The Best Michigan Beaches With Hiking, Views And Sunsets In Saugatuck
“If there’s a heaven for me, I’m sure it has a beach attached to it.” ~ Jimmy Buffet
The wind is gently blowing, the days are getting longer and Saugatuck beaches are a perfect destination to remember the best respite for a long, cold winter is a sunny spring day.
Oval Beach is the most popular destination. It’s so nice to see folks out walking, running, even sitting on this wonderful stretch of beach just west of the heart of Saugatuck village. While the coast has its own stark beauty during the winter, seeing people out and about is always fun. Just spend a few minutes here and you’ll understand why the memories made at the shore are understandably treasured. Young couples, extended families and retirees are seen interacting with each other, embracing the simplicity and beauty found along this beach.
As the sun sets people languish, watching the last colorful rays brighten the sky before turning homeward, ready to enjoy a peaceful evening.
Just south of Oval Beach is Douglas Beach, a favorite among locals and tucked into a residential area. The springtime quiet found here lets you feel as if you’ve entered a magical world free of hustle and bustle, where the passing of time is only recorded by the rhythmic lapping of waves along the shore. There is plenty of room to roam, reflect and rejoice at experiencing such a special destination.
North of town is Saugatuck Dunes State Park. It’s easy to see why this 1,000-acre park once housed a seminary for the Augustinian Order. The park includes 2.5 pristine miles of coastal access, a segmented 300-acre natural area with coastal dunes that rise over 200 feet and is home to three endangered species. This is a perfect destination for hikers, birdwatchers and nature lovers.
Whichever beach (or beaches if you’re lucky enough to have the time!) you visit, the Wickwood Inn is just a short distance away, ready to welcome you from your outdoor springtime adventure in Saugatuck.
“A simple life is good with me. I don’t need a whole lot. For me, a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, barefoot on a beach and I’m happy.” ~ Yanni
If you go:
OVAL BEACH: Popular for all ages, from avid beachgoers laden with chairs and coolers to tourists capturing a glimpse of Lake Michigan. Located at Perryman Street and Oval Beach Drive. Parking, concessions, handicapped access, playground, restrooms. $8/day. (Insider tip: You can take the Chain Ferry from 528 Water Street and walk .6 mile to the beach)
DOUGLAS BEACH: The locals’ beach – located off Center Street in Douglas with small, free parking area. Public restrooms. There are benches along the 104 steps down to the lake and spectacular views, especially at sunset. (Insider tip: Depending on water levels the beach can sometimes be narrow.)
SAUGATUCK DUNES STATE PARK: The go-to beach for nature lovers, with 13 miles of beach trails ranging from 2.5 to 5.5 miles. Extensive birdwatching and picnic tables. (Insider tip: reserve the covered picnic shelter (269-637-2788) if you want a wonderful picnic experience for a large group.) $9/day non-resident vehicle permit required for park entrance.