Gay Beach/Swimming Holes
Phone: 800 Phone: Fax:
While not technically a beach, this series of rolling dunes next to a river lagoon is still quite handsome, snuggled along the eastern shores of wide Lake Michigan. The mellow gay twin resort towns and artist's communities of Saugatuck and Douglas, with their down-to-earth queer Midwestern vacationers, are just a short drive away. However there are rumors that the new owner will be closing public access to the nude beach area. Oval Beach has earned Saugatuck the nickname "Provincetown of the Midwest." Hugging the mostly undeveloped dunes of Lake Michigan's eastern shore, the back dunes area of Oval Beach is perfect for sunbathing in the nude. Beaches like these in Saugatuck are a rare gem: the clean, unspoiled, and pristine beauty of the place takes your breath away. Oval Beach is one of Saugatuck's true treasures. Directions: Oval Beach is located at the end of Oval Beach Road, one mile west of the Saugatuck Ferry landing, across the river from downtown Saugatuck. It's $5 on weekdays and $8 on weekends for parking. Take Ferry Street north from the neighboring town of Douglas and follow the signs, or take the ferryboat from downtown Saugatuck to one of the nearby beach trails. From the parking lot, walk right (north) to the gay section. You'll see a small wooden shack with a guy sitting outside collecting money ($10 to gain access to the "private beach" area). Then you have to walk maybe a 1/4 miles or so until you see an orange post. On the actual waterfront "beach" itself you have to keep your clothes on, but its the rolling dunes BEHIND the beach that are clothing optional.