South Haven Travel Guide

  • South Haven
    by LoriPori
  • Historic District
    Historic District
    by Basaic
  • Michigan Maritime Museum
    Michigan Maritime Museum
    by Basaic

South Haven Things to Do


    One of the things to do in South Haven, is visit the MICHIGAN MARITIME MUSEUM.The Museum highlights Great Lakes Heritage and consists of a Center hosting permanent and changing exhibits, a boathouse, Lightkeepers House and Great Lakes Research Library. The Library contains nearly 4,000 books, maps, nautical charts, periodicals and more.You can even...


    Right downtown South Haven is the retro MICHIGAN THEATRE. They offer the latest movies at unbelievable prices. Fun thing to do if it's a rainy day.Matinees - All shows before 6:00 p.m. $4.00Evening - all shows 6:00 p.m. and after $5.50 Monday Special 2 tickets for $8.00Bring your own bucket and fill it with Popcorn for .50 cents. Also .50 cents for...


    I wanted to visit the SOUTH HAVEN INFORMATION CENTER to get some brochures and information about South Haven. I was not disappointed as I got tons of leaflets, brochures and even books about the town. I use them for the scrapbooks that I make. The main information Center is right downtown South Haven on Phoenix Street. When we were there,...

  • Pay a visit to DeGrandchamp Farms

    Whether it is to see the 150 acres of blueberry bushes or the sample their delicious harvest, a South Haven guest ought to make the effort to get to DeGrandchamp Farms, three miles south of the town on Blue Star Highway.Today, DeGrandchamp has a packing and shipping facility with a large farm market, featuring many blueberry and cranberry items...

  • National Blueberry Festival

    South Haven is known as the Blueberry Capital. To celebrate this honor, the National Blueberry Festival is held every August. Not only are there loads of blueberry products available, but there is plenty to see and do -- concerts by the Black River, a craft show, 5K run/walk, blueberry pie social, blueberry pie-eating contest, fish boil dinner, the...

  • Where shall we worship this Sunday?

    It's true, I'm an avid Episcopalian...but that doesn't mean I'm not willing to sample other denominations, particularly when my hostess is the head of the bell choir at a particular church! At the National Blueberry Festival, First Congregational was well represented. The AAUW Booksale took place within its fellowship hall; members of the parish...

  • South Haven Pier and Lighthouse

    Living in the northeast, I have a fair amount of contact with lighthouses -- in fact, I kayak out to one quite often during the summer months. But I knew nothing of South Haven's bright red beacon until a local friend sent me a postcard of the lighthouse under assault by icy Lake Michigan waves. It was warmer when I visited, thank goodness!The...

  • Love antigues and historic stuff?

    South Haven is full of history,especially if you are into old historic places. They have a Maritime Museum that offers information about all of the shipcrecks that have ever occurred in Lake Michigan. The have a replica of an old ship, huge, that takes your out on a cruise. South Haven has a bunch of historic inn you can stay in. Hotel Nichols has...

  • Michigan Maritime Museum

    The very first thing that Mickey and I did after we parked our car at the Yelton Bed and Breakfast, was to walk to the Michigan Maritime Museum This museum cherishes and keeps the history of the Great Lakes. It is open year-round and available for group and school tours.At this museum includes:The Gallies and Museum StoreThe VanOort US Coast Guard...


South Haven Hotels

South Haven Restaurants

  • Family friendly dining

    Most recent visit September 2013South Haven doesn't have a ton of restaurants but it does have a lot of visitors, especially on the weekends even in the fall. So instead of trying to go for lunch, we rode our bikes first and then stopped by around 4pm, there was still a 10-15 minute wait but that's nothing compared to the normal hour wait if you...


    Thursday, September 12, 2013Hans and I had a craving for BBQ Ribs & Chicken, so I looked for a restaurant close to our Motel and found RANCH HOUSE RIBS. It was just down the road from our Motel on M-140.When we got there, it didn't look like much and we hesitated about going in at all. I went in to check it out and I was in heaven as it smelled so...


