Twin cities north and south of the Kalamazoo River where it forms a harbor just before emptying into Lake Michigan, these beachtowns are known as "The Art Coast of Michigan". Each summer since 1910 The Art Institute of Chicago has conducted a summer school called Ox Bow on an idyllic lagoon just north of Saugatuck. Over the years many artists, smitten by the natural beauty of the area’s rolling grassy dunes and white sand beaches (among the top 25 in the world according to Condé Nast International Travel Magazine), have taken up residence and established studios and galleries. These, along with quaint and unique shops, fine dining, exquisite lodging, many attractions like golfing, dune rides, boat cruises, hiking, swimming and professional summer theater, jazz and chamber music – all have lured visitors from far and wide so that tourism has become the area’s main industry. At the same time, Saugatuck and Douglas have maintained the charm of small-town rural America.


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