This south beach gem is Michigan’s best vacation spot
The top pick for MLive readers in the Southwestern part of the state for Michigan’s best vacation spot is the charming town of South Haven, where you’ll only have to park once to enjoy the fun. ‘breathtaking views of the beach, as well as plenty of opportunities for active adventures.
“The best beach, the best bars, restaurants, shops and accommodations,” said an MLive reader explaining why South Haven was at the top of the list to visit this summer.
“We obviously have the beach,” said Jen Sistrunk, general manager of the South Haven Visitors Bureau. “We are a very picturesque small town, we are very passable on foot. You can park your car and walk to the beach, you can shop, you can eat and you can do all of these things without having to get back in the car. We are one of the very few communities where this is available. “
This community focuses on the water, much more than the beach. The Michigan Maritime Museum is here, and offers multiple options for getting out on the water in a historic boat. Other local options for boating include going out on a sloop, a 1941 Coast Guard boat, a US Navy utility boat, sailing boats, and the famous Lindy Lou. If you don’t want to go out in the open water, choose one of the many waterfront restaurants to enjoy both fabulous views and delicious food. Or, just take a stroll on one of the many beaches or along the Black River.
South Haven has made sure visitors feel safe and secure while visiting and offers many different accommodation options, according to Sistrunk. “We have beach houses that you can rent, we have private condos, cabins. You are not stuck in the condensed cities, we are much smaller and less condensed. “
There are a few things to look forward to this summer in South Haven. “We have a new playground that opened last year,” Sistrunk said. Lake Arvesta offers a crazy array of waterslides, wavy bridges and other play elements in an inflatable structure that sits right on the water. They will also be adding a disc golf park later this year. “It should be ready later this summer, it’s an 18 hole course, open to the public,” Sistrunk said.
South Haven has the best of both worlds for a summer vacation. “Small town charm, we happen to have a fabulous beach too,” Sistrunk said.
RELATED: Three great places to dine by the water’s edge in South Haven
The city of Holland came second in our poll. Home to Hope College, this small town is known for its popular Tulip Festival, which takes place each spring, when the whole area is bursting with colorful flowers and a celebration of Dutch heritage. And although this may be the most popular time to visit, Holland offers activities all year round. The downtown area offers fabulous shopping, as well as heated sidewalks in winter, as well as restaurants and brasseries for dining. And of course, there is a beautiful beach to relax in and the water of Lake Michigan for swimming.
“Great beach and campground,” Robert Mckay said of Holland. Jared Ensing agreed and said, “The best downtown, the best beaches, the best restaurants.”
Looking for a serious adventure? Check out Saugatuck Dune Rides, where you can ride a group to the area’s stunning sand dunes. Our third place brings you an amazing adventure, and you will learn about the lost city of Singapore, as well as the local flowers and wildlife, as you travel. “Fun ride, able to see part of the sand dunes that I can’t walk anymore,” said Debby Camalo.
RELATED: How to spend Michigan’s best day in St. Joseph’s
You can check out our poll winners below, along with other top Michigan stories from the Southwestern Mitten area.
Southwest Michigan Poll Winners
1. South Haven, MI – 33.73%
2. Holland, MI – 27.76%
3. Silver Beach, Saint-Joseph – 11.04%
4. Dune Rides, Saugatuck – 8.66%
5. Saint-Joseph / Benton Harbor – 7.76%
Other great destinations to visit in the region:
Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail
More Michigan Best in this region:
How to spend Michigan’s best day in St. Joseph’s
Three great places to dine by the water’s edge in South Haven
A luxury glamping destination in Michigan to add a cocktail bar, the expanding “ Treehouse Spa ”
How Holland’s Big Lake Brewing gives back, one beer at a time
Some of Michigan’s best donuts can be found at Union Pier
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