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.

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.

Get first dibs on the 2019 Saugatuck summer vacation you’ve been dreaming of

2019 saugatuck summer vacation

For a handful of dates in summer, lodging in Saugatuck starts getting snatched up well before you’ve even started thinking about your 2019 Saugatuck summer vacation plans. When you plan in advance, you benefit from the most selection for lodging and the peace of mind for having secured your dream vacation early on.

Book these 2019 Saugatuck summer vacation dates ASAP

If you want your 2019 vacation in Saugatuck to include any of the following dates, book now. These ones are always the first to get scooped up!

Memorial Day (Monday, May 27, 2019)

The first official three-day weekend of summer is a beautiful time to visit Saugatuck. Everything is blossoming and you can feel the release and surge of energy after what has undoubtedly been a long winter. People are rightly eager to get back on Lake Michigan and into the full swing of summer, so these dates get snatched early on.

Fourth of July (Thursday, July 4, 2019)

This holiday is a classic time for a summer vacation for a reason: The weather always ushers in the best of summer and a resplendent fireworks display is basically guaranteed. Check out our fireworks when you stay over Fourth of July. Book now to make sure you don’t miss it!

Venetian Festival (Friday, July 26-Saturday, July 27, 2019)

Saugatuck Venetian Festival is a beloved annual event. With food, drinks, live music, and a themed dinghy poker run, there’s fun for everyone. It’s so popular, lodging around town becomes sparse fast. If this beautiful summer weekend is in your vacation game plan, book now.

Labor Day (Monday, September 2, 2019)

Don’t let the last hurrah of summer pass you by without the appropriate fanfare. Spend Labor Day in Saugatuck and send off our favorite season the best way you know how: by relaxing on the lakeshore. Book your Labor Day weekend plenty in advance to secure your vacation.

Stay with Lakeshore Lodging and get first dibs on the same dates the following year

The real trick to getting first dibs on your ideal Saugatuck summer vacation dates is staying with Lakeshore Lodging. After your stay, you have one week to book the same dates in the same vacation rental for the same rate for the following year before anyone else does. After that week, the following year’s rates are entered in and the dates are free game to anyone. It’s a great opportunity for those who’ve found the perfect vacation rental and know they’ll be making a tradition out of their Saugatuck summer vacation.

6 classic fall snacks paired with West Michigan craft drinks

fall snacks paired with west michigan craft drinks

Fall is here, and there are some snacks that just taste better in this season than they do in any other. These foods have a tendency to evoke Proustian “la madeleine” moments, rooted in nostalgia for childhood autumn fun. But we aren’t all children anymore, and while that does mean there’s more space between us and our carefree pasts, it also means we are legally able to consume alcoholic craft beverages. Revel in the glory of your favorite fall snacks by pairing them with these signature West Michigan ciders, wines, beers, and spirits.

6 classic fall snacks paired with West Michigan craft drinks

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Hot cider and cinnamon sugar donuts is a classic combo and well worth revisiting every year when the temperature starts to drop. But if you’re looking for something a little more mature, swap out hot cider for hard cider! We recommend Virtue Cider’s “The Mitten.” The Mitten is a smooth, bourbon barrel aged hard apple cider that tastes delicious and imparts its own kind of warmth.

Baked Apples

Apples are synonymous with autumn. A day of apple picking is an essential fall activity, and you get to come home with bushels of sweet, fresh fruit. Put that fruit to use in the form of a beloved dessert. The baked apple is a simple, but delicious delicacy whose warm, gooey bites beg to be followed by a sip of smooth bourbon. May we suggest Coppercraft Distillery’s Straight Bourbon?

S’mores

Okay, s’mores are good at all times of year. But there’s something about a fall bonfire that you just don’t get in summer–a crisp breeze seasoned with crackling leaves. We think that makes the s’mores taste better. You know what makes them taste even better? Being followed with a swig of a tasty stout. We recommend Saugatuck Brewing Company’sDarker Than Your Soul.”

Roasted Autumn Squash

Roasted autumn squashes like butternut squash and acorn squash are a great way to add a touch of the harvest to your diet. We suggest pairing autumn squash dishes with Fenn Valley’s Riesling. This crisp, semi-dry white wine will bring out the sweetness in your favorite autumn squashes, however you choose to prepare them.

Hot Chocolate

For the cold, late fall days, hot chocolate warms the soul unlike any other beverage. A splash of Coppercraft Distillery’s Vodka puts a tasty adult spin on the classic drink. Top with marshmallows, whipped cream, and/or sprinkles if the child in you feels so inclined.

Popcorn

Pop some kernels over the stove in your well-seasoned popcorn maker (or just microwave a bag, if that suits you). Then sink into your comfy, fireside couch for a cozy fall night filled with movies and snuggles. We recommend picking up a growler of The Mitten Brewing Company’s West Coast Swing Red Ale to pair with this harvest-time snack. A hoppy amber is a great fall brew, and this one is one of the tastiest.

The perfect fall 3-day weekend adventure

fall 3-day weekend

You’re a month into the rush of school, work, and the usual fall hustle. You’re enjoying the autumnal vibes, but you’re busy, so it’s hard to bask in them completely. Graciously, there is a fall 3-day weekend coming up that is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of this gorgeous, ephemeral season. Columbus Day weekend is October 5-8, and there’s going to be plenty of fall events happening in Saugatuck to make the most of it.

Make the most of this fall 3-day weekend

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.

Find the perfect place to stay

Lakeshore Lodging has cozy cabins and homes encircled with vibrant fall foliage available for rent for your fall vacation. Check them out here.

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

“Mercury in Retrograde” premieres in Michigan at Saugatuck Center for the Arts

mercury in retrograde

Saugatuck Center for the Arts is hosting the Michigan premiere of Michael Glover Smith’s film “Mercury in Retrograde.” Filmed in Saugatuck and Fennville, “Mercury in Retrograde” tells the story of three Chicago couples at various stages in their relationships who convene for a weekend in a West Michigan cabin in the woods. On Friday, September 21, head to Saugatuck Center for the Arts and watch as the characters play disc golf, swim in Lake Michigan, and explore our region’s one-of-a-kind landscape.

Mercury in Retrograde: An exploration of relationships and communication between men and women

“Mercury in Retrograde” explores the way men and women communicate, and miscommunicate, with one another. The film’s three couples each occupy the space between falling in and out of love. Throughout the weekend vacation, tensions arise, secrets are revealed, and the characters explore new territory within their relationships. The film has been lauded as a compelling depiction of modern love, and Saugatuck’s unique landscape provides a beautiful backdrop.

See the Michigan Premiere of Mercury in Retrograde

Tickets for the premiere, which takes place September 21, 2018 at 7 p.m., are $13 for adults and $7 for students with ID. Director Michael Glover Smith and actor/producer Shane Simmons will be present after the screening for questions and discussion.

Purchase a VIP Preview Party ticket to catch previews of the film on the night before the premiere. The party will take place in the cottage where Mercury in Retrograde was filmed and will feature a cash bar with craft drinks and food provided by The Kirby. Director Michael Glover Smith and actor/producer Shane Simmons will be in attendance to answer all your questions about what filming in Saugatuck was like. Ticket cost includes one complimentary drink, fresh plates from The Kirby, and a reserved ticket for Friday’s 7 p.m. premiere screening of the film at Saugatuck Center for the Arts.

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.

The best restaurants in Saugatuck

best restaurants in saugatuck

Saugatuck is generally known for its cultural attractions and gorgeous natural features. You’ve seen Oval Beach—it’s no wonder why that put us on the map. But lesser known is Saugatuck’s stellar, and growing, culinary scene. You could call it our best kept secret. But we can’t keep the best restaurants in Saugatuck from you. Innovative chefs and restaurateurs have blessed our town with their creations, and it’s only fair that we share them. These Saugatuck restaurants are some of the most loved in town.

best restaurants in saugatuck
The Southerner. Image: Ashley Wierenga
best restaurants in saugatuck
Image: GROW
best restaurants in saugatuck
Image: Hercules

The best restaurant in Saugatuck for breakfast

GROW

302 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI

Grow serves from-scratch, healthful breakfast and lunch from 8am-4pm. Their small space on the corner of Culver and Griffith is bright and tastefully decorated, and their menu is brimming with delicious dishes. We recommend the Breakfast Panzanella and the Carrots + Lentils salad.

The best restaurants in Saugatuck for lunch and dinner

The Southerner

880 Holland Street, Saugatuck, MI

The Southerner makes the best southern food you’ll find for miles. Their menu is steeped in delicious southern tradition. With classic Nashville hot chicken, biscuit sandwiches, delicious barbecue and more, you’ll have a hard time deciding what to order. The Southerner also boasts a diverse drink menu to wet your whistle.

Phil’s Bar & Grille

215 Butler Street, Saugatuck, MI

Phil’s Bar & Grille may look like your typical, run-of-the mill American pub, but its menu pushes the limits of the genre. Order anything from a classic fried perch sandwich to pad thai and pho. Phil’s is a spot that does a lot and does it all well, and it’s a local favorite.

The best restaurants in Saugatuck for dinner

Bowdie’s Chophouse

230 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI

When the owners of Bowdie’s moved to Saugatuck, they lamented the town’s lack of a good steakhouse. So they took it upon themselves to open one, and it’s become one of the classiest, most sought-after dining experiences in town. Bowdie’s Chophouse small space fosters an intimate environment to enjoy a culinary innovation. Their expertise is reflected in the price, but a meal at Bowdie’s is well worth the splurge.

Hercules

236 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI

Serving artisanal meals with American, Greek and Mediterranean influences, Hercules has also been rumored to have the best cocktails in Saugatuck. Enjoy steaks, seafood and chops in their elegant dining space or in the garden. For a quiet dinner and a top tier beverage, Hercules is a great choice.

Marro’s Italian Restaurant

147 Water St, Saugatuck, MI

This Italian restaurant has been a long-standing member of the Saugatuck culinary community. Frank and Lyn Marro have owned and operated the establishment since 1971, and they still play an active role in running the restaurant today. Casual and fine family dining with a side of live jazz piano make for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Their pizza is some of the best in town.

Featured Image: Ashley Wierenga