Hot cider, pumpkin patches, apple picking, and hayrides: these are the hallmarks of the Fall harvest! South Haven is one of the best areas to keep the harvest tradition alive, especially for young families looking to craft and capture memories that will a lifetime! Plus, we can always use more excuses to enjoy warm cider and donuts. So explore the brilliant fall colors of the South Haven countryside, do some picking of their own, or even get lost in a corn maze!
Start off the harvest season at this family farm that dates back to 1958. DeGrandchamp Farms Cranberry Harvest begins in mid-October. Once a year, the farm opens its fields and invites attendees to witness the beauty of harvesting cranberries in the natural bogs.
Catch a hayride to the bogs throughout the day to watch the crew rake in bright, red cranberries from the flooded bogs. Then, head to the sorting line to learn about how cranberries are sorted, packaged, and shipped. Cranberry products are available for purchase at the retail market, including jams, salsas, dried fruit, and baked goods. Fresh cranberries are available in October and November.
Grab the family and head to Overhiser Orchards to pick your own pumpkins or apples and explore the farm and its many harvest activities. Available apples for u-pick include Empire, Cortland, Jonamac, Blondee, and Gala. Munch on some fresh donuts while you sip cider, pet the farm animals, or feed the birds with the farm’s sunflower seed harvest.
Take time to get lost in the corn maze or head over to the sunflower field for the farm’s new nature walk. Hayrides are available, weather permitting. You can even fish in the pond on-site, but save some room for the corn maze!
A true farm for the whole family, Bumbleberry Acres features u-pick, farm animals, a playground, wagon rides, and more. Halloween is always an especially fun time at Bumbleberry, so be sure to visit online for special events and activities!
At the Dutch Farm Market just north of South Haven, apples (Red Delicious, Matsu, Cortland, Yellow Delicious, North Spy, Ida Red, and Rome) and Bosc pears are available for picking, and free wagon rides are available until the end of October. The market store has all the apples and pears, and everything from homemade jams, taffy apples, fresh-pressed cider, honey, and maple syrup, to home-baked pies, bread, turnovers, and donuts, to name just a few.
Can’t squeeze a trip to the farm into your schedule?
There’s good news! You don’t have to compromise on freshness. The South Haven’s Farm Market operates through September under the Huron Street Pavilion in downtown South Haven, and Barden’s Farm Market on the corner of Phoenix and Blue Star Highway is open daily! Drop in for baked goods, craft beer, and something sweet for all your friends and family!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
It’s never too early to form a shopping game plan— especially when it comes to avoiding long lines, excruciating traffic, and delayed shipping dates. Forego any retail woes and satisfy everyone on your shopping list with these important dates:
Dine On Us
November 1, 2022 – May 15, 2023
Participating Lodging Members & Restaurants
Discover South Haven’s winter charm and local flavor with a $25 DINE ON US card, available when you book a stay at select lodging properties. Certain restrictions apply, Click the link above for a full list of participating locations and upcoming events.
Offer valid November 1, 2022, through May 15, 2023. Some restrictions may apply. Exact details of promotion vary at each participating lodging member property; check for details. Must book directly with lodging property and mention the Dine on Us promotion to receive a card. Not valid with any other promotion. Not valid during Holidays and special event days or special event weekends.
Tag the girls: Women’s Shop ‘Til You Drop Saturday is back with over 30 participating locations offering exclusive deals, fun activities, crafts, complimentary treats, and drinks! Spend $15 at a participating shop and receive (1) stamp on your Shopping Passport. Turn in your card with six stamps to be entered in a drawing for awesome gift baskets at the after-party! Gift baskets contain 5-6 gifts valued at $40 or more. Visit the Facebook Eventto browse promotions and live updates.
36th Annual Mistletoe Market
Preview: November 18th | $20 Members / $25 Non-Members | 6 pm
Free Admission | November 19th – December 11th
South Haven Center for the Arts
This holiday-based consignment shop transforms the SHCA into a fine art market from November 19th through December 11th. Get a sneak peek at vendors and artist-curated showcases during theMistletoe Market Preview Party on November 18th. The evening includes live music, good food & wine, a raffle, and fun while supporting the arts!
Looking for a more relaxed pace of holiday shopping? Visit downtown South Haven on Small Business Saturday where you’ll find unique gifts and deals at boutiques, antiques, toy stores, and candy shops, not to mention fabulous dining options where you can relax after crossing the final name off your “Nice” list.
Summertime in South Haven! During the summer, streets are filled with people of all ages, hands are filled with shopping bags, and bellies are full of good food and adult beverages. Nothing draws a crowd like the three, beautiful bars/restaurants that are located right on Black River.
The Idler, Admiral Jack’s, and Captain Lou’s are the perfect spots to truly experience the summertime South Haven vibes. With amazing views, the best company, and drinks on the river, some could say we are one of the best small beach getaways, even for a day. While walking around town be sure to add all these riverfront bars to the agenda, and feel right at peace with twinkling tiki lights and music that is reminiscent of Margaritaville. The Idler, Admiral Jack’s, and Captain Lou’s are some of the hottest spots in town, and are worth adding to the itinerary!
First stop, the Idler. Nothing gets your day going more than a South Haven Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.), one of their signature drinks. The Idler is located conveniently downtown, so if your thirst needs to be quenched stop by and have a S.H.I.T or a Foxy Rum Punch to take a break, rest your feet, and enjoy the views the Idler has to offer. The Idler overlooks the Black River Channel, and if you are lucky enough to get a seat in the outskirts, you may even see glimpses of Lake Michigan. Something unique the Idler offers is the “shot ski” where you and three other friends can take a shot from a ski! Just be sure to have people with similar heights, otherwise you might wear the shot instead of drinking it.
Within walking distance, and right next door is Admiral Jack’s, settled right on the river. Jack’s, as it is known by the locals, is that escape you’ve been looking for in that little chunk of paradise. They are known for their tropical drinks, so you’ll have to try a Rum Runner. It has two bars, and plenty of space to enjoy the views of the Black River, and maybe even catch the sunset. Jack’s is unique in that it serves both the people on land and in the water, as they have a dock to park your dinghy! Before cruising Lake Michigan for the day, be sure to stop by to get some food and drink. Jack’s is the middle stop of the riverfront bars, so be sure to have some water with your adult beverages, and gear up for the second half.
When it seems like the day is coming to an end and the sun goes down, be sure to check out Captain Lou’s for the nightlife scene, located right across the Dyckman Bridge. Lou’s serves ice cold drinks and food during the day, and becomes the hangout spot during the night. The two-bar set-up is the best place to watch all the boats come in for the evening. Lou’s is the best place to find yourself relaxing from the day in the sun, or the place to get the party started; accommodating both mindsets! The two bars include covered and uncovered seating, and plenty of space for dancing while live music echoes over the river. If the sun was a little too much for the day, relax in the shaded bar area and sip on something delicious! Or, if the night is just getting started, plan on dancing until your feet hurt. Lou’s might be your first or last stop of the day- either way Captain Lou’s is a must-visit while in South Haven.
So, when coming to South Haven on your next adventure, be sure to add these riverfront bars on the agenda. These small-town places have a lot to offer your vacation: drinks, food, memories, and maybe even some hangovers, but the stories will be told for years to come!