How did the Art Coast of Michigan get its name?
Originally a lumber-focused town in the mid-1800s, Saugatuck is now a vibrant art community and world-renowned tourist destination! The Art Coast of Michigan earned its reputation as an arts enclave during the late 19th century, with many artists from around the country coming to this area for its magnificent lake views. Today Saugatuck is home to the Ox-Bow School of Art, which began in the early 20th century as a respite for students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
What makes the area special today
Voted by Conde Nast Traveler as “Top 25 Beaches in the World,” this area is all about sun, sand, beach, and water sports galore. You’ll see plenty of yachts, sailboats, and Saugatuck’s own Chain Ferry, the only remaining chain-driven ferry in the country, used since 1838.
The charming downtown area of Saugatuck offers visitors unique boutiques and art galleries for shopping, pubs, and restaurants featuring farm-to-table cuisine, and beautiful gardens. Here you’ll discover the creative culture that is the heart of Saugatuck and why the area is known as “the Art Coast of Michigan.”
The Quiet Side of “Michigans Art Coast” in Allegan & Fennville
For all those travelers who are smiling at the goat picture and who love to visit the busy tourist towns and beaches but appreciate coming home to a quieter, smaller, more intimate backdrop- we are featuring two Michigan towns with so much to offer and are only a short drive to the Art Coast of Michigan.
And featuring two quality-assured Michigan Bed and Breakfast Inns to stay at and to experience small-town America at its finest. Staying at a Michigan Bed and Breakfast has so many advantages over staying at a hotel or Airbnb, including homemade breakfasts, caring innkeepers, unique properties, and local fare that many times is included in your amenities, such as locally made goat’s soap. It’s a better way to stay!
Experience it yourself by reserving at the luxurious and grand Jade Estate in Allegan or the unique Kingsley House in Fennville.
Jade Estate in Allegan
Charm meets grandeur at Jade Estate Inn, a home that has been stopping traffic on its corner of a quiet Allegan neighborhood since 1863. Check out this previous blog to learn about its history. Guests enjoy an old-fashion town community with just a 30-minute drive to Saugatuck and Lake Michigan Beaches.
Allegan is known for its historic metal bridge and riverfront activities, including a zipline, town festivals, and great farm-to-table dining. It’s only 30 minutes to Saugatuck, Lake Michigan beaches, and Kalamazoo and 40 minutes to Grand Rapids or South Haven.
Your innkeeper at Jade Estate is quite talented in the kitchen, with guest favorites including Monkey Bread, Crepe Quiches, and Blueberry French Toast. Her favorite place to dine in Allegan is the Grill House. a restored 1836 inn in Allegan with grill-your-own steaks & seafood, plus a pub with a fireplace.
Tips and How to Live Like A Local from your innkeepers at the Jade B & B
- Canoe or kayak the Kalamazoo from the Allegan Riverwalk
- Zip over the Kalamazoo River with the Allegan Riverfront Zipline
- Enjoy a concert on the riverfront
- Walk across the lighted Allegan bridge at night
- Check out the hand-spun fibers at Baker’s Allegan Studios
- Attend the Allegan Farmer’s Market
- Go for a walk in the parks in the area
- Have homemade chocolate from Something Sweet For You
Book your stay at Jade Estate Inn in Allegan
Kingsley House Bed and Breakfast in Fennville
The Kingsley House is a historic, award-winning property with a perfect location in Fennville, Michigan, known for its hospitality and boutique vibes. Here you will find a small farming community off the beaten path in southwest Michigan with small-town vibes, wineries, and fruit farms galore. Fennville is only seven miles southeast of Saugatuck and a short drive to Holland and South Haven.
The Kingsley House has received many awards and shines for its hospitality! The innkeepers love to share local information, including their favorite places to dine, which include Salt of the Earth for farm-to-table in Fennville, Every Day People Cafe in Douglas, and Bowdie’s Steak House in Saugatuck. Innkeeper Chuck will also set you up for a wine tour.
Tips and How to Live Like a Local from your innkeepers at Kingsley House B&B
- Hike with the herd at EverGreen Lane Farm and Creamery in Fennville
- Experience wine tasting at the Fenn Valley Vineyards & Wine Cellar
- Taste award-winning farmhouse cider at Virtue Cider
- Have a meal and a piece of pie at Crane’s Pie Pantry & Winery
- Experience all the flavors at Salt of the Earth Restaurant.
- Check out the wine tasting at Modales.
- Locals recommend Root Cafe, Coffeehouse and Spirits, known for their locally sourced ingredients. It also features works by local artists.
Book your stay today at the Kingsley House in Fennville, Mi
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