At The Present Time – A 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

Support small businesses this year and check off your holiday shopping list with must-haves that don’t come from a mall. A host of specialty boutiques and independently-owned galleries and storefronts line the walkable streets of our downtowns, giving you the opportunity to find distinctive gifts in a more relaxed shopping experience.

For the…

Arts Lover

Home to over 20 galleries and artist studios, there is no shortage of places here to shop for incredible artwork. Stop by the Jeff Blandford Gallery for unique and original plates, bowls, and vases to delight everyone on your list. Check out this artist’s intriguing glow glass pieces, made from phosphorescent glass and inspired by bioluminescent species, for a one-of-a-kind gift. Be sure to visit J. Petter Galleries, the largest fine art gallery in the area, which also offers extraordinary wine-themed gift and other items that make for the perfect host/hostess gift. Extraordinary ceramics, paintings, sculptures, and other handcrafted treasures can be found at Capizzo StudioFernwood 1891Armstrong De Graaf International Fine ArtButton GalleryMixed Media Gallery, and the Water Street Gallery, just to name a few of our galleries. For a complete listing of all our galleries and studios, click here. With many galleries offering gift cards, like Amazwi Contemporary Art Gallery, you can be sure your recipient will get exactly what they want.

Smaller, but just as meaningful, art gifts can also be found throughout the area. James Brandess Studios & Gallery is offering beautiful 2022 Calendars and Hand-Deckled Cards that are suitable for framing. And don’t forget to stop by The Laffing Glass to treat yourself and everyone else to a handcrafted, whimsical glass ornament or nightlight.

If experiencing the arts in a myriad of ways is what you’re looking for, gift someone with an SCA Art Pass. Passes can be used for performances, classes, concerts, or camps hosted by the Saugatuck Center for the Arts.

For the…

Foodie & Entertainer

Please someone’s palate with Michigan-made edible gifts from Crane’s Pie PantryThe Butler Pantry, and American Spoon. A seasonal favorite to share with friends is American Spoon’s Holiday Jam, a festive limited release made from a merry blend of figs, sour cherries, tart cranberries, and holiday spices. For the freshest, most aromatic herbs, spices, and teas available from around the globe, explore all the exotic offerings from Spice & Tea Merchants. Or, for a selection of small-batch and artisan extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from all over the world, stop by The Olive Mill. Your favorite gourmand is sure to appreciate a food gift basket from Isabel’s Market + Eatery or a gift card that can be applied to their specialty food items or demonstration cooking classes.

For the craft beer connoisseurs in your life, purchase a six-pack (or two) from Saugatuck Brewing CompanyGuardian Brewing CompanyWaypost Brewing Company, and The Mitten Brewing Company. Or pick up a bottle of Michigan wine or cider from Fenn Valley WineryCrane’s WineryVirtue CiderModales, or Michigan Wine Company. And don’t forget to pick up a gift certificate from one of our many fabulous restaurants for a memorable stocking stuffer.

For the…

Fashion-Forward

For unique Saugatuck apparel and a wide selection of men’s and women’s outerwear and activewear, be sure to stop by Landsharks. Stylish men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, all imported directly from France, are featured at My French Marta boutique dedicated to cultivating affordable French style. Carefully curated West Coast-inspired styles for both men and women can be found at Coastal Society, which also features a craft cocktail lounge on-site for the ultimate shopping experience. 

For the fashionista in your life, Articles Boutique offers a selection of classic modern styles with an urban edge, while TOTU Boutique features European-inspired fashion and accessories. Other on-trend clothing and accessories can be found at Brass Anchor Co.Gina’s Boutique, and Glik’s, while more classic styles can be found at Saugatuck Traders. And for a unique accessory that also makes a sustainability statement, check out Sea Bags for a wide assortment of stylish bags made from used sails.

For the…

Jewelry Lover

Make someone’s eyes sparkle with handcrafted fine jewelry from Koorey Creations for a blend of stunning originality and timeless design that’s sure to become a family heirloom. Find unique and beautiful artisan-made jewelry in precious metals and stones at Good Goodsalong with a variety of other beautiful handmade items. Or, for Southwestern-inspired jewelry, stop by Santa Fe Trading Co.  For inspiring and unique sterling silver necklaces, earrings and rings entwined with beautiful opals and semi-precious stones, explore the Blue Wildwood Jewelry Boutique.  Handcrafted fair trade jewelry can be found at Lucia’s World Emporiumwhile other covet-worthy statement pieces await your discovery at Endora BohemianArt Glass Alcove, and Urban Found.

For the…

Home Decorator

Plant lovers will love receiving a handcrafted traditional English-style terracotta pot or a beautiful pre-potted Kokedama moss ball garden from Puddingstone. Home décor enthusiasts will appreciate eye-catching finds, both vintage and new, from Upscale Mercantile. Stop by Brackett & Company to find urban contemporary, French country, and elegant estate quality home and garden accessories and furniture for the discerning decorator. While known for their stunning array of contemporary fine art, Roan & Black also offers beautiful home furnishings and accessories that are sure to spark delight.

For an eyeful of holiday inspiration, make Kindel & Company a must-visit on your shopping excursion. Dubbed as a “Lifestyle Mercantile,” this boutique is recognized for its creative decorating ideas, which are demonstrated on full display throughout the store. Looking for some holiday décor? Stop by It Is What It Is for festive and fun home accessories along with other handmade treasures and unique gifts. And don’t forget Tuck’s of Saugatuck, a year-round Christmas shop that features stunning collectible ornaments from Old World Christmas, Christopher Radko, Kurt S. Adler, and more.

