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Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

chicago, IL
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196 posts
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Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

hi! I live in Chicago and have been to Michigan beaches just a handful of times. Went to New Buffalo and South Haven but didnt get as far to Saugatuck. I would like to plan a 4-5 day vacation for this summer. I have a 6 month old and would love something on the beach if possible because with naps, we'll be coming/going every few hours. Why aren't there any hotels on the beaches in sw michigan? I can only find rentals and its sooo hard to know if they truly are "walking distance" to the beach. Plus, I'm a little picky and I really want something very clean and nice. Should I be looking in Saugatuck or South Haven with a Saugatuck day trip? Any suggestions of condos/cottages that are truly on the beach/great locations? I've been on vbro for days now and searching trip advisor and am overwhelmed! thanks in advance!

Saugatuck, MI
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for Saugatuck
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1. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

In Saugatuck, if the beach is your Number 1 priority, you will need to find a rental property near Lakeshore Drive, probably in Douglas, near Douglas Beach. Please know you will have to drive to everything else (dining, shopping etc). Try a local company like Lakeshore Lodging or Shoreline Realty, they specialize in vacation rentals. Some properties may have private beach access.

chicago, IL
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2. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

Thank you, that is SO helpful! i saw several properties on lakeshore on vbro. Now I at least know what I am looking for! Would you recommend Saugatuck over South Haven? I have only been to South Haven and it was great but I like to try new places, too...

Saugatuck, MI
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for Saugatuck
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3. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

That's difficult to answer. I think South Haven is more family oriented, their beach and downtown are connected. In Saugatuck, the beach & downtown are seperate. I think the dining & shopping are better in Saugatuck.

Indy
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4. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

I have stayed in both Saugatuck and South Haven several times. For family fun, I would choose South Haven only because my kids loved the beaches there. I personally like Saugatuck better and started planning annual trips there with girlfriends. I love the shops in Saugatuck. We have also stayed on the Douglas side which is where the beach is. It is a beautiful area. One word of warning... to get to the beach, you may have to walk down many stairs. This could be difficult with a small child. Oval beach doesn't have stairs that I recall and the dunes there are great!

Arlington, MA
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5. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

My husband and I road tripped from Boston to SW Michigan last summer and spent a couple of days in Saugatuck. It was our favorite part of the trip!

We didn't stay in a rental, since we where there for such a short time, but we did stay right on the beach at the Lakeshore Resort. It's a really nice place, not upscale, but beautifully kept and reasonably priced. And the beach is right there.

You can check out our full trip report here: townsandtrails.com/michigan-road-trip-full-t… Day 2 and 3 are specifically about Saugatuck. Have fun!

midwest
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6. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

Have you had any luck finding anything? I'm in the same boat as you - your message might as well have been mine. Except my children are a little older, but we still want to be right on the beach so we don't have to drag everything there and back several times a day. I was looking at the Lakeshore Resort, but read somewhere it doesn't allow children!! Is that right? Please let me know what you settle on and when you go, how you like it. We're going in August.

Good luck!

Michigan
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for Saint Joseph
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7. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

Lakeshore resort near Saugatuk is for adults and familes with kids 13 and older. Here is the link: www.lakeshoreresortsaugatuck.com/index.htm

It takes a little looking on the site to get that info.

Even there you would have to carry your beach stuff across the road and down a flight of stairs to the beach. It does have a great location on the bluff above the lake for watching the sunsets.

Ever consider St Joseph??? Great beaches, lighthouse, interactive fountain, cute town, rental houses near the beach and 2 hotels on the bluff in the dowtown area.

Grand Rapids mi
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for South Haven
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8. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

i have been to both towns very often (live about an hour away from each). we vacation in South haven, and make day trips to Saugatuck. South Haven is the way to go, especially with your need to stay on the beach. Lots of great rentals on the beach. check either VRBO.com or the local website www.southhaven.org for accomodations

We love both towns. don't forget a trip report when you get done!

Michigan
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9. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

I am a fan of Saugatuck. Their are some great family friendly restaurants. I will say that the Butler is not one of them, just an fyi. I love Oval Beach. It is beautiful! I would say that the closest you will get to Oval Beach Is called the Lakeshore I think. Make sure you check out Coral Gables Il Forno for lunch or dinner. We had the best service ever there! It is very kid friendly and has a great view of the river. I also like Phil's, but they are a bit more expensive.

10. Re: Need help planning a Southwest Mi vacation

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