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Day Trippin': Welcome to Saugatuck!

Join us as we explore the Saugatuck/Douglas area on our second edition of Day Trippin'.

SAUGATUCK, Mich. — Ready, set, explore! It's time for the second edition of Day Trippin'.

Each month, 13 ON YOUR SIDE Photojournalist Doug Grevious and I hit the open road for a West Michigan adventure. This month we made our way to Saugatuck! 

Saugatuck is a nostalgic town that includes all things recreation and relaxation. From the award-winning oval beach to the art-filled streets, this town is nothing short of a mini-vacation. 

Lisa Mize, director of the Victors Bureau, described this town as magical. 

"Saugatuck is known for a lot of things, but basically summer fun. It's a magical community of Saugatuck and Douglas with the river and lake Michigan," she said.

Once in town, there is so much to see and do. We kick-started our day with the breathtaking view of the town. After just 302 quick steps up we reached the top of mount baldhead. Well, quick might be an exaggeration, but it was still plenty of fun! 

Mt. Baldhead is just the start of thrill-seeking adventures. You can enjoy the thrill of the Saugatuck Sand Dunes, run through their many trails, or hit the open water. 

One company even takes you back in time with their vintage boat rentals. Plus, you may just recognize a familiar face there.  

"We have vintage boats from the 50s and 60s. They are original boats from that time frame when fiberglass boats came out. We collect these boats and then convert them to electric," stated formed morning show anchor Lauren Stanton. This makes the boats easier to drive and more environmentally friendly. 

But those are not the only retro boats in the area. 

"One thing that we have that no one else in the county has is a chain fairy. It's the oldest operating chain ferry of its kind in the United States. It’s a wonderful nostalgic trip that takes you across the water for just two dollars," Mize said.

Once across the river, you can continue your trip down memory lane at Douglas’s Root Beer Barrel, a one-of-a-kind concession stand that serves hot dogs, craft root beer, and memories that will last a lifetime. 

Owner Michael White explained why this place is so much more than just a place for quick food. 

"I've met so many great people from the 50s, 60s, and 70s who used to come here. They had their first kiss here, first date here, met their husband here. Now they are bringing back their grandchildren and great-grandchildren." 

Sounds like a lot of magic can come from those root beer floats. 

The next stop on the list was downtown. Downtown Saugatuck is an art-lover and foodies dream come true, from unique items that can't be found anywhere else to countless farm-to-table restaurants. 

You know I couldn't leave town without checking out the "Lake Effect Everyone Loves," better known as The Fenn Valley Tasting Room. Here we met up with Vice President Brian Lesperance who explained all the options that were available. 

"We make a lot of wine out of premium Michigan grapes. Everything from dry white to port-style reds, to sweet wines, and fruit wines. We also make a lot of hard ciders from local Michigan apples and Michigan cherries and blueberries," stated Brian. Sounds delicious and most of their wines only cost between $12 to $30, making it both affordable and tasty. 

If sampling isn't enough, it is only a few minutes drive down the road to see those grapes transform into a tasty treat. From walks in the vineyards and nights of music in the summer to tours of the production facility in the winter, they offer a taste of Italy right here in West Michigan. 

Finally, we ended our day with a walk along Oval Beach. It's te perfect spot to spend time with family and friends or just simply sit back, relax and watch the sunset. 

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Last month's episode of Day Trippin':

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