2024 Explorers Guide to Discovering the Best of Allegan, MI


a picture taken of downtown Allegan with shops and awnings
Downtown Allegan,

Explore the Hidden Gems of Allegan

with our Expert Recommendations

Are you a traveler who loves to experience old-fashioned communities, quaint shops, and farmers’ markets surrounded by gorgeous vistas of the countryside?  You’ll find this and so much more in Michigan’s southwest town of Allegan. At the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association, we have connections, and why we have created this Comprehensive Guide to the Best Things to Do, Places to Dine, Shopping, Activities, and Accommodations in Allegan, MI.  We love talking to our innkeepers to learn the very best places to dine, explore, and shop. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway to Southwest Michigan that’s close to the tourist destinations of Saugatuck, Holland, and Grand Rapids, Allegan is the perfect choice!

Entrance to Crane's Orchard
Apple picking at Crane’s Orchard in Fennville- next town over

What we like about Allegan

The city is in the midst of farm country with flower farms, wineries, apple orchards, and large farms that support local restaurants. These scenic views make perfect day trips to Lake Michigan beaches, the Art Coast of Saugatuck, and the fun festivals and events in Holland.  If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway that’s close to tourist destinations, Allegan is the perfect choice! Check out this previous article that talks about the Quiet Side of the Art Coast of Michigan. 

Want to learn something unique about Allegan? It’s in a town previously frequented by Al Capone to hide from the authorities and to have his gang get medical care at the hospital by using the river and going through the hospital’s tunnels.

Downtown Allegan hosts a variety of events that are showcased throughout the year, including live music on the Allegan Riverfront, community festivals, and food truck rallies. Larger events include the Allegan Antiques Market and the Allegan State Fair.

Allegan County Fair
Allegan County Fair in September

When to go

Allegan is a beautiful year-round destination and visitors can enjoy all that each season has to offer. Spring brings daffodils and fresh plantings. Stop by a local farm stand and taste fresh strawberries and blueberries that were just picked- you’ll be amazed at the flavors.  Summer is the most popular and could include ziplining over the Kalamazoo River, alfresco dining, and days at the beach. Michigan Bed and Breakfasts fill up every summer, so be sure to reserve your room well in advance.  Fall time is extra special too, and includes the largest country Fair in September. Experiencing fall colors and stopping by an orchard to pick your apples is a fun way to see the countryside around Allegan. November brings colder days, fewer tourists, romantic fires to relax by, and holiday shopping.

Exterior of Jade Estate Inn
Jade Estate Inn is located in a quiet neighborhood with several historic homes. You can walk to downtown Allegan.

Where to stay

If you’re looking for a luxurious and relaxing bed and breakfast to stay in Allegan, we recommend the Jade Estate Inn. This bed and breakfast offers 5 private rooms with jetted tubs, fireplaces, elegant furnishings, and fine linens surrounded by tranquil gardens. This historic inn was built in 1863 and has been meticulously updated by the current owners. Some of their favorite features include 1863 wooden exteriors, the Bradbury & Bradbury authentic Victorian wallpaper and Victorian-era bathrooms, the Victorian fainting couches, the 12-foot pocket doors between the front parlor and the living room, the cupolas, the fireplaces, the wrap-around porch and swing, the French porch on the Carriage House for Zoe guests to enjoy, the picturesque grounds, the Weeping Norway Spruce tree near the front entrance, the hammock, the gazebo, and the outdoor fire pit table.  If you want to learn more about the inn’s history and other MBBA historic inns, check out this article. Other popular bed and breakfast options in the area include Castle in the Country Bed & Breakfast Inn and Kingsley House B&B.

Where to eat

Allegan and Area offers a variety of dining options to suit every taste and budget. Here are some of the Jade Estate owners’ favorites that are close by:

For Early Drinks before Dinner:

Higher end:

Moderate Price:


  • Vitale’s (serve pizza, including cauliflower crusted and flavored crusting, bruschetta, cannoli’s – Allegan)

Other options within 45 minutes.

