People flock to West Michigan destinations not only for the beach but the lively and unique towns themselves. This year, Saugatuck will be hosting its own slate of exciting events to look forward to. From art fairs to live music, Saugatuck is a perfect place to make the most out of your vacation.
Starting on May 22, Art on Center will host an art Gallery/display right through downtown Saugatuck on Center Street, hence the name “Art on Center.” So if you happen to be in the area, you won’t have to look very hard to find the displays and galleries of fine art. The Galleries participating are the Button Gallery, Water Street Gallery, Mixed Media Gallery, Leben Art Gallery, Mr. Miller’s Art Emporium, and the Krista Reuter Studio. All of these galleries will provide beautiful pieces for you to admire or even purchase for the right price.
If you or anyone you’re vacationing with is into exercising before taking their dip in Lake Michigan, they might consider signing up for one of the Town Crier Races, which offers the option to run a 5K, a 10K, or a Half Marathon along Lake Michigan’s beautiful Art Coast on June 19. While there is the race on June 19, they are also offering the option to run individually between June 19 and July 4. Participants will receive a medal, a bib, and a custom race t-shirt.
While details are still TBD, Saugatuck will be holding their annual July 4 fireworks show. Check their website for more information and updates.
One of the more unique events to happen in Saugatuck is the Saugatuck Pirate Cruises which will take place on July 17 and 18. Hop aboard an old-timey ship and experience some rustic sailing in Lake Michigan.
Other events that happen regularly include the Market at Sca and Music in the Park. The Market at Sca is an outdoor market that happens every Tuesday and Friday that runs from 9 AM to 3 PM. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab ingredients for your night’s meal while supporting the local area. Music in the Park takes place every Wednesday at the Wicks Park Gazebo. Patrons are welcome to picnic in the park and enjoy the music at this peaceful event.
Planning your trip around an event is one way to make the most out of your time in Saugatuck, but even if you can’t make it for an annual event Saugatuck has plenty of recurring things to do for you and your party to enjoy.
Check out the listings and schedule your trip to Saugatuck by clicking here.
Read what precautions we’re taking to keep renters safe and units clean by clicking here.
*All dates provided are scheduled as of 4/7 and are subject to change.
Are you planning to have some fun in the sun along the beach of Lake Michigan this summer? If so, it’s always important to remember safe practices when it comes to enjoying your time in the sand or the water.
First and foremost, know your flag warnings. A green flag means the water is calm and the swimming conditions are good. Yellow flags mean you should swim with caution, especially for younger children or weaker swimmers. A lastly, swimming in the lake should be avoided if the flag is red, which means the currents are especially strong.
When it comes to swimming in Lake Michigan here are some things we recommend. Don’t use oversized “fun” floaties. The last thing you want is a party member or small child floating away on a floatable device. Additionally, if you see one of these devices floating deeper in the lake, avoid trying to retrieve them.
If you or anyone in your party is uncomfortable going into the water, the safer option is to stay in the sand. And if you do go swimming in the lake, it is safer to have someone go with you.
And lastly, if you or someone you know is struggling and needs help, they should flip onto their back and stay calm, float to conserve energy, and if are going to swim back towards the shore, they should swim to the side and then back to shore to avoid working against the current.
For boaters, it’s important to not only bring your life jackets, but they should also be worn at all times. You should avoid loading your boat with too many people, and always check the weather forecast before heading out.
While we want everyone to enjoy their vacation at Lake Michigan, it’s also important to note the proper safety precautions before going to the lake.
Check out our full list of vacation rental homes by clicking here.
