You wouldn’t think of Western Michigan as an LGBTQ+ hotspot, but it is! The bohemian Saugatuck is the flagbearer of all things gay here, which hasn’t shied away from its artistic attitude or its vibrant gay past. The town’s gay history spans more than 100 years, all the way back to the early 1890s when the famous Oval Beach was a prime destination for nudity. In fact, “The Blue Tempo” jazz bar was the region’s de facto gay club. Today, Saugatuck is home to one of the country’s largest LGBTQ resorts! That, and the many gay hotels in Saugatuck MI prove that it’s a buzzing gay hotspot even today. The main street has more than 100 LGBTQ-owned and friendly lodgings and businesses! So, even though it doesn’t have an out-and-out pride parade, Saugatuck proves that even small coastal towns can be welcoming, inclusive, and full of charm!
There’s much more to do than exploring the gay life and goings-by in Saugatuck. Chicago, for instance, is a mere two-hour drive. Plus, Holland Harbor Lighthouse, one of the world’s most iconic lighthouses, lies hardly half an hour north of the town. So, whether it’s a thriving arts scene and scenic natural beauty or disco balls and drag queens that you seek, Saugatuck is a cincher. To that end, here are the 11 best gay hotels in Saugatuck MI.
Table of contents
- Hidden Garden Cottages & Suites
- The Dunes Resort
- Blue Star Motel
- Belvedere Inn & Restaurant
- The Kirby
- Sherwood Forest B&B
- Wickwood Inn
- Twin Oaks Inn
- Maplewood Hotel
- Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
- Best Gay Neighborhoods in Saugatuck
- Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Saugatuck
- Best Gay Saunas in Saugatuck
- Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Saugatuck
Hidden Garden Cottages & Suites
Hidden Garden Cottages & Suites is one of the most romantic gay hotels in Saugatuck MI. This gay-owned bed and breakfast sits right in the heart of the town and is perfect for a romantic getaway with your bae. What’s more, it’s just steps from downtown Saugatuck and its shops, restaurants, and the beach. The place has two suites and two cottages nestled in the world’s most romantic private garden setting. You can enjoy a romantic breakfast in bed or out on the patio overlooking the lush garden. The suites and cottages boast intimate features such as four-poster beds, kitchens for amorous cooking experiences, and plush bathrooms with deep-soaking bathtubs too. If that wasn’t enough, all four suites/cottages have patios with pretty chairs that enjoy gorgeous views of the lush garden.
The Dunes Resort
The Dunes Resort is the largest LGBTQ resort in the Midwest. For the last 40 years, it’s been an iconic gay haven that has helped transform Saugatuck into the dynamic and accepting destination it is today. The 81-room resort sits on 22 acres of lush grounds, complete with a restaurant and a game room. Its outdoor pool and covered patio are the epicenters of all fun. The patio, popular as the “Tea Deck,” is a gay hotspot and hosts the infamous “Tea Dance” Sundays, which is open to the LGBTQ+ public that’s not staying at the resort. Overall, it’s reminiscent of a Vegas day club – the Midwest version!
But, that’s not all. The cabaret theater and nightclub on the property are a rage too. They have a packed events calendar with DJs, live piano, karaoke, lounge acts and drag divas at their storied Show Bar theater every Saturday night. Are you looking to meet new people? The high-energy dance floor is packed with all kinds of good-looking gay people. So, whether you’re looking for relaxation or revelry, or both, this place will welcome you with open arms.
Blue Star Motel
Blue Star Motel is one of the cozier gay hotels in Saugatuck MI. Couples who love cozier, boutique settings will love this motel-hotel that lies within walking distance of all sights in the town. The best bit? It’s within walking distance of the Dunes Resort as well. Choose from a host of minimalist rooms and suites decked out in modern furnishings. Are you on your honeymoon or a romantic getaway? We’d recommend the lovely little patio rooms that open up to a covered porch, which itself overlooks the hot tub and the sun deck. Begin your day with a beautiful continental breakfast by the pool before enjoying a swim and a soak with your partner in the pool and hot tub. Complimentary snacks and Wi-Fi are great perks of staying here.
