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
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.
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.
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.
Michigan is the second most diverse agriculture state in the United States, known for its cherries, apples, blueberries, Christmas trees, and more. Allegan County, home to Saugatuck, holds several titles for its many farms including blue ribbons in crop production, number of farms, and average farm size in Michigan. So it’s no wonder Saugatuck and its surrounding area are brimming with delicious, locally made produce and goods. Delight your taste buds and experience it all with Hungry Village Tours.
Explore the lakeshore’s plate with Hungry Village Tours
Hungry Village Tours gives you the opportunity to explore West Michigan’s farms, organic fruits and vegetables, artisan cheese producers, wineries, orchards, and handmade goods. Offering two styles of tours, you have your choice of exploring the area on foot or in an air conditioned coach.
Your tour guide is David Geen, who started giving culinary tours in Europe in 1995. After years of showing people Italian, French, Spanish and Irish cuisine, Geen decided it was time to offer tours of his hometown in 2010. Ever since, his guests have enjoyed tastes of the lakeshore’s eclectic plate.
Tours to try
Hungry Village’s “Culinary Walk” is a 3-hour tour on foot through the restaurants and shops of Saugatuck and Douglas. Small groups of participants take part in demonstrations and free tastings, getting a crash course in the food and drink scene in Saugatuck. The cost for this tour is $30 per person, or $15 for those under the age of 18.
The “Delicious Drive” is a 6-hour tour of farms, wineries, restaurants and artisans along the lakeshore in an air conditioned coach. It changes seasonally to highlight the area’s freshest offerings. Taste blueberries, wine, ice cream and enjoy an included lunch at Fennville’s Salt of the Earth, a popular farm-to-table restaurant with delicious offerings. The cost of this tour is $90 per person, $75 per person for groups of 8 or more, or $50 for those under the age of 18.
All tours depart from the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Learn more about Hungry Village Tours on their website, and book your own tour for your next trip to Saugatuck!
Fennville is a small farm town that’s brimming with culture. As easily as you can catch an idyllic pastoral scene, you can find an inspiring meal made from ingredients grown nearby. The town is also mere minutes from the Lake Michigan lakeshore and its glittering lake views and sunny beaches. Stay in Lake Michigan beachfront vacation rentals in Fennville for the ultimate experience.
On your next trip to Fennville, stock up on fresh produce at Lyon’s Fruit Market, grab a bite and a brew at the What Not Inn and settle into your home on the lake. The days that follow are yours to fill with swimming, sunbathing or exploring the likes of Virtue Cider, Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant and Winery, Salt of the Earth, and more. These Lake Michigan beachfront vacation rentals will put you close to all of it.
Lake Michigan beachfront vacation rentals near Fennville
Prepare your kebabs in the kitchen and get out in this home’s spacious lakeside yard to grill, play yard games, and catch some sunshine. Kids will appreciate the basketball hoop and tire swing, and of course the wide private beach is sure to delight as well. This home is still available for the week of 4th of July!
The vacation vibes will set in the minute you step into this updated classic Lake Michigan cottage. With a spacious yard and private beach that extends as wide as the lot, enjoying the summer sunshine is easy at Mixed Doubles.
Tucked in a wooded cove on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, Beach Cottage is a cozy lakeside getaway. Read a book in the screened porch, sunbathe on the home’s private beach, and make s’mores around the fire pit.
Quaint Out and About is an updated cottage with clean, modern design elements. While not technically “beachfront,” his dog friendly vacation rental is down the road from a beautiful nature preserve that connects to a small, dog friendly Lake Michigan beach. Take your pup on a ten-minute woodland hike to arrive at the quiet public beach and overlook.
When the hustle of city life has reached a fever pitch, an escape to a slower pace is in order. Located just a two-hour drive from Chicago, Saugatuck/Douglas is a natural retreat that will restore your mellow. Whether you’re looking for a cabin with a rustic feel on the lakeshore, or a quiet wooded neighborhood close to town shops and restaurants, here are a few nature getaways in Saugatuck that will help you meet your nature needs.