Spring is quickly giving way to summer heat and bringing exciting outdoor adventures along the lakeshore. Grab your sunscreen and beach gear and get ready for a fun-filled May! Spend time on the water, explore outdoor festivals, and celebrate Memorial Day during the exciting sunny season along the Lake Michigan shoreline! Here’s a closer look at the May calendar of events and some other spring-themed activities across the West Michigan lakeshore:
Scott Club Flower Sale | South Haven
On Friday, May 14th and Saturday, 15th, visit the Scott’s Club in South Haven to purchase beautiful flowers and plants that are sure to brighten up your yard. The sale takes place on Friday, May 14th beginning at 9 am and ending at 5 pm, and reopens at 9 am Saturday, May 15th until noon. All of the proceeds from the sale will be used to maintain the historic location of the Scott Club and help aid in their various club programs.
SWMLC Team Birdathon | Benton Harbor
What could be more entertaining than grown adults waking up early to hunt down some exotic birds while also raising money for a great cause? If that sounds like a great time to you, then make sure to check out the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy’s (SWMLC) annual Birdathon on Saturday, May 15th at the Sarett Nature Center. This fun-filled event is a great way to not only learn about various bird species like yellow warblers, swamp sparrows, green herons, wood ducks and more, it’s also an excellent opportunity to get involved with a local cause. The SWMLC organization runs this annual fundraising event every year to help fund various projects throughout Southwest Michigan. This year, the funds being raised will help build a wetland boardwalk at the SWMLC preserve in Kalamazoo called Bow in the Clouds. Learn more about the event or place a donation by clicking here!
Art on Center | Downtown Douglas
Enjoy an evening of fine art during a leisurely stroll on Center Street in downtown Douglas! Browse through collections of art at Button Gallery, Water Street Gallery, Mixed Media Gallery, LebenArt Gallery, Mr. Miller’s Art Emporium, and Krista Reuter Studio on Saturday, May 22nd from 12 pm to 5 pm! Admission is free, all you need to do is drop by each gallery and enjoy!
Blessing of the Fleet | South Haven
Are you ready for a summer on the water? So is the Michigan Maritime Museum of South Haven! Join the museum and other patrons to celebrate the beginning of the 2021 summer sailing season with a blessing of Friends Good Will, Museum vessels, and other South Haven harbor boats. The blessing will take place on Friday, May 28th at 6 pm and is followed by the kick-off fish fry in the heart of South Haven’s Maritime District (Michigan Maritime Museum).
St. Joseph Farmers Market | St. Joseph
Starting on Saturday, May 29th at 9 am, the St. Joseph Farmers Market will officially open for business. Every Saturday, residents can head over to the scenic Lake Bluff Park to shop tons of local vendors, while also taking in the views of Lake Michigan. No matter what weekend you choose to attend, customers are sure to find fresh produce, homemade goods, flowers, meats and cheeses, coffee and more! Admissions is free and you can find directions to the market by clicking here!
Memorial Day Parade | Downtown Saugatuck and Douglas
Twice the parades, twice the fun! What could be better than celebrating Memorial day at the lakeshore with TWO parades? The first parade begins Monday, May 31st at 9 am in Saugatuck and will start at Culver Street, then proceed to Butler Street and finish at Village Square. If you can’t catch the first parade (or are craving more fun), you can head over to downtown Douglas on Monday, May 31st at 10 am to watch the parade again. The second parade route begins at Lake Vista SuperValu and will head down Center Street and end at Beery Field. You can learn more about both parades by clicking here!
If you’re looking for more fun activities to do across West Michigan this May, don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly calendar of events here.
Don’t want to drive back home after a long day of fun? Our vacation rentals are perfect for a short visit to the lakeshore! Check out our vacation rental website here to check available dates and book your next trip to the lakeshore!
Have you always dreamed of living near the water? Studies have shown that there are many benefits to living on or near bodies of water. From the mental benefits like increased relaxation, tranquility and peace to the physical benefits of staying active through swimming, kayaking and more, the reasons for living on or near a lake are endless.
