On the western side of Michigan dwells a tiny resort town that was recently voted “2015 Best Coastal Small Town,” by USA Today. If you have been there is should really come as no surprise. Originally a lumber town and port, Saugatuck, Michigan, recreated itself into an artist colony and tourist destination in the early part of the 20th Century. It was once home to the famous Big Pavilion, a huge dance hall that brought in bands from around the country. The pavilion was a popular tourist destination until in burned down in 1960. Bill Bailey Travel Reviews this unique little town and what makes it special.
Nowadays tourists come to visit the art galleries, the unique stores, the marinas, the natural landscaping, and to visit Oval Beach on Lake Michigan. The art galleries and quaint shops are a draw for those seeking something outside the pre-produce pieces found at chain stores. In addition to the independent art and music that is presented throughout the year, the Center for the Arts presents equity theater performances year-round.
It should come as no surprise that the primary source of income for the city is the money that it makes from tourists. Though the population of the city is rather small, it nearly triples in the summer time when it is at its peak business with visitors from around the world. Travelers from Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana are known to weekend at the many bed and breakfast spots in the area.
Not to be outdone by the summer tourism, winter presents unique opportunities for visitors to come and see the town as well. For those seeking a romantic rendezvous in February the Valentine’s Day and Saugatuck-Douglas Winter Fest provide a weekend full of activities. This February 13th you can join the Saugatuck Women’s Club for Love, American Style, a musical journey through the ups and downs of romance songs from the great American Songwriters.
For all of the things that are great about this town, there is a downside: when tourism is at its peak, it can be a bit of a nightmare to find parking close to town. So if you plan to go, get their early in the morning to ensure a great start to your visit.