SAUGATUCK DOUGLAS - MICHIGAN'S WEST COAST PRIDE

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Tucked between soaring sand dunes and the glorious Kalamazoo River, Saugatuck-Douglas showers the spoils of resort-life on locals and visitors alike. With its beautiful beaches and eclectic cuisine and nightlife, the area’s relaxed atmosphere has charmed gays and lesbians for nearly a century. Whether hosting the club kids or the over 60 crowd, Saugatuck-Douglas proudly offers something for everyone.

Once a thriving lumber town, Saugatuck-Douglas became a popular tourist destination in the early 1800s. By 1870, Chicago and St. Louis natives commonly traveled to the Saugatuck-Douglas lakeshore to escape the summer heat, but the area’s true turning point came in 1910, when artists from the Chicago Art Institute established the Summer School of Painting on the Ox-Bow Lagoon. Oxbow encouraged a gay presence in Saugatuck-Douglas and over time, the community flourished as a gay safe haven. In fact, tourists have warmly nicknamed Saugatuck the “Fire Island of the Midwest.”

After forging a reputation as a gay-friendly weekend retreat, Saugatuck-Douglas emerged as a pillar of the greater Midwest gay community. Many who once called Saugatuck-Douglas a home away from home became full-time investors in the town’s success. As they fell deeper in love with their surroundings, the weekend warriors purchased and renovated homes and businesses. What were once abandoned storefronts and dilapidated cottages gradually became quaint bed and breakfast establishments and storefronts. Saugatuck-Douglas now features more than 30 art galleries and a local calendar loaded with music, art and film festivals. Currently, more than 30 percent of Saugatuck-Douglas’ impressive restaurants, hotels and shops are gay owned and/or operated.

The Saugatuck-Douglas dining circuit bridges the gap between top-shelf taste and low-brow attitude. American, French, English and Italian delicacies are available in abundance, as are the prerequisite burgers and ice cream demanded by most travelers.

Saugatuck-Douglas’ clothing, gift and antique shops run the gamut from classic to contemporary.

Tourists also enjoy many options when it comes time to rest their weary heads. Saugatuck-Douglas motels, resorts, cottages, suites and Bed & Breakfast inns are suited to every taste and budget.

For art enthusiasts, the area boasts more than 38 galleries and an ever growing Film Festival every June. The Mason Street Warehouse professional theater company in the Saugatuck Center for the Arts presents "uptown theater in downtown Saugatuck" every June - October.

Although business and tourism thrive year-round in Saugatuck-Douglas, things really heat up between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Swimmers and sunbathers soak up the scene on infamous Oval Beach. MTV once touted Oval Beach as one of the nation’s five best beaches, and Conde Nast Traveler rated it one of the world’s 25 best shorelines.

Saugatuck-Douglas has plenty of physical, outdoor diversions for the young and restless as well. Canoeing, jet-skiing and horseback riding can be arranged from several locales, and premier hiking awaits at Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Allegan State Park and picturesque Fenn Valley vineyard (269/561-2396).

When travelers tire of the sand in their suit, romantic Lake Michigan is on hand to conjure another stunning sunset each and every night.

For more information:

Felicia Fairchild, Saugatuck/Douglas Convention & Visitors Bureau
269-857-1701 or www.saugatuck.com

Mike Jones, Gay Saugatuck Douglas
616-836-2770 or www.gaysaugatuckdouglas.com

Many of the photos below can be clicked to see a larger version suitable for print.

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GOIN' ON @ THE DUNES SAUGATUCK, MICHIGAN

Summer Tea Dance 2014

Summer Tea Dance 2014 - May 2014

TEA DANCE EVERY SUNDAY!
Beginning Sunday May 25!
PLUS Monday May 26,
Friday July 4, Monday September 1


September 2014

September 2014 - August 2014

Karaoke Every Friday
DJ Every Friday & Saturday
Tea Dance Every Sunday!


MML 2014

MML 2014 - August 2014

Mr. Michigan Leather 2014


Fall Womens' Weekend

Fall Womens' Weekend - June 2014

Fall Womens' Weekend

Friday 9/26
Suzanne Westenhoefer
DJ Monica Parker

Saturday 9/27
DJ Monica Parker
Go/Go Girls
Cabaret:  Sean Wiggins

Sunday 9/28
Sports Jersey Tea
DJ Doug R


TG 2014

TG 2014 - February 2014

TG Weekend October 3-5


colorfest 2014

colorfest 2014 - September 2014

Colorfest Weeknd
 

10/09  Karaoke

10/10 DJ Doug & Men of Manwatch

10/11  DJ Doug & Hannaniah Whitley in the Cabaret

10/12 Pervert Tea (Summer's Last Tea Dance, DJ Doug R 4-9pm


Make A Wish 2014

Make A Wish 2014 - September 2014

Make A Wish Weekend

9/16 Karaoke

9/17 DJ BearMan

9/18 Make A Wish Benefit Show 10pm

9/19 Return of Bingolicious 4-7pm


Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014 - September 2014

Halloween Weekend
10/23 Karaoke
10/24 Scavenger Hunt 6pm
10/25 Halloween Adult Parade
Downtown Douglas 10pm
Costumer Party & Karaoke
Best Costume, Best Group, Best Drag
At the Dunes Resort Immediately Following
10/26 Bingo 4-7pm