How is everyone’s week going? It’s been a busy one getting back into the swing of things after our trip to Michigan but the perfect fall weather has been helping. I tried to save all of your messages while we were in Saugatuck so I could answer everything in my recap but overall impressions, I was blown away.
We lived in Chicago for almost 10 years and had explored a little bit of Michigan but never this perfect little town and now I’m kicking myself that we didn’t spend more time there. It’s a quick 2 hour trip from Chicago and 5 hours from Louisville making it the perfect weekend getaway and I left telling Trevor I wanted to get a lake house there 🙂
I know several of you said you were interested in making a trip there and I honestly recommend it for everyone. I think it’s a great family friendly destination with everything in close proximity making it easy to navigate. If you travel with children, you know how crucial that is! There is also an endless supply of kid-friendly activities and restaurants. The people are all incredibly nice which also makes getting out and about with kids a treat! It’s not an area that feels stuffy or too crowded to enjoy with a group of rambunctious children. While I think the culinary scene is spectacular there are also so many easy spots to walk into and grab a bite without a reservation which is life changing with big groups.
I also met so many women on girls trips which we all said was our next visit! There are several quaint cottages and inn’s along the water and downtown and the weather this time of year with the leaves changing is truly something out of a movie.
I wanted to highlight a few of the things we did and loved and encourage you all to leave your favorites in the comments so we can all reference back!
Where to Stay:
We opted for a rental since there were so many of us and we wanted to be together! Being on the lake even when it wasn’t necessarily ‘beach weather’ was so incredibly peaceful. The trees were majestic and taking walks outside with the kids everyday was so nice. It’s also great to have your own kitchen and play space when traveling with kids which is why we ultimately chose a rental!
What to Do:
There are honestly so many options so I am going to share what we did and a few of your most submitted recommendations as well!
Crane’s Orchard U-Pick and Corn Maze: This was first on our list Saturday morning but the weather had other ideas so we decided to pivot and stop by the Crane’s Pie Pantry & Winery across the way and it was one of my favorite things we did all weekend. We opted to hang outside since there were 10 of us and it was fall perfection. They have a huge covered patio with heating lamps and picnic table that we hung out at for hours. The kids loved running around the property and the live music was an added bonus. We all tried the dry hard cider with apple cider donuts and then actually grabbed a quick lunch there as well. It’s nice that they have a walk up window outside for ordering! After the weather calmed down we headed to the Apple Orchard and spent another couple hours there. My kids had never picked apples before so they were enthralled and I greatly appreciated that it wasn’t too crowded.
Downtown Saugatuck: After we finished up with the apples we decided to drive downtown and hang out for a few hours. The town is so charming it almost feels as if you are transported back in time. We popped into The Book Nook, the Teeny Tiny Toy Store, and ended at Uncommon Coffee Roasters for a pick me up. It’s really lovely that the downtown is all within a 10 minute walk so you can explore easily. They also have a few playgrounds within the area in case your kids need to burn off steam. Highly recommend the $3 moldable clay from the Teeny Tiny Toy Store as those got us through many meals in silence!
Oval Beach: I believe this is the largest and most popular beach in the area and was wonderful for roaming. No matter the weather my kids will want to walk along the water and look for any kind of shells.
We weren’t able to make a hike happen because we ran out of time but had a few spots on the list to check out that many of you recommended. Saugatuck State Park was the most recommended along with Mount Bald Head although many of you said to skip the last one if I was with my kids!
Antiquing: If this is your jam, they have so much to offer! I love nothing more than a good antique find and the one we were able to peek in had so many gems. Found this list in case you are curious!
A few things on my list for when we head back during a warmer month: Dune Rides, renting a boat or doing a Boat Cruise, and stopping at The Root Beer Barrel for hot dogs and floats which my kids really wanted to make happen.
Where to Eat & Drink:
Everyone arrived later on Friday night so we decided to order Back Alley Pizza Joint and I’m not exaggerating when I say this is some of the best pizza I’ve had in awhile. It was also great that it was a quick 10 minute drive to pick up and FYI there is no seating inside so it’s a great carryout option!
Isabelle’s: We stopped in here a few times and so many of you said it was one of your favorites as well. Completely female founded with the nicest staff I’ve ever met. They have so many delicious to-go options and we even stopped in to grab a few things to take home when we left. The Dilly Dip is life changing trust me.
The Southener is also on my list for the next visit as so many of you said the food was life changing!
We ended up grabbing dinner at Saugatuck Brewing Company Saturday night which was fabulous for our large group. The food was really great and they had a huge arcade area for kids to run around and play in. There is also an Antique Store next door you need to stop in!
Sunday morning we ended up grabbing an early lunch together at the The Butler and it was also wonderful for a large group! The restaurant is right on the water and the staff couldn’t have been kinder. They also have an amazing lawn outside that the kids played on before we all headed home!
Cider & Apple Cider heaven
Beach walks everyday
The kids loved the apple orchard
Second stop at Isabel’s to grab pot pie’s to take home!
The most beautiful fall sunset
Late afternoon latte and downtown charm
The perfect family weekend spot
Downtown Saugatuck is so charming
Isabel’s is a must!
The area is so picturesque!
Overall, we really did fall in love with the Saugatuck/Douglas area and think it’s spectacular in the fall. I would love to go back during the warmer months for a girl’s trip! Leave any questions or comments below and have a wonderful week!
In collaboration with Saugatuck/Douglas. Thank you for hosting us for the most wonderful weekend!