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.

Explore Our Winter Wonderland

Recapture the joy and spirit of childhood while sledding under a gentle cascade of snowflakes. Explore our tranquil woods and snow-covered dunes on snowshoe or cross-country skis.

With such a variety of outdoor adventures available in Saugatuck/Douglas, you’ll find it easy to create warm winter memories that will last a lifetime.

Get ready to bundle up and feel the crunch of snow beneath your feet. Stop by Landsharks in Saugatuck to rent skis, boots, poles, or snowshoes. Then head out to Saugatuck Dunes State Park to explore miles of spectacular scenic trails that are stunning no matter what time of year. Or make your way over to the Oval Beach Trails or Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area, where you’ll breathe in the fresh cool air and marvel at the stark beauty of the wooded dunes and shoreline.

Don’t forget to bring your sled for some frosty downhill fun at Schultz Park in Douglas. For skiing and tubing enthusiasts, enjoy the charming and relaxing atmosphere of Saugatuck/Douglas as your home base and take a short hour-drive to the following ski resorts and ski areas:

And for a more relaxing yet equally spectacular outdoor adventure, let Wild West Ranch take you on a private horse-drawn sleigh ride through magical snow-covered woods.

Social Distancing – Saugatuck/Douglas Style

We in Saugatuck/Douglas take pride in our community as a one-of-a-kind place for respite, and we want nothing more than for our wonderful visitors and local residents to remain healthy and happy during these challenging times. As our community continues to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing, we’re loving how locals (and visitors, too) are still enjoying our communities in a safe and healthy way. Check them out, follow along and maybe even use these ideas to plan your visit when the right time comes!

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

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Our area is home to many hiking trails that are enjoyed year-round. Although the CDC recommends social distancing and self-quarantining, there are no restrictions on getting outside and going for a brisk hike like the folks at Hidden Garden Cottages have! They chose to explore Oval Beach and the dune trails surrounding it, but you could also explore any one of our local favorites:

Experience our Culinary Scene in a New Way

Everyone has to eat – why not eat out and support local businesses? The state government has recommended that all restaurants cease offering dine-in services to help prevent the spread of the virus, but restaurants are able to offer takeout! Click here to download a list of area restaurants who offer takeout.  

While takeout food is a blessing in times like these, it can still be difficult for those who crave the company of friends. Many business owners in our tight-knit community know this well and have created “virtual happy hours,” allowing our Saugatuck/Douglas friends to catch up and stay in touch during these unusual times.

Enjoy Local Talent – Virtually!

A big part of our community and nightlife is live music. During the summer you can find live music every night in our region! During the Fall, Winter and Spring, residents love to kick back and enjoy music from local talent. Rather than not performing, our local musicians like Nathan Holley and May Erlewine, feel that the show must go on! They’re offering online concerts via outlets like Facebook live to keep our music-loving community connected.

The COVID-19 virus is serious business, but you can still be safe and healthy and still enjoy the Saugatuck/Douglas community! We at the Saugatuck/Douglas Convention & Visitors Bureau are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are committed to providing all guests with a safe and relaxing visit – click here for our official statement regarding the virus, which is updated frequently for accuracy.

Valentine’s Weekend in Saugatuck/Douglas

Romance is everywhere in Saugatuck/Douglas year-round, but especially so during Valentine’s Day. Lovebirds have made the Art Coast of Michigan their destination for honeymoonsanniversary trips and romantic getaways for years; in fact, we’ve been dubbed one of the five best mini-moon spots in the state of Michigan!

The town’s trendy art galleries, romantic lodging options, acclaimed dining and unique shopping – nestled along the Lake Michigan shoreline and defined by natural landmarks like the Kalamazoo River and Saugatuck Dunes State Park – create the perfect setting for outdoor enthusiasts and city-dwellers alike.

This Valentine’s Day, treat your special someone to a romantic trip to the Art Coast of Michigan, anchored by these holiday happenings.