Early drinks: Lumber Baron Bar (Grand Rapids, high-end beer, whiskey, and fireplace), IDC (has a secret entry door like a speakeasy, outdoors – Grand Rapids) Higher-end (all in Grand Rapids): The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, Wolfgang’s Restaurant, Sanchez’s (Tapas), Tupelo Honey (Louisianan Southern Cuisine), Monsoon (Vietnamese – Grand Rapids), Moderate: Chez Olga (Haitian cuisine – Grand Rapids), Gaslight Kitchen Asian Cuisine (East Grand Rapids), HopCat (unique local MI American fare – Grand Rapids), Olive’s (eclectic menu – East Grand Rapids) Fun places: Mojo’s Dueling Bar & Piano Restaurant (Grand Rapids), The BOB (Grand Rapids), Max’s South Seas Hideaway After-drinks/Dessert Drinks – Ding Tea (Tawianese Boba drinks – Grand Rapids)

Grand dark wood canopy bed at the Jade Estate iwth a whirlpool on thew side
Emerald Guest Room at Jade Estate

Experience Allegan like a local 

To experience Allegan like a local, we asked the innkeepers at Jade Estate Inn for their favorite things to do in Allegan which are highlighted below:

Best things to do:

  • Allegan Antiques Market: This market is a great place to find unique and vintage items. The vendors are friendly and knowledgeable.
  • Wild West Ranch: This ranch offers horseback riding tours and equestrian trails. There are many varieties of horses and beautiful colors in various sizes. They also do romantic sleigh rides through the woods during wintertime.
  • Lake Allegan:  It’s special and has a picturesque drive to the park.

Best Cultural Attractions:

  • Top Broadway shows in Grand Rapids Devos Center
  • Grand Rapids Ballet
  • Dutch culture is prominent in West MI – Tulip Festival (in May), Windmill Island Gardens, Nelis’ Dutch Village Museums
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens Outdoor Summer concert series, immersive Butterfly experience in May
  • Gerald R. Ford Museum Grand Rapids is home to President Ford; this museum has an immersive replica of the Oval Office as it was in his day and the Cabinet Room
  •  Grand Rapids Museum Has a really neat walk-through replica of downtown in the 1800s
  • John Ball Zoo
  • The ArtPrize: An international art contest that is displayed in various locations including restaurants, parks, and public spaces throughout Grand Rapids in September. The public can vote on their favorite art piece and then a judge panel makes the final determination of the top 3.

Best shopping:

  • Hathaway Cottage & Gifts: Allegan- A local boutique that carries Brighton jewelry and handbags, Thymes lotions, fragrances, and home line products (Nia, the innkeeper/owner at Jade owner “loves the Thymes Magnolia Willow countertop spray..  It smells AMAZING and WORKS!!!”), home decor, accessories, Willow Tree sculptures, apparel, baby/kids items, and drinkware!
  • Allegan Antiques Market: Allegan- Open the last Sunday of every month, May to September. This market is a great place to find unique and vintage items.
  • Twin Flame Lavender Farm: Allegan- Offers a variety of lavender products.
  • Something Sweet: Allegan- This store offers a great selection of chocolates, candies, and other small gifts.

Best activities:

  • Bittersweet Ski Resort: This resort offers skiing and snowboarding. It’s a great place to enjoy winter sports.
  • Allegan County Historical Society: This museum offers a variety of exhibits and all items in it are from the immediate area. The docent was knowledgeable and friendly.
  • Summer Swimming: Lake Allegan, known for its clear water and nice sand, and Littlejohn Park Lake with 113 acres of wooded, natural public land with a pretty swimming breach, grills, a picnic table, a nature trail, and ADA accessible walkway.

Wraparound porch at Jade Estate Inn

    Wraparound porch at Jade Estate Inn

Best place to stay

Imagine having a homemade breakfast served to you on this beautiful porch. Life goes at a much slower pace in Allegan and the Jade Estate Inn is a perfect place to call home during your Allegan getaway. Stroll to the local farmer’s market or around the neighborhood to enjoy the 1800s architecture of other homes and buildings, including the Carnegie Library. Spend the day apple picking or on a beach in Saugatuck- options are endless and your innkeeper is available to help you with your Allegan Itinerary.

The Jade Estate Inn is quality-assured and inspected by the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association for your peace of mind to know that all the details are top-notch. The Best of Allegan is at your fingertips. Make your reservations today at the Jade Estate Inn and the rest of the details will fall in place.