Art, Music & More
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
~ Pablo Picasso
Saugatuck Art Scene Appeals To Every Taste
No surprise to us that American Style Magazine ranked Saugatuck “one of the top 5 art towns in America.” There’s more than a century of history proving this place is a sanctuary for artists. Visit OxBow for their Friday Night Open Studio and see sculpture, painting, metal work, glass blowing, and drawing all along the lagoon. Stroll through downtown Saugatuck and Douglas and visit James Brandess, Armstrong-DeGraaf, Volmod, LaFontsee, Water Street, J.Petter, Roan & Black, Indian Summer, Amazwi, and more. Drive along country roads and further explore Peachbelt, Blue Roan, and the many Blue Coast Art Studios. You’ll find pottery, painting, jewelry, antiques, and more. Visit the Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival or the latest exhibition, concert, film, lecture, or class at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Enjoy a theater production at the Mason Street Wharehouse or the Red Barn Theater. Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy live music at Saugatuck Brewing, Salt of the Earth, Red Dock, What Not, Sand Bar, Coral Gables, or Wally’s.
Our little village is buzzing with creativity.
We’ve created a getaway guide with some local favorites from the Saugatuck Arts & Culture Events Calendar … suggested stops and insider secrets to help you love life like a local. Use our tips as you will, but let your imagination be your guide!
Saugatuck’s Art Galleries Are Why We’re The Art Coast of Michigan
Let the magic and the muses of our villages captivate you! Enjoy a weekend at Wickwood immersed in art. Visit more than 30 Saugatuck art galleries and studios. Attend a workshop or private class learning to paint, draw, or blow glass. Explore an exhibition or take in the festivities at an opening. Stroll through one of our celebrated outdoor art shows. Go to a concert at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts or one of the many other venues throughout town. See a show at Mason Street Theater or visit the Saugatuck/Douglas Historical Society Museum.
Arts and culture are in the air. Everywhere!
1. Arrive in Saugatuck | Begin To Know The Difference of Life at Wickwood
It’s evident from the moment you enter Wickwood Inn. You booked the right place for your Art Getaway.
There’s fine art throughout the living room, dining room, and library of this stunning boutique hotel. The well-placed sculptures draw you in. Your room, Picasso, sets the tone for your art immersion weekend. You’re tempted you to simply stay and relax a while longer, but the promise of interesting galleries in town lures you back outdoors.
2. Stretch Your Legs & See Some Art | Downtown Saugatuck Galleries & Studios
Just down Butler Street is Bruce Baughman Studios & Gallery. Baughman works in many mediums but is best known for his reverse paintings. Sharing time between Michigan and Arizona, Baughman’s work reflects the beauty of both.
Next door is James Brandess Studios & Gallery. Whether set up on a sand dune overlooking Lake Michigan, hosting a workshop at Ox-Bow, or teaching a class in his studio, Brandess is committed to capturing the natural beauty around us.
Turn right on Mason and enter Good Goods. Owner Sandra Randolph’s exquisite taste is evident throughout this thoughtful collection of furniture, ceramics, paintings, sculpture, jewelry and clothing. Make sure to see the Fine Art gallery upstairs.
Take another right on Water Street to find Armstrong De Graaf International Fine Art. Dedicated to fine, contemporary art for over 50 years, Armstrong DeGraaf Gallery has made Saugatuck their home for more than 20 years. There’s always something interesting to see!
3. Relax & Unwind | Sips & Small Plates at Wickwood
Stroll on back to Wickwood, where a wonderful array of food and drink awaits. Owner and award winning cookbook author, Julee Rosso, loves the cheer that comes from sharing good food. Try the Ginger Carrot Soup . . . or perhaps you’re more in the mood for Gazpacho? On the Artisanal Cheese Board, you’ll find a variety of specialty cheeses (Aged Gouda, Triple Crème, White Cheddar) and a mixture of Olives, Chutneys, Cherry Tomatoes, Crackers and Crostini. Don’t forget the Asparagus wrapped with Prosciutto, Spicy Green Beans and Peppered Ba-by Potatoes. Save room for a bite of Caramelized Onion, Roquefort and Parmigianino Reggiano Flatbread and Garlic Shrimp and Crab Crostini. Enjoy it all with a complimentary taste of red or white wine . . . or bring along a bottle of anything you like!
