Originally a lumber town and port, Saugatuck, along with the adjacent city of Douglas, became a noted art colony and tourist destination in the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, Saugatuck was home to the famous Big Pavilion, a large dance hall that attracted bands and visitors from across the Midwest. The building was a popular destination on Lake Michigan from its construction in 1909 until it burned down on May 6, 1960.
Today, tourists are drawn to the art galleries, harbor, marinas, scenery, unusual stores, the view from atop Mount Baldhead, and tourist attractions as well as Oval Beach on Lake Michigan, which enjoys a worldwide reputation. Nearby are Saugatuck Dunes State Park and Allegan State Game Area as is the city of Holland.