Best apple orchards in Southwest Michigan

apple orchards in southwest michigan

There is nothing more quintessentially fall than going to an apple orchard, picking your own peck, and warming up with cider and donuts afterward. There’s plenty of great places to do just that in Southwest Michigan. These are the top 5 u-pick apple orchards in Southwest Michigan.

Top 5 apple orchards in Southwest Michigan

Crane Orchards

6054 124th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408

Crane Orchards really has it all, with a U-Pick apple orchard, corn maze, cow train, and hay rides. After a day jam packed with fall fun like that, you’ll probably be hungry. Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant and Winery is right on site and offers a selection of great meals, a bakery with homemade treats, and house-made hard cider and wine.

Overhiser Orchards

6405 109th Ave. South Haven, MI 49090

This orchard boasts u-pick apples, wagon rides, a historical barn tour, a corn maze, and a variety of farm animals you can see. Take part in the Great Pumpkin Search for a day of hot apple cider, pumpkin picking and fall family fun you won’t soon forget.

Virtue Cider

2170 62nd St., Fennville, MI 49408

Virtue Farms serves craft made hard cider on their scenic farm. Visit Virtue Cider on October 20, 2018 for Apple Fest, an annual festival with tons of fun fall activities. Horse drawn cart rides, a field maze, and a farmers market are just a few of the attractions you can anticipate on that day.

McIntosh Orchards

6431 107th Avenue, South Haven, MI 49090

McIntosh Orchards offers u-pick apples alongside house made hard cider and wine. Check out the cider mill, farm tours, and farm market as well.

Dutch Farm Market

6967 109th Avenue, South Haven, MI 49090

This popular South Haven market has tasty baked goods and ice cream alongside a selection of locally produced goods. You can choose to purchase some already picked fresh apples or pick your own at this spot.

4 Reasons to visit Oval Beach in fall

oval beach in fall

Oval Beach is undoubtedly the most popular beach in Saugatuck, and it’s one of the most popular beaches on the Lake Michigan lakeshore. Its scenic sandy stretches led Condé Nast’s “Traveler” to name it one of the world’s best beaches. The famous beach is most frequented in summer, but it’s just as worthy of a visit in autumn. Here are 4 reasons to visit Oval Beach in fall.

4 Reasons to visit Oval Beach in fall

Park for free

After Labor Day, there is no parking fee at Oval Beach. In the early autumn days, the weather is still plenty nice to enjoy a swim in Lake Michigan or picnic with a view. Having cost-free access to this award-winning beach is a major perk of visiting in the fall.

Explore the dune trails

Oval Beach is connected to some beautiful hiking trails that are incredibly scenic in the fall season. Plus, the cooler temperatures make for a much more comfortable hike. Whether it’s sunny, cloudy, or even crisp enough for a few snowflakes, this is a hike you won’t want to miss. It’s a brilliant way to experience how fall changes the lakeshore.

Kayak and catch vibrant views

Kayaking along the Lake Michigan lakeshore is a great way to get views you can’t see on land. In fall, those views are bursting with color. If you go later in the day, the setting sun will set the lakeshore aglow. Morning, afternoon and evening, paddling on the lake is a great way to spend the day, and Oval Beach is a great, easy access point to put in your kayak.

Get cozy and watch the sunset

We’re on the sunset coast of Michigan here in Saugatuck, and that means every night the sun descends over Lake Michigan and creates astounding plays of light. In the cool fall, evenings are best spent wrapped in a warm blanket on Oval Beach watching the sunset. Bring a bottle of wine or a thermos full of hot cider or cocoa and enjoy each other’s company as day becomes night.

 

What’s happening this Halloween in Saugatuck 2018

halloween in saugatuck 2018

Halloweekend is coming up. You’ve got a plan for your costume, but where will you go to show it off? Whether you’re looking for kid friendly activities or you want to light up the night, you’ll find something fun to do this Halloween in Saugatuck 2018.

