Michigan Journals

Out on the Shores of Lake Michigan

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An August 2001 trip to Michigan by friskycelery

Uncommon Grounds Photo, Michigan, United States More Photos
Quote: Downtown Saugatuck is only a couple of blocks long, and is absolutely crammed with interesting little shops, cafes, and art galleries. And it is almost as much fun to see the innovative ways the shop owners have devised of using the limited space they have available.

Out on the Shores of Lake Michigan

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Overview

The Singapore Yacht Club Photo, Michigan, United States
Quote:
A Little History Saugatuck is the town that survived. Singapore, Michigan was the boom town at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River, where the river empties into Lake Michigan. Singapore's economy relied heavily on its sawmills, and when the city of Chicago burned, Singapore was a very busy community. But when the trees were gone, the sawmill was moved to St. Ignace and by 1898, Singapore was covered by drifting sand dunes. Today, Singapore lives on only in the name of the Singapore Yacht Club, which is located at one end of town. Walking down the yacht club's boardwalk is always an enjoyable experience. Today Sauagatuck is an artsy, funky, fun town to visit, full of fun sho...Read More

Uncommon Grounds

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Restaurant

Uncommon Grounds Photo, Michigan, United States
Quote:
I love this place!

Uncommon Grounds is a laid-back, funky place that shares a building with a psychic/massage therapist. You are just as likely to find the wealthy yacht owner here as the local high school student. And the great part is that the owner treats them both the same.

Food here is of the bagel/muffin/cookie variety, but the coffee! Oh, my! This is without question the best cappuccino I've ever had. They also sell whole bean coffee from a dozen different countries (Tanzanian Teaberry, anyone?), and teas from around the world. I make a point of stopping here when I'm in town.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 17, 2002

Loaf and Mug

Restaurant

Quote:
This is a tiny little place on the way into town. They serve outstanding sandwiches and soups, and have the most inefficient kitchen in the county. This is not a place to come when you are in a hurry. They have a pretty garden in the back, full of flowers and fresh herbs. You can sit out there in fine weather. A couple of years ago, I arranged to meet a man at the Loaf and Mug. It wasn't quite a blind date - I had met him on a trip out of the country, and thought it might be interesting to see him when we were back on our home turf. He was coming up from Valpariso, Indiana. I was coming from Kalamazoo, Michigan. We arranged to meet at 11:00 am at the Loaf and Mug. It was lat...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 17, 2002

Wally's Bar and Grill

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Restaurant

Wally's Bar and Grill Photo, Michigan, United States
Quote:
Wally’s Bar and Grill is a good choice for a simple, inexpensive lunch in downtown Saugatuck. Wally’s has a nice, outdoor eating area, with tables shaded by big umbrellas. Tables are in a fenced-off area of the sidewalk, which makes for great people- watching. Inside are a couple of TVs tuned to sports. Food here is pretty simple. Sandwiches range from US$4.75 for grilled cheese, to US$8.50 for lake perch. All sandwiches come with chips, and fries or onion rings can be substituted for just a bit more. Dinner entrees range from a half perch dinner for US$9.50 to US$22.00 for filet mignon. I had a grilled chicken sandwich, which was hot and tasty. On a hot summer day in the mid...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

The Butler Pantry

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Attraction

The Butler Pantry Photo, Michigan, United States
Quote:
The Butler Pantry is a pretty amazing place. If it belongs in your kitchen, you can find it here. High end knives, OXO utensils, mandolins, garlic presses, and more types of hot pepper sauce than any human being needs.

Even though I normally love kitchen stores, I'm always a little uneasy here. I think the owners would be much happier if they didn't have to bother with actual customers. Customers mess up their displays, and move things around on the shelves. Quel horreur!

This is definitely not the place to bring kids. There are probably more "Do Not Touch" signs per square foot in this store than in just about any store on the planet.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 17, 2002

Good Goods

Attraction

Quote:
Good Goods is one of my absolutely favorite places to browse. Part art gallery, part home furnishings, with a few high end fashions thrown in, this place has more interesting stuff than just about any place I've ever seen. Prices are reasonable, especially for art prints.

Make sure you visit the upstairs art gallery. This is one of the few places outside of Chicago where I have see William Olendorf's works for sale.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 17, 2002

Quote:
American Spoon Foods is based in Traverse City, but they have a store in Saugatuck as well. They always have samples out of their dried fruits, jams, and spreads. I'm a big fan of the Cherry Nut Mix, and if you've ever had a yen for cherry salsa you can find it here.

Since American Spoon Foods is a Traverse City based enterprise, much of their wares are cherry based. (Traverse City bills itself as the Cherry Capitol of the world.) There are other varieties of jams and salsas, but I really recommend at least trying the dried cherries.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 17, 2002