Grand Haven, Michigan – Affordable Fun For Everyone!



Beat the summer heat on the beaches of West Michigan, Yes!,  Michigan!

If you’re  not a local you’re in for one of the best surprises the northern United States has to offer. Its also one of the most affordable vacation spots for families, makes for a perfect romantic weekend getaway or a relaxing last minute escape from the norm…


This beautiful slice of heaven goes by the name of

Grand Haven, Michigan



This is a  sleepy little town eights months out of the year, unless you enjoy fresh water ice fishing, which is a pretty big draw here. Ill get into this very cool, not for everyone  option in a bit.

Grand Haven is a Michigan city on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, known for its sandy beaches. A shop- and restaurant-lined boardwalk runs along the harbor to Grand Haven State Park beach and the south pier, home to the 1839 Grand Haven Lighthouse.


The seasonal Grand Haven Musical Fountain features synchronized light and water shows. A trail with lake views winds through wooded dunes at Rosy Mound Natural Area.







Michigan’s #1 State Park and AAA’s preferred beach for Michigan. A popular destination for camping, fishing, sunbathing, volleyball and swimming.  This 48-acre park is located on the beautiful sandy shore of Lake Michigan. The park consists entirely of beach sand and provides scenic views of Lake Michigan and the Grand Haven pier and lighthouse.



This popular 7 acre park offers swimming and sunbathing along 745 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. During the summer, a barrier free beach walkway is available. Visitors can also climb the wooden stairway to the top of a dune for a panoramic view of Lake Michigan. Located 2 miles north of Grand Haven.



Sandy swimming beach located on Lake Michigan. The city beach is nestled between The Bil-Mar, a beachfront restaurant, and Grand Haven State Park beach on Harbor Drive. Limited free parking is available. No fees or passes required. Leashed dogs are allowed on the VERY South end of the City Beach – South of The Bil-Mar – look for signs.


A classic Great Lakes dune system including high wooded dunes, foredunes, beach and a dune blowout. A 0.7 mile (one way) hiking trail from the parking area to the Lake Michigan shoreline includes 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the dunes and scenic views of woods, the dune blowout and Lake Michigan. A unique shade canopy and dune boardwalk trail.


Sixty-eight acres of sandy beach, high bluffs and wooded dunes along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Covered pavilion, playground, swimming beach, nature hiking trails with scenic wooden stairways leading to dune overlooks. This is a popular park for swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, off-lease dog beach and cross country skiing.



Film location from the movie, “Road to Perdition,” starring Tom Hanks. Mostly wooded 20-acre site that includes a mature beech-maple-hemlock forest, a deep steep dune formation and 740 feet of Lake Michigan frontage.



Features over three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and beaches, 297 site modern campground, towering sand dunes, and the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center. Miles of hiking and skiing trails offers stunning views Lake Michigan and subtle beauty at every turn. Located five miles north of Grand Haven.


The Closest Airport to Fly into with affordable rates.


It’s located 16 miles out of Grand Rapids, Michigan and 37 miles from Grand Haven


Catch a cheap flight at AIRFAREWATCHDOG




Experience Vacation Living Your Way

Sleepy beachfront cottages with wraparound porches. Luxe condos and townhouses overlooking downtown’s main streets.

Furnished apartments within a stone’s throw of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The Grand Haven Area has more than 70 available vacation rental properties.

Some are year-round addresses with multiple rooms and winter guest amenities (such as snow removal and complimentary cozy slippers by the fireplace), while others cater exclusively to warmer-weather visitors.

Browse available rental options in the Grand Haven Area for either a weekend or weeklong getaway below!


Would You Stay In this House for $110 Per Night? We did and would do again.

VRBO HOUSE House Below Link…





Reel in that big one

Coho and chinook salmon, steelhead, lake trout, bass, bluegill, perch and walleye abound in the varied waters surrounding the Grand Haven Area. Have a charter captain navigate Lake Michigan in early fall in search of that prized salmon or steelhead [Converted]steelie. Travel inland to Spring Lake with friends, and cast a line from the shore in search of that elusive bass. Or go it alone and try to hook that trophy catch. Many anglers get lucky from the pier at Grand Haven State Park. And don’t forget to share in Grand Haven’s celebration of all things salmon during the annual Salmon Festival in September.

Use the pages below to download fishing guides, investigate local fishing hot spots and gear up to catch the ‘big one’. You can also find marinas, boat launches and charter fishing services.