Celebrating Halloween in Saugatuck 2018

Glow in the Park

October 26, 2018 | 6-9 p.m. | Saugatuck Yacht Club

Get your glow on at this fun, family friendly annual kick off party for Halloween weekend. There will be music, food, drinks and plenty of opportunities to glow. Come in your own glowing gear and then enhance it with UV reactive face painting, black light areas, and a merchandise booth.

Halloween Family & Pet Parade

October 27, 2018 | 3:30-5 p.m. | Downtown Saugatuck

Saugatuck’s annual Halloween family & pet parade is always a fun event.  Partake in hot cocoa, cookies, costume contests, and candy at this beloved annual Saugatuck event. Costumed kids, adults, and pets alike are welcome to join in the fun.

Pre-Parade Halloween Dinner at The Kirby

October 27, 2018 | 5-10 p.m. | J. Paul’s at The Kirby

Fuel up for the famous Douglas Halloween Nighttime Parade for Adults with a delicious dinner at J. Paul’s restaurant at The Kirby. Enjoy a 3-course meal and a ghoulish cocktail for $44. This annual event sells out, so make your reservation ASAP!

Douglas Halloween Parade for Adults

October 27, 2018 | 9:30 p.m. | Line up at Beery Field

This energetic display of clever costumes kicks off when the darkness sets in. Adults march through the village of Douglas dressed in their Halloween best. Join in on the fun–line up begins at 9:30 p.m. at Beery Field in Douglas.

Halloween Bash at The Dunes

October 27, 2018 | Immediately following the parade | The Dunes Resort

For those looking to continue the party after the parade, head over to The Dunes Resort for a night of dancing and karaoke.

Free Rides on the Interurban

Oct 27-28, 2018  | 7 p.m.-2 a.m.

Stay safe with our favorite way to get around Saugatuck. The Interurban will take you where you need to go (within Douglas and Saugatuck township) for free on these Halloween weekend nights. Call 269-857-1418.

Featured Image: Douglas Halloween by Erin K. Wilkinson

Kid friendly things to do this fall in Saugatuck

kid friendly things to do this fall in saugatuck

Fall fun abounds in Saugatuck–especially for the kiddos. If you’re looking for something a outside of the run-of-the-mill corn mazes, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches (although we have those too), these fall events are sure to please. Here are a few great kid friendly things to do this fall in Saugatuck.

Top kid friendly things to do this fall in Saugatuck

“Little Feet, Big Feat” – Mt. Baldhead Challenge Children’s Run

Friday, September 7, 6 p.m., Wicks Park, Free

This free children’s run takes place during early pickup and registration for the following day’s Mt. Baldhead Challenge. Children will run 0.5M around the block while parents can register for the vigorous Mt. Baldhead Challenge. The children’s run does not require registration.

Saugatuck Ghoul Fest

Saturday, October 6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Wicks Park, Free

Visit the Saugatuck Ghoul Fest for a Saturday full of pre-Halloween fun. Attractions include the one-of-a-kind “Art of Halloween” bazaar, coffin races, live music, kid friendly activities and much more.

Children’s Club: Pumpkin Decorating

Saturday, October 13, 12-3 p.m., Forever Curious Children’s Museum, $5/person

Visit the Forever Curious Children’s Museum in Fennville for an afternoon of messy fun. Decorate pumpkins with your little one for just $5 per person. Babies and members can attend for free!

Glow in the Park

Friday, October 26, 6-9 p.m.,  Singapore Yacht Club, Free

Get your glow on at this fun, family friendly annual kick off party for Halloween weekend. There will be music, food, drinks and plenty of opportunities to glow. Come in your own glowing gear and then enhance it with UV reactive face painting, black light areas, and a merchandise booth.

Saugatuck’s Annual Halloween Family & Pet Parade

Saturday, October 27, Line up at 3:30 p.m., Parade at 4 p.m., Free

Partake in hot cocoa, cookies, costume contests, and candy at this beloved annual Saugatuck event. Show off your cool costumes to the whole town at the Halloween parade. Kids, adults, and pets alike are welcome to join in the fun.

How to plan a perfect fall weekend getaway in Saugatuck

fall weekend getaway in Saugatuck

The perfect fall weekend getaway in Saugatuck is made up of a few key elements: fun events, fall color tours, apple picking at local orchards, and a home base where you can bask in the cozy glory that is autumn. You’ll find them all here. Learn where to visit below.

