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South Haven, Michigan is a beach town, founded in 1869, but with history of it’s beginnings back to the early 1830’s. With deep roots as a vacation destination, I can see why families choose to own summer homes here. If you’re not aware, it’s common for Michiganders to have summer cottages on a lake if they are from the big city areas.
From Holland to South Haven
What is South Haven Michigan known for?
South Haven is known for fishing history, shopping, blueberry festival, lighthouse, and Lake Michigan beaches. This quaint little beach town has a lot to offer when it comes to fun on the water and off.
Old Harbor Village and South Haven Brewpub
One thing I was looking forward to during our Michigan trip, was having perch. I grew up fishing the Great Lakes of Michigan. Catch, scale, clean, cut, prep, and cook. We did it all!
Loved the old river front building in Old Harbor Village, and we did end up being seated outside.
While walking about Old Harbor Village, the buildings are quite charming, and make perfect spots for photo opportunities.
Does South Haven have a downtown area?
Walking Around South Haven Michigan
South Haven most certainly has a downtown area, and it’s filled with shops, restaurants, and more. From Old Harbor Village, we headed south on Center St, and made a pit stop at The Flying Saucer coffee shop. Our oldest needed a little pick-me-up.
Also found lots more places to snap some cute pictures. Like this one at the park, just outside the farmer’s market pavilion.
Harbor Light Brewery
Does South Haven have a beach?
Does South Haven have a boardwalk?
South Haven South Pier Light and South Beach
South Haven has more than one beach, so don’t leave South Haven without heading West on Water St to South Beach. If weather and time permit during your visit, take a stroll along the beach, swim, and take a walk out south pier to the Lighthouse. Lake Michigan sunsets are some of the most beautiful you will ever see. So, if you’re there at dusk, you’ll want to be at the beach. There is a fee for parking, but we arrived in the early evening, just when parking was becoming free for the night.
I would say you can consider the walk out the the lighthouse, a boardwalk. The concrete pier allows more than enough space to comfortably, and safely walk out to the lighthouse.
South Haven Lighthouse was originally built out of wood by the United States Lighthouse Board in 1873. After the turn of the century, the lighthouse was rebuilt of steel, and has been since 1903. However, the current lighthouse still retains the original roof from what once was the first Harbor Light. In 2012, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred from the United States of America to the Historical Association of South Haven.
South Haven Lighthouse is well known for being “iced over” during the harsh winters. As Lake Michigan produces large waves, up over the light, it freezes over. A very popularly photographed sight. If you Google “South Haven Lighthouse in winter” prepare to be amazed!
Is South Haven Michigan worth visiting?
Having only spent part of a day in South Haven, we could see there is more than enough to visit and see for days. Not sure what all the hype is yet, but when I do make it back, Clementine’s will be on my list of places to check out. This was the only place we noticed a long wait to get seated, so it must be good! We would definitely go back to spend more than a day in South Haven Michigan.