William Gay Butler founded the town of Saugatuck, Michigan, and its main street honors him with its name. Both the street and the area are a combination of small-town charm, 19th-century architecture, and an abundance of specialty shopping, dining and artistic flair.
Midwest Living magazine ranked the Saugatuck-Douglas area #5 on its 2007 list of Best Small-Town Getaways. Together with the town of Douglas, Saugatuck is known as "The Art Coast of Michigan,'' thanks to the number of artists who have taken up residence and operate studios and galleries in the area.
On Butler Street itself can be found galleries such as:
Bruce Baughman Studio & Gallery, which features a selection of acclaimed reverse paintings, including landscapes, florals and figures.
The Cain Gallery showcases an eclectic selection of mixed-media works by contemporary American artists.
The Photo Graphics Gallery displays the works of nationally renowned photographer R.C. Fulwiler.
The Art Glass Alcove features handcrafted jewelry and home accessories.
Butler Street is also home to an array of dining choices, such as:
The Sand Bar Saloon, which features a bar with a great selection of beers, along with Chicago-style hot dogs and gyros.
Pumpernickel's Eatery, a local hot spot, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is known for its relaxed atmosphere and festive patio dining.
Phil's Bar & Grille offers appetizers and sandwiches, a full wine and beer list, and is a good choice to enjoy a family meal.
The Butler Restaurant, which overlooks Kalamazoo Lake, serves steaks, seafood and hamburgers.
The Saugatuck Drugstore Soda Fountain is a step back in time, where visitors can indulge themselves in some old-fashioned, soda-fountain treats.
The Saugatuck Coffee Company serves gourmet beverages and culinary delights in a casual, yet elegant, atmosphere.
Butler Street also features its fair share of speciality shopping, with shops such as:
Bedfellows of Saugatuck, which features cozy sleepwear, intimate apparel, as well as trendy streetwear.
All Rue No. 133 is a European-style boutique carrying posh ladies apparel, as well as upscale home and personal accessories.
The Bauble Bath offers natural bath and skin products, as well as an array of gifts and items for home d,cor.
Delphina Naturally touts itself as Saugatuck's premier bath, body and personal-care shop, with an assortment of high-quality imported and domestic goods.
The Butler Pantry features distinctive kitchenware, as well as gourmet foods and wine.
Kilwin's Saugatuck has earned a reputation for its delicious ice cream, handmade fudge and hand-dipped cholates, which are also made on site.
While Butler Street is the heart of Saugatuck, those shops are just a sampling of what can be found, as the area boasts more than 35 art galleries and many more unique shops, more than two dozen eateries, and a variety of sights and activities.
Each June, the area hosts the Waterfront Film Festival, which is one of the top 10 film festivals in the country. And the Mason Street Warehouse presents Broadway-quality "uptown theatre in downtown Saugatuck.''
In the fall/winter, there are color tours, one of the largest corn mazes to be found, festive displays, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a full schedule of winter entertainment.
Butler Street and the entire area are vintage, small-town Americas at its best - a combination of 19th-century architecture, and 21st-century shops and activities.