    Wednesday, September 11. 2013Hans and I were in the mood for chinese food and the CHINA BUFFET was about a ten minute drive from our Motel. The restaurant is plain looking from outside but the inside was decorated very nicely and mainly had booth seating which I like. We both started with the peel and eat tiger shrimp. They offered two kinds of...

  • At least the outside patio was nice...

    80 degree days in October are rare so we stopped to eat here because of the large outside patio. As we were sitting down, we heard several tables around us complaining about the amount of time it was taking to get their food but we weren't in any big rush and it was such a nice day to be sitting outside. I'm guessing they must get their business...

  • Awesome!

    The Chocolate Cafe has the best Mocha I've ever had! They take melted chocolate and pour it into the steaming pitcher with milk and make a delicious mocha! They also top it with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a cherry! Yum! I also had their Death By Chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Some friends had told me about this but I...

  • Bring your own maple syrup

    The Phoenix Street Cafe was voted the best place for breakfast and lunch in South Haven in 2009. That's probably all you need to know, but my friend Brian eats there almost every day of the week with his closest friend. As a special treat during my visit, Brian (and his wife Ann, who does not herself dine there on a daily basis) allowed me to join...


South Haven Transportation

  • About Three and a Half Hours From...

    On Monday, September 13, 2009, my long-time friend, Mickey [Michelle], and I left my home about 6:30 a.m. It was not the most optimal time to leave because we had to go through Chicago, and this was heavy traffic time. However, we forged ahead.The photo is of Mickey beside her car; she was braving the difficult part of our journey as our...

  • Flying in, in your private plane

    South Haven has its own regional airport, located four miles south of town. The airport is licensed for pirvate planes, and was completely rebuilt in the past twenty years. It has two runways, including a 4,300 foot paved runway with pilot controlled lighting, precision approach path indicator and an instrument approach.

  • South Haven Hotels

    10 Hotels in South Haven

South Haven Shopping

  • Seasonal fruit and gifts

    There are dozens of places selling seasonal fruit and many also have apple picking seasons. It's been a long time since I've picked my own apples but we do like to stop and get some fruit on our fall excursions into Michigan. Dutch Farms is at the entrance to exit 26 off I-196, the same exit for McIntosh Winery so we've stopped here a couple of...

  • Wine tasting

    Most recent visit September 2013We tried the hard apple cider from McIntosh's at Clementine's and when we asked them where we could buy it locally, they gave us a flyer from McIntosh's Orchard. It was already after their closing time when we called them but they said we could still come on over, it was about a 15 minute drive from downtown South...


    Downtown South Haven streets are lined with historic buildings that house more than 70 boutiques, galleries and shops.Here you will find resort apparel, gourmet food and kitchenware, house & garden items, books, jewellery and handbags. Along the Black River, Old Harbour Village, which is a short walk from downtown, you can stroll along its...


South Haven Local Customs

  • deecat's Profile Photo

    by deecat Updated Sep 23, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Whenever I travel, I often notice those particulars in a community that set it apart. One item that I keep a keen eye for would be what I call the town's Civic Pride

    South Haven, Michigan is a town with lots of civic pride. We first noticed it when we walked across the bridge and admired the beautiful flowers that lined both sides of the bridge. One evening as we walked to town, we had to cross over to the other side as a gentleman was using a hose to water the flowers. The hose container was left out on each side at the end of the bridge and no one bothered it. I had said to Mickey that someone really had to take care of these flowers because they are so lovely. Being a big gardener, I really appreciate flowers/plants that are well attended. [See Photo #1]

    Next, I always notice the local memorials that a city presents. I noticed two such memorials. One is a War Memorial for those who served in WWI [See Photo #2] It's a simple yet attractive dedication to those who sacrificed during "the big war".

    Another memorial is the one located on Phoenix Island (the traffic island on Phoenix Street in town) that is dedicated to the fire fighters. It's sponsored by the SHAESA or the South Haven Area Emergency Service Authority. [See Photo #3] If you want to hear more about it, you can go to

    Finally, I also enjoy how a town welcomes its visitors. see Photo #4 for such a welcome sign.

    I was impressed with how clean, welcoming, and beautiful the town of South Haven, Michigan appeared.

    Beautiful Flowers On the Bridge WWI Memorial Fire Fighters Memorial Welcoming Sign to South Haven
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South Haven Warnings and Dangers

  • Even Lakes Can Get Rough!

    We found out after our weekend in the South Haven area that on Saturday a 43 year old man drowned just off the pier at the South Haven Beach. That day the winds were very strong and that coupled with the churning under toe of the lake water pulled the man under. According to the news story he had rescued some of his younger relatives, but was too...

  • Weekend traffic

    A lot of people from Chicago, mostly those folks living in the south suburbs or the southern parts of the city, have vacation homes in Michigan near Lake Michigan. The worst times to drive towards Michigan in the summer months are on Friday in the late afternoon when everyone is heading to their vacation homes and going back to Chicago, the worst...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

South Haven Off The Beaten Path


    The town of GLENN really is off the beaten path, because we literally had to get off Highway 31 and on to the A2 to get to it. It is located between Saugatuck and South Haven, close to the Lake Michigan shore.Glenn is known as the "Pancake Town" because of an incident during a 1937 snowstorm in which travelers who were stranded, took refuge at a...

  • McIntosh Apple Orchards

    McIntosh Apple Orchards are located:6431 107th AvenueSouth Haven, MI 49090Mickey and I wanted to see an apple orchard so we placed this address into Mickey's GPS, and are we glad we did; otherwise, we would not have found it.On this beautiful last day of our visit to South Haven, and after our 5-mile walk in the Kal-Haven Trail State Park, we were...

  • Glenn Michigan - The Pancake Town

    About halfway between Saugatuck and South Haven, Michigan on the Blue Star Highway is the town of Glenn, Michigan. In the days before the Interstate made it up here, all cars traveling along the lake shore in Michigan had to travel on the Blue Star Highway through Glenn. Nowadays only a handful of cars travel this road even though it is in great...


South Haven Sports & Outdoors

  • Kal Haven bike trail

    Trying to squeeze every drop out of an October day that was more like summer than fall, we headed to South Haven to try the Kal Haven bike trail. The trail is 33.5 miles long so we only did a small portion of it between the trail head in South Haven and Grand Junction 10.5 miles down the trail for a round trip of 21 miles in total. The section we...

  • Four Golf Course in South Haven,...

    South Haven, Michigan, has four golf courses. Three of them are 18-hole courses, and one of them is a nine-hole course.At the South Haven Visitors Bureau, I inquired about the golf in the area and was given some fine information. I wanted this information to show to my husband so that perhaps he and I could return to the area for a golf...

  • Fishing Off The Pier

    I did a little fishing in my teens after my parents moved to an area close to a couple of small lakes (actually lagoons), but the inactivity of the sport and then trying to unhook the fish and then clean them to eat wasn't my cup off tea. However, if you have the fishing bug Lake Michigan, being one of the 5 Great Lakes in the U.S. is a great place...


South Haven Favorites


    South Haven is known as a major recreational port. SOUTH HAVEN MUNICIPAL MARINA is open from April 15 to October 15 and offers picnic areas, shower, restroom and laundry facilities. My main picture is of Southside Municipal Marina, one of four marinas in South Haven.


    Located in the southwest corner of Michigan along the shores of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Black River, SOUTH HAVEN is a major tourist area because of its recreational Harbor and beaches. South Haven was incorporated as a village in 1869 and as a city in 1902. Notable Points of interest in South Haven include:South Haven Pier & Lighthouse...


    The first LIGHTHOUSE was made of wood and was built in 1872 by the United States Lighthouse Board. The second was made of steel. It was built in 1903 and is still in use today. In 1923 it was electrified with a 200 watt bulb and in the 1940's the tower was painted read ( before this it was white).The original PIER and catwalk were made of wood and...


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