Grand Haven: Detroit Moms’ Favorite Michigan Vacation Spots

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Grand Haven is one of Michigan’s most popular summer towns for good reason: there’s something to keep everyone happy. The obvious vacation choice is to spend summer days on the beach at Lake Michigan. If you’re hoping to stay active, Grand Haven boasts great parks and trails for biking and hiking. There are endless shops to browse in the downtown area for great shopping. And, if you’re flexing your foodie muscles, look forward to restaurants with some of the best dishes you’ve ever tried.

Just a quick drive to the west side of the state, Grand Haven is perfect for families as well as a couples’ getaway. Here’s the best of Grand Haven not to be missed on your next trip to the shores of Lake Michigan.

3 FAVORITE RESTAURANTS

The Paisley Pig Gastropub | 501 Miller Dr, 616-607-7563
Gigantic portions are great for sharing; be sure to get the meatloaf!

Fricano’s Pizza Tavern | 1400 Fulton St, 616-842-8640
The most simplistic and delicious pizza, serving only six toppings and one size. There’s always a wait for dine-in or carryout and they don’t take credit cards.

Morning Star Cafe | 711 Washington Ave, 616-844-1131
The best place in town for breakfast. Their cinnamon rolls are unreal.

3 FAVORITE FREE ATTRACTIONS

Grand Haven City Beach | S Harbor Dr, 616-842-3210
The perfect slice of Lake Michigan waterfront. Free parking available.

Grand Haven Musical Fountain | 101 N Harbor Dr, 616-842-4499
Ordinarily, shows occur nightly at the fountain but have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.

Imagination Station at Mulligan’s Hollow | Mulligan Drive
A huge wooden playscape great for kids and the perfect thing to do when it’s not beach weather.

FAVORITE PAID ATTRACTIONS

The Harbor Trolley | Chinook Pier
Hop on anywhere in the city for a narrated tour. Note this one for later as the trolley is currently not operating due to COVID-19. 

Charter a Boat 
Take a cruise on Lake Michigan to see the scenic coastline.  

FAVORITE PLACES TO STAY

Bluewater Inn | 1030 S Harbor, 616-846-7431
Located directly across the street from the Grand Haven State Park, many rooms have kitchenettes. 

Camp at Grand Haven State Park | 1001 Harbor Ave, 616-847-1309
Campsites are on the sand, steps away from the water. Camping for tents, trailers, and RVs.

AirBnB Off the Beaten Path 
Staying off the main area gives everyone a break from the summer busyness of downtown.

FAVORITE PLACE FOR SWEET TREATS

Sweet Temptations | 621 Miller Dr, 616-842-8108
Homemade ice creams and other sweet treats. 

FAVORITE PLACE FOR SOUVENIRS

Harborwear | 211 Washington Ave, 616-842-0030
Best place to get quality souvenir shirts.

FAVORITE PHOTO OP

Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier 
Any time of day is a great time to stroll the pier and check out the lighthouse, but if you can wait for the sunset, it makes for a great photo.

FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP

Aldea Coffee | 17 S Second St, 231-375-5275
Located in the Armory Building. Great coffee and baked goods from local businesses.

BONUS TIPS TO GRAND HAVEN

  • Approximate Travel Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes.
  • Visit the first two weeks of July for the Coast Guard Festival.
  • Spend a day at the Rosy Mound Natural Area hiking, swimming, or biking.
  • Shopping in Downtown Grand Haven is great for the boutiques and unique small businesses.

Where is your family’s favorite vacation spot in Michigan? Check out some of our team’s favorites in our summer-long series: Pentwater, Petoskey, Houghton/Hancock.

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