My best friend from college and I packed up this past weekend and took a no-plans weekend trip to Saugatuck, Michigan and ended up exploring way more than we expected. Casinos, wineries, good food and good company – that’s what I love in a good weekend trip and this trip had it all. We began our trip by stopping in South Bend at the casino and set a strict $20 spending limit. This was the first time I had been to a casino, so yes, we did call my mom and get some pointers. ha! We made it out of there only having lost $5 each, and winning the rest of it back, not too shabby for my first time. I’m just happy I didn’t lose it all! We left there and drove until we found a sign for the wine trail in Benton Harbor, MI. We quickly turned off the road and headed towards Vineyard 2121, and ended up stopping at a farmers market on the same road. They had the cutest little barn set up with wonderful fresh produce, I picked up some peaches and Chelsea got a bag of goodies to cook with when she got home.
We stumbled across Vineyard 2121 when we saw a sign for the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail. I didn’t know that this wine trail existed before now, and so of course, we have our sights already set on another weekend trip to drive up the Wine Trail. (I’ll post the Wine Trail Map at the bottom of this post!) Vineyard 2121 has a gorgeous tasting room and an even better outdoor patio space. There is a friendly cat that walks around and begs for all the pets, of course. Their patio is a dream and something I wish I could recreate in my backyard, for sure. Who knows, maybe this was the perfect place to find some inspiration for our next project. 😉 We ordered wine flights and my favorite of all four of the wines was the Peach Passion Spumante which is a sparkling white grape wine with passion fruit juice and peach flavor, uh yum!
Next, we ventured up to Saugatuck, Michigan. This was our “final destination” although we didn’t have a plan on where we were going to spend the night just quite yet. Bulter Street is a perfect place to really take it all in. There is a boat cruise that takes you down the Kalamazoo River, plenty of great places to eat and even more places to shop. We started out at The Book Nook, as I am always on the lookout for my next great book to indulge in. Urban Found is located on Butler Street and it instantly caught our eyes – this location has an absolutely gorgeous exterior that you just can’t miss. The entire street is lined with trees overtaken by ivy and you can faintly hear the sound of the waves on the lake nearby. Where we shopped, ate and drank: The Book Nook, Urban Found, Lucy’s Little Kitchen + Bar, Scooters Cafe & Pizzeria and much more. The entire area is super cute. We had a drink at Lucy’s Little Kitchen and looked for a place to stay for the night. We ended up choosing the Springhill Suites by Marriott in Grand Rapids West, Grandville – and a little side-note, I LOVE these hotels. They partnered with West Elm to create custom-made furniture for their suites and they are my favorite hotel to stay at. I’ve actually stayed at a Springhill Suites twice in the last 2 months, to say that I’m obsessed would be an understatement. (And no, I was not paid to say this, I just really love this hotel and their collaboration with West Elm!)
We woke up in Grand Rapids with our hearts set on Holland, MI. After enjoying our buffet-style breakfast at the hotel, we hopped into my car and drove out to downtown Holland. Just missing the Labor Day Parade but definitely not the rain, downtown was peaceful and nearly deserted. We walked down River Avenue and 8th Street where all the adorable little shops were, my favorite being Gezellig Home and Garden and Home & Company which are right next door to each other. We ate lunch at the Ottawa Beach Inn and it was delicious. After lunch, we traveled down the boardwalk, past the Big Red Lighthouse to the end of the dock and then spent our last few minutes soaking in some time on the beach.
This was one of my favorite trips I’ve ever taken, especially with a friend. I definitely recommend taking the time to drive up to Michigan and make sure to explore everything on the way