Lake Michigan vacation rentals in the thick of nature
If you’re not much of a camper, but you could still use a good helping of nature, these vacation rentals along the Lake Michigan lakeshore are just what the doctor ordered.
Located just past where the pavement ends and before Lake Michigan begins, Ridgeway Cottage is a natural haven. The fresh scent of cedar greets you as you enter the quaint, rustic cabin with rough hewn wood walls. With amenities like a gas stove, a screened porch that envelops you in greenery, and a hot tub in the wooded backyard, you won’t want to leave!
This understated Lake Michigan cottage is tucked in the woods and perched on a bluff overlooking the Great Lake itself. Spend the day sunbathing on the private beach at the bottom of the stairs, grill dinner in the shady front yard, and then close the day with a bonfire and stargazing.
Across the street from Out and About, you’ll find a dreamy nature preserve. A 10-minute walk through a winding woodland delivers you to a petite, dog friendly Lake Michigan beach and overlook. The home features light, breezy interiors that will only make it easier to clear your mind during your natural getaway, and your pup is more than welcome to join.
Pack up a bag with beach towels and sunscreen and take your family on a walk to Douglas Beach when you stay at By the Beach. When you’ve worked up a sufficient appetite, hike back to the home and grill out in the backyard. Wind down around the firepit and retreat to the home’s cozy beds when the day is done. You can hear the gentle echoes of Lake Michigan right from this home’s front deck.
Nature getaways in Saugatuck that are close to town
Even in town, nature pervades Saugatuck/Douglas. You can’t escape the calm afforded by tranquil water views, birdsong, and lush greenery throughout the area.
One mile from downtown Saugatuck and Douglas, this home has all the hallmarks of a secluded woodland getaway with convenience of location. The modern, minimalist stylings through the home are sure to inspire zen, too.
Step into this home’s four seasons porch and marvel at the untouched landscape that makes up the Tallmadge Nature Preserve across the coursing river. With remarkable views in every season, time spent in this room alone will cure whatever ails you, and the delicious cuisine of The Southerner is dangerously nearby.
This log cabin-style home’s location puts it a 4-5 block walk from downtown Saugatuck and right next to a nature preserve, making for a perfect natural getaway that’s not too far from town attractions. Take in lush woodland views from the cabin’s two-story windows. Have a meal with a side of fresh air in the cozy screened porch.
Fresh, modern decor and a feeling of wooded seclusion make this home, located one mile from downtown Saugatuck, a relaxing retreat. Take a leisurely stroll into town or drive for a day on Oval Beach. When it’s time to turn in, The Nest is a restorative refuge.
Moms are worthy of appreciation every day of the year, but Mothers Day is a can’t-miss opportunity to show your mom what she means to you. This Mothers Day in Saugatuck, celebrate your mom by taking her out on a date. Many Saugatuck area businesses are hosting events this Mothers Day weekend to help you show your mother you love her. Here’s a few we think will suit all kinds of moms.
Treat your mom with a day out this Mothers Day in Saugatuck
This will be the second year Artz and Gardenz hosts this special tour of five studio spaces and one lavender farm. Take in some great local art and the pleasant scent of lavender on this leisurely tour.
Visit Virtue Cider on Mothers Day weekend for cider and cheese pairings, nature walks through their 48-acre property, and a potted herb plant sale. This event is a perfect way to celebrate a gorgeous spring weekend and your mom!
Choosing to eat locally produced food has a bevy of benefits. The most obvious being that your food is guaranteed to be fresh–none of it will have spent days traveling cross country in a truck. For that reason, eating locally is also ecofriendly, because it reduces emissions from shipping. You can experience the difference yourself at a variety of farm to table Saugatuck restaurants.