You may not be the only one hoping to move towards the water because of all these advantages. With only so much lakefront to give away, competition to snag that lakehouse or property may be fierce. Before you start your search to live on the lake, make sure you’ve checked out these Jaqua Realtors tips for buying waterfront property:
Differentiate Between Lakeview and Lakefront
Although these two similar words may seem interchangeable, there is actually a significant difference between the two. If a property is listed as a lakefront or waterfront property, then that means that part of the property boundaries will include frontage on the body of water. Waterfront property means you would have direct access to the water, but does not necessarily guarantee you would have a dock to access a boat on the water.
On the other hand, lakeview or waterview properties only mean that the house or land is in view of the water. The house or piece of land you’re looking at could be across the street from the actual lake instead of having direct frontage to the water and again, these properties may not have their own dock or even the option to build one. Before you start your house hunt, make sure you understand the pros and cons of both types of water properties and whether or not that is a deal breaker in your search.
Pick the Right Water and Location
Not all bodies of water are the same, so consider the different types of water you could live on and how their location affects your decision. If you’re looking for a small getaway property, then you likely don’t want to travel very far from your primary residence. Depending on where you live currently, this could drastically affect what type of water you live on.
Some lakes are all-sport lakes, meaning you can participate in activities like water skiing, tubing, jet skis and others involving motor-powered boats. However, some lakes are considered non-sport lakes which means they do not allow power motors and may even limit the size of electric motors. Depending on the lake, a few non-sport lakes will even say any boat with a motor is not permitted. Paying attention to what type of lake you’re looking at will help determine whether this is your dream lakehouse or not.
Choose What Kind of Lake Life You’re Looking For
In order to pick the right type of lake or body of water you want to live on, you should have an idea of what type of lake life you’re looking for. Living on a lake is about a lot more than just real estate; it’s a whole different lifestyle.
If you’re hoping to move towards the water permanently, then you may want to consider a bigger all-sports lake to give yourself more options as time goes on. However, if you’re looking for something quieter and peaceful, a non-sport lake may be just the ticket. Most lake homes do not have a basement, so if extra storage is a necessity for your next move keep that in mind. The type of lake can also refer to whether or not the lake offers public access or if it’s a private lake. Public lakes tend to be more crowded, which could steer some buyers away while others would consider that a perk. There are a lot of factors that can affect the type of life you’re hoping to live on the lake, so make sure you’ve taken all of these into account before placing any offers.
Walk and Inspect the Property Carefully
Inspecting a home before you place an offer is always important. But performing water-specific tests that inspect elevation, water-quality, mold, corrosion, flooding, etc. is especially essential before putting a bid in on a lake house. As peaceful as the water may look, it can be absolutely brutal to the foundation of a property. To ensure that your new water home isn’t going to have major issues in the future, take care of inspections before anything else.
You should also take your time walking around the property and spending some time near the water. The view from photos may be mesmerizing, but in real life you may find more weeds, debris and other problems with the water itself. Remember, it’s easy to change the landscape of a backyard, but not so easy to make changes to the landscape of a lake.
Check for Hidden Costs and Deals
Because of all the extra amenities lake living provides, it can also lead to many added expenses. Utilities like electricity, water, sewer and other maintenance issues can really add up over time. Depending on the lake or body of water you live on, you also may have a homeowners association fee to pay. If there are problems with the lake’s cleanliness, who takes care of the clean up? If a boat dock doesn’t already exist, how much will it cost to add one and will there be zoning issues to consider? These are all questions to ask before you move forward with your transaction.
Similar to any home purchase, it’s also important to have a clear idea of your wants versus your needs. Some water properties have a lot of acreage, but not a dock. For others, they may have a dock but very little green space. Whether you have a dock, acreage, shoreline or not can greatly increase or decrease the value of a listing. Take your time considering what you really need out of your water property before you head out to search the market.
Looking For an Agent?
If you’re hoping to get closer to the Lake Michigan shoreline and need a talented agent to help you get there, reach out to one of our lakeshore agents today! Jaqua Realtors has locations in South Haven, St. Joseph and Saugatuck.
