Gay Travel: Saugatuck and Grand Rapids, Michigan
“I can’t believe this is your first time here.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that during a recent writers’ excursion to the Michigan enclaves of Saugatuck and Grand Rapids, I felt I could’ve purchased a home there. However, all those people did have a point: These places are basically a hop, skip and a jump from Chicago ( with my flight being all of half an hour )–and they do provide the perfect getaway.
Dune and No Gloom
The trip started with lunch at Zing Eat Drink ( 310 Blue Star Hwy., Douglas; ZingEatDrink.com ), a snazzy place that serves some incredible sweet-potato fries. The petite Maryland crab cakes were pretty impressive as well–and I had to sample some of the Michigan cherries, of course. ( The state is known as the cherry and blueberry capital of the United States. ) Sitting on the patio was wonderful, as the weather was absolutely perfect that day.
Then, we traipsed on over to Saugatuck’s Oval Beach ( Perryman Street and Oval Beach Drive; Saugatuck.com/beaches.asp ). No less than Conde Nast Traveler has ranked it as among the top 25 beaches in the world–and it’s easy to see why. There are pristine sand dunes and, of course, Lake Michigan, but there are also secluded spots, tall grasses, wildlife ( I spotted several deer ) and much more.