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Saugatuck: Push your Fun Button!

Saugatuck, MI is a very colorful place. That’s part of why I like it.  I also like the creative energy, the beautiful setting on the Lake Michigan coastline and the fun time I have when I go there.

I meandered around  Saugatuck yesterday with some friends who were visiting us from Texas.  They had actually met 21 years ago on a blind date in Saugatuck and thought it might be fun to go back.

Right near Douglas, MI, the little town is artsy and fun, probably because of its proximity to Ox-Bow, the summer arts camp for the Chicago Institute of Arts and the many Bed and Breakfasts that encourage weekend revelry. It was packed with folks attending the Saugatuck Film Festival.  Later in the summer  folks will flock to Saugatuck to the  Arts and Crafts shows and the well known Venetian Festival.

We didn’t get to see any films instead  poked in and out of the cute shops  enjoying the sights and scenes including a beautiful garden right on the main street.  I am inspired with these colorful chairs.  Could paint some old ones like this and give them new life.

And how great that even the dogs are provided a colorful treat as they make their way down the sidewalks of the main street.

There are, of course, fudge shops, wine stores, t-shirt shops and many cute gift and clothing stores, but my favorite store is the music shop called Open Door Music where I bought a couple of new Irish Tenor Cd’s, the latest Danny Wright Piano collection and some pan pipes music from Ecuador.  The owner of the shop will play almost anything for you and if you ask about a CD, he’ll run his finger down the list of songs and tell you which one is best. He knows them all.

We stopped to watch story time in the park, enthusiastically acted out by the guy riding the Library Cycle.  Then we wandered over  to the play equipment and loved looking at the sculpture there, sure to amuse any child and grown up who come to swing and slide.


Folks who come to Saugatuck often take the paddleboat ride or the hand operated ferry to cross the Kalamazoo River.  And if a “rest stop” is needed, the public facilities are adorned with images of a famous painting—appropriately, Sunday Afternoon on the Grand Jatte  by George Seurat. The real one  can be seen at the Chicago Institute of Art but isn’t this an appealing representation?


Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Georgia Gietzen
    Jun 13, 2010 Reply

    Ahhhhh . . . I love Saugatuck!

  2. posted by
    ann stevenson
    Jun 15, 2010 Reply

    We had a great day with you two and fun to revisit the place of our “blind date” some 21 years ago!

  3. posted by
    R. Lyle Boatman
    Jun 20, 2010 Reply

    Cannot wait to visit there this summer!!!

  4. posted by
    Venetian Festival in Saugatuck tops my list of fun things to do | DesignDestinations
    Aug 6, 2012 Reply

    […] I’ve gone to a lot of them over the years with their fireworks, parades, and all the hoop-de-doo,  but my absolute all time favorite is the Venetian Festival in Saugatuck/Douglas.  (Click here to learn about pushing your fun button in   Saugatuck. ) […]

  5. posted by
    Hill Country Highlights | DesignDestinations
    Jan 18, 2016 Reply

    […] my Michigan friends, Fredericksburg reminded me a bit of Saugatuck, Michigan with some cool and touristy shopping and a few yummy places to […]

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