4. Wine Spectator’s Best Of | Dinner and Art in Downtown Holland | Butch’s
Downtown Holland is a gem, and Butch’s stands out. Filled with festive Friday night energy, begin by ordering a cocktail. Walk around. Check out the art. Determine where you want to sit. No matter the mood, the farm fresh menu featured throughout will impress. The beverage options here deserve special attention as they have received special recognition. Butch’s Dry Dock is one of only 10 Michigan restaurants to be listed on Wine Spectator’s Best Of Award Of Excellence.
5. Support Emerging Artists | Ox-Bow School Of The Arts Open Studio Night
Head back to Saugatuck for Friday Night Open Studios at OxBow. Enjoy the week’s work created by students, fellows, and Artists in Residence. Don’t miss the artistic demonstration at 9:00 p.m.
6. Explore the Areas that Inspire | Enjoy A Walk At the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area
Park your car at the North end of the Oval Beach Parking lot. Hop on the marked trail. Wake up your legs with a short, stiff climb up a sand dune. Marvel at this pristine piece of coastline. Stroll on the pier. Skip back along the beach.
7. You’ve Worked Up An Appetite | Gourmet Champagne Brunch at Wickwood
Last night’s Sips and Small Plates has you looking forward to Brunch . . . and with good reason!
The Four Berry Bowl with Berry Glaze catches your eye immediately, and the Watermelon, Honey and Mint Salad looks delicious. The Sublime Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes, Asparagus, Dill and a Dash of Green Chili Salsa live up to their billing, and you love the Glazed Apple Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce. Of course, you may always choose from the Artisan Breads, Homemade Almond & Golden Raisin Granola, Muesli, Greek Yogurts, Fruit Juices, Hard Boiled Eggs, and locally roasted Simpatico Coffee. After that long morning walk, you de-light in a warm Pecan Sticky Bun. This sets a new standard in the category of complimentary breakfast!
8. 4 More Treasures In Downtown Saugatuck | Enjoy These Gems!
Stroll East on Mary Street. Turn right on Griffith. Amaru Leather is on the left-hand side. The talented artisans here can make nearly anything you want from top notch leather. Choose from their already made belts, bags, briefcases, and purses . . . or dream up something that will be made just for you.
Across Culver Street, there’s Amazwi Contemporary Art. Its name comes from the Zulu word for “voices,” this gallery gives voice to a diverse array of contemporary African artists.
Be sure to wander into the ceramics and glass gallery, VolMod, connected to Amazwi. Artist Jeff Blandford has been throwing pots for years and has added glassblowing to his creative repertoire. A trip to his organic farm and studio space is well-worth the drive. But we love picking up a plate, mug, bowl, vase, or glass . . . right here in town.
Head back down Butler towards Wickwood, and stop on Main Street at The Timmel Collection. Representing over 140 painters, sculptors, photographers, glass artisans and functional artists, this gallery specializes in modern and contemporary works.
9. Walk Down Water Street | Time For Lunch At Ida Red’s
Grab your cash. Credit Cards won’t work at Ida Red’s. Loved by locals and tourists alike, this cozy cottage is well known for its omelettes, pancakes and home-style potatoes, but lunch here is the better-kept secret. Pause when you walk in. Read the daily specials on the green chalkboards. Breakfast or lunch: both menus are available, and we’re not sure which is our favorite.
10. Head Out & About for Art & Food | Explore the Gorgeous Countryside
The Blue Coast Artists are a collection of 12, juried studios located between Saugatuck and South Haven. Grab the Tour Map to assist you along the way. Enjoy the scenic combination of art and agriculture. With an impressive mixture of pottery, stoneware, paintings, pastels, metal-smithing, silver-smithing and more, this excursion will not disappoint. We especially like the Khnemu Studio for its solar powered pottery studio.
Other highlights include: the affordable selection of hand-thrown and hand-built stoneware items at Lake Effect Pottery; the centuries old art of “lost wax” casting on display at Green Fire Studio; the simple and modern silver work of Christine Russell Bruno at Town Hall Studio, and the mixed media paintings of internationally collected artist Anke Richert-Korioth at The Frontdoor Studio & Gallery.
Skipping your way from one studio to the next makes an idyllic afternoon.
There are also tasty options along the way. The Lakeshore Harvest Country brochure is your guide. If it’s a pint of cider you crave, try Virtue Cider or McIntosh Orchards & Winery. For fine, artisanal cheeses (and adorable goats!) don’t miss Evergreen Lane Creamery.
As you make your way back toward Saugatuck, there are 2 more area galleries: Dawn Stafford at Peachbelt Studio brings beauty to everything she does, and the creative, quirky work of Jessica Bohus at Blue Roan Studio brings a smile to our face.
