698 Water St, Saugatuck MI 49453
Oval Beach Park and the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area are open year ’round. During summer season (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend) the Beach and Natural Area are open 9am -10pm.
There is a daily parking fee $6 (9am-9pm). $40 season permits are also available.
I sat down with Linda Bultman (beach manager) to chat about today’s category, Michigan beaches.
AM: How many visitors do you have to the beach in the summer?
LB: “200,000+ visitors, [but it really] depends on the weather.”
AM: What demographic do you cater to most and why? (i.e. teenagers, young families, seniors, etc.)
LB: Oval Beach brings in quite a mixture of different visitors. “Lots of families, kids, and [people visiting from] Chicago.” [It’s a] “fantastic mix of people. Out of towners (who have never seen the beach) and locals with great stories.”
AM: What recreational equipment to your offer to your visitors? (i.e. playground, volleyball nets/balls, etc.)
LB: No- but Oval Beach does offer a beautiful view of Lake Michigan, “100 acres of protected state dunes and walking trails,” and a mile of waterfront beach to enjoy. There is a swing set, some grilling/picnic space, and a small concession stand. Mount Baldhead is also located right behind the beach and visitors can climb and run down the mount.
AM: Are your visitors mostly local?
LB: Oval Beach attracts both local residents and out of town visitors.
AM: What makes this beach the best in the state?
LB: “When you come down to Oval Beach, you go through the wood trails and you just see the lake. [There is] is fantastic history and it is friendly [and safe (there is a beach patrol)]. [We] bond with the people and see them every year.”
Oval Beach offers “the dunes and 173 walking trails.” [You] “don’t have to walk a mile to [get to] the water. The sunsets are gorgeous, [they are] not hidden by any dune and you can sit right in your car.”
Oval Beach is kind of “off the beaten track,” but when you are in Saugatuck, you should definitely pay a visit.