Serving New Buffalo, Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, South Haven, Fennville, Glenn, Douglas, Saugatuck, Holland, Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Muskegon

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Red and Yellow Tulips
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Lake Effect Living photographs
are the work and property of Sharon Pisacreta.

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk along the lake. -- Wallace Stevens

Those of us who spend time along the shores of Lake Michigan know there is such a thing as a ‘lake effect’. Whether heading south from Saugatuck-Douglas down the coast to Chicago, or turning north from Holland to Muskegon and points beyond, the lake is never far away. Even on the most hectic day, it is possible to tap into the sense of well-being and tranquility that seems to surround the vast clear lake that the Ojibwa called mishigami, or ‘great water’.

It's always a great time to explore the rivers and lakes of southwest Michigan. You can still get out on the water, even if you don't own a boat or feel like playing skipper in a rental. We've added a Boat Tours and Excursions page in the Lake Effect Living guide to help you find a nearby cruise.
In 2014 Saugatuck ranked No. 1 in the USA Today online poll for America's Best Summer Weekend Escape. Saugatuck won another Blue Ribbon in 2015 as Best Coastal Small Town in America. In 2016 Saugatuck takes the gold for Best Small Town Weekend Escape. A field of ten communities was nominated by professional travel writers and worldwide online voting ranked the lakeside town at the top of the list. With its great Oval Beach, Activities, Art Galleries, Shopping, Food and Lodging, Saugatuck has a lot to offer. Make sure to check out all things Saugatuck related in the Lake Effect Living guide.
Activities and Attractions Along the Lake Michigan Shoreline

There's always something fun to do along the Lake Michigan shoreline, even on a rainy day. Museums, beaches, tours, lighthouses, theaters, nature centers and even a few World War II ships make up our list. We've arranged it geographically in order of the towns from south to north along the lake, so make sure to take a look at what's available just up the road.

Antique Shops Near the Lake Michigan Shoreline

Antiques appeal to collectors for various reasons. Some like the thrill of hunting down a rare item to fill out a specific collection. Others revel in the sense of history that handling an antique can give them. Many just enjoy the styles of a bygone era. Whatever your reason for loving antiques, use our listing of shops near the lakeshore to plan your next antiquing day. We've arranged the listing from south to north along the lake to make it easier to see what possibilities are just down the road in the next town. You'll never know what perfect item you may find, until you go and take a look.

Art Galleries Along the Lake Michigan Shoreline

Feed your aesthetic sense with a visit to one of the art galleries in the Lake Effect Guide.

Wineries and Vineyards of the Lake Michigan Shoreline

It's always a great time of year to enjoy a fine wine from one of west Michigan's great wineries.

Craft Breweries near the Lake Michigan Shoreline

Old English proverb - Bread is the staff of life, but beer's life itself. Michigan is fifth in the nation for its number of breweries. The great quality of water and rich soil produces some of the best beer making ingredients. Our listing of brewpubs, microbreweries and breweries along the shoreline will help you plan your next hearty draft of life itself.

Summer days are long and lazy, so be on the beach at the right time to catch a beautiful Southwest Michigan sunset. Use our Beaches and Sunset Times pages to make sure you don't miss out. There's always something happening on the lakeshore.