11. You Could Get Used to This! | Sips & Small Plates
Tonight, you opt for the Minty Spring Pea Soup, and some of the Candied Cumin Walnut Cheese. The Figs and Prosciutto may be your favorite new food combination, and the Corn, Sun Dried Tomato & Bean Salsa on Crostini is fantastic. You wish every evening could begin like this!
12. Experience The Local Pub | Dinner At Saugatuck Brewing
Saugatuck Brewing is happy to serve as your local watering hole. Try their best-selling Oval Beach Blonde, or amp it up with their Singapore IPA, Pier Cove Porter, or Boathouse Stout. Not sure? Try a flight. The Drunken Hummus and Fish & Chips are House Favorites, but this pub also serves up Lobster Mac & Cheese, Sangria Chicken and half-pound burgers that are mighty tasty.
13. It’s Time For the Show! |See What the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Is Offering
The SCA serves up arts and culture year round. Live performances. Professional theatre. Film and lecture series. Exhibitions. Classes. A seasonal Greenmarket. The SCA is the arts, social, and economic hub for our communities. Visit their website to see what’s playing and buy tickets for the show.
14. Cap Off Your Marquee Evening | Head to Phil’s Bar & Grille
Enjoy the short stroll to the marquee spot on Butler Street. Phil’s is a seamless blend of locals and tourists, families and singles. This full-service bar buzzes with energy. Order up a nightcap. If there’s a seat open at the bar, join the free flow of conversation.
15. What A Way To Start The Day | Another Gourmet Brunch
Today, you try the Fresh Peaches, Nectarine, Apricots and Blueberries in the Brown Sugar and Lemon Sauce alongside a piece of Zucchini Frittata with Roasted Tomatoes and Parmesan Shards. The Glazed Country Ham is too good looking to resist and that Blueberry Streusel Cake is divine. Life is indeed different at Wickwood.
16. Climb to Great Heights | Views No StairMaster Can Provide
Time to climb to greater heights. The 302 steps at Mt. Baldhead are steep, but there are plenty of landings and benches to catch your breath and snap a photo of the panoramic beauty. Take your time. Going down is easier, and the views at the top are worth it!
17. Check Out from Wickwood
18. Cross the Bridge to Downtown Douglas | Outstanding Galleries Await
Button-Petter Gallery offers a wide selection of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, blown glass and prints. Its most recent addition is the wine collection at the Petter Wine Gallery. This Wine Shop & Tasting Room has a wonderful collection of bottles from near and far. Taste and take in the art.
Your next destination: Water Street Gallery. With an expert staff and thoughtfully designed space, this contemporary fine art gallery will enchant.
LaFontsee Galleries is just a bit further East. Their Grand Rapids location has been a must-see for more than 25 years. We’re delighted they brought the works of their fresh and innovative artists to the Lakeshore.
Head east on Center Street to Kubiak Gallery. This hip space has something for everyone. Select some photo cards to send, or find a new metal sculpture for your yard..
Cross the street and make a quick stop into Everyday People Cafe (EPC) to put your name on the list for lunch. Head to the Lynn Neuman Gallery. Abstracts, representational, and figurative works line the walls of this warm gallery space.
19. Bubbles & Bites | EPC
Time to sit down and reflect upon all you have seen and experienced on this trip. Enjoy building your own Bloody Mary or order up a Bottomless Glass of Bubbles while feasting on Oysters on the Half Shell, Wasabi Pea Crusted Tuna, Mussels Monaldo, Asian Style Caesar or Spanish Tapas Plate.
20. Take The Blue Star Highway | There’s Still Time For Two More Galleries
After feasting, hit the Blue Star Highway and head for Roan & Black. Owners John Newland and Doug McIntosh love pairing items together in unexpected ways, so this fantastic space will both delight and intrigue.
Continue north on Blue Star to Marcia Perry’s Ark Gallery & Sculpture Studio. This studio, both indoor and outdoor, offers a rare glimpse into the complete and fascinating process of how Perry’s extraordinary works are made. Be sure to make your way upstairs to see works by world-renowned printmaker, Ladislav Hanka.
21. It Can’t Be Time To Go | How Quickly Can You Return?
As you begin to turn your mind toward home, there’s still that one painting you regret not buying. Now’s the time to make your move; there’s still time . . . but it has all gone too quickly! There’s so much more you won’t to see and do throughout these quaint villages. You call Wickwood Inn and schedule your return trip.