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Saugatuck, Michigan

“This is truly a hip community, located along the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan, surrounded by picturesque sand dunes. Saugatuck is the epicenter of many western Michigan coastal communities offering a very laid-back chilled atmosphere, and amongst the population you will find an immense multitude of artists and a majority of open-minded people. The downtown is very eclectic, with many far-out shops, including the popular Shakedown Street, offering a variety of Grateful Dead and hippy-related merchandise. Coffee shops are also quite abundant here. There’s also a lot of very cool natural attractions, such as Mt. Baldhead and Oval Beach. The entire scene here reeks of peace. I must say that this town is the ultimate chill-spot.”

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9 Responses to Saugatuck, Michigan

  • I own a gift shop just outside of Saugatuck. I’ve been here for years and only just recently discovered that the building I occcupie was the Pottawatawie Campground store and office. This is the place where the 1968 and 1969 Saugatuck Pop Festival were held and I never knew it. https://makemyday.free.fr/69/mc5_posters_1969_37.htm

    Since that time Saugatuck has become the Gay Capitol of the Midwest. The hippies that came here in the 60s and 70s are now the arrogant Baby Boomers who own all the Yaghts and Condominniums. All they want to here is Jimmy Buffet.

    Generations of local children have been left in the dark. Their parents were to ignorant to realize how cool Saugatuck was back in the day. The Hippie Era is widely thought of as a dark time in Saugatucks history.

    My son has a local Rock Band here in Saugatuck called the Smut Puppies. The SPs are like Hippies reincarnated. Grungy long haired Punk Rockers with big time takent. They are starting a revolution. Go to their web site and help them out https://smutpuppiesrock.com Thank You

  • the ox bow. lakeshore, good place to trip.

  • Was present at the 2nd festival remeber vivdly the Procol Haru m and Crazy World of Arthur Brown shows other shows are less vivid. Does anyone have access to a color poster for the festival?

  • Hey now Family,

    This is Boomer, and I grew up here in Saugatuck.
    My mom was down with the hippies, and so was
    my grandma. My Grandma moved here from Chicago
    in 1968. I was born in 1973. I went to church at
    the Congregational Church, and I worked at the
    Nursing Home.

    I was on Beach MTV, and won second place for my
    dragon sandcastle. I love the tourist….they are so
    happy and friendly…I love walking around town and
    talking to the vacationers….i get asked out for dinner
    and invited into many hotel rooms…HA HA HA

    There is a nude beach north of Oval Beach, and I just
    cant get enough time to pass there…..so much to do.

    If only Summer lasted 4 more months. HA HA

    Boomer Sirius

  • There is an old saying, “if you remember the 60’s, you weren’t there”.
    I’m a local that grew up through a load of era’s begining with ducktail hair to polished condo’s on the riverfront. I suppose Saugatuck has seen it all. So close to Chicago and (gulp) Detroit, it gets alot of influence from every type of character, good or bad. Some hippie flow and all that comes with it. Lots of $, Gay, Trans, Biker, some cosmo wannabe’s and a few with real bucks. Small town bordom and way too much fun in the warm months. The bars far outreach the local per capita population of around 800. You might be suprised by the crowd’s in the summer. No real camping facilities so far. Tons of expensive B&B’s and a huge gay complex in neighboring Douglas. Very cool beach w/lots of wooded hiking trails and great sunsets. My fav’s in town? Sandbar Saloon, Phil’s Saloon, Ida Red’s for eat’s, The Dunes for a throw down party (be advised that its gay) More eat’s at Elbo Room on the river. Oh, North end of Oval is pretty swishy for all you gay folks. Cop’s will NOT tolerate any hassle. Be on good behavior. Artsy Fartsy at OxBo art colony , also some nice galleries in town. You will freeze to death after November so forget this place until around spring. Ultra conservative “Holland” to the north invites a dreary reminder of “middle class values” and uninspired vision (They have HUGE industry on their riverfront, nice). South Haven to the south has great beaches and a downtown that is “trying”. Give em’ a shot.

  • this town is not a hiipie town anymore. I grew up about 10 miles from there, and spent a lot of time there. Yes there are cool things to do, but that doesn’t make it a hippie town.

  • im moving to the area. any suggestions on some hip places to check out? peace & love.

  • I grew up here on summer weekends in the late 60’s early 70’s. That was a great time for Saugatuck. Lots of families and fun times in the summer, especially during Venetian weekend.

    Yes there were hippies and some rowdy bikers @ the Singapore Yacht club, but no gay presence as there is today. I really miss the fun times back then.

  • depends on what you feel is hip…
    but Saugatuck has been a tourist trap for decades
    and a quite heavy gay/lesbian crowd as well…
    but the dunes are awesum here
    watch a sunset and your hooked for life
    most true hippies are hidding outta town
    check out the Peace Festival….

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