Kim and Paul do everything they can to make sure you are comfortable and enjoying yourself including offering me beverages and a blanket and even taking a detour once they discovered what a real estate geek.
Heading up the river before turning around to head out past the lighthouses and to the big water of Lake Michigan, we were able to see some beautiful sites and catch a great sunset too!


Catch a cheap flight at AIRFAREWATCHDOG




 Ice Fishing



Auger down, tip-up

When the weather in Michigan gets colder, anglers get fishing across more than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams. In fact, for many experienced anglers winter is the best time to get hooked.

Ice fishing is a time-honored sport. It can be a solitary endeavor or a chance to win bragging rights among family and friends.

An ice fishing excursion can be as simple as drilling a hole in the ice and dropping in a line while perched on an overturned bucket.

Or it can be an all-day outing complete with an elaborate ice shanty boasting all the comforts of home.

Either way, traversing frozen waters allows anglers to reach the far corners of lakes that would be inaccessible during the open water season.

The state boasts more than 150 species of fish and almost all of them can be caught through the ice.

Popular species when the ice freezes over include panfish such as bluegill and perch as well as northern pike, walleye and various trout species.

Are you ready to get your fish on in Pure Michigan?  Families and friends can enjoy Free Fishing, Februay 15 & 16, 2020.


Everything You Need to Know About Ice Fishing

ice fishing on Lake Monona

No need to stay inside during the long winter months waiting for the sun to come out and dreaming about open water and summer fun. Be adventurous, bundle up, get outside and try fishing in a whole new way–through the ice! Ice fishing action can be fast and furious when winter seals the lakes under ice. Best of all, there are no mosquitoes or flies to “bug” you.

Imagine this. You bundle up and walk out onto a frozen lake on a clear and crisp winter day with your sled full of fishing gear and the fishing license in your pocket. Once you find the perfect fishing spot, you drill a large hole completely through the ice until you can see open water. Then, you get out the ice chisel to widen your hole. Now, you unpack your sled and find your special lures, jigging rods or tip-ups to catch the fish. You will probably want to get out your portable seat to sit on so that you can look down the hole to see what’s happening. Then, you grab the skimmer to keep the hole clear of the ice and slush that forms during the day. Once your line is set, you’ll need to keep a close eye on it or watch for the flag on the tip-up to see if you’ve caught a fish. When your hands get cold, you grab for the thermos of hot chocolate you brought along, mmmm, just what you need to warm up. You end up eating fish for lunch out on the ice, cooked on the small stove you brought along. What a great day of fishing!



There are so many great things to do in Grand Haven and while the beach is fun, walking around our downtown area and checking out these unique shops will make your trip THAT much better!


Craving a little bit of everything? Then this is the place for you. Clothes, purses, jewelry, home decor, shoes, candles, natural soaps, and lotions, yes please! Inside Lemongrass you will be enchanted by its vintage setting and modern finds that will make women of all ages become instantly obsessed.

Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm. Sun 11 am-5pm.

Location: 218 Washington Ave.

The Yankee Pedlar

Looking to find someone a gift that you would not find anywhere else? Yankee Pedlar offers beautiful antique collections, handmade soaps, jewelry, and home decor all done by local artists. Make sure to ask about their classes they put on for both adults and kids as well!

Hours:Mon-Fri 10-6pm. Saturday 10-7pm. Sunday 11am-6pm.

Location: 220 Washington Ave.

 Jean Marie’s

Here you can find all the latest styles that you will want for just about any occasion.  Be sure to try on the world’s softest Nikibiki leggings that come in different styles, there is no doubt you will be taking a pair home! With a wide array of sizes, affordable prices, and did we mention free giveaways?? There is no reason why you should not check them out.

Hours:Mon-Sat 10am-9pm. Sun 11am-8pm

Location: 212 Washington Ave.

 Purple Rose Boutique

Although it’s not located directly on the main shopping strip, this boutique is full of character and eccentricity that you won’t want to miss. You are sure to find some feminine and sassy clothes, accessories, house decor, and much more in a wide array of sizes at great prices!

Hours: Mon 12-5pm. Tue-Fri 10-6pm. Sat 10-5pm. Sunday Closed.

Location: 232 Jackson St.

