Iconic Things To Do In Saugatuck In Summer!

Posted on: June 2, 2021   |   Posted in: Getaways, Outdoor Adventure

white beach chair on a long empty beach with blue skies, green forests in the background and crashing waves

Star Of Saugatuck paddleboat sailing down the river next to a boat docked with green forests along the banks

bright white Inn with lush green gardens and a sign that says Inn

“Whenever the sun is shining,
I feel obligated to play outside!”
 ~ Charles M. Schultz

There are many iconic things to do in Saugatuck in summer.  These are but a few of the experiences you must experience when you visit during the summer months.


We all want an escape plan. We need to relax. To refresh. To reconnect. Sometimes to simply lounge. Yet, we want to know that we can also immerse ourselves in an adventure, an activity, some entertainment upon impulse. That’s what’s great about a Saugatuck Summer. We give you options. There are so many iconic things to do, places to go, experiences to have when you escape to Saugatuck. Come and have a Saugatuck moment with us at Wickwood … reserve your Saugatuck Summer Getaway today!

Oval Beach In Saugatuck Is One Of The Best Beaches In The World

Recently rated as one of the best beaches in the entire world by Conde’ Nast Traveler, Oval Beach continues bringing in the awards. It’s one of National Geographic Traveler’s top two freshwater beaches in the U.S., one of MTV’s top five beaches in America, as well as #1 Midwest beach by the Chicago Tribune. The ecosystem itself is one the rarest in the world making it definitely worth a visit.

Across the channel you’ll find the Saugatuck Dunes State Park. With its miles of hiking trails, pristine beaches, and ideal bird watching conditions, this park is at the top of the list of things to see and do in the area. Nature enthusiasts will relish in the opportunity to enjoy the sandy causeways and maybe even thrill in observing an endangered plant species.

Just south of Saugatuck, Douglas has its own slice of serenity. The parking is limited at Douglas Beach, but don’t let that deter you. The peace and quiet here make it an ideal spot for an afternoon swim, a place to read a book or rest your eyes, or a stunning setting to watch the sun set.

If you’re looking for even more nearby beaches to explore, try Pier Cove Park, Laketown Beach, Shore Acres Township Park, Sunset Park, or West Side County Park.

Of course, if you’re thinking of Saugatuck recreation options, you need to consider getting out on the water. When you do, why not try a cruise on The Star Of Saugatuck? This 150 passenger, authentic sternwheeler will take you on a scene cruise on the Kalamazoo River and enter majestic Lake Michigan. The lively narration will entertain you with local lore and the rich maritime history of the area. You’ll pass by historic Singapore — a lumbering town buried under Lake Michigan’s living dunes and have plenty of opportunities to capture amazing photographs.

When you’re ready for an adventure, the Saugatuck Dune Rides offer one of the most unique ways to experience the dunes along the western Michigan coast. Since 1954 these 40-minute rides provide you with an educational, fun, and exciting experience winding through some of the largest freshwater dunes in the world. You’ll learn about the fabled town of Singapore, explore nature, and create fun memories all along the way.

Another iconic mode of transportation in town is the Saugatuck Chain Ferry. Originally built in 1838 to transport horses across the Kalamazoo River, the Chain Ferry is the only hand-cranked ferry of its kind still in use in the United States. Running on a continuous 400 foot loop of chain, it will take the crew of the Diane approximately 200 cranks to get you to the other shore. You can even bring your bike or stroller along for the $1 ride. The ferry departs just steps from Wickwood Inn and delivers you to the Saugatuck Douglas Pumphouse Museum and the base of Mt. Baldhead.

Mount Baldhead Park is a stabilized sand dune that rises 220 feet above lake level. Yes, there are more than 300 stairs before you get to the top, but the climb is exhilarating and the view at the top is more than enough reward. In addition to the breathtaking panoramic views, you’ll also see a white globe on the top that looks like a giant’s golf ball. This ball is actually a former radar station of the DEW Line, built in 1964. The Distant Early Warning Line was a system of radar stations set up to detect incoming  Soviet bombers during the Cold War, and provide early warning of any sea-and-land invasion. Today, Mt. Baldhead is a local’s favorite for a good workout, a gorgeous picnic, and it is even part of an amazing annual running race, The Mt. Baldhead Challenge.

These are just a few of the iconic recreation options during a Saugatuck Summer. Click here for more information on Things To Do In Saugatuck and here to view a suggested activity itinerary for the months of July & August.

After your adventure, come back and relax over Sips and Small Plates at Six in the coolness of Wickwood or on The Gazebo or  in the Gardens at Wickwood.

Escape to Saugatuck this summer. Reserve your room or suite at Wickwood Inn today.

“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is.”
~ Albert Einstein

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