Today Rob and I celebrate our first anniversary as a married couple. It feels quite unbelievable that we have been married for an entire year already. We plan to celebrate in a small way today, but we treated ourselves to a mini getaway in Saugatuck, Michigan last weekend. It was my first time in Saugatuck and Rob had only been to the area once as a child, so it was a completely new experience for us to share. The trip was simply wonderful. Hands-down, it was the best anniversary trip we’ve ever had. The fact that it was our only anniversary trip to date is irrelevant. It’s still the best!
This isn’t a sponsored post, but we did include a few related affiliate links. We receive a small commission anytime someone makes a purchase or books a trip through one of our links, which helps to support the blog so we can continue sharing stories like this with you.
Accommodations at the Wickwood Inn
If I’m spending money for a vacation, I like to go all out and splurge on really great lodging. Rob and I researched the area and found the cutest bed and breakfast to stay at on our getaway. The Wickwood Inn had a lovely website with great photos and an abundance of helpful information so our expectations were pretty high. But I must say and Rob will certainly agree that the Wickwood Inn completely swept us off our feet. There was an abundance of charm and attention to detail that I couldn’t stop taking it in.
First of all, look at all the stripes. The gold accents, the woodwork, the quality craftsmanship everywhere we turned. It was beyond elegant.
The cute little B&B also had a spacious living area, sophisticated dining area, cozy library and book nook, even an attached gazebo. It was lovely.
And the flowers! There were fresh cut flowers at every turn. It added such an air of enchantment and the sweetest fragrance throughout the inn.
Even the grounds around the Wickwood Inn were beyond belief. I can’t think of another time that I have ever seen so many lush green plants on one small property.
The back porch was one of our favorite spots. We often found ourselves seated under the trees enjoying breakfast, a cup of coffee, or some hors d’oeuvres. It was the perfect setting.
And then there were our personal accommodations. Rob and I splurged and booked the Lodge Suite for the weekend. You only have one first wedding anniversary and we had enough money in our vacation fund. It was worth every single penny. This was easily one of the most beautiful rooms I had ever slept in. The bed was so tall, there was even a cute little set of steps beside it to help me climb in.
I loved every moment in the room and Rob never complained while he waited for me to get ready or take a selfie of my new Tieks.
He really is a great husband :)
A farm-to-table breakfast was served from 9-10 am every morning. And just in case we needed our caffeine fix earlier than that, a fresh pot of coffee was delivered outside our room at 7 am. It was such a great feeling to curl up in a thick white robe with a hot cup of coffee in hand before we lazily made our way down to breakfast.
Speaking of breakfast … oh my word, the food. The Wickwood Inn is “all about the food.” They serve a fabulous breakfast and have sweets available in the afternoon, followed by hors d’oeuvres in the evening. Every single morsel was amazing, especially the pecan sticky buns. The Wickwood Inn’s owner, Julee Rosso, has published several cookbooks and a few of her recipes are available on the B&B’s website (including these amazing sticky buns).
The food (and the company) were quite wonderful! On our second night at the Inn, Rob and I made friends with two other couples. The six of us sat and chatted long after all of the appetizers had been cleaned up and put away.
Exploring Downtown Saugatuck
If you’re not familiar with Saugatuck, all that you need to know is that it’s a little town on Michigan’s west coast, which means it’s right on Lake Michigan. It also happens to be the cutest town I have ever been to in Michigan. There was something so delightfully quaint about Saugatuck. The Inn was just a few blocks from all the shops and it the perfect distance for a walk.
There’s a vibrant community of artists in Saugatuck, which meant there were many unique places to shop. It was a refreshing change from all the chachkies that usually populate Michigan tourist destinations. My two favorite shops were It Is What It Is and The Brass Anchor. I could have stayed in those shops all day!
Of course, no summer getaway would be complete without a little ice cream.
Rob and I found just the place.
I’m telling you, it was pure heaven.
The Saugatuck Chain Ferry
So, the interesting thing about Saugatuck is that the Kalamazoo river runs through the town. All the shops are on the east side of the river and the beach is on the west side. You can take a little drive that meanders through the next town to get to the beach – or you can cross the river on the Saugatuck Chain Ferry and walk to the beach. Never in my life have I seen a boat quite like the Saugatuck chain ferry.
A one-way ticket costs $1 per person and it takes a few minutes to cross the river. The operators turn a big hand crank that pulls the ferry across a chain which spans the entire river. Rob was fascinated by the mechanics of it. I was enthralled by all the cuteness.
After riding the chain ferry, it was time to make our way to Lake Michigan and check out Oval Beach. The beach was pristine, the lake was calm, and the weather was ideal for walking around. It was warm, but overcast so we didn’t get too hot on our little excursion.
