Just across the Kalamazoo River from Saugatuck, you are able to enjoy Douglas, Michigan. It has an historic main street with Early American style homes, absolutely lovely shops, and a sweet town clock. There is a very small marina and dock at the park on the river. The town is named after Stephen A. Douglas, American statesman, and incorporated as a village in 1970; however, settlers came here in 1951.
Douglas was a "lumber village" and a port for schooners and steamships that carried lumber and other supplies to Chicago and the rest of the Great Lakes area. Known at one time for its baseball team and its basket factory; today, Douglas thrives on tourism. It consists of restored houses, beautiful shops, some quaint restaurants, an old schoolhouse [the oldest in Michigan], and an idyllic atmosphere.
1. This bronze sculpture of children adds such beauty to the small park on the main street.
2. Mickey took this photo of me in front of one of lovely shops which has a gorgeous little garden.
3. The town sported Autumn banners which made for a festive atmosphere.
Mickey and I agreed that the most elegant and lovely shops during our 3-day trip to South Haven, Saugatuck, and Douglas were found in this small village called Douglas.
One of the shops that Mickey and I enjoyed viewing, mostly because of the lovely garden in front of the store was called Parrot in the Square. We were in awe of the flowers, the garden setting, and the fantastic merchandise of clothing for women as well as accessories.
As a lover of flowers and gardens, I was enthralled with this lovely space in front of this woman's store. We questioned the sales person and she told us a little about the garden and how this was the best year for the flowers [probably because of the unusually cool weather].
1. The entrance to Parrot in the Square Shop
2. Mickey posing in the garden
3. Huge and perfectly shaped Mum plant.
4. Dee in the Parrot in the Square garden entrance
The clothing in the store was extremely beautiful and quite expensive, but our real interest was with the decor outside.
The Kal flows into Saugatauk, from the city of Kalamazoo by way of Allegan. The forest that surrounds it can be flat and wet or steep. There is no road along the river, so you'll have to twist back and forth, crossing it at several locations or spending time in the towns along the way. The Old Bridge site in New Richmond provides river access for fishing. Allegan is surrounded on three sides by the river (impounded as a lake) and it winds through Kalamazoo with parks and nature preserves along parts of it.
If you're looking to get out of town and see the countryside, there are several options. Farm stores, antique shops, and the old bridges. Matter of fact, you're likely to see the other two on the way to see the bridges.
They're up the Kalamazoo River in a small town (2-5 buildings) of New Richmond. One was a restaurant, but it wasn't open. The parking is on the north side of the river (not the New Richmond side). Except us, everyone else were there fishing.
For more images of these bridges, see my Bridge travelogue.