Valentine’s Day Dinners in Saugatuck/Douglas

Say “I Love You” at the Belvedere Inn & Restaurant, February 14 & 15, 2020

Nothing says, “I love you,” like a fine dining experience at the Belvedere Inn & Restaurant; and Chef Shaun Glynn and his staff know how to create just that. Learn more

Cost: $75 per adult. Reservations Required

Valentine’s Dinner on the Italian Coast at Coast 236, February 14, 2020

Enjoy an Italian-inspired, three course l prix fixe menu at coastal inspired restaurant, Coast 236 in downtown Saugatuck.

Cost: $48 per adult. Reservations Requested

Valentine’s Dinner at The Loft at Borrowed Time, February 14, 2020

Enjoy an intimate 3-course dining experience with a birds-eye view of the restaurant from Borrowed Time’s loft.

Cost: $35 per adult. Reservations Requested

Winter Dinner in Eastern Europe at GROW, February 14, 15 & 16, 2020

Escape to Eastern Europe without the plane ticket at this pop-up dinner at GROW in Downtown Saugatuck featuring five courses, five bubbles and five toasts. Learn More

Cost: $75 per adult. Reservations Required

Valentine’s Day Dessert Plate & Coffee Pairing at Uncommon Coffee Roasters, February 14, 2020

After dinner out, enjoy a special Valentine’s Dessert for two, featuring a flour-less chocolate cake for two topped with espresso ganache, fresh berries and whipped cream. This shareable plate comes with two pour-over coffees using Uncommon’s favorite Love Wins Blend.

Cost: $10 per couple

Valentine’s Weekend Wine, Cider and Beer Experiences

Vino-tines at Fenn Valley Vineyards, February 15 & 16, 2020

Enjoy sparkling and still wines, cheese and chocolate, expertly paired by the staff at Fenn Valley Vineyards. Guests also receive a souvenir sparkling wine flute, chocolates and a rose for your valentine. Learn More

Cost $50 per couple

Galentine’s Day Beer Pairing, February 13, 2020

This event is part education, part decadence. Learn from instructor, Kim Collins, about pairing and Guardian beer. Three cheeses and three chocolates paired with six unique beers. Kim Collins is a Certified Cicerone, owner and head brewer of Guardian Brewing Company. Learn More

Cost: $25 per adult

Brew Your Own Beer at Saugatuck Brewing Company (by appointment only)

Base fee includes your personal instruction, brewing equipment and base ingredients up to (71) twenty-two-ounce bottles of your crafted brew. You may design your own label for an additional cost of $35 (must include government warning). Price includes beer sampling as well. Learn More

Cost: $275-$300 per couple

5th Annual Wassail at Virtue Cider, February 15, 2020. Noon – 8 p.m.

Head to Virtue Cider for horse-drawn sleigh rides, live ice sculpting, snowshoe tours, cider, traditional English fare, live music and a processional through the apple orchards to bless the trees for the coming harvest. Learn More

Cost: Entrance is free. Food, cider, sleigh rides and Chicago bus shuttle sold separately.

Make it a Weekend: Other Happenings and Activities During Valentine’s weekend

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound, February 13, 2020

Screening at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts at 7 PM. Directed by veteran Hollywood sound editor Midge Costin, the film reveals the hidden power of sound in cinema, introduces us to the unsung heroes who create it, and features insights from legendary directors with whom they collaborate. Learn More

Cost: $12 per adult

Winter Gallery Stroll, February 15, 2020

Get away with your special someone for the evening and tour area art galleries, each open with specials and entertainment. Learn More

Cost: Free!

Joshua Davis Performs Live at Salt of the Earth, February 16, 2020

Come see singer/songwriter extraordinaire, Joshua Davis perform at Salt of the Earth in Fennville on Sunday, February 16. Enjoy a delicious, special Valentine’s Weekend dinner and drink menu during the show. Learn More

Cost: $20 for concert tickets in advance, $25 day of. Dinner and drinks sold separately. Reservations requested.

Book Your Valentine’s Getaway in Saugatuck/Douglas Today!

From romantic Bed and Breakfasts to sleek boutique hotels and everything in between, there’s a place for everyone in Saugatuck/Douglas. Click here for special Valentine’s weekend deals and rates! Learn More.