For the…

Furry Members of Your Family

Spoil your beloved pet with a new collar, chew toy, or whimsical holiday hat from Lakeshore Pet Boutique, which also offers pet-themed items for humans and their homes. Or find a new bandana, food bowl, or specialty treat at LUXE of Saugatuck.

Turn Up the Heat

Romance isn’t hard to celebrate when you’re spending time in our charming coastal towns. There’s something enchanting about the way this area makes people feel. For an unforgettable Valentine’s Day weekend getaway or romantic retreat, we invite you to discover some captivating ways to while away the winter hours together and get the sparks flying.

Friday

Find the perfect room for your romantic retreat at The Belvedere Inn or The Wickwood Inn, both charming establishments that have the ideal ambiance to make you fall in love all over again. Or cozy up together by the fireplace with a book or board game in a suite at the Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast or The Rosemont Inn. Searching for a stay with other specific amenities? Explore more lodging options here.

After check-in, make your way over to the J. Petter Wine Gallery to appreciate some fine art and purchase a bottle of wine or champagne to enjoy later in the evening. Then head downtown in Saugatuck to bask in the glow of the twinkling lights as you stroll along our streets. Stop in a boutique or two, like Good Goods and Art Glass Alcove, to shop for one-of-a-kind treasures before grabbing dinner and a nightcap.

Saturday

After breakfast, grab some coffee from Respite Cappuccino Court or Uncommon Grounds, and rent some snowshoes from Landsharks and take in a long wintry walk to admire the stunning views at the Saugatuck Natural Harbor area. The rolling landscape of shifting sand, dune grass, and wetlands is a sight to behold during the colder months. Or, if cross-country skiing sounds like more your style, head to the trails of Saugatuck Dunes State Park and explore our winter wonderland. Be sure to make a quick stop at Oval Beach and look out for some unusual weather-related phenomenon like “erupting” ice volcanoes and sculpted ice spheres along the shoreline. Even if the conditions aren’t right for you to encounter these incredible winter anomalies; the serene and spectacular view of a frosty Lake Michigan is well worth the interlude.

After your outdoor adventure, warm up by pampering yourselves with a couple’s massage at Bella Vita Spa or Redefine Med Spa. Or, for a completely different way to relax and rejuvenate together, check out the salt cave experience at Massa Body.

Known for our culinary and craft beverage scene, there are many places open in the winter that will leave your palates pleased. Borrowed TimeWick’s Park Bar & Grill, and Guardian Brewing Co. offer heated outdoor seating areas should you want to dine al fresco while other establishments, such as Pennyroyal Café & Provisions and the Saugatuck Brewing Co. have take-out options that you can enjoy in the private comfort of your room.

Sunday

Sleep in and then take your special someone to dash through the snow in a horse-drawn open sleigh. Arrange for a 40-minute, private sleigh ride through the woods with Wild West Ranch for a romantic experience you both will never forget.

Enjoy lunch at Isabel’s Market + Eatery and grab some delectable croissants or cinnamon rolls for the car ride home. And before you say good-bye to the Art Coast of Michigan, you’ll want to peruse the many galleries in Saugatuck and Douglas. The Button GalleryMixed Media GalleryJames Brandess StudiosRoan & Black, and Armstrong De Graaf International Fine Art are just some of the many galleries worthy of a leisurely stroll through.

Tantalizing Tastes of Winter

Whether you’re planning a culinary-focused getaway or stopping for a sip. Winter is the best time of year to enjoy the delicious dishes and craft beverages of the region. And the best part? You get to avoid the crowds.

There’s no better way to warm up after a long wintry day than with a Michigan-made craft beverage. If beer is what you’re craving, try out Saugatuck Brewing CompanyGuardian Brewing CompanyWaypost Brewing Co., and the Mitten Brewing Company. Hard cider fans will appreciate a visit to Virtue Cider or Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant & Winery.

To experience our region’s wine varietals, check out Crane’sModales Wines, the nearby Fenn Valley Vineyards & Winery, or its Fenn Valley Tasting Room in downtown Saugatuck. And, for award-winning, handcrafted spirits, be sure to stop by the Coppercraft Distillery Tasting Room and the New Holland Brewing Tasting Room.

A must-experience culinary destination, as noted in Condé Nast Traveler’s “20 Best Places to Go in 2020,” Saugatuck/Douglas is a foodie favorite. Tempt your taste buds with a stop at Pennyroyal Café and Provisions for fresh farm-to-table seasonal dishes or Coast 236 for approachable, coastal-inspired fare.  For casually elegant dining combined with the region’s best live music, try Wicks Park Bar & Grille or Salt of the Earth.

Look no further than Bowdie’s Chophouse for an exceptional, intimate steakhouse experience that’s big on flavor. Or, if a burger is more your style, head for The Butlerwhere the selection ranges from the classics to more gourmet.

If sampling a variety of small plates is what you’re after, your trip needs to include a visit to Borrowed Time where seasonally-driven ingredients are artfully prepared and meant to be shared. A local favorite and hidden gem is Clearbrook’s Grill Room Restaurant, who have been serving their house special walleye since 1985.