Belvedere Inn & Restaurant
LGBTQ+ travelers who’re all about luxury should check out the European-style Belvedere Inn and Restaurant. The hotel was built way back in the early 1900s when it was the summer “Gilded Age” home of wealthy Chicagoans. It sits in a prairie-style mansion inspired by Frank Llyod Wright architecture. What’s more, just 10 rooms make your stay as intimate as it’s exclusive. This is especially true since they all have bathrooms with deep-soaking bathtubs and bespoke bath products, as well as plush four-poster beds and fireplaces in the rooms. The outdoors are a stunning setting, with the hotel set amidst a five-acre garden.
Your day begins with a complimentary breakfast of yogurt, homemade granola, eggs and meat, and pastries, served in bed roo. Do you want to impress your partner? Book a welcome package with a bottle of Michigan wine, fresh flowers, and a cheese plate ready on arrival.
The Kirby is one of the prettiest LGBTQ-owned and operated gay hotels in Saugatuck MI. This adult-only Douglas bed and breakfast is where “old-world 1890s Victorian charm” meets modern and luxurious trappings. The late-19th-century Victorian era structure is also a short walk from downtown Saugatuck and the famous gay-friendly Dunes bar. A wide wraparound porch welcomes you within this alluring bed and breakfast, with just seven rooms. All rooms are cozy and romantic, with plush beds, sitting areas, and views of the Michigan foliage out of the window. Every day here begins with a complimentary European-style breakfast in the lobby, which you can also enjoy on the big back deck with views of the pond. Wrap up your day with a romantic dinner at the charming wine bar and restaurant.
Sherwood Forest B&B
The Victorian-style Sherwood Forest B&B lies just half a block from Lake Michigan and is ideal for couples who’re visiting Saugatuck. The B&B comprises a beautiful home and a discrete private cottage in a lush, wooded setting. You have the choice of eclectic yet contemporary “suites” with wooden floors, cloud-like beds, bathrooms with bathtubs, bespoke bath products, and plush bathrobes too. Your choices include the Parisian Room, the Moroccan Suite, the Log Cabin Suite, Safari Suite, and the dreamt Tree Tops Room, which even has a floating deck where you can enjoy breakfast! Are you here on your honeymoon? We’d recommend the cottage, which comes with a gas barbeque, a gas fireplace, and a kitchen!
The rest of the B&B is equally mesmerizing, especially the heated pool, a real treat at a B&B. After a swim, lounge on the sunbeds or retreat to the wraparound porch for some wine or coffee. When you feel like exploring, grab the bikes available for rent and ride off.
Wickwood Inn is one of the coziest gay hotels in Saugatuck MI. The elegant spot is comfortable, quaint, and sparkles with understated elegance. So, it’s perfect for a couple of discerning gay travelers looking for a serene spot to spend their Saugatuck vacation. A welcoming white-and-grey exterior shrouded by lush trees welcomes you within the inn. The living room/shared lounge radiates Victorian-era elegance with floral-patterned chairs, exquisite lamps, a photo wall, flowers, and a fireplace. Choose from a host of cozy rooms, each of which has a four-poster bed, a desk with a pretty mirror, and a sitting area next to the window. Bathrooms are chic and decked out with even more flowers, bespoke toiletries, and a stand-up shower. While breakfast is served in the sunroom, the patio is the perfect place to enjoy it in warmer months.
Twin Oaks Inn
The homey and cozy Twin Oaks Inn is an “olde” English bed and breakfast in downtown Saugatuck. Not only is it gay-friendly, but it’s also gay-owned and operated! The 1860s-built inn, which recently underwent remodeling, features six rooms with king/queen beds and modern bathrooms with bespoke toiletries. What’s more, some rooms even have an all-season fireplace, a sitting room, and a jetted tub that’s ideal for gay couples who’re vacationing here.
The highlight of the B&B is the spacious screened-in porch, where you can your bae can enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Every morning at 9 am, you’ll find a hot breakfast with fresh fruit, a hot entrée, juice, tea, and coffee ready on the dining room table. Moreover, the bed and breakfast likes to think of itself as a gracious small hotel. So, it even has a self-serve area with a tea and coffee bar, fridge (with champagnes and wines for special occasions), microwave (microwave popcorn is free!), and ice machine.
