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
- 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