Saugatuck has something of a sister-city named Douglas. In fact, if you wanted to drive to the beach from town, you would have to drive through Douglas to get across the river. We spent a few hours exploring some of the little shops in Douglas and stopped by an outdoor garden at the Douglas History Center.
Half of the fun of being on vacation is indulging in food that you might not eat otherwise. We had some great food on our trip, but most of the best food was served right at the Wickwood Inn. But there was one restaurant that was insanely good: The Southerner. We stopped by for lunch as we were driving out of town and returning home. It was an impulse decision, but oh-my-word, was it a great choice! The menu was simple, but all of the items were great comfort food classics. I ordered the eggs benedict and Rob had a pulled pork sandwich. Every bit was amazing.
After our bellies were full, it was time to say goodbye to Saugatuck and make our way back home. It was an experience we will always treasure and the absolute perfect way to celebrate our first year of marriage. Cheers to many more great years of marriage!
One final thing before you go. If you’ve been eyeing our photos and wondering how we managed to capture such great images, I have to gush about our camera. Nearly every photo in this post was taken with our Sony DSC-RX100M III camera. This camera is basically the little point-and-shoot that could. It’s super-light, easy to use, and takes fantastic food and low-light photos. We can’t recommend it enough, especially when traveling.
SO happy you two had the best time! Happy Anniversary to you both! <3
Very fun…I’ve been to Douglas but not Saugatuck. Is there a bookstore in Saugatuck. Happy Anniversary. I enjoy your blog. Jill
Maria Gavin says
Hi Jill, you NEED to go to Saugatuck! It really is the cutest little town. And yes there is a bookstore on Butler :)
Oh good thank you. A friend and I always go to Michigan in July to pick up fresh blueberries and we are planning on Saugatuck after your fun post. We’ve explored Holland, South Haven, and Grand Haven…now we need a new adventure.
I haven’t been to Saugatuck in a few years, and after reading your post, I decided it was time to return. Thanks for your recommendations! I have added them to my list of things to do and places to go around the area.
Kelly S says
I was actually thinking as I looked at your food pictures, “I wonder if they feel funny pulling out a big DSLR and holding it way up high to take these table pictures…” But then you answered that with mention of the point and shoot! Look great, and I’m glad you had such a lovely trip! :)
Maria Gavin says
It’s embarrassing enough with our little point-and-shoot. I can’t imagine taking out a big camera and causing more of a scene!
Aunt Phillie & Uncle Chuck says
Maria & Rob, you have both done such a Beautiful write up of your travels. I love hearing about them and seeing all the lovely photo’s. I plan to check on the Sony camera you have; as much as I love to take pictures it sounds like a really great investment. My phone just seems like the pictures are not bright enough. Happy Belated Anniversary by the way. Glad you celebrated it in such a Fantastic way.
Where did you get your dress? Is it Stitchfix and if so what’s the name? Thanks!
Maria Gavin says
Hi Lori, it’s an Anne Klein dress I bought a few years ago.
Happy Anniversary! I love B&Bs, and really enjoyed your post, especially because it reminded me of our first wedding anniversary (20 years ago!) and the fond memories of the lovely one we visited in Santa Barbara. It has now become an occasional getaway destination for us through the years, though we stopped for awhile, unfortunately, because it got too complicated with little kids.
I also noticed your Tieks from the first photo in your post, and it made me smile that they got their own cameo in this post :). They seem very versatile. How did they hold up for walking all day?
What a wonderful article I am very much looking forward to the trip my fiancee are taking there in August. I know you mentioned the Wickwood B&B which is what most blogs are recommending. This small website mentions Beachwood Manor. https://www.hotelsnearme.co/content/3-must-see-small-towns-united-states Do you have any experience with Beachwood Manor? it fits our travel budget and location needs a little better.
Thank you in advance
Maria Gavin says
First of all, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I hadn’t heard of Beachwood Manor before, but I just checked it out and these are my thoughts. I am a VERY picky customer about accommodations. I’ve looked at dozens of B&B listings and Wickwood is honestly the nicest I’ve seen. Their website gallery is fantastic, but I can speak from experience that they really do strive to make their guest’s visits as special as possible. The fact that they had so many fresh floral arrangements throughout the inn (with peonies in June!) was just one special element. The other B&B we stayed at had a small vase with cheap grocery store flowers in our room – just as a note of comparison. That being said, if your budget is really limited, Beachwood might be a great fit for you. Their website and photos are better than most and their breakfasts look positively amazing. (Wickwood had a small buffet, but it looks like Beachwood serves plated breakfasts). I guess the bottom line is, if you have the money, go with Wickwood. If you just can’t swing it, go with Beachwood and save Wickwood for an anniversary trip :)