Ring in the season with Saugatuck fall events

Saugatuck Ghoul Fest

October 6, 2018 – 11am-5pm

Enjoy some spooky pre-Halloween family fun at this annual event. Here you’ll find the “Art of Halloween” one of a kind bazaar, coffin races, kid friendly activities, live music and more!

Annual Saugatuck/Douglas Gallery Stroll

October 6, 2018 – 4-6pm

Get a hearty dose of art when you attend the annual Saugatuck/Douglas Gallery Stroll. Area galleries join together for a weekend full of artist receptions, openings, demonstrations and live music.

Blue Coast Artists Fall Tour

October 6, 2018 – 10am; October 7, 2018 – 7pm

This tour of 10 studios between South Haven and Fennville is packed with great art. You’ll view handmade ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, glasswork and more.

Music in the Vineyard at Fenn Valley

October 6, 1-4pm

Enjoy the crisp fall air and the changing colors of the scenery at Fenn Valley’s vineyard for another Music in the Vineyard session. Solo jazz guitarist Randy Reszka will perform on this weekend, and it’s sure to be a treat. Order a glass of Fenn Valley’s signature wines, sit back, and take in the autumn atmosphere.

Eat Drink Saugatuck/Douglas Harvest Dinner

October 6, 2018 – 6-9pm

Head to Wade’s Bayou for this outdoor harvest dinner featuring selections made with ingredients from local farms. Each course will celebrate the harvest season and feature a delicious beverage pairing.

J. Petter Galleries Harvest Dinner

October 6, 2018 – 7-9pm

J. Petter Galleries’ Harvest Dinner will be a tented meal on the gallery’s lawn. Tastings from seven local restaurants will be available to try while artists paint en plein air.

Explore the fall colors in the local parks

Reds, oranges and golds envelop Michigan in autumn. In Saugatuck, the colors tend to peak in early October. That’s the best time to hit one of the local parks to hike through the forest and experience first hand the wonder of being utterly surrounded by those bright, warm colors. These parks are especially great for fall hikes:

Saugatuck Dunes State Park 

Enjoy long, hilly hikes through the lush forest at Saugatuck Dunes State Park and wind up on the beach.

Shore Acres Park

A great park for hiking, mountain biking, or disc golf. This wooded park also has access to the beach trails at Saugatuck Dunes State Park.

Oval Beach

This award winning beach is super popular in the summer, but did you know it’s free to get into after Labor Day? And it’s connected to a bunch of scenic dune trails that are best enjoyed in the cooler autumn air.

River Bluff Park

A shorter, less-intense hike, but still wonderfully scenic. It promises to explode with color this year.

Visit apple orchards and wineries amidst harvest

What is fall without apple picking, cider drinking, and general harvest-time festivities? These are great places to make the most of autumn’s bounty (and find a good cider donut).

Crane’s Orchards

Visit Crane’s U-Pick to find the best apples and pumpkins, then hit Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant & Winery for good food, pie, and house-made ciders and wines. And don’t miss the bakery with donuts and pies to go!

Virtue Cider

For those who enjoy the hard variety of cider, visit Virtue Cider in Fennville. Take a tour of the facility, hang out in the tasting room and bottle shop, and visit the farm where they grow heritage vegetables and livestock. They often host live music and other great events. 

Fenn Valley Vineyard

Wineries are also great places to spend a day in fall, and Fenn Valleyhas special fall vineyard tours that are a must for wine-lovers who want to see how grape-growing works in Michigan. Check out their events, and don’t miss the Vine Wine’d 5K Trail Run on Oct. 7.

Experience peak fall colors in Saugatuck in these vacation rentals

peak fall colors in saugatuck

Nothing quite compares to the exquisite beauty of fall colors in Michigan. Many people will traverse the state to see the ways the autumn season transforms our landscape. Take a vacation to experience the beauty for yourself. These vacation rentals will put you in the center of towering trees and stunning views of the peak fall colors in Saugatuck.

