Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Charming Saugatuck is Nestled Along Lake Michigan's Sandy Eastern Shore and Boasts an Artsy Vibe and a Top Fresh Water Beach
Once a thriving lumber port, charming Saugatuck sits on Lake Michigan's sandy eastern shore. The town became an arts colony in the late-19th century and continues that tradition today, giving it a trendy vibe popular with tourists and vacationers.
The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is the heart of the local arts scene and supports equity theater, concerts, art exhibits, a "green market," and classes. The Red Barn is home to the to the Red Barn Players and the Lakeshore Arts Alliance, which presents concerts, a cabaret and film events throughout the year. The inviting, historic downtown boasts colorful art galleries, a microbrewery, wine tasting rooms, farm-to-table restaurants, and a farmers' market. Residents enjoy a chamber music festival and an annual Venetian Festival, as well as nearly a dozen parks and recreation facilities. Both Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River border Oval Beach, which has been called one of the worlds' best fresh water beaches.
The hand-cranked Saugatuck Chain Ferry takes visitors from Wick's Park on the town side to the stairs at Mt. Baldhead, a 600 foot tall sand dune. Saugatuck Dunes State Park has two and a half miles of shoreline for hiking and birdwatching.
Neighborhoods are shaded, neatly laid out and well kept. Housing is eclectic and includes Cape Cods, cottages, cabins and bungalows, many reflecting Saugatuck's artistic heritage.
Population: 900 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 48%
Cost of Living: 30% above the national average
Median Home Price: $585,000
Climate: Summers temperatures are in the 70s and 80s. Winter temperatures are in the teens and 20s. On average, the area receives 80 inches of snow and 35 inches of rain each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital in Zeeland, 15 miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital in Zeeland, 15 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by Interurban Transit Authority
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No, but neighboring Douglas has one.
Political Leanings: Split down the middle
College Educated: 50%
Is Michigan Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Notes: Saugatuck is gay-friendly. Its population started to drop in 2019 but has since leveled off (and it still triples during the summer). The town is part of Saugatuck Township but is administered separately. Home prices have increased 10% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Michigan has borders on four of the Great Lakes and is divided into two parts - Upper and Lower. The Mackinac Bridge, one of the world's longest suspension bridges, connects these two halves. Up North, the Sault St. Marie canals connect Lake Superior and Lake Huron.
Native Americans lived in the area when the first Europeans arrived in 1618. Sault St. Marie was the first immigrant settlement in 1668. After the Indian and French Wars, Britain claimed the land from the French. The region became part of the U.S. after the Revolutionary War, but constant conflict occured between the British, Americans and Native Americans until the end of the War of 1812.
The name Michigan came from the Ojibwa Indian words Mishi-gama (meaning "large lake").
The world's first air-conditioned automobile was built by Detroit's Packard Motor Car Company in 1939.
No point in Michigan is farther than six miles from a body of water.
Michigan is the only U.S. state to have two peninsulas.
The state produces 70% of the tart cherries grown in the United States.
Michigan has about 150 lighthouses, more than any other state.
Although Michigan's nickname is the "Wolverine State," no wolverines live in the state.
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