It seems as though I just came back from Napa, but in reality it was a few weeks ago. Drew and I decided to plan a short get away before I go back to work next week. We wanted to visit one of the Michigan beach towns and decided on Saugatuck. I love that place! Although, to be honest, I think I say that after I travel anywhere. I just love to travel.
We drove to Saugatuck on Sunday and returned home on Tuesday. It is the cutest little town. As far as lodging options, the town is full of B&Bs and motels. Since it was a last-minute choice, we had fewer options. We opted for the Blue Star Motel, which is in Douglas, Michigan and a few minute drive from town. It was the cutest little “boutique” motel and was also one of the cheapest option. It is definitely a no frills type place, but that is the norm in the area. The rooms were cute and a back door led to a little patio where we drank some Napa wine one evening. Sorry Michigan wineries! Don’t worry, we drank your beer.
The town itself consists of a bunch of unique shops and restaurants situated along the river and is also right off of Lake Michigan. Oval beach is supposed to be a really nice beach, although it wasn’t hot enough or sunny enough to go on the days we were there. Bummer. We spent the days and nights with leisure strolls and meals.
Since we couldn’t go to the beach, we decided to check out Holland, Michigan which is about a half hour away. We visited the Dutch village there and checked out the old windmill and dutch dancers. We also visited brewery number 2 of the trip: New Holland Brewing. Well, we visited the brew pub. The brewery only gives tours on Saturdays. All the beer that was sampled was great, as well as the nachos which were consumed. Holland was a cute town, but had some chain stores and restaurants. I prefer the unique stores and restaurants of Saugatuck, but would definitely go back to the brew pub. Drew and I also started a cute little tradition: buying a pint glass at each of the brewery/brew pubs we visit.
Here is a list of restaurants/ attractions we visited:
Blue star motel: review above. Other notes: Only 9 rooms and they all only have one bed. So, if traveling with more than two, you would need more than one room or find another option. Breakfast next door te the wayside is included in your room charge, but we went into Saugatuck both days. Free wi-fi and snack baskets (cheezits, popcorn, etc) and a fridge are available.
Saugatuck brewing: We shared a beer sampler and app and then each ordered a beer and entrée. The double baked potato app was really good. I had the Sangria chicken, which was good and the beer was pretty tasty.
Mambo pizza: Since our eating schedule was a little off, we weren’t really hungry at dinner time. So, around 9 we picked up some take out pizza and breadsticks from Mambo, which we found on Yelp. Delicious food. We ate it on our patio along with a bottle of wine.
Elbo room bistro: Breakfast right on the river. There was a lot of breakfast options. I had the ” princess” which was a poached egg, spinach and avocado. Obviously, I chose this because of the avocado. It was good, but I wouldn’t order it again. I would come back for the homemade wheat bread and homemade pineapple jam. OMG, I have been dreaming of that jam since we left! I would love to try many of the other options on the menu as well.
The Olive Mill: Olive oil and balsamic tastings! I ended up buying some basil olive oil and strawberry balsamic vinegar.
Windmill Island Gardens, Holland Michigan:
The windmill was definitely cool to see, as were the dutch dancers and the organ. But, that’s pretty much all that is there. Its fun to go visit once while visiting the area.
New Holland Brewing: We went to the pub, which is in downtown Holland. The nacho app that we ordered was sooo good! Rather than tortilla chips and nacho cheese, it consisted of pub chips and beer cheese along with bacon bits, salsa and scallions. We also ordered a beer sampler, which let us sample 6 beers. Or in our case 7, because we can’t count. Oops. But, good for us! I really liked the Bee hive, which is a “high gravity” triple beer. Although that was my favorite, I loved them all.
Wally’s: a pub/ grill in town. We had dinner here before taking the sunset cruise. The beer/ teriyaki sauce on the pork chop I ordered was sooooo good! It was equally delicious on my asparagus and mashed potato sides.
Star of Saugatuck cruise: On Monday, the sun actually peeked out later in day, which meant we might actually see a beautiful Michigan sunset! We took a ride on the Star of Saugatuck sunset cruise, which was a relaxing way to watch the sunset. With a summer shandy in each of our hands, we were able to hear the Captain giving us some local history as well as check out the fabulous river/ lakeside sights.
Monroes: breakfast. Before heading out-of-town, we stopped here to eat. I had an asparagus omelette, which included a whole bunch of asparagus. Score! I can’t get enough asparagus. It was a tasty omelette. But I was disappointed there was not homemade jam here. I would have also liked more pancake/french toast options on the menu.
Mount Baldy: We climbed the 300 or so steps to check out the view of Saugatuck from atop Mount Baldy. Even though I just ran a 5k less than a week a ago, these steps almost made me pass out. Stairs are not my friend. But it was a well worth it view from the top once we made it.
Cranes Pie Pantry: We stopped here on the way home. I had my first apple cider donuts of the season, and they were delish! I also bought some bread and blueberry muffins, but haven’t tried them yet.
On the way home, we decided to stop at the other beach towns to check them out: South Haven and St. Joseph. Although they were cute, my heart belongs to Saugatuck. Who’s renting a house with us next summer?