Saugatuck’s Oval Beach
Oval Beach, in Saugatuck, Michigan, is one popular place. It has received many accolades:
• One of the Top 25 beaches in the world (Condé Naste Magazine)
• One of the two top freshwater beaches in the USA (National Geographic Traveler Magazine)
• One of the five best beaches in the United States (MTV)
But one of the best accolades that I can share is that it is my VERY favorite beach, anywhere. Yes, you can only swim for a few months each year. But those few months more than make up for the cold winter outings you’ll take (and there is nothing, nothing! like seeing the shores of Lake Michigan as icebergs).
Located on the Sunset Coast of Michigan, on Lake Michigan, Saugatuck is a vacation spot for Chicagoans, Michiganders, and travelers in the know. There is plenty do to (and excellent places to eat) in downtown Saugatuck. Grab a bit to eat at Chequers, shop the downtown, snag a hot chocolate at Uncommon Grounds, look at art at the James Brandess gallery. But for me, the main attraction is the beach. Located just south of downtown, across the river, you’ll follow a winding road past vacation homes and a summer camp. Go too far, and you’ll have to climb the hundreds of steps of Mount Baldy and run down the sand dunes to hit the beach. As you crest the forested, twisty road, you’ll be rewarded with The Lake.Yes. The Big Lake, as it is sometimes called.
Head to the north side, and you’ll find a changing area, showers, restrooms, and a small concession stand. There is plenty of parking, and a gentle slope to the beach. There will also be a lifeguard at this end, during the summer.Continued on the next page