Farm to table restaurants strive to source their ingredients locally. They develop personal relationships with the people who produce them and are invested in the freshness and quality of the products they use. That means you don’t have to wonder where your food is coming from, and you get to enjoy a fresh, delicious meal you can feel good about. These are our favorite farm to table Saugatuck restaurants to support.
This Douglas restaurant is a long-time favorite. Its diverse menu features farm-sourced ingredients where possible. It’s a great spot for brunch or dinner, and their diverse selection of fine wines and craft beers make this cafe a must visit during your stay in the area.
Salt of the Earth is located in Fennville, a rich farming community. The restaurant invites visitors to “savor the bounty of the Michigan farm, beverage, and roots music communities.” If a taste of the local terroir is what you seek, Salt of the Earth is the place to go.
For ethically produced breads to pair with your home cooked meals or desserts to follow them up with, Kismet Farm Bakery is a must visit. They pride themselves on using all organic dairy and fruit, sourcing them locally whenever possible. Their website proclaims: “ecovore and locavore customers can rest assured that we have made the best choices for each ingredient, in each amazing product.”
There are so many kid-friendly activities in Saugatuck, Michigan. Where else will you find amazing dining, wide-open views of Lake Michigan, and endless opportunities for fun adventures? If you have little ones in tow, don’t worry. There are plenty of things to do in Saugatuck with kids! Whether your family craves fresh air or prefers playing the day away indoors, the Saugatuck area has a top-rated attraction that is perfect for you.
The Best Kid-Friendly Activities in Saugatuck
Explore Oval Beach
Oval Beach is a haven for adults and children alike for its beautiful blue shoreline and wide variety of on-site activities. First, this is the best place in Saugatuck to have a picnic, since the beach offers on-site grills and picnic areas. But you and your family won’t go hungry even if you choose not to picnic. The Oval Beach concession stand offers an array of casual beach bites. Other than enjoying a meal at Oval Beach, families rent kayaks, walk the shore, and watch for wildlife. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Oval Beach charges $10 per vehicle for daily parking. Since there are restrooms, showers, and a fun Saugatuck playground at this beach, many families choose to stay and play for an entire day!
Go on a Saugatuck Dune Ride
A ride on a dune buggy is a one-of-a-kind experience your kids won’t forget. Since the 1950s, Saugatuck Dune Rides has been a family-owned business that offers fast-paced “schooner” rides through the sands of Saugatuck. Every adventure is 40 minutes long and provides stunning views of Lake Michigan. Adults can ride for $20 and children aged 3 to 11 are $11.
Get Crafty at Express Yourself Art Barn
Express Yourself Art Barn in Fennville, MI, is an enriching experience for all ages. Imagine a charming old barn with sky-high ceilings combined with a full-service art studio. That’s Express Yourself Art Barn! One of the most unique attractions in the Saugatuck area, the Art Barn allows anyone — regardless of skill level — to try their hand at beading, painting, fusing glass, and more. Everyone who visits comes away having learned something new, so this is a perfect way to bring a family together.
Wander in Mount Baldhead Park
Mount Baldhead Park in Saugatuck is a wonderful place to spend some quality time outdoors. Mount Baldhead itself is actually a large dune, so the hike to the top is doable for children. The stairs that lead to the top of the dune are steep, but the view is worth it! Insider tip: The kids will love running back down the “dune side” of the hill after climbing their way up.
Play at Forever Curious Children’s Museum
A perfect rainy or cold day activity, the Forever Curious Children’s Museum is every small child’s dream. The museum features play tunnels, puzzles, a make-believe veterinary hospital, and much more. For just $5 per person (including adults), kids can have a blast here for as long as they want. Best of all? The Forever Curious Children’s Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing hands-on learning experiences for children of all abilities.
There are a few things that everyone does their first time in Saugatuck–and for good reason. Favorite activities like the Dune Rides are quintessential Saugatuck experiences that are perennially popular because they’re good, and they make for great traditions. But for your next time in Saugatuck, we invite you to consider shaking things up.
