14 Reasons to Visit South Haven This Summer

South Haven is a small community situated comfortably within walking distance of the Lake Michigan shoreline. With a diverse array of lodging & dining options, as well as a legendary history of summer festivals and hospitality to match, South Haven is the perfect place for friends and families to visit and begin new traditions. Here are 14 Reasons folks visit (and revisit) South Haven the most:

1. Sugar Sand & Rocky Beaches
The number one reason why people visit South Haven in the summer is to spend time on the city’s beautiful beaches. Along the Great Lakes you will find different terrains on the shores, from rocks to dunes to soft and silky sand. South Haven’s public beaches (there are seven!) are full of groomed, sugary sand that is perfect for relaxing, building sand castles and enjoying the sunshine.

Photo Credit: @jenninthesun

Photo Credit: @jenninthesun

2. Walkability
You can park anywhere in town and walk from the downtown shopping area to the beach with relative ease. Getting to and from locations is simple in South Haven, and there are several hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals within walking distance to all the excitement of the downtown and nearby beaches. This makes it easy to rent a scooter, a bicycle or a golf cart and have fun around town! It’s easy here!

photo credit: @timlargentsr

Photo Credit: @timlargentsr

3. Variety Of Accommodations
There is a huge variety of places to stay in the city and township. Two locally-owned hotels are located directly downtown, while four chain hotels lie just a mile down from the main strip on Phoenix Street. You’ll also find several bed and breakfasts, an abundant amount of vacation rental homes, unique inns and camping cabins.

The Caboose Inn

Photo Credit: Mark McCulfor

4. Exciting Adventures
Kids will love splashing around at the Friends Good Will Splash Pad, located near South Beach. The Splash Pad is an enchanting and safe place to allow small children to frolic Also, located just 4 miles from downtown, Arvesta Sport Complex contains two wibbit play areas, a cable park for skiing, wakeboarding and kneeboarding (no experience required), waterslides, a drink bar and more!

5. On-Water Experiences
There are so many different options to suit your taste for adventure, relaxation and fun:
• SoHa Surf Shop sets up camp at North and South Beaches with kayak and paddle board rentals.
• The Michigan Maritime Museum hosts a fleet of historic and replica boats, including tall ship Friends Good Will, an experience you can’t miss out on!
• The Sunsetter is docked at the South Marina and is a relaxing cruise that offers views of the lakeshore.
• Elsie J, a renovated 1945 Tugboat, takes day trips and sunset cruises.
Try one, or try all!

6. Pure Michigan Trail Town
In 2019, South Haven was one of the first four communities to be designated as a Pure Michigan Trail Town. Rent a bicycle from Rock n’ Road Cycle and hop on the Kal-Haven and Van Buren Trails for a scenic ride, or a casual stroll. Rent a kayak at Black River Park and paddle up river on the Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail. Visit one of the township’s four nature preserves and hike along dunes, wooded paths and even search for beach glass. There are so many ways to enjoy South Haven’s trails, and each trail has its own unique aspects.

7. Waterfront Bars
If you’re looking for a fun atmosphere to grab a bite or have a drink, look no further than Captain Lou’s, Admiral Jack’s and the Idler Riverboat. All three are situated around South Haven’s harbor and you can very easily walk to and from each bar. Live music is a frequent occurrence on the weekends in the summertime.

Photo Credit: Radiant Landscapes Photography

8. Handcrafted Haven
Three breweries, one craft beer tasting room, three wine tasting rooms, a winery and a cidery all exist within the South Haven zip code. You can find even more if you venture further afield in all directions. There are so many flavors to try!

9. Michigan’s Fruit Belt
Fresh produce is a staple at South Haven’s downtown farm market, which runs every Saturday from mid-May to mid-October and every Wednesday from June-August. There are several surrounding farms offering u-pick strawberries, raspberries, peaches and (of course) blueberries. Summer fruit is a must have, and in South Haven there is PLENTY to go around!

South Haven, aka The Blueberry Capital of the World!

10. Locally-Owned And Quaint Downtown
South Haven’s downtown is full of locally-owned shops and restaurants. You’ll find a variety of stores, from t-shirt shops to jewelry, women’s clothing, home decor, candy, toys, books and so much more. Make it an adventure with in-store experiences like 42N Naturals‘ fragrance and terrarium bar, and Kalamazoo Candle Company‘s candlemaking workshop!

11. Eating Across Downtown
Whether it’s a burger and beer or a martini and chef’s plate, you’ll be able to satisfy your craving at one of the many South Haven restaurants. There are classic American diners, upscale destinations, pizza joints and ethnic options. On the water, the beach, in town, or in the country, there’s a place to eat in nearly every corner of South Haven. With vineyards and craft breweries to tour as well, you can try something new every day. Eat your way through South Haven’s restaurants and maybe you’ll even find your new favorite food spot!

The Reuben Sandwich at The Lodge

12. Sherman Dairy Bar’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream
Sherman’s has been a local favorite for 63 years and for good reason! Their old-fashioned ice cream is made one batch at a time with rich flavors. You’ll find classic flavors along with fun and unique choices, and of course the midwestern favorite, blue moon!

13. Historic Movie Theatre With Throwback Prices
Rain or shine, a movie at the historic downtown Michigan Theatre is a fun way to spend your time. The prices have not changed since the 90’s so you can see a matinee for only $4, and an evening show for $5.50. You can’t beat that!