You can check out the agent roster for each location by clicking here.
Just Want to Visit the Lakeshore?
If you’re not ready to make an official move to the lake but would love to spend some time on the water, check out our vacation rentals! Jaqua Realtors Vacation Places and Rentals offer a variety of places to stay depending on size, location, amenities and more.
Check out our availability calendar and start booking your vacation on the Lake Michigan Shoreline by clicking here!
Michigan winters mean that golf is a seasonal activity. So when the weather allows it, many Michiganders will hit the links during the spring, summer, and even fall to make the most out of the available outdoor seasons. Luckily enough, South Haven is home to a handful of West Michigan’s most desirable courses.
Beeches Golf Club
Beeches Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course designed by award-winning Michigan architect W. Bruce Matthews III. Beeches offer five sets of tees which range in length from forward tees of 5,005 yards to 7,115 yards from the back tees. The front nine offers the challenge of sand traps while the back nine features water obstacles with a total of six large ponds. The club gets its name from the large number of beech trees found on the property. Golfers enjoy the majestic view of a giant beech tree framing the 18th hole.
This course, which is located just outside of South Haven (directly east of downtown), really entails the classic feel of a Michigan golf course.
HawksHead Links Golf Course is a unique 18-hole course designed by world-renowned golf architect Arthur Hill. The course ranges from 4,960 yards to 7,003 yards. Visit the restaurant after a round of golf to enjoy panoramic views and gourmet cuisine in the main dining room or relax in the pub`s old-time atmosphere. HawksHead Inn is a restored Old English Tudor Mansion dedicated to pampering their guests.
In addition to the well-maintained grounds and enjoyable course itself, HawksHead Links provides a top tier dining experience in their clubhouse for you to relax at before or after your round of golf.
The Golf Club at Harbor Shores
The award-winning Harbor Shores is a premier destination for golfers located a short distance from South Haven in Benton Harbor. The 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature design golf course has a state-of-the-art learning academy, restaurant and inn. Harbor Shores hosted the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid in 2012, 2014 and will host the Championship in 2016 and 2018.
The Harbor Shores course is perhaps the most attractive option among the courses listed. Located just a short walk from the beach, this course runs right next to the St. Joseph river and features plenty of water features providing images that will last with you long after you leave.
Of course, there’s also the Cheshire Hills Golf Course, Clearbrook Golf Club, Crestview Golf Club, and Diamond Springs Golf Course. So even if one of the courses happens to be booked for a weekend, there’s plenty of other options in the area to scratch your golfing fix.
All of our Jaqua South Haven property listings are within driving distance to any of these courses, making them the perfect hub to stay at on your next weekend golf trip.
As Michigan begins to revert to its beautiful spring and summer weather, South Haven is beginning to bustle in preparation for the season’s events and incoming visitors. Scheduling a trip to the Lake Michigan Lakeshore around one of South Havens’s premier events is one of the best ways to get the most out of your trip. And whether you’re visiting in the spring, summer, or fall, South Haven has annual events that you can come back for every year.
From June 3-5, the Scott Club is holding a Rummage Sale as a major fundraiser to raise money to help maintain the Michigan Historic site. For the event, items such as clothes, household items, furniture in good condition are donated and resold, providing the chance for some incredible bargain finds. The Scott Club is also holding a flower sale on May 14 and 15, which will be open from 9 AM to 5 PM on Friday, and 9 – 12 PM on Saturday.
Later on in the summer, on July 3, South Haven will hold the 63rd Annual South Haven Art Fair. The Art Fair features work from all types of artists including inspirational paintings, beautiful ceramics and pottery, woodworking, basket weaving, fine jewelry, and so much more. This event offers some of the most unique finds to fill out your home decor with a wide array of beautiful pieces.