To help spice up your next visit to Saugatuck, we’ve compiled a list of activities, places, and restaurants that’ll show you just how multifaceted this town is.
What to do next time in Saugatuck
Fun for Friends and Family
If you liked the Dune Rides . . . try Harbor Duck Adventures
The Saugatuck Dune Rides are always one of the first things families do together when they visit Saugatuck. Next time, instead of getting a dose of history and scenery on the sand, try a tour on an amphibious vehicle with Harbor Duck Adventures. You’ll get even more area history, and a chance to ride on an antique, WWII-era vehicle.
If you liked the Star of Saugatuck . . . try Retro Boat Rentals
The Star of Saugatuck II is a classic way to enjoy Saugatuck’s waterways. First-time visitors often ride aboard the over-100-year-old sternwheeler to see the sights and learn about the area’s history. If you enjoyed that, next time try renting your own slightly-less-retro boat with Retro Boat Rentals. Select from a fleet of jet-age (‘50s-’60s era) runabout boats to explore the Kalamazoo River, or even make your way out to Lake Michigan.
If you liked touring art galleries . . . try making your own art at Express Yourself Art Barn
The Art Coast is filled with opportunities to view and purchase art, but maybe lesser known are opportunities to create art. Express Yourself Art Barn is a great spot for groups and families to put that artistic license to work.
If you liked hiking Mount Baldhead . . . try the trails at Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Beloved Mount Baldhead is a popular place to get some exercise and catch a bird’s-eye view of the area. If you want to explore even more of the nature Saugatuck has to offer, you have to check out Saugatuck Dunes State Park. This park offers miles and miles of winding trails and access to some beautiful stretches of beach–some of which tend to be less crowded in the summer.
If you liked Oval Beach . . . try West Side County Park
Oval Beach is world-famous for its quality. Its wide stretch of soft sands means it can host lots of visitors, and the added bonus of changing rooms and a concession stand sweetens the deal. If you liked Oval Beach, but want to avoid the crowds this time around, try West Side County Park. Located just a 12-minute drive south of downtown Saugatuck, West Side County Park features a playground, a gazebo overlooking the bluff, and a wheelchair accessible ramp down to the beach.
If you liked swimming and sunbathing . . . try renting a SUP board at Just Add Water
Taking a dip in Lake Michigan is always refreshing and fun, but you can take playing in the water to the next level with a beach rental from Just Add Water. Try paddle boarding along the shore. Or just take your beach bumming to the next level with an umbrella or beach chair rental.
Wining and Dining
If you liked a wine tour . . . try a cider mill tour
The Saugatuck area features some great wineries, and wine tours are an exceedingly popular way to get a taste of the local culture. But wine isn’t all Saugatuck has to offer! Next time you visit, try touring Virtue Cider’s farm and learn all about the cider-making process.
If you liked Phil’s Bar and Grille . . . try Hercules Bar and Grill
Phil’s Bar and Grille is a favorite first stop when you first explore Saugatuck’s culinary scene. It’s a great example of the area’s delicious offerings. If you liked that, next time try Hercules! If you like steaks, seafood and chops, you’ll like Hercules. Be sure to try their delicious housemade cocktails, too.
If you liked Wally’s Bar & Grill . . . try The Corner Bar
Wally’s is a super popular spot to enjoy drinks with friends and see favorite local music acts. If you enjoyed that your last time here, next time, try The Corner Bar. A local favorite, it’s another great spot to grab a drink and catch entertainment.
Saugatuck will always be a quaint small town perfect for a quiet vacation–but that doesn’t mean we never change. In fact, there’s lots of new places to discover every year. Visit us to find out what’s new in Saugatuck. Here are some new spots we think you shouldn’t miss.
