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There are over 140 gay-owned and gay-friendly shops and restaurants in Saugatuck; here are a few of our favorite destinations.



Ok, so Oval Beach isn’t exactly a shop or restaurant, but its shoreline is what earned Saugatuck the nickname “Provincetown of the Midwest.” You can’t visit Michigan without taking in the stunning, unspoiled sand dunes and harbor. And it’s the best gay beach for sunbathing and socializing. Conde Naste Magazine named Oval Beach one of the Top 25 Beaches in the World, and OutTraveler rated in the fourth best Inland Gay Beach in the country.


From the moment this resort’s doors opened in 1981 (back when it was named The Douglas Dunes), this was a place that welcomed everyone, regardless of gender or sexuality. In 1999, three friends –– Danny Esterline, Greg Trzybinski, and Mike Jones –– decided to make it one of the largest LGBTQAI+ resorts in the entire United States. Come and partake in one of their legendary Sunday Tea dances with live djs, enjoy the Splash Pool Bar and Vinyl Lounge game room, and meet some of the most talented LGBT performers alive. #dunesresort


Called the “art coast of Michigan,” the Saugatuck/Douglas area is known for their world-class art galleries, artist studios, and museums, as well as their summer theater and the Ox-Bow school of art. Here are a few places you can’t miss:

  • The world-renowned Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist’s Residencies offers a wide range of opportunities for artist and art-lovers, no matter what stage of career or enthusiasm. Come enjoy the Friday Night Open Studios, summer concerts, culinary tastings, and if you’re around at Halloween, don’t miss Ox-Bow Goes to Hell.
  • With over 1500 works of fine art on display, Peter Galleries is one of the largest, oldest art galleries in the area. Enjoy a glass of wine while you make the rounds––there’s even handmade chocolates and artisan cheeses to sample.
  • ROAN & BLACK is probably our favorite contemporary art gallery in west Michigan. It represents both emerging and established artists & sculptors from across the country, and it never fails to disappoint.


There are gobs of great restaurants in the Saugatuck area, but here are a few of our favorite gay-owned and gay-friendly spaces:

  • Everyday People Cafe has an innovative menu that matches fresh, locally-farmed ingredients with wine pairings. The restaurant has a casual, upbeat atmosphere and, happily, affordable prices. In the summer, check out the wine garden.
  • The Farmhouse Deli and Pantry is a great place to grab to-go lunches for the beach or before setting off on a dune hike. Everything is made from scratch and locally sourced, including soup, sandwiches, deli salads, artisan cheeses, house-prepared deli meats, fresh baked goods, and small batch ice cream. They also have a juice and coffee bar.
  • Saugatuck Brewing Co. has live music every Saturday night, but go any time for the 15+ craft beers on tap. You can even brew your own batch of beer.
  • Woosah Inspired by nature, made for humans. Woosahis a naturally inspired art and apparel brand with locations in Douglas and Grand Rapids, MI. We make limited edition goods, gear and art from the woodblock graphics of our artist and founder, Rae Lang. We also have a coffee shop, Outside Coffee Co, connected to our stores where our community can gather, connect, relax, get some work done… you get the idea.”


If you want to get out on the water, why not do it in style, amiright? These vintage boats have been retro-fitted with electric power and modern comforts, so if feels like driving a golf cart through water. You can rent them by the hour or the day, with a partner or a whole group of friends. It’s fun. I promise!


Enjoy one of the best LGBTQAI-friendly small towns in America when you visit the Saugatuck/Douglas area! And if you’re looking for a more luxurious, private stay than you’ll find at The Dunes Resort, I couldn’t be happier to welcome you to one of the Lakewood Lux properties! Check out the Treetops, Lakeshore Woods Lodge, and A-Frame of Saugatuck and find the perfect space for your next dream vacation.