In August, one of South Haven’s most coveted events takes place. From August 12 to 15 they will host their National Blueberry Festival. The Blueberry Festival is one of the country’s longest-running fruit festivals, and celebrates the region’s prolific agriculture of, how they like to put it, the almighty king of berries, the BLUEBERRY! If you’re in town during the blueberry festival, you’re sure to make a lasting memory by attending this annual event.
Rounding out the season are some exciting fall events. On September 4 and 5 the All Crafts Fair will take place. The All Crafts Fair will feature over 150 vendors who will be selling all handmade crafts, jewelry, art, and of course, there will be delicious food on hand as well.
And rounding out the year is one of the more unique events that will take place. On September 9 the 10 Annual Lakeshore Harvest Ride will be held. This is an opportunity to take a scenic bicycle tour over rolling countryside along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline.
All told there are numerous events to attend all year long in South Haven, and any one of them would make for a lovely addition to any vacation trip. And of course, you can always return to rest and end your night back in any one of our cozy South Haven Vacation Rentals.
Check out the listings and schedule your trip now by clicking here.
Read what precautions we’re taking to keep renters safe and units clean by clicking here.
*All dates provided are scheduled as of 3/19 and are subject to change.
Summer is the perfect time for day trips along the lakeshore and fun activities across West Michigan. With so much to do and see, it can be easy to get carried away with booking a full schedule. But a full schedule doesn’t have to break your budget. If you’re looking for some fun-filled AND free activities to do at the Lake Michigan shoreline, we’ve got you covered!
Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Did you know that one of America’s most beloved stories was written in and inspired by Holland? That’s right! The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written by Author L. Frank Baum, who spent many summer vacations in one of our favorite Lake Michigan towns. To honor this classic American tale, you can visit the free outdoor exhibit in downtown Holland! Located across the street from Centennial Park, you’ll find beautiful bronze statues and sculptures replicating the classic characters of Dorothy, Toto, the Cowardly Lion and more!
Check Out Castle Park: One of Holland’s most hidden gems, this stunning community full of classic architecture is the perfect thing to do on a rainy day in Holland. You can explore grounds and take in views of the castle, while never leaving your vehicle. The “castle” building was built in 1876 and is now a popular tourist attraction and gathering place for local residents. In addition to the castle itself, you’ll also want to explore the Greco-Roman amphitheater.
Get In Touch with Nature: If you’re looking for more ways to spend time outdoors and connect with nature, make sure you visit the Pilgrim Haven Natural Area. This beautiful piece of land stretching 26.5 acres is open to the public and part of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy. The trails winding through wood and meadows are about one-third of a mile and are perfect for hikers of all skill levels. You can head down the path to some Lake Michigan overlooks or even access the beach.
Window Shopping at Local Market: Check out the amazing local vendors as the community gathers to enjoy the fresh and homegrown food at the Farmer’s Market in South Haven, located downtown at the Huron Street Pavilion! Mark your calendars for the next scheduled date on Thursday, August 5th from 4 pm-7 pm, perfect for a leisurely walk after spending the day at the beach!
Saugatuck Scavenger Hunt: Everyone can get in on the excitement by participating in the Saugatuck Scavenger Hunt that takes you around the town and shows you all of the cool things the city has to offer! The rules and answer key can be found at https://frommichiganwithloveblog.com/saugatuck-scavenger-hunt/!
Mt. Baldhead: Located in Mt. Baldhead Park, you will find an amazing staircase that leads you up 282 stairs all the way to the top of the Mt. Baldhead dune! With stunning views of the city of Saugatuck, Douglas, and Lake Michigan and a hiker’s path leading to Oval Beach, this is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors!
Visit Saugatuck-Douglas History Museum: In the Douglas area, you can feel free to take the family and park your car in the Mount Baldhead lot before walking across the street to visit the Saugatuck-Douglas History Museum! Unfortunately, the exhibits inside are temporarily closed due to Covid, but you can enjoy the abundance of flowers around the outside, as well as several plaques with tons of interesting historical information about the region, the old pump house and the local environment.