Look for the iconic blue house on Water Street. This quaint restaurant opened in Saugatuck in 2016. Enjoy unique wine, craft beer, small plates, and homemade desserts–served right in the living room. It’s one of the spots on our Saugatuck bar crawl, too.
This restaurant started as an outdoor patio and hot dog stand and quickly became a favorite spot for lunch among locals and visitors alike. Its new Saugatuck location offers indoor and outdoor dining, a menu full of fresh, locally sourced dishes including a vibrant seafood selection.
Breakfast and brunch in Saugatuck was taken to the next level when Grow came into town. With notable dishes like carrot cake pancakes, lavender lemonade, and fish tacos, Grow is a must visit the next time you visit.
This distillery first started making its premium spirits in Holland in 2012. In 2016, they opened a new tasting room in Saugatuck, where visitors can sample all of their handcrafted spirits: vodka, citrus vodka, gin, rum, applejack, bourbon, corn whiskey, and rye whiskey. Enjoy batch cocktails as well!
Ever wanted to drive a classic boat? Retro Boat Rentals lets you live out that dream. This new Saugatuck business opened in 2017 and quickly became wildly popular. Cruise the Kalamazoo River in style! Be sure to reserve in advance, these rentals get scooped up quickly.
Saugatuck’s premier, luxury medical spa. Redefine Medspa offers everything from facials, to special occasion makeup applications, to therapeutic massages. Visit this new spot to pamper yourself or ease some aches and pains.
Work out and have fun with one of Encompass Wellness’s diverse exercise courses. From yoga, to barre, to cardio drumming. You’re sure to find a class that will change up your hum-drum exercise routine, and your body will thank you.
Get a ride
Get from A to B with ease with Uber, now available in Saugatuck. Uber started offering its services in Saugatuck in summer 2017. Getting around Saugatuck just got easier!
You don’t have to travel to Miami or Malibu for an amazing beach experience. You can find exactly what you’re looking for right here on the great Lake Michigan. Stay at one of the best vacation rentals near Oval Beach to see for yourself.
Saugatuck’s own world-renowned, award-winning Oval Beach draws beach bums from all corners. There’s a good reason why—its expansive, plush sandy shoreline is a beach-goer’s dream. With amenities like abundant parking, changing rooms, restrooms, built-in grills and a concession stand, it’s hard to have anything but a good time at Oval Beach.
And the fun isn’t restricted to summer—visit Oval Beach in fall or winter for scenic dune hikes around Mount Baldhead. Walking through dunes can get hot in summer, but it’s beautiful in fall and winter. Hike along the Oxbow Lagoon and the Kalamazoo River Channel, take in the diverse ecosystems near the Lake Michigan lakeshore, and get a chance to see the area’s unique wildlife.
Next time you come to Saugatuck, find a place to stay that puts you close to the beautiful Oval Beach.
Lakeshore Lodging vacation rentals near Oval Beach
Finding a great place to stay in Saugatuck is easy when you search with Lakeshore Lodging. Our inventory of properties has something suited to every vacation–and that includes a variety of vacation rentals near Oval Beach.
Vacation rentals within 5-minute drive to Oval Beach
Pack up the car and get thee to the beach! You’ll get there in no time when you choose to stay at one of these homes. There’s plenty of available parking at Oval Beach for a daily fee of $10.
This classic Lake Michigan cottage is just a short walk from Douglas Beach, but it’s also within a 5-minute drive of Oval Beach.
Vacation rentals within walking or biking distance to Oval Beach
Stay in downtown Saugatuck near the Saugatuck Chain Ferry, and Oval Beach is just a short walk (or bike!) and ferry ride away. Parking at Oval Beach can fill up fast, and you can avoid the $10 fee when you choose to walk. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from these homes to the beach, and the walk down Perryman Road isn’t very pedestrian friendly, so practice caution when you choose this route. You might also consider choosing the Interurban as your mode of transport from these vacation rentals near Oval Beach.