Witness peak fall colors in Saugatuck in these vacation rentals

Borrowed Thyme

Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 3, Sleeps: 10

Tucked in a quiet woodland neighborhood, Borrowed Thyme is surrounded by beautiful forest scenery. Enjoy it from the comfort of the screened porch or while you keep warm by the stone fireplace on the backyard patio.

Wake Robin

Bedrooms: 3, Bathrooms: 3, Sleeps: 6

Quaint Wake Robin is a bright blossom on the shady forest floor. Catch views of the surrounding foliage in the home’s stylish rooms, or get right out in it with a bonfire in the wooded backyard.

Camp Grill n Chill

Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 3, Sleeps: 10

Colorful fall foliage greets you right when you arrive at this home, taking the winding two-track driveway through a grove of deciduous trees. Enjoy stunning views of the thick forest enveloping the home from the large back deck, in the hot tub, or around the large wood fire pit.

Swan Lodge

Bedrooms: 3, Bathrooms: 3, Sleeps: 10

This rustic, log cabin style home feels like a secluded getaway, but it’s conveniently close to downtown Saugatuck. Fall colors pour through the home’s two story windows overlooking a nature preserve.

Ridgeway Cottage

Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 2, Sleeps: 9

Get out of dodge when you stay at rustic Ridgeway Cottage. Rough hewn wood walls make this woodland getaway feel warm and cozy. Enjoy forest views in the screened porch and backyard patio, where you’ll find deck seating and a new hot tub.

Explore Lake Michigan beaches in fall

lake michigan beaches in fall

Lake Michigan beaches are heavily frequented in summer. Diving in the clear blue water of the big lake is a great way to cool down in the sometimes oppressive summer heat. Here’s a secret: there are as many reasons to love Lake Michigan beaches in autumn as there are in summer. Here are a few ways to enjoy Lake Michigan beaches in fall.

Things to do on Lake Michigan beaches in fall

Take a swim

Seem crazy? Maybe. But Lake Michigan’s waters actually hold on to some warmth into the fall, making October swims feel not unlike June swims. Put on your suit and get thee to a beach–you’ll probably be the only ones there! Be prepared and check the beach forecast before you go.

Watch a sunset

Lake Michigan is picturesque at sundown at all times of year, but the golden hour just seems a little . . . golder in autumn. The warm light reflects off of the trees’ vibrant fall colors, making them appear to glow. Watch the sky turn beautiful shades of lavender, pink, and orange as the sun tucks itself into Lake Michigan.

Take a hike

There’s no better way to take in the fall colors than on a hike through the woods. Pick a park with Lake Michigan beach access, like Saugatuck Dunes State Park, to walk through miles of beautiful forest, inhale the fall smells, and land on a nearly empty beach. With nothing around but the brisk breeze, bristling leaves and crashing waves, inner peace is within reach.

Get on the water

Launch a kayak or stand-up paddle board on a Lake Michigan beach to see autumnal views of the shoreline, which comes even more to life dressed in red, yellow, and orange. For a slightly different but equally beautiful view, put your kayak in a river that feeds into the lake, like the Kalamazoo River, and explore the views along the way to Lake Michigan.

Your Guide to the Best Fall Festivals in Michigan

michigan fall colors

With autumn approaching, there’s a lot to look forward to: crisp air, leaves changing, football, and fall festivals. Fall festivals in Michigan are the best way to celebrate the season. Pumpkins, stunning scenery, family fun, and much more are all on the schedule when autumn comes to the Great Lakes State.

Fall festivals in Michigan are a fantastic way to experience Michigan culture. We’ve got your guide to the best fall festivals in Michigan, from the Art Coast to the Upper Peninsula.

Fall Festivals in Michigan You Should Check Out

Saugatuck/Douglas

Known as the Art Coast of Michigan, Saugatuck and the towns nearby are home to some of the best fall festivals in Michigan. In October, Downtown Saugatuck hosts its Fall Fun Days events, where families can enjoy games, food, and music during this month-long celebration. In nearby Douglas, Beery Field will come alive at night during “Glow in the Park,” on October 27. Expect plenty of glow-in-the-dark fun, halloween costumes, food, music, and more. Make sure you come back for the Douglas Nighttime Halloween Parade for Adults the next evening on October 28.

