Two of west Michigan’s most popular summer beach destinations, Saugatuck and Grand Haven offer many recreational boating and coastal tourism opportunities.

Best suited for: Vibrant coastal communities | Seasonal recreation and tourism | Diverse waterfronts



  • Sleepy resort town on the shores of Kalamazoo Lake near Lake Michigan
  • Recipient of USA Today’s “Best Coastal Small Town” designation in 2015
  • Quaint and artsy commercial district
  • Bustling recreational boating scene

Grand Haven:

  • Picturesque beach town on the Grand River and Lake Michigan estuary
  • Named one of the “Best Places in the World to Retire” by Conde Nast, “#2 Best Freshwater Beach in America” by USA Today, and “#2 Best Beach in America” and “Happiest Seaside Town in America” by Coastal Living
  • Known as “Coast Guard City USA”


Depart Amway Grand Plaza Hotel toward Saugatuck (45-minute drive; boxed lunches provided for the road).

Arrive near Sergeant Marina, Kalamazoo Lake. | 31 Butler St.

  • Boardwalk leading toward commercial district
  • History of recreational boating, contamination, and development

Experience the Saugatuck Chain Ferry | 500 Water St.

  • U.S. Coast Guard-certified hand-propelled passenger ferry crossing the Kalamazoo River; in use since 1838

Depart Saugatuck, heading north towards Grand Haven (45-minute drive).

Explore revitalized riverside commercial district | 301 N Harbor Dr.

  • Bustling shops, rental outlets, restaurants, and boardwalk
  • Grand Haven Musical Fountain and “Coast Guard City USA” sign
  • Municipal marina featuring public slips and charter boat operators

Head south along Harbor Drive toward Lake Michigan | 1001 S Harbor Dr.

  • Grand Haven State Park and Campground
  • Boardwalk and historic lighthouses (1839, 1905)

Depart Grand Haven, heading east back to Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (45-minute drive).


The Saugatuck and Grand Haven tour will be predominantly on-foot with frequent stops. Participants should bring comfortable walking shoes and a water bottle. Expect to encounter uneven sidewalks, staircases, and sandy beaches