Experience Saugatuck on the water

saugatuck on the water

Saugatuck is well known for its prime location on the Lake Michigan lakeshore, and the town’s beaches are a key attraction to the area. But the waterfront lifestyle doesn’t stop with Lake Michigan. The Kalamazoo River winds through our town to reach the Great Lake, and it’s like one big playground for everyone in town. Here are some great ways to experience Saugatuck on the water.

How to enjoy Saugatuck on the water

Retro Boat Rentals

Cruise the Kalamazoo River in a sleek, retro runabout boat when you book through Retro Boat Rentals. These well kept vintage boats reflect the style of the late ’50s and early ’60s, and you’ll have a ton of fun motoring one around the river.

Donut Boat Rentals

These unique electric watercraft are designed for groups of friends to have a great time on the water. Ten people can sit casually around a central table, complete with cooler for drinks and snacks. As easy to drive as a golf cart, no prior boating experience is necessary to captain these vessels.

West Michigan Cycle Boat

For larger groups, this party barge is perfect. You’ve seen bar bikes before—the West Michigan Cycle Boat is the same concept, only on water. Peddle while you sip the drinks you brought along and have fun with friends. Rides on the cycle boat last 2 hours and, judging by the music and laughter we’ve heard from the shore,  they’re always a great time.

Star of Saugatuck

The Star of Saugatuck is a classic on-the-water experience that you have to try at least once. We recommend the sunset cruise, which takes you to Lake Michigan to experience why we call this side of the state the “sunset coast.”

The BARge

After a day of fun on the water, you’ll probably have an appetite. But you don’t have to go far to find good food and drink. The BARge is located on the shore of the Kalamazoo River and you can pull your boat right up to enjoy their offerings.

The Red Dock

The Red Dock is another great option for food and drink on the water. Relaxed vibes and good music await at this favorite Douglas restaurant. Park your dinghy along the dockside while you enjoy a cocktail and a delicious sandwich.

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


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.


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 

Here are the 5 Best Douglas Restaurants

When you’re looking for a place to eat where everybody in the family will be happy, it can be hard to settle on a choice. Thankfully, the Douglas restaurants offer enough selection and quality in their menus that that won’t be much of a problem. Everything from American to Italian to pub grub is up for grabs when you venture into Douglas, Michigan. Here are the five best you should keep in mind!

Are you looking for the best things to do before or after your dining experience? Then, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Lakeshore Lodging, we consider ourselves experts on the area. So, you can trust our guidance when it comes to crafting your vacation plan!

The 5 Best Douglas MI Restaurants

Everyday People Café in Douglas crafts some truly beautiful food, some with which you’ll want to take a picture. Their expertly crafted menu combines locally-sourced ingredients with celebrated culinary traditions. You’ll also enjoy their brunch menu and raw bar, in addition to their extensive list of fine wines and craft beer. For brunch, try their malted waffle–a golden malted waffle with bourbon-maple syrup, mascarpone cheese, and fresh fruit. Then, for dinner, enjoy their Fillet Saltimbocca–an eight-ounce beef fillet over mashed potatoes, with a marsala-prosciutto-sage demi-glaze.

The Wild Dog Grille is another local favorite that specializes in just about everything! Enjoy Steak au Poivre, Adobo Pork Enchiladas, or Vegan Pasta Masala, in addition to their extensive stone oven pizza options and delicious sandwiches. The friendly restaurant is only open from mid-March to the last weekend of October.

The Farmhouse Deli & Pantry makes the best sandwiches, soups, and salads around. Sourcing local goods, the restaurant and pantry provides the community with a taste of the landscape. Try any of their great sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, salads, and even coffee and espresso drinks. It makes a great lunch spot!

Saugatuck Brewing Company wakes up at the crack of dawn to begin baking bread for their famous hoagies and burger buns. They serve up anything that goes well with beer and have affordable prices! Try their Beer Cheese & Bacon burger, Fish & Chips, or Pretzel Crusted Walleye!

Alley’s Diner is your spot for delicious, quality diner food. Everything from breakfast to burgers to bowling will have your mouth watering and pins falling for this joint! Delicious, affordably-priced food is their specialty and you can go bowling and get in some family fun while you’re at it!

Don’t Go Hungry During Your Trip to Douglas/Saugatuck!

These are just a few of the great places to eat in the area! When you visit the Saugatuck/Douglas area, you’ll have plenty of places to stay, too. That’s because here at Lakeshore Lodging, we’ve got the best vacation rentals around. Check out our available properties and see for yourself the kind of quality you can afford, and bring home your leftovers for a late night snack! You’ll love it here no matter where you stay, but it won’t be the best it can be unless you stay with Lakeshore Lodging!