While Michigan’s Sunset Coast is full of excellent beaches, one town, Saugatuck, boasts enough goodness for families to come to the beach and explore the town. Saugatuck is a small town in Southwest Michigan, right along Lake Michigan. It’s an artsy, fun town that welcomes families. I grew up near here – it always feels like coming home.
Take the Ferry! The Chain Ferry, that is. Crossing the Kalamazoo River (as it heads out to Lake Michigan) by Chain Ferry is very cool. It’s a hand-cranked ferry, and takes about 5 minutes to cross the 100 yards of river. Once you’re to the other side, you can hike up to Mount Baldy – or cross back to get back to Saugatuck. $1 per person.
Wander downtown Saugatuck. There are so many cute stores, toy stores, and treat shops (more on that in a minute). One of my favorite shops is the Saugatuck Drug Store. Yes, indeed, they have a soda fountain in the back! And, upstairs, a leg lamp (like in Christmas Story). Inside is a treasure trove – kites, beach stuff, toys, and whole bins of fun little (and inexpensive) toys and trinkets. It’s so much fun for kids to poke around and CHOOSE their favorite thing (likely for less than a dollar). Then, it’ll be time for some ice cream! I love Charlie’s Ice Cream – but if fudge is more your thing, Kilwin’s is right there, too. Price – depending on what you order!