Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life by vacationing in Saugatuck, Michigan, a charming coastal city with a tranquil atsmophere. Ride an old-fashioned paddle steamer, find unique works of art in the downtown galleries, or stroll through stunning riverside parks. In the summer, the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline provides freshwater swimming and boating; in the fall, local leaves turn the countryside into a colorful wonderland. Book a stay at one of many incredible Saugatuck vacation rentals today. Here are the most scenic places to see in Saugatuck.

1. Oval Beach

Source: Flickr/pippawilson

One of Conde Nast’s “Top 25 Beaches in the World,” Oval Beach is a popular location for vacation rentals in Saugatuck. Although there are no properties on the beach itself, you can find beautiful options along nearby Park Street. Choose a rental on the Kalamazoo River for easy boat launching and stunning views, or opt for an inland home tucked into tall pine trees. Ride your bike or walk to Oval Beach, where shimmering white sands border the cool waters of Lake Michigan.

2. Downtown Saugatuck

Source: Flickr/njenney

Experience the charm of small-town Michigan in beautiful Downtown Saugatuck. Walk past turn-of-the-century buildings, pop into quirky boutiques, or try local favorite eateries such as Borrowed Time and Grow. This neighborhood, which was once a popular art colony, is a great spot for cultural enthusiasts; it features more than 30 galleries packed with the work of local and international artists. Vacation rentals in this area tend toward apartments and condos; many finished in a cottage or nautical styles.

3. North Saugatuck

Source: Flickr/Norm Hoekstra

Ease into the laid-back Midwestern lifestyle with a vacation rental in North Saugatuck. Here, adorable cottages sit next to large homes, creating a comfortable, family-friendly vibe. The Kalamazoo River runs along the western edge of the neighborhood, providing beautiful views and convenient boat docking. After a day of playing in nearby Lake Michigan, make the short walk to the many downtown restaurants.

4. Holland Street Northeast

Source: Flickr/pippawilson

Tall, leafy trees line the northeast section of Holland Street and the surrounding lanes, making it a cool, breezy spot for a summer vacation. Mature greenery surrounds many local vacation rentals, providing privacy and a lush, natural atmosphere. Dock your boat at a water-front rental on Riverside Drive, or let your little ones run free at a home with a multi-acre yard. Take the mile-long walk into downtown Saugatuck, or drive over to Oval Beach in less than 10 minutes.

5. East Saugatuck

Source: Flickr/Brian Wolfe

Enjoy a calm, quiet atmosphere in close proximity to downtown in East Saugatuck. Tall pine trees dominate this neighborhood, creating the feeling of a peaceful wilderness. Most local vacation rentals are spacious single-family homes, making East Saugatuck a comfortable spot for families. Look at properties along Lake Street for a view of Kalamazoo Lake, or search near the Douglas Bayou for maximum privacy.

6. Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Source: Flickr/sfgamchick

Revel in the beauty of the Lake Michigan coast with a vacation rental near Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Towering sand dunes rise more than 200 feet above the bright blue water in this area, creating ample opportunities for exploring, sunbathing, and fishing. Lace up your walking shoes and hike the Beach Trail or the Livingston Trail, or simply pack a beach bag for a day on the sand. The park is relatively undeveloped, so be sure to bring snacks and sunscreen.

7. Downtown Douglas

Source: Flickr/njenney

Village charm gets a modern update in Downtown Douglas, Saugatuck’s sister city. Storybook-style brick buildings line this pedestrian-friendly area, and welcoming business owners envelope visitors and locals in a warm, cozy feeling. Look for one-of-a-kind pieces at the Saugatuck-Douglas Antique Market, or walk down to the riverfront at sunrise for picture-perfect views. Many vacation rentals by the water feature private decks or balconies, so you can watch boats float by from the comfort of home.

8. West Douglas

Source: Flickr/Caribb

Indulge in a luxurious Kalamazoo Lake vacation rental in West Douglas. This comfortable neighborhood is populated with sprawling single-family homes, many with private docks; if you’re traveling alone or as a couple, enjoy a piece of paradise with a waterfront apartment. If you’re bringing a boat, you can access Lake Michigan via the Kalamazoo River. Alternatively, take the 2-mile drive to nearby Oval Beach for swimming and sunbathing.

9. Douglas Beach Park

Source: Flickr/Rachel Kramer

Stay a short walk from Lake Michigan with a vacation rental near Douglas Beach Park. With its wooded lanes and minimal development, this neighborhood combines the best of Michigan’s forest and lakeshore scenery. Once you’re settled in, head straight for the beach park; pack a cooler and take advantage of the onsite grills, and bring your beach blanket to enjoy the sandy shoreline. Head back to the beach at sunset for colorful views and beautiful photo opportunities.

10. Lakeshore Drive

Source: Flickr/Norm Hoekstra

Walk out onto a private Lake Michigan beach with a vacation rental along Lakeshore Drive. Homes along this stretch feature the best waterfront access in the Saugatuck area, making it a great option for large groups, families, and watersports enthusiasts. If you’re visiting in the fall or winter, watch storms blowing in over the lake; in the summer, the cool water is a refreshing relief from the heat.

11. Southwest Douglas

Source: Pixabay/Unsplash

Book a quiet Michigan countryside retreat in Southwest Douglas. Here, green fields stretch between forested plots, and the calm pastoral feeling is a welcome break from everyday life. Spend your mornings exploring local fields, and walk less than a mile to Lake Michigan as the sun grows warm. To the east, Blue Star Highway hosts a variety of breweries and restaurants, and downtown Douglas and Saugatuck lie nearby when you’re in the mood to socialize.