 Lee and Birch

Looking for a store that offers a collection of timeless and modern styles? If that sounds like you, I recommend that you keep reading. Lee and Birch has been offering apparel and accessories from premium brands such as Hudson, Paige Denim, DL1961, and much more since 2007.   Be sure to ask about their Brightly Twisted dresses, seriously guys.. So comfortable. They also offer an assortment of handmade jewelry mostly made by local artists, and some all the way from Indonesia and Haiti!

Hours: Mon-Fri 10-7pm. Sat 10-6pm. Sunday 12-5pm.

Location: 128 Washington Ave.

 Down to Earth

Here, you will find an eclectic collection of clothes, accessories, and house decor that ages 20+ will enjoy. This place offers a mix of antique and contemporary pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. Their friendly staff should get an award for their customer service and will help you put together any outfit centered around your style. Make sure to ask about their hour-long gatherings for groups or parties!

Hours: Mon-Thu 10-6pm. Fri 10am-8pm. Sat 10-6pm. Sun 11-5pm.

Location: 105 Washington Ave.

 Buffalo Bob’s

Even though this is not necessarily a ’boutique’ but more so a general store, we could not pass up putting this on the list. Here you will find affordable, up-to-date trends that any age 20+ will fall in love with. Attention bargain shoppers out there, check out their huge $5 basket, you never know what you could snatch up! They also sell a collection of sunglasses from the hottest brands that you will want to try on.

Hours: Mon-Thu 10-6pm. Fri 10-7pm. Sat 10-6pm. Sunday Closed.

Location: 136 Washington Ave.

 JJ Marche

Would you describe your style as “comfy but cute?” If this is you, JJ Marche is the place for you. Comfortable and easy to wear clothing is what you will find primarily focused around the 35+ age group. They offer a variety of accessories including fun summer hats, jewelry, gift items, and much more!

Hours: Mon 11-5pm. Tue-Sat 11-6pm. Sun 11-4pm.

Location: 16 Washington Ave.

 Must Love Dogs Boutique and Spa

The name of the store says it all- to come inside, you gotta love to spoil your dog! Here, you can find an assortment of unique items for your dog and even for yourself to show everybody that the obsession with your canine best friend is real. They also provide a self-serve dog wash when your dog has had a little too much fun playing in the dirt. And remember, dogs love shopping too, so don’t deprive him of this fun experienc

Eat Ice Cream While Watching The Musical Fountain



This little beach town has a slew of ice cream shops right along the boardwalk and downtown (Pump House pictured above). Scout out your favorite, then have a seat among the rolling grass to enjoy an evening with The Musical Fountain.

The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is a synchronized water and light show accompanied with music of all varieties. Although us locals may take it for granted, it truly is a fun and engaging spectacle! Each 25-minute show features a variety of well-known music and plays daily at dusk from Memorial Day through Labor Day as well as Fridays and Saturdays in May and September.

Get a Craft Beer at Oddside Ales


This expansive bar and coffee shop offer tons of their locally brewed beer on tap along with other adult beverages, amazing coffee beverages, and you can either bring in your own food or order The Toasted Pickle from your bartender there. This place looks fantastic after their 2019 remodel!

Eat a Sandwich


There are plenty to choose from around town, but our absolute favorites are The Toasted Pickle (top picture) and Lucy’s Deli!

The Toasted Pickle

112 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417


Lucy’s Deli

133 Columbus Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Eat BBQ, Drink Beer & Watch Live Music at Grand Armory


Grand Armory Building Grand Haven MI | The Creative Fringe

Grand Armory is another craft brewery right downtown, also containing Aldea coffee and Righteous Cuisine Barbecue. This two floor space is a quiet coffee shop by day and a live music venue by night serving the best BBQ in town.

Ride the Trolley To Get Around


Grand Haven Trolley Downtown | The Creative Fringe

Enjoy a historic narrative tour that starts at Chinook Pier, travels the waterfront and downtown areas and provides a unique trip back in time as you learn the history of Grand Haven.

Each summer from Memorial Day through Labor Day, historic trolley rides are available to residents and visitors alike. The service runs seven days a week from 11am to 10pm with pickup locations at Chinook Pier, Boardwalk, the State Park, The Bookman and Pfaff Pharmacy.

Fares: 60 years and older $ .75
19 – 59 years old $1.50
18 years old & under $ .75
Persons with a disability $ .75
Under 2 years FREE



Lets  –




Happy Travels, Chris

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