If you want to see Saugatuck’s artistic side this fall, don’t miss the Blue Coast Artists Fall Tour of Studios. This free event will take place on October 7-8, and allows attendees to see the best of the area’s art.

Just ten miles away from Saugatuck is Fennville, home of the Fennville Goose Festival. This year, from October 13-15, attendees can enjoy activities like a 5k race, car parade, carnival, live music, a beer tent, and food.

Charlevoix

What’s fall without apples? Head to Charlevoix on October 13-15, 2017 to celebrate that favorite autumnal fruit at the 39th Annual Apple Fest.

Fairgrove

For seven decades, Fairgrove has been hosting one of the best fall festivals in Michigan: the Michigan Bean Festival. Expect rides, an art show, an auto show, and more, on September 1-4, 2017.

Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids might be Beer City, USA, but when fall comes around, its downtown also plays host to ArtPrize, a multi-week display and celebration of art. This year, it will take place from September 20-October 8, 2017.

Hart

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes Apple & BBQ Festival in Hart, MI, will be held on September 8-9, 2017. The name says it all. Don’t miss out on one of the tastiest fall festivals in Michigan.

Marquette

Fall isn’t reserved solely for seasonal produce and hayrides (although we do love those) – it’s also a great to time to celebrate Michigan craft beer. Head to Marquette in the Upper Peninsula on September 9, 2017, for the U.P. Fall Beer Festival.

Experience Western Michigan In the Fall with Lakeshore Lodging

Year in and year out, visitors from all over come to Saugatuck for its friendly people and natural beauty. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan and home to a thriving art community, the best way to enjoy this beautiful beach town is by staying in a Lakeshore Lodging vacation rental. Our Saugatuck vacation homes feature the amenities and space you need to enjoy your Lake Michigan getaway. Whether you want to stay in town, or steps from Lake Michigan, we have a home for you. Contact us today to book your Michigan getaway and see why Saugatuck is more than just a place to stay.

Get Excited for Halloween in Saugatuck!

halloween in saugatuck michigan

When there’s a chill in the air, and things are going bump in the night, there’s no better place to seize the spook than right here in the Art Coast. Spend Halloween in Saugatuck.

Celebrate the season with the Saugatuck Halloween Parades. Held annually in nearby Douglas, the parades are the best way for kids and adults alike to have frightening fun. Grab your ghoulish garb and get ready to celebrate Halloween, Saugatuck-style.

The Saugatuck Halloween Parades

The fun starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, with the annual Family & Pet Halloween Parade. Come in costume and bring your furry friend. Your costumes will be judged, and those with the best ones will receive prizes! Line up at Mason & Griffith St. at 3:30 p.m. to join the festivities.

Then later, it’s the adults turn to have fun. Don’t miss the Hallowine Party at J. Petter Art Galleries’ Art Barn. It will be held from 6:30-9 p.m., and will make a great pre-party to the adults-only Halloween parade. It’s the perfect way to start the evening.

The Adults-Only Halloween Parade is your chance to celebrate the season’s spookiness. The parade lineup is at 9:30 p.m. on October 28 by Beery Field in Douglas and starts at 10 p.m. From there, the creepy crowds of costumed attendees will take to the streets of Douglas! No registration is required, and costume choice is left up to your imagination. Be as boring or imaginative as you want. Just come ready to have fun. The Halloween parade draws huge crowds of spectators annually, so even if you don’t join the line up, you’ll still have a blast. Check out pictures from previous parades and get inspired.

Vacation in Saugatuck this Halloween

Vacations don’t always need to be in the summer. After all, how are you going to take advantage of cooler temperatures and beautiful fall colors? Lakeshore Lodging would love to show you what makes Saugatuck wonderful, even in the off-season. Take in the postcard-worthy scenery while relaxing in one of our Lake Michigan vacation homes, and you might not want to go home. Plus, you’ll be only minutes from the best things to do in the Saugatuck-Douglas area when you stay at a Lakeshore Lodging home. Browse our selection of Saugatuck vacation homes, and then contact us today to book your next getaway with us.

