Searching for a great family vacation location? South Haven, Michigan, is the place to be! It has sunny beaches, lovely bed & breakfasts, and abundance of sailboats. This amazing little city is located in southwest Michigan tucked in on the Black River and the beaches of Lake Michigan.
As soon as you enter South Haven you can leave your troubles behind you. As you enter this darling town you drive in on Phoenix Street and as you pass the epicenter of “downtown” you can park your car and visit the quaint little stores offering toys, candy, and cottage décor. South Haven’s downtown area is perched on a hill overlooking the Black River, as it enters Lake Michigan. This shopping square is the perfect place for day shopping, offering an assortment of shops including Renaissance & Papyrus, a women’s boutique with a unique décor shop on the second floor with a variety of soaps, cook books, candles and much more. Leaving behind commercial franchises, you can truly enjoy small town America: gone are your Applebee’s, CVS, and Toy-R-Us, in South Haven you have Clementine’s restaurant with a killer perch sandwich and onion rings to die for; McDonald’s Drug Store offering everything from Christmas décor to all your Pharmacy needs; and Oh My Darlings toy store that offers all the wooden toys and good ol fun from yesteryear and they even have a special princess attic that has everything a little princess in training could ever want. Also, be sure to stop by The Michigan Theater, they offer all the newest movies for entertaining on rainy days.
The lovely local inns are as sweet as the local Blueberry Festival, held each August. The local B&B’s come in all sorts of sizes from quaint little homes offering 3 bedrooms or larger resort styles offering 17 or more rooms. The Victoria Resort Bed and Breakfast, located just one block from the Oak Street beach access, offers fireplaces and whirpool tubs in their guest rooms, they even offer cottage suites for families. The Carriage House on the Harbor, formally The Ambassadors Resort, is a 1890’s, romantic, Victorian, mansion located on Woodman Avenue. They offer twelve guests rooms: each with its own unique name from carriages of a bygone era. The Carriage House was voted top ten most romantic inns by bedandbreakfast.com in 2008 You can’t go wrong with any of the dozen B&B’s in the area, each unique with the best of the comfy mid-west cottage design complete with an abundance of beautiful flowers, beach front views or close walking distance to both beach and downtown.
Look forward to long days at the beach; with western facing beaches the sun stays up untill close to 9pm during the summer and has the most gorgeous full sunset views around. From comfy street access beaches such as the Oak Street Beach, the ever popular public beaches such as North Beach, complete with swings and a hot dog stand, to the newly renovated South Beach with new a new playground and pic-ni benches and access to the cities Riverwalk, that leads from downtown and follows the Black River on to the old light house pier. The beaches of South Haven are sure to keep your kids entertained for days. jumping waves and sand castle building on the beaches are good for an all day affair complete with picnics for lunch and a 4th of July firework extravaganza.
The sleepy marina is perfect for boat lovers: the drawbridge on Dyckman Avenue lets up every half-hour to let the sailboats through. The large marina houses hundreds of boats, they house the newest, fastest and to oldest. Your family can visit the Maritime Museum for a day tour. The marina even houses an old pirate ship, the Friends Good Will, that offers nightly sunset cruises. The marina situated in the center of town is the perfect place for a long walk and provides the perfect backdrop while dining on the Idler Riverboat Restaurant with access on land located in the Old Harbor Shops.
If you are looking for a perfect family oriented city with fun and sun on the list then South Haven, Michigan is the perfect summer destination for you. Don’t forget to stop by Sherman’s Ice Cream on the way out of town, but get there early, because everyone in town seems to arrive in the late evening hours.