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.
As you travel through the Lake Michigan Beachtowns, don’t miss stopping at the many spots along our Craft Beverage Trail! We have breweries, vineyards, tasting rooms, distilleries, and cider mills. Discover some new favorites and bring them home as souvenirs and gifts!
New Holland Brewing was founded in 1997 and today is recognized as one of the leading innovators in the revolution of craft brewing and distilling. Their Pub on 8th in downtown Holland where you can sample the beers on tap as well as their Michigan made bourbon, gin, vodka, and rum. New Holland also has a few menu to pair with your drink of choice. Farmhaus Cider Co. in Hudsonville has their Cidergarten Tap Room located on their 150 year old family farm. On the weekends, they invite local food trucks to sell food to enjoy with their ciders. Our Brewing Company is a nano-brewery in the heart of downtown. They create small batches of complex beer using local ingredients that you can drink while playing trivia, games, and live music. Learn about all of the Holland area stops along the Lake Michigan Beverage Trail here!
Unruly Brewing was the first brewery to brew been in Muskegon since 1957. Their downtown taproom is always alive with live music and their outdoor beer garden is a favorite spot in the summer months. Down the way from Unruly is 18th Amendment Spirits who found their home inside of the former Savings & Loan Bank. Their craft cocktails are made from house made ingredients and freshly squeezed juices. Take your chance on the ‘Dealer’s Choice’ and trust their barstaff to create an original, handcrafted cocktail based on your preferences. North of Muskegon, in Whitehall, you will find Fetch Brewing Company who has an ever changing on tap list. They are known for hosting local food trucks and live music and open mic nights. Learn about all of the Muskegon area stops along the Lake Michigan Beverage Trail Here!
Big Hart Brewing Company’s mission is to provide the best beer, the finest in fresh local food, and excellent service. They are committed to showcasing the bounty of Hart and Oceana County. Big Hart serves up their craft beers as well as their Big Hart blends of wine. The Fox Barn Winery in Shelby is a fruit and asparagus farm with over 2000 acres. In 2005 they introduced their Farm Market and then their Winery soon after. They serve up their fruit wines as well as hard ciders on tap and ‘Barn Bites’ like cheese & crackers and smoked fish dip. Learn more about the Silver Lake Sand Dunes area craft beverage stops here!
Oddside Ales in downtown Grand Haven began as a humble microbrewery in 2010 and has since grown so much that they now brew in their own 44,000 square foot facility. Their taproom has gone through 3 expansions and now has 27 taps of their newest craft brews. Across the street from Oddside you can find Long Road Distillers. Long Road was the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids and has recently opened up a sister location in Grand Haven. They serve up specialty cocktails with their Michigan made spirits as well as farm-fresh food. Vander Mill in Spring Lake started as a cider mill in 2006 and then began distributing their hard cider in wine bottles and kegs in 2008. Their mainstays are Ginger Peach, Bluish Gold, Hard Apple, and Totally Roasted. During their Sunday Brunches, you can order ‘cidermosas’ to go along with your cider doughnut sliders. Learn more about the Grand Haven area craft beverage stops here!
Situated on the riverbank in downtown Paw Paw, Warner Vineyards turned the village’s old water-works building into their Wine Haus. They offer wine, beer, and cider tastings as well as host live music and food trucks. You can find one of Warner’s tasting rooms in downtown South Haven, Holland, and New Buffalo. Harbor Light Brewery in downtown South Haven is just down the road from the area’s famous lighthouse. They have 20 original house-made beers on tap as well as 6 ciders. Three Blondes Brewing was founded by three sisters who were born and raised in the South Haven area. Their revolving tap list includes the likes of Boom Boom Betty, Just Took A DNA Test Turns Out I’m 100% That Beer, and Dill With It. Learn more about the South Haven area craft beverage stops here!
Saugatuck Brewing Company boasts two tasting rooms, 16 taps, hard cider, wine, full menu, and outdoor patio dining. They are currently the only brewery in Michigan to offer a Brew on Premise Program. Participants work with the SBC’s brew masters to create their very own unique beer. Virtue Cider in Fennville makes farmhouse ciders from local heirloom apples and an expansive barrel-aging program. Taste and sip their ciders while touring one of their cider houses and wandering around their gardens to greet their pigs, sheet, chickens, and more. Fenn Valley Vineyards & Winery offers tasting, tours, and many events throughout the year including cooking classes, festivals, and live music. They also have a tasting room in downtown Saugatuck! Learn more about the Saugatuck area craft beverage trail stops here!