Fall in love with fall in Saugatuck

How to spend a fall vacation in Saugatuck

Fall in Saugatuck is always unforgettable. The bright colors of the turning trees and the crisp lakeside air invigorate as you walk through downtown Douglas and Saugatuck, explore local farms and orchards, and take in the characteristic cozy fall feeling that everyone longs for when the season begins to turn.

A lot of people think of Saugatuck as a summer vacation destination, but the harvest season is also packed with fun events and things to do. Here are some ideas to help you build your Fall 2017 Saugatuck vacation itinerary.

Explore the colors in the local parks

Reds, oranges and golds envelop Michigan in autumn. In Saugatuck, the colors tend to peak in early-mid October. That’s the best time to hit one of the local parks to hike through the forest and experience first hand the wonder of being utterly surrounded by those bright, warm colors. These parks are especially great for fall hikes:

  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park– Enjoy long, hilly hikes through the lush forest at Saugatuck Dunes State Park and wind up on the beach.

  • Shore Acres Park– A great park for hiking, mountain biking, or disc golf. This wooded park also has access to the beach trails at Saugatuck Dunes State Park.

  • Oval Beach – This award winning beach is super popular in the summer, but did you know it’s free to get into after Labor Day? And it’s connected to a bunch of scenic dune trails that are best enjoyed in the cooler autumn air.

  • River Bluff Park– A shorter, less-intense hike, but still wonderfully scenic. It promises to explode with color this year.

Visit apple orchards and wineries

What is fall without apple picking, cider drinking, and general harvest-time festivities? These are great places to make the most of autumn’s bounty (and find a good cider donut).

  • Crane’s Orchards – Visit Crane’s U-Pick to find the best apples and pumpkins, then hit Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant & Winery for good food, pie, and house-made ciders and wines. And don’t miss the bakery with donuts and pies to go!

  • Virtue Cider – For those who enjoy the hard variety of cider, visit Virtue Cider in Fennville. Take a tour of the facility, hang out in the tasting room and bottle shop, and visit the farm where they grow heritage vegetables and livestock. They often host live music and other great events.

  • Fenn Valley Vineyard – Wineries are also great places to spend a day in fall, and Fenn Valley has special fall vineyard tours that are a must for wine-lovers who want to see how grape-growing works in Michigan. Check out their events, and don’t miss the Vine Wine’d 5K Trail Run on Oct. 7.

Attend fun fall festivals

From Labor Day to Halloween and every weekend in between, you’ll find lots of fall festivities in Saugatuck. Check out our Labor Day blog for ideas on what to do that weekend. Here’s some more to consider for the rest of the season.

  • Lakeshore Harvest Country 6th Annual Bike Tour – Sept. 9. Take in Southwest Michigan’s autumn beauty on wheels. Visit art studios, wineries, cider mills, orchards, and more on four different routes varying in length between 15 and 62 miles. Proceeds go to Friends of the Blue Star Trail, an off-road recreational pathway connecting Saugatuck and South Haven.

  • Fennville Goose Festival – Oct. 13-15. Every year in the quiet town of Fennville, folks come from all over to celebrate the fall season at the Fennville Goose Festival. With an array of fun activities and festive events, the festival is a great way to welcome autumn.

  • Ghoul Fest – Oct. 21. Gear up for Halloween with a bunch of spooky activities for kids and adults. Pumpkin carving contests, coffin races, a one-of-a-kind bazaar, and more. For more information, call SDABA at 269-857-1626 or visit saugatuckdouglas.com.

  • Annual Family & Pet Halloween Parade – Oct. 28. Families and pets alike dress up for this annual costume parade. Line up at Mason and Griffith St. at 3:30pm to join the parade, which begins at 4:00pm. Call 269-857-1701 for more information.

Visit Saugatuck.com for more events in September and October.

Complete your fall vacation planning with the perfect place to call home. Lakeshore Lodging has several rental homes, cabins and lodges with all the amenities you need to get cozy in fall. Find one with a fireplace you can curl up by with a cup of hot cider.