10 Best Things to Do in Grand Haven, Michigan
Meet Grand Haven
Life among the historic storefronts and along the bustling waterfront’s boardwalk of this town on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore has an old-fashioned spirit that stands out among so many gems. Known as “Coast Guard City, U.S.A.,” Grand Haven’s embrace of every manner of maritime life, including fishing and boating of all kinds, combines small-town living with big-lake pleasures.
Play by the Lake
Soak up the summer rays or join a volleyball game at Grand Haven State Park, a broad triangle of sand on Lake Michigan; the park also hosts an annual kite festival.
Do the Dunes
Get a great view of Lake Michigan by climbing the stairs to the top of a wooded, 200-foot sand dune at the remote and lovely Rosy Mound Natural Area. There are actually one thousand stairs up and over to the dunes, but it’s worth it.
Walk the Boardwalk
Grand Haven’s 1.5-mile boardwalk runs along the harbor and the Grand River before reaching Lake Michigan and the city’s long pier, which leads to an eye-candy-red lighthouse. Save phone batteries for Instagramming.
Set Sail for a River and Lake Cruise
Grand Haven was founded where the Grand River meets Lake Michigan, and you can experience both on a cruise about the schooner Wind Dancer. Take a turn at the wheel or just kick back with a cocktail and enjoy the sunset.
Feast on Classic Great Lakes Flavors
Reel in salmon, lake trout, or bass with local charters and then have it prepared at Grand Haven restaurants through the Michigan Catch & Cook program. For more Great Lakes tastes, hit local institution Pronto Pups, then head to Grand Armory Brewing to quaff the local amber and stout. Summer never tasted so good.
Watch the Waters Dance
The Grand Haven Musical Fountain made choreographed water, music and light shows cool decades before Vegas’s Bellagio got into the business. The free 20-minute shows start at dusk on summer nights.
Come for the Coast Guard Festival
Grand Haven’s annual Coast Guard Festival is a family affair that includes a solemn memorial service as well as lighter events like parades, picnics, and a car show and craft fair. The festival runs July 28-August 6, 2017.