LGBTQ+ travelers with love for everything history and old-world will love the Maplewood Hotel, one of the grandest gay hotels in Saugatuck MI. The 1860s-built hotel has a long-standing place filled with traditional furnishings and antiques that complement the Greek Revival exterior. Since it’s such an old hotel, it has just 15 rooms, which means staying here feels as reclusive as it’s intimate. Rooms are spacious for an old hotel, complete with a sitting area and huge bathrooms with deep-soaking and freestanding bathtubs. After a long day of exploiting the town, enjoy a swim in the outdoor swimming pool before lounging on the sunchairs. Begin your day with a delectable complimentary breakfast that’s laid out in the elegant dining room.
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
Lush trees and blooming gardens surround the Serendipity Bed and Breakfast, the perfect spot for a gay couple visiting Saugatuck. A cozy sitting room welcomes you within, leading the way into an equally charming living room with sofas, a fireplace, and a dining room besides. It’s where the hosts serve the most delicious breakfasts in the morning, complete with bread, fresh fruits, coffee, tea, juices, and hot items. Choose from two gorgeous queen rooms or a one-bedroom cottage for the ultimate private getaway. The rooms are no less impressive, with four-poster beds, great views out of the windows, and chic bathrooms with bathtubs. However, the cottage is stunning, to say the least, and has all the comforts of the rooms, plus a private outdoor jacuzzi tub in the garden!
There are many reasons why AmericInn tops the list of the best gay hotels in Saugatuck MI. The sprawling hotel feels like a large private home more than a hotel. For instance, the reception lobby has a huge lounge with comfy sofas before a fireplace that’s the perfect place to relax at the day’s end. But, that’s not all. The hotel even has an indoor pool, perfect for a swim and a dip in any season. Later on, you can relax with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine on the outdoor patio. The rooms and suites here are no less impressive and have free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TVs, seating areas, and private bathrooms with bespoke toiletries. Oh, and did we mention the sauna and the hot tub?
Best Gay Neighborhoods in Saugatuck
Saugatuck is a very small and inclusive town, but it does have vibrant neighborhoods that are inclined towards the LGBTQ community. The main gay neighborhood in town is centered around Butler Street, which is the town’s main walking and shopping drag. Most of the businesses here are gay-owned, operated, or welcoming. The next most amazing gay neighborhood is Oval Beach, which used to be a nude beach back in the late 19th century! Of the six beaches in Saugatuck, this one is very popular and now sees families. However, the right end of the sand is the traditional gathering area for the gay community.
Finally, we have Douglas, Saugatuck’s smaller neighbor, but just as gay. It’s home to even more rainbow flags, and great bars, one of which is a boutique store, gallery, and a bar all rolled into one.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Saugatuck
- The Dunes Resort: Yes, we mentioned that the Dunes is a hotel, but it’s also “the” Saugatuck gay bar. On weekends, it attracts an entire spectrum of gay men, who come in from Grand Rapids, Chicago, and even Detroit! Besides drag shows, there’s also a fabulous dance floor for getting steamy and an outdoor patio for a first date.
- Guardian Brewing Company: This LGBT-owned Saugatuck outpost of the brand serves 22 phenomenal craft beers along with a seasonally-inspired menu. They even have weekly live msuic, making it a great place to hang out with your group of LGBTQ friends.
- Uncommon Coffee Roasters: Whoever said that gay-friendly bars cannot be “coffee bars”? This gay-owned coffee shop has a rainbow flag fluttering since 1994 and boasts a gorgeous garden patio perfect for impressing your date.
Best Gay Saunas in Saugatuck
Now, Saugatuck doesn’t exactly have a gay sauna, but when you have the gorgeous beach out front, along with a gay section, then who needs a sauna? That being said, we’re sure that we’ll be seeing a fabulous LGBTQ+ sauna in Saugatuck soon!
Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Saugatuck
- Saugatuck LGBT Music Fest: Held at the gay-friendly Campit Outdoor Resort, this annual LGBTQ music festival is held over a weekend in June. It begins with a fabulous poolside dance party, followed by performances on Saturday. Sundays are reserved for mellow acoustic music, Champaign Brunch, and a Bloody Mary bar – perfect!