Saugatuck, Michigan





"Perhaps swimming is dancing underwater." --- Jim Harrison



"Those dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona, and Yosemite to California. They contribute a signature of time and eternity. Once lost, the loss would be irrevocable."    --- Carl Sandburg

Saugatuck boasts one of the most beautiful harbors up and down the entire Coast of Lake Michigan. With its uninterrupted shoreline, our vast expanse of sandy Saugatuck beaches provide miles of possibilities for joy and days of opportunities for endless adventure.

When you need to simply slow down, there's no better place than the beaches in Saugatuck to sit, read, soak up a little sunshine, and completely unplug. There are countless ways to get outdoors and enjoy our sweet water.

You may want to head to Oval Beach (one of the top two fresh water beaches in the United States according to National Geographic Traveler) by car, the Chain Ferry, or a short hike. Take a break from the summer heat with a refreshing swim in Lake Michigan. Enjoy the thrill of catching a wave and body surfing your way back to shore. Bordering Oval is the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area. Its stunning network of trails meander through the dunes and provide expansive access to pristine sandy beaches, the Lagoon as well as access to a walk along the Harbor's pier.

While you're on the beach you may want to simply take off your flip flops and stroll barefoot in the sand. You can walk for miles and miles. The sounds of the singing sands will make the minutes simply disappear as you look for driftwood, lucky stones and gather beach glass.

The sand on the pure, crystal beaches of Saugatuck/Douglas is called "Singing Sand". Nowhere else on earth did ancient forces combine in the same way to form the quartz dunes. It's a compound of millions of tiny, clear fragments of quartz crystals (nine out of every ten sand grains is quartz) that gives this sand its soft, smooth texture. When the sand has just the right balance between wind and humidity, the sand along the water's edge will sing underfoot, thus, geologists term it "Singing Sand".

To get out in the water, rent a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddleboard and head out on the river . . . maybe even winding your way all the way to the big lake. Reserve a pontoon boat, charter a fishing trip, or book a sunset sail. Take a tour by land and water on the Harbor Duck. Or, enjoy the sound of gently splashing water as the Star of Saugatuck's paddle wheels propel you around Lake Kalamazoo and out to the channel into Lake Michigan.

To marvel at the giant dunes along the shore, hit the trails at the Saugatuck Dunes State Park and walk, run, or skip your way through the stunning woods and dunes. Your reward will be breathtaking views and a vast, uncrowded Lake Michigan beachfront. Be a kid and slide down the dunes and climb back up again.

Hop aboard the Saugatuck Chain Ferry (the only hand-cranked chain ferry left in the country!) and cross the Kalamazoo. On the other side, you can explore the Historical Society's Pump House Museum (one of the best-known and most-visited small town museums in Michigan!) and climb your way up the 302 steps of Mt. Baldhead. After catching your breath and taking in the views from the top, make your way back down the steps, or wind down the dunes to the adjacent, award-winning Oval Beach.

Just south from Oval Beach is the smaller, quieter, Douglas Beach. Set in a residential area, parking is limited but the sand and water are just as spectacular. Further south is Pier Cove Beach, known for the "water trenches" formed by a stream flowing into Lake Michigan. This spot is special because of its unusually smooth stones and beach glass.

On any given evening along the quiet windswept sand dunes towering above the gently rolling surf of Lake Michigan, hundreds of world travelers watch in awe-inspired admiration as the brilliant sun slowly sets with a fiery crescendo of a lipstick streaked sky. The heavenly performance entrances visitors who often stay long after the spectacular panorama slowly fades under the gentle veil of night. It's reminiscent of an old-fashioned outdoor movie theater with the sun as the Hollywood star. "I've never seen such a beauty in the sunset before," said Sun-Ai Ch'oe, a recent visitor from Seoul, Korea. "The sky was painted such brilliant colors like an artist’s canvas."

Yet a third treasure, is a myth for some, others, a reality and a nightly watch for many. Tourists and year-round residents alike marvel in the unpredictable, extraordinary image of "The Green Flash" light show. Many think the "green flash" is a myth before witnessing the shocking beauty for themselves. "A brilliant green light appeared across the horizon and our jaws dropped. We sat still, stunned!" Linda Rowder of Saugatuck couldn't believe the "green flash" even existed until she saw it with her own eyes. "I'd heard the myth and one summer night, saw it. It reappeared three or four more times during the next few weeks. Each time it was a slightly different shade of brilliant, phosphorus green – and each time, it flashed for only a few seconds. To catch the "green flash" is now a quest, and a great reason for supper on our front porch." "It's a phenomenon that I have wanted to see for years - and I finally saw it!" exclaimed Mary Margolis.

Grace Wolf-Chase, a researcher astronomer at Alder Planetarium, Chicago, explains: "At sunset, you're looking at a lot more layers of atmosphere than at noon. The atmosphere acts like a prism and refracts lights. The setting sun looks kind of reddish, and if you catch it at the right time, as the sun disappears, you can catch a glimpse of the green left over." Wolf-Chase says that if you're a regular sunset watcher, you're bound to see the flash eventually. And the expanse of Lake Michigan as viewed from the 200-foot Saugatuck/Douglas sand dunes or the large, soft beaches is widely believed to be the prime location to see this natural lightshow.

Saugatuck is a small resort village that's a little slice of paradise. Time has forgotten it and decades have only polished it until it glows.

"A lake . . . is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."
                                                                                                                   --- Henry David Thoreau



Mid-Week Summer Rates

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Weekday rates begin at $299     

Always including:
Wickwood's Farm to Table Breakfast
Afternoon and Evening Sweets
Evening Sips and Small Plates

We suggest you book now for Fall
We are experiencing unusually heavy reservation bookings.

Reservations 800.385.1174 and 269.857.1465


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The Inn


Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel (800) 385-1174   |  
www.wickwoodinn.com   |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors