South Haven, Michigan is a picturesque town that boasts miles of sandy beaches, charming shops, and local eateries that serve up delicious farm-to-table cuisine. It’s a destination that offers visitors an abundance of must-dos and hidden gems that are sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or with your girlfriends, this guide is sure to inspire you to make the trip and explore all that South Haven has to offer.
Visit South Beach
South Beach is the crown jewel of South Haven and is a must-do attraction for any visitor. This beautiful beach offers miles of sandy shoreline and crystal-clear water, making it perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing. It’s also a great spot for water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding.
Tour the Michigan Maritime Museum
Discover the rich maritime history of South Haven and the Great Lakes at the Michigan Maritime Museum. This hidden gem is home to a collection of artifacts, exhibits, and boats that tell the story of the region’s maritime past. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a ride on the Lindy Lou, a historic river launch that dates back to the 1920s.
Explore the Kal-Haven Trail
For the active traveler, the Kal-Haven Trail offers miles of scenic hiking and biking trails. This hidden gem runs from Kalamazoo to South Haven and passes through small towns, forests, and farmland. Along the way, you’ll encounter stunning views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding countryside.
Taste local cuisine at Clementine’s
No trip to South Haven is complete without a stop at Clementine’s, a local favorite that serves up delicious farm-to-table cuisine. From fresh seafood to locally sourced produce, the menu at Clementine’s is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Don’t miss the chance to try their famous cherry bread pudding!
Take a sunset sail on the Friends Good Will
For a unique experience, take a sunset sail on the Friends Good Will, a replica of an 1810 merchant vessel. This hidden gem offers visitors the chance to experience the beauty of Lake Michigan and the thrill of sailing on a historic ship. Be sure to bring your camera as the sunset views are breathtaking.
Visit the South Haven Light
The South Haven Light is a historic landmark that dates back to 1872. This must-do attraction offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s maritime past and a stunning view of Lake Michigan. Climb to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of South Haven and the surrounding area.
Go wine tasting at Fenn Valley Vineyards
For the wine lover, a visit to Fenn Valley Vineyards is a must-do. This hidden gem offers visitors the chance to taste award-winning wines and explore the vineyard’s beautiful surroundings. Don’t miss the opportunity to try their signature wine, the Traminette.
Explore the Van Buren State Park
Located just a few miles south of South Haven, the Van Buren State Park is a hidden gem that offers visitors miles of sandy beaches and hiking trails. Be sure to climb the dunes for a panoramic view of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area.
Visit the Michigan Flywheelers Museum
For a unique and educational experience, visit the Michigan Flywheelers Museum. This hidden gem is home to a collection of antique tractors, engines, and machinery that tell the story of America’s rural past. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the museum’s collection of steam-powered tractors.
Shop and Dine in Downtown South Haven
Downtown South Haven is a charming area that is home to a variety of shops and eateries offering visitors a fantastic dining and shopping scene. If you’re a foodie or a shopaholic, you’re in for a treat! Here are some hotspots and hidden gems that you won’t want to miss:
- Clementine’s: This casual yet upscale restaurant serves up delicious farm-to-table cuisine with a rotating seasonal menu.
- Black River Tavern: A local favorite, this gastropub offers a variety of craft beers and pub fare with a twist.
- Taste: For a taste of the Mediterranean, head to Taste for their delicious tapas, small plates, and cocktails.
- Captain Nemo’s: This nautical-themed shop has everything from beach gear to souvenirs and is a must-visit for any tourist.
- Phoenix Rising: This boutique offers a unique collection of jewelry, accessories, and clothing from local and national designers.
- The Collective: A newer addition to the shopping scene, The Collective is a beautifully curated collection of home goods, gifts, and clothing.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, a fancy night out or a casual day of shopping, South Haven has something for everyone. Come hungry and ready to shop!