Located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and at the mouth of the scenic Grand River, Grand Haven is both an important part of Michigan history and a great destination all year round. In the summertime, the lake comes alive with beachgoers, and photographers love the picturesque lighthouses. The area has great shops, highly-rated restaurants, and free concerts all through the summer months.
There is a beach in Grand Haven next to a two-and-a-half mile boardwalk, and it is the easiest place to plan a beach day. If you want to explore Lake Michigan’s beaches further, head south of town, where you will find several other beach parks. Rosy Mound Natural Area is the closest beach, with rolling lakeside dunes. A few minutes south is Olive Shores Park with a beautiful maple, beech and hemlock forest, dunes, and hiking trails. After a day on the beach, see the Grand Haven Musical Fountain at dusk. Built in 1962, it is a synchronized show of water, lights, and music, and is a local favorite during the summer. Learn more about the history of the area on the Harbor Trolley, or go for a sunset sail on the lake aboard the beautiful Wind Dancer.
Grand Haven is known for having one of the largest charter fishing fleets on Lake Michigan. Step aboard and enjoy a day on the water as the charter boat captains and crews help you catch and clean fish and prepare you a lunch. Wine and beer lovers will enjoy the West Michigan Wine and Beer Trail, a guide to microbreweries and wineries in the Grand Haven area. Spend an afternoon visiting the best of Michigan wine and beer and see why Michigan is so famous for its brews! Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy kayaking or stand up paddle-boarding on the lake, while nearby Grand Rapids has the Fred Meijer Gardens and John Ball Park Zoo to look forward to. If you enjoy cycling, rent a mountain bike and explore the trails at Spring Lake.
Harbor Drive is the main center of action in Grand Haven, and the area closest to the water. Along Harbor Drive, you can find many excellent restaurant and shopping options. Plan to stay close to Harbor Drive if you can, or along Beacon Boulevard, which runs right through town as part of Highway 31. For more of a getaway feeling, consider staying along the lake, away from town for beautiful views of the water and sunset.
Harbor Transit is Grand Haven’s local bus system. In addition to the bus routes that are provided throughout the city and surrounding area, there is a trolley that operates downtown during the summer. The Beach Express service also operates in the summer for easy transportation to Grand Haven City Beach. There are rental car companies that are available in town, as well as the Rosebud Taxi Service. The closest big city is Grand Rapids, which is only forty minutes away by car.
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