14. Sunsets Over Lake Michigan
Cozy up in the sand, gather in front of the lighthouse, or find a spot among the bluffs. Sunsets are a magical sight and they are a great way to wind down from the day. If there is anything we highly recommend, it’s witnessing a stunning, colorful sunset. That’s a South Haven specialty! Click here for our 2023 Sunset Schedule.

photo credit: @timlargentsr

Photo Credit: @timlargentsr

How to Halloween in Muskegon!

Muskegon offers SO many unique ways to get your chills and thrills!

We love this time of year; and know you will too!

The chills and thrills range from historical to hysterical.  We have compiled a list of not too frightful fun for the little ones, eerie entertainment for the entire family, and ghostly good-times for the grownups. 

👻 All Ages
🎃 Kid Friendly
🍂  Grown Up Fun (Not recommended for little ones)


Friday, October 25

🍂  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Full Moon Cookies & Canvas by Wine and Canvas Grand Rapids: Sherman Bowling Center
👻 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Frankenstein Friday: Jumpin Jupiter Skate Center
👻 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm / 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm Obituary Tour: Hackley and Hume Historic Site
🍂  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Haunted Hall: Muskegon Conspiracy Exposed: The Lakes Mall
👻 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm Trail of Terror Holton: 7582 Crocker Rd
🍂 11:00 pm Rocky Horror Halloween Show: Harbor Cinema


Saturday, October 26

👻 Halloween Extravaganza at Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo
👻 9:00 am – 5:00 pm FREE Halloween at The Crue
🎃 10:00 am – 5:00 pm FREE Spookley the Square Pumpkin Fall Activities: Weesies Bros. Garden Centers & Landscaping
👻 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm FREE Zombie Walk: Harbor Cinema
🎃 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm FREE Mini Pumpkin Painting: Hackley Public Library
🎃 2:00 pm – 2:54 pm Kids Yoga – Halloween Edition: Rootdown Yoga·Juice·Greens
🎃 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Trick or Treating at the Muskegon South Pierhead Light (FREE for kids in costumes with paid adult)
🍂  3:30 pm – 11:55 pm Celtic Halloween Samhain Party featuring The Barley SaintsUnruly Brewing

👻 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm Halloween at the Getty Drive-In Theatre:
……4:30 PM – Doors Open
……5:30 PM – Trunk or Treat
……7:00 PM Goosebumps & Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
……7:30 PM Halloween 1978 & Halloween 2018
……7:30 PM Psycho & The Birds
……8:00 PM Rocky Horror Picture Show

🍂  6:00 pm – 10:00 pm Halloween Game Night: Bardic Wells Meadery
👻 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm / 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm Obituary Tour: Hackley and Hume Historic Site
🍂  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Muskegon Conspiracy Exposed: Lakes Mall
👻 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm Trail of Terror Holton: 7582 Crocker Rd
🍂  8:00 pm – 11:00 pm Downtown Halloween Pub Crawl: Pigeon Hill Brewing Company
🍂  8:00 pm – 11590 pm Downtown Muskegon Halloween Pub Crawl: Hennessy’s Pub
🍂  9:00 pm – 1:00 am Halloween Party featuring Borrowed Time: PUB ONE ELEVEN

Sunday, October 27

👻 Halloween Extravaganza at Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo

Monday, October 28
👻 6:00 pm – 8:00 Pimp Your Pumpkin: Old Homestead Tavern
👻 6:30 pm – 8:00 Cumbia Halloween Dance: Orchard View Early Elementary

Tuesday, October 29

👻 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM FREE Paranormal Muskegon: Hackley Public Library
👻 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Monster Mash Boo Bash: Jumpin’ Jupiter Skate & Fun Center
👻 6:30 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Friends of the Norton Shores Library
🍂 7:00 pm FREE Halloween Trivia: Pigeon Hill Brewing Company

Wednesday, October 30

🍂  6:00 pm FREE AhFest (Muskegon Area Arts and Humanities Festival) Film Fest, Surprise Horror Film: Muskegon Museum of Art
🍂  8:00 pm Founders Brewing Co. Film Series “Scream” with Underground Mountain Brown: Celebration Cinema

Thursday, October 31

🎃 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM FREE Halloween Story Time: Hackley Public Library
👻 3:00 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Visually & Physically Disabled Branch of the Muskegon District Libraries

Trick or Treaters

Friday, November 1

🎃 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm 6th Annual Little Goblins Boo Bash: Watermark 920
👻 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Haunted Car Wash: Van’s Car Wash
👻 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Tellabration – A Night of Storytelling: Muskegon Museum of Art
🍂 8:30 pm Day of the Dead Costume Party: Unruly Brewing

Saturday, November 2

🍂  5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Delicious Demise: Art of Cookery – Cooking School
🍂 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Passion and Perversity: The Inner Chambers of Edgar Allen Poe: Muskegon Museum of Art
👻 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Haunted Car Wash: Van’s Car Wash
🍂  8:00 pm Adult Halloween Party: Jimmy’s Pub Montague
🍂  8:00 pm – 12:00 am Adult Halloween Party: 46 Bar
🍂  9:30 pm – 2:00 am Adult Halloween Party: Old Homestead Tavern

Monday, November 4
👻 3:00 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Muskegon Township Library

Tuesday, November 5
👻 6:00 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Holton Library

Thursday, November 7
👻 6:00 pm FREE Escape Box Challenge: Harry Potter & the Quidditch Quest: Montague Library

Friday, November 8
🍂  5:00 pm Hackley Attic Escape Room: Hackley and Hume Historic Site
👻 5:00 – 8:00 FREE Beyond The Day Of The Dead: Latinos Working for the Future

To find more information on all these events and more, head over to the Visit Muskegon Calendar of Events 

#VisitMuskegon 🍁