Saugatuck Venetian Festival promises fun, games, food and music

erin k wilkinson

Saugatuck Venetian Festival is a beloved summer celebration that takes place here in Saugatuck, Michigan every year. Sponsored by the Cow Hill Yacht Club, this family friendly event promises fun for everyone. Here’s what to expect from Saugatuck Venetian Festival 2018.

Saugatuck Venetian Festival 2018 takes place July 27-28

Image: Saugatuck Venetian Festival

The schedule of events kicks off with children’s games and face painting at 5 p.m. at Coghlin Park on Friday, July 27. Feeling hungry? Grab a bite at the food and bar tent, which will open at 6 p.m.

Later that night, the Rock n Roll tent will be the place to be. Catch an energetic performance by Starfarm, beginning at 7:15 p.m. The band will play favorite ’80s hits that are sure to keep you dancing well into the night.

Saturday kicks off with the annual dinghy poker run on the Kalamazoo River, where boaters spray each other with squirt guns while racing to card stops to collect the best poker hand. The game is as fun to watch as it is to participate in.

Later, just after the sun sets, the lighted boat parade will begin. Each year, participants decorate their boats according to a theme. This year’s theme? The ’60s. Expect groovy, psychedelically decorated boats to glow as they glide along the Kalamazoo River. The lights look especially beautiful reflected back by the river, as do the fireworks that conclude the night each year. Catch those starting at 10 p.m.

Check out this video from Erin K. Wilkinson to get a taste of what it will be like:

Featured Image: Erin K. Wilkinson 

Best dive bars in Saugatuck

dive bars in saugatuck

Every town needs a good dive bar – a place you can count on having a familiar, cozy atmosphere, characteristic dim lighting, neon beer signs, and the promise of a pool table. For the traveler, the dive bar can offer a taste of home.  If you’re in Saugatuck, Michigan and you’re looking to have a good time, surround yourself with down-to-earth people, or just drown your sorrows, these are the spots to visit. Here are the best dive bars in Saugatuck:

Best Dive Bars in Saugatuck

Sand Bar Saloon

141 Butler St, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Located right in downtown Saugatuck, the Sand Bar has all the hallmarks of the classic dive bar. Order a locally brewed craft beer or your favorite standard and then pick up a game of pool. This bar is cash only, but there’s an ATM on premises.

The Cove

41 Blue Star Hwy, Douglas, MI 49406

This little bar hidden in plain sight on the Blue Star Highway. If you’re looking for an affordable meal and drink, The Cove can’t be beat. Play pool on one of their tables or catch Euchre on Sundays. 

Spectators Sports Bar & Grill

6432 Bluestar Hwy Saugatuck, MI 49453

If the sports bar atmosphere is more your style, Spectators is the obvious choice. Located right on Blue Star Highway, it’s the place to go to watch the game with a side of beer and wings. 

Corner Bar

220 Water St, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Catch live music at the Corner Bar in Saugatuck, attached to Coral Gables. This friendly bar is a favorite for its great menu and entertainment. Stop by for karaoke on Saturdays.

The Top 5 kid-friendly activities in Saugatuck

kid-friendly activities in saugatuck

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.

The best Lake Michigan waterfront pet friendly vacation rentals

Lake Michigan waterfront pet friendly vacation rentals

For the dog owners among us, a family vacation just isn’t complete if the pup can’t come too. One of the best ways to make the most of a Saugatuck summer vacation is to stay right on a Lake Michigan beach, but finding the perfect Lake Michigan waterfront pet friendly vacation rentals can be a challenge. We’re here to help.

We’ve pulled together 4 great Lake Michigan waterfront pet friendly vacation rentals. There’s something here for every kind of group, from cozy lakeside cottages to spacious, historic homes overlooking the bluff. Find the waterfront pet friendly vacation rental that best fits your vacation.

3 great Lake Michigan waterfront pet friendly vacation rentals

Beach Cottage

Sleeps: 8, Bedrooms: 3, Bathrooms: 2

This classic Lake Michigan cottage is a perfect spot for a family vacation. Tucked away in a wooded enclosure, this home feels very private. Cook out on the grill in the shady front yard and enjoy views of the lake while you picnic. Descend stairs down the bluff to reach this pet friendly vacation rental’s private beach.

 

 

What is There to Discover at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts?

saugatuck center for the arts

When it comes to art, the people of Saugatuck know a thing or two. After all, Saugatuck-Douglas is the “Art Coast of Michigan,” and you don’t have to walk far at all before you find one of the town’s many art galleries. The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is the best place in town to experience everything art-related, from theatre to music to painting exhibits. If you want to put a finger on the pulse of Saugatuck’s thriving art community, then a trip to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts is in order. Here’s what you’ll discover!

Be sure to check out our recommendations for things to do in the Saugatuck area! With our suggestions in hand, you’ll find the very best Saugatuck experience while you’re here. At Lakeshore Lodging, we’re your Saugatuck vacation resource.

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Performances

The Center is home to excellent theatre and music performances! From July 21 to August 6 “Fully Committed” is on stage. Then, from August 18 to September 3, “It Shoulda Been You” is sure to draw an audience. On October 14, “An Evening With Paula Cole” will entice your ears. Then, on November 5, familiar face, Jeff Daniels with the Ben Daniels Band are a musical treat. A full list of shows and concerts can be found on the center’s website.

Exhibits

It’s not all about the performing arts here! Art exhibitions of varying disciplines are on display at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. A wide variety of mediums and methods make the Saugatuck Center for the Arts an ideal spot for vacationers to get to know the soul of Saugatuck.

Education and Events

In addition to exhibits and live performances, the Center also hosts exciting events! Whether it’s the Creativity Revealed events, or the educational Toddler Tuesday (featuring painting, yoga, and snacks), there’s an event here for everyone. The center also hosts theatre camps,

Every Friday from late May until September 29, the Center will host a Farmers Market! Don’t miss out on the best local produce, goods, and more. The Farmers Market will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

Visiting

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI 49453. The Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Saugatuck’s Source for the Best Lake Michigan Vacation Homes

What draws so many people to Saugatuck? Try beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, an inviting community, and an abundance of local dining. That’s not all, but it should be enough to grab your attention. If you’re planning on visiting one of Michigan’s most popular vacation spots, then call Lakeshore Lodging. Throughout the Saugatuck-Douglas area, we offer the best Lake Michigan vacation homes you’ll find, no matter how big or small of a house you seek. Full of great amenities and located conveniently close to the best things to do in Saugatuck, a Lakeshore Lodging vacation home is the way to experience Michigan’s Art Coast. Contact us today to start planning your Lake Michigan vacation.