks! Characters like Cindy Lou Who, famed Mayor Augustus Maywho, the Grinch, and even his dog Max will all be in attendance marching in the parade. Watch as Mayor Augustus Maywho leads the way as parade marshall, and see all the elaborate costumes.

In addition to all the fun costumes, the women-only Peppermint Stick Brigade will be there in full red and gold garb to welcome in the holiday season. Along with them, the men-only Snow Shovel Drill Team performs their famed snow shovel drills to the crowd’s delight. Lastly, the Saugatuck High School Band marches, performing Christmas music to inaugurate the season. Oh, and don’t forget the best-dressed pets!

Other Fun Activities That Day

After the parade, families with children can enjoy Santa’s Workshop in downtown Saugatuck, starting at 11 a.m. It’s the perfect chance for the kiddos to see exactly where their toys come from and meet Santa. Kids crafts, music, tree decorating, and refreshments await you and your little ones! Throughout the afternoon, free carriage rides will leave from Coral Gables Annex and take you on a whimsical winter journey through town. That evening, a holiday tree lighting takes place at the Rose Garden on Butler Street in downtown Saugatuck. Come out and enjoy the hot chocolate and cookies and join in the holiday carols. It’s the perfect way to end a full day of holiday fun.

8 Reasons to book a vacation rental for Thanksgiving

vacation rental for thanksgiving

If you’re used to hosting family at home every year during Thanksgiving, the idea of renting a vacation home for the main event might strike you as unorthodox. But lend us your eyes for a moment and we’ll show you why staying in a Lakeshore Lodging vacation rental for Thanksgiving is actually a brilliant idea.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a lot of work. But choosing to host in a vacation rental can take a lot of the headache out, and you can enjoy the perks of a nice home with beds for everyone. Here are 8 reasons why you should book a vacation rental for Thanksgiving.

8 reasons to stay in a vacation rental for Thanksgiving

1. Homes with great views

Maintaining holiday traditions is nice, but sometimes a change of scenery is in order. Make your holiday celebration picturesque: rent a vacation home with a view of Lake Michigan, or rent a cabin tucked away in a forest of vibrant autumn trees.

2. Room for extended family

One of the hardest things about hosting Thanksgiving is not having the space to host all of your family.  But it’s simple when you can just rent a larger home. When your house isn’t big enough to host the Thanksgiving dinner of your dreams, it’s easy to find a spacious vacation rental with everything you need.

3. Homes with spacious kitchens/entertaining areas

Having the space for everyone to gather and enjoy each other’s company can be hard when you have a lot of people to host. But a variety of vacation rentals  for Thanksgiving come with open floor plans, large dining tables, and spacious kitchens with all the amenities you need to entertain and make the most of your togetherness.

4. Sleeping accommodations for the whole family

Everyone can have a comfy bed to retreat to when the festivities are done in a vacation rental big enough to host everyone. No one need sleep on an air mattress when you choose to stay in a vacation rental for Thanksgiving.

5. Off-season pricing

The fall and winter months mean lower prices on all of our vacation rentals. You can save between 30-50% off of peak season rates when you stay with us for the holidays. So, really, Thanksgiving couldn’t be a more perfect time to stay in a Lakeshore Lodging vacation rental!

6. Personal catering and grocery delivery services

Take advantage of the hospitality hook-ups vacation rental services can offer. You can arrange to have your meals personally catered by a local business or have your grocery shopping done for you in advance when you stay with Lakeshore Lodging. Grocery delivery is available in the Saugatuck area via Shipt, so Shipt members can have groceries delivered right to their vacation rentals. Take the tedium out of your holiday hosting tasks!

7. Homes are clean and ready when you walk in

Another stressful chore associated with get-togethers: making sure everything is clean and ready for your guests. Well, when you choose to stay in a vacation rental for your extravaganza, we take care of all the cleaning for you.

8. Housekeeping service when you leave

When all is said and done, you don’t have to clean after your guests when everybody leaves. All we ask at Lakeshore Lodging is that you load and run the dishwasher (no need to unload it) and take out the trash. The rest is up to us.

There are even more reasons to book a Thanksgiving stay at a Lake Michigan vacation rental. Discover them for yourself when you book a cozy cabin with Lakeshore Lodging.