Summers in Saugatuck

Saugatuck, Michigan. A place that is just as difficult to pronounce as it is to spell! But the frustrations with this piece of paradise end there. I was first introduced to Saugatuck (Saw-gu-tuck) four years ago when my then boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to tack on a weekend getaway after I finished up a work engagement in Midland, Michigan. As we drove into the charming town, I felt all my work worries immediately melt away. And as we stepped aboard our evening’s entertainment, a sunset cruise on the Star of Saugatuck, I was transported to a place that has since become synonymous in my mind with beauty, peace, community, and camaraderie. I never could have imagined all those years ago that I would now be a Michigander myself and that I would get frequently travel to the west coast haven of the mitten.

This past weekend, my husband and I traveled to the idyllic town once more with my sister, her husband, their two kiddos, and friends of ours with their little one. We managed to fit in a lot in our 3 days! We entertained the kiddos with board games, frisbee, and using our imaginations to create fantastical worlds in our rental retreat. We visited Saugatuck’s pristine Oval beach, some of us rented boats and paddled our way up and down lake Michigan’s coastline, some of us kayaked, and some of us hit up the shops and scored a new pair of pretty gold ballet flats (that particular “some of us” may have been some of me!)

Central of any of the life experiences that my sister and I co-create together, we ate! And ate well! We barbecued. A lot. We fought over Jenny’s homegrown tomatoes served with my truffle infused mozzarella and fig balsamic glaze. We created cheese board masterpieces choc-a-bloc with the most fragrant and flavorful cheeses our hearts could desire. We shared stories around the campfire whilst toasting both s’mores and cocktails!

We also sampled some of the local favorite eateries. In trips past, we have always started with a visit to the Mermaid. This waterfront bar and grill has one of the best views in town. Eating outside while watching boats float on by really sets the scene for the days of joyful relaxation to follow! I highly recommend the coconut shrimp appetizer for all you merpeople!

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Another favorite for the water view is The BARge secretly nestled behind the Ship N Shore hotel. This dual-level bar / restaurant offers delicious eats and even more delicious drinks!

And speaking of drinks, for those of you that enjoy beverages of the more caffeinated persuasion, be sure to check out my absolute favorite coffee shop in Saugatuck, Uncommon Coffee Roasters. This small batch speciality coffee roaster has been a staple in the heart of downtown since its inception in 1994 and it's a must-visit for your sunshine Saturday or lazy Sunday morning brew!

Saugatuck is a true gem on Michigan's west coast and somewhere I hope to continue making memories for many years to come. Saugatuck is emblematic for me of memorable meals, meaningful community, rejuvenating romance, and complete and total relaxation -- all weaved together in the fabric of this special place.

Now it’s your turn to reflect some memorable meals outside of your everyday environment with this week’s P.O.P.sheet (Pause. On. Purpose). Enjoy!