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What do suffragette Susan B. Anthony, puppeteer Burr Tillstrom,
aviator Amelia Earhart, adventurer Thor Heyerdahl, poet Carl
Sandburg, pianist Jan Paderewski, and Bozo the Clown have in
common? They all spent time in and around the Saugatuck-Douglas
area. This charming resort community has always been a haven for
the surface, these little towns seem like all the other resorts
dotting the shores of Lake Michigan. There are lovely bed &
breakfasts, a wide variety of restaurants, and lots of specialty
shops but an undercurrent of creativity give Saugatuck and
Douglas a special feel to anyone who spends more that a few
amid towering sand dunes and tucked around unspoiled beaches,
Hunt's Highlights of Michigan calls Saugatuck, "...one of
the state's jewels, a town blessed with a combination of natural
and man-made beauty." Visitors and summer residents began
coming in the 1890's and as Saugatuck-Douglas approaches a new
century, people are still discovering a vibrant and unique
is first and foremost a water town. Located along the Kalamazoo
River with Lake Kalamazoo serving as a natural harbor, numerous
marinas and charter services line the shores. Perch fishing is
some of the best in the world and there are always sail boats,
yachts, racing boats and pontoon boats moving up and down the
river and out onto Lake Michigan. Enjoy a paddle wheel boat ride
on the Star of Saugatuck and explore the scenic waterways. There
are also dinner cruises available on the City of Douglas or you
can be your own captain and rent a pontoon boat or jet ski.
unique and charming aspects of the area's water history can be
found in the Chain Ferry and Keewatin Museum. The chain ferry is
propelled by hand-cranking it along a chain that stretches
across the Kalamazoo River. There's been a ferry at this
crossing since 1838 and it's the last to survive on the Great
Lakes. The Keewatin is the last of the big steam-powered ships
that cruised the Great Lakes. Now a maritime museum, it's great
fun to explore.The
surrounding sand dunes and beaches are "naturals" for
hours of exploring. You might begin by climbing the 282 steps to
the top of Mount Baldhead. This giant sand dune was a sacred
spot for area Indian tribes who used to sacrifice a white dog at
the top each spring to rid themselves of evil winter spirits.
Later "Baldy" received a toupee of trees to stop it
from naturally moving eastward into the river. Today, you're
rewarded with a spectacular view of the area from the
observation deck on top.
summer school and numerous art galleries confirm Saugatuck and
Douglas' reputation as a Midwest art center. Oxbow is the summer
artist's colony and school for the arts that was founded bin
1910 and now operates in association with the Art Institute of
Chicago. Artists from all over the world are drawn to this
natural setting to teach and learn. There are over 20 galleries,
many of which are working studios where you can observe artists
creating in every medium imaginable.Cultural
activities continue with the Chamber Music Series during July
and August. Enjoy an evening with Elaine Richey and other staff
members from the North Carolina School of the Arts as they
perform superb chamber music. While in residence, Saugatuck for
the finest in summer stock theater, open June through September.
Saugatuck-Douglas has often been called the Bed &
Breakfast Capital of the Midwest, with over 38 in the area. Some
of the area's finest inns form Saugatuck Select Inns. This
summer, Clearbrook Golf Club and Saugatuck Select Inns have
teamed up a special golf package for those who wish to reserve
lodging and advance tee time. Among the seven inns, guests can
choose a country setting, downtown or waterfront in Saugatuck,
or near the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall, Saugatuck offers you
leisure, adventure, and culture...all in a magnificent setting.
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