Check Out the Old Pump House: Built in 1904 with the Prairie-Craftman style of architecture, the Old Pump House is a must-see in Douglas! Home to the first-ever water tower and power systems, it completely changed the way of living throughout the area.
Spend the day at Beery Park: Sitting on 1.2 acres not far from Center Street is Beery Park. From basketball courts and ball fields to children’s playgrounds and flower fields, this park is the perfect spot for you and your family to spend the day!
The best time of the year is finally upon us…the summer season in Michigan! This June, spend time paddling on the water, explore outdoor carnivals/festivals and celebrate Father’s Day during a splendidly sunny summer on the Lake Michigan shoreline! Here’s a closer look at the June calendar of events and some other summer-themed activities at the lakeshore:
Flea Market | MI Flywheelers Museum, South Haven | June 11th and 12th | 8 am – 4 pm
If you’re a fan of antiques and unique treasures, you don’t want to miss the area’s largest outdoor swap meet/flea market. Taking place on Friday, June 11th and Saturday, June 12th at the Michigan Flywheelers Museum, all of the admission proceeds will act as a fundraiser for the museum. Admission is $2 for adults and free for children 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket. Get there bright and early when the gates open at 8 am so you have plenty of time to check out all 160 vendors.
To learn more details about the event, click here!
Friday Night Concert Series | John E.N. Howard Bandshell, St. Joseph | June 18th | 7 pm
Who doesn’t love a free outdoor concert right along the river? If this sounds like a night in paradise to you, then make sure to head over to the John E.N. Howard Bandshell in St. Joseph on Friday, June 18th at 7 pm to take in all the music and views. Admission is free and all are welcome!
Click here to get directions and details for the event!
Antique & Classic Boat Show | MI Maritime Museum, South Haven | June 19th |10 am – 4 pm
The perfect event for boat enthusiasts of all ages, the Michigan Maritime Museum is proud to present the 40th Antique & Classic Boat Show on Saturday, June 19th, 2021. Starting at 10 am and ending at 4 pm, those that attend can check out various kinds of small craft boats from paddle boats to power boats. For younger participants, there will be an area for toy boat building. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children (kids under the age of 3 get in free).
Check out the Michigan Maritime Museum website to learn more details by clicking here!
Music in the Park | Wicks Park, Saugatuck | June 23rd | 7 pm – 9 pm
Got nothing to do on a Wednesday night? Check out the talented bands and musicians performing at Wicks Park in Saugatuck! Every Wednesday from 7 pm to 9 pm, you can catch great local talent while also enjoying the cool evening breeze along the water. If there’s a chance for rain, the free concerts will be moved to Coral Gables.
To view this month’s lineup of performers, click here!
The Light in the Piazza | The Ghostlight Theatre, Benton Harbor | June 17th – 27th
Winning six of the eleven Tony Awards in 2005, The Light in the Piazza is a drama that follows a mother and daughter spending their summer in Italy experiencing changes that will greatly impact both of their futures. If you’d like to catch the show, you can do so by going to the Ghostlight Theatre between June 17th and June 27th. Showtimes vary depending on the day and tickets are $28 for adults. Discounted tickets are available for seniors and students.
To purchase your tickets to the show, click here!
Holland Farmers Market | 150 W. 8th St., Holland | Wednesdays & Saturdays | 8 am – 2 pm
Summer at the Lake Michigan shoreline means tons of fresh produce and other treats from the local farmer’s markets. If you’re in or near Holland, don’t forget to check out their popular farmers market that’s open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm. Featuring close to 100 vendors, you’re sure to find everything you’re looking for and more!
Check out their list of vendors and get directions to the market by clicking here!
If you’re looking for more fun activities to do across West Michigan this May, don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly calendar of events here.
Don’t want to drive back home after a long day of fun? Our vacation rentals are perfect for a short visit to the lakeshore! Check out our vacation rentals here to view available dates and book your next trip to the lakeshore!