• Joey Amato

Pride Journey: Saugatuck, Michigan


Since relocating to Indianapolis, I learned that Saugatuck is the destination many people in the LGBTQ community escape to for the weekend. It's only about 3.5 hours from Indy but feels like a true vacation once you arrive.


I have been to Saugatuck twice prior to my recent trip, but I never had the pleasure of stay at The Dunes Resort, a gay resort located in the neighboring town of Douglas, Michigan. The Dunes is expansive and offers multiple accommodation types from traditional rooms to private cabins.


Traveling during COVID-19 has proven to be a bit challenging, but I felt comfortable during my stay at the property. Guests are given temperature checks when entering the property and masks are required throughout the resort.


I arrived at The Dunes on a Friday afternoon, just in time for karaoke. I usually need to be pretty liquored up in order to sing, but having a friend with me helped me develop the courage to collaborate on a few tunes. Ok, the vodka helped too. I let my friend Tyler choose the first few songs, but anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a huge classic rock fan, so for song #5, we rocked out to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard.


We had a blast, met a few Saugatuck locals, got to know the staff and chatted with a group of guys from Grand Rapids who travel to The Dunes every weekend as it's only 45-minutes away.


The next day was spent mostly lounging around the pool area. Masks are required to enter the area, but can be removed once a guest is seated. Bartenders come take your drink order and serve you, so there is no need to wait on line for cocktails. On the weekend we visited, the resort was busy, but not crowded to the point where we felt uncomfortable. There was still plenty of distancing between groups - in a good way. In all my years visiting gay resorts, I never felt surrounded by such a friendly group of people. Every type of gay man was having a blast, from bears to twinks and everything in between. It was great to see such a lively and welcoming group of people.


After a quick power nap and dinner it was time to grab seats for the drag show, which took place in a covered outdoor pavilion area on the property. Again, all guests were required to wear masks until seated. The queens also wore protective shields as they twirled through the audience. It was truly a wonderful show, with extraordinary talent and surprising musical choices, which included Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits", one of my favorite songs.


The weekend was perfect and included the right amount of everything, from wine tasting at Fenn Valley Vineyard and cider tasting at Virtue Cider to brunch at Pennyroyal Cafe & Provisions and an afternoon latte at Uncommon Coffee Roasters in downtown Saugatuck. It's exactly what I needed during this crazy time.


To book your stay at The Dunes Resort, please visit https://dunesresort.com/


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