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North America > United States of America > Midwest > Michigan > West Michigan > Lake Michigan Beachtowns > Grand Haven

Grand Haven

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Grand Haven and the adjacent cities of Spring Lake and Ferrysburg are a small metro region among the Lake Michigan Beachtowns of West Michigan.

Get in[edit]

Grand Haven sits along US-31 and just to the south of I-96. It also has a Harbor Transit Bus and numerous marinas.

Washington Avenue is the main east-west street.

Get around[edit]

The three cities (Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Ferrysburg) are not exactly adjacent; they are largely separated from each other by the Grand River (which flows from around Jackson thru Lansing and Grand Rapids) to Lake Michigan. The bascule drawbridge on US-31 provides both connectivity and regular traffic backups when it opens to water traffic.

Grand Haven and Spring Lake run tourist trolleys in the summer. Harbor Transit also offers transportation for locals, especially seniors, on an appointment basis for a small charge.

See[edit]

The musical fountain (formerly "world's largest") is one of the city's most unique attractions. Plays nightly after dusk all summer for 15-20 minutes. Can be viewed from the bleachers at the end of Washington. Look for the inlaid map of the Grand River watershed in the concrete near the bleachers, it's very interesting.

Also popular are the beaches - some of the nicest in the world, with fine sand and broad beaches for sunning or walking. There are numerous kite festivals, sand sculpture contests, and volleyball tournaments all summer. Check out the Chamber of Commerce website for current events.

Charter boats for salmon and other fish are available during the summer months.

There is a very nice local history museum at the old train depot on Harbor Drive and a larger, newer one on Washington at Second Street.

[1]

If you come during the last week of July and first weekend of August (Coast Guard Festival), be prepared, because Grand Haven is very crowded during this time of year. Downtown Grand Haven is closed off due to the carnival in the street. On that Saturday, fantastic fireworks are shot off, better than the ones they have on July 4th. See YouTube videos!

Buy[edit]

  • Farmers Market at Chinook Pier, May through October, Wednesdays and Saturdays

There's a charming downtown with several blocks of small shops, some are connected inside so you don't have to go outside. A snowmelt system with heated sidewalks keeps the first three blocks of Washington Street snow and ice free during winter months.

A large Meijer store at the south end of town has just about everything.

Eat[edit]

  • Fricano's, 1400 Fulton St, +1-616-842-8640. "A local institution since 1949, believed to be the first pizza parlor in the state. Served in a no-frills atmosphere (except plenty of napkins), with a fairly limited menu, their paper-thin and oil-dripping pizzas nonetheless draw a crowd. A single pizza typically serves one.
  • Morning Star Cafe, 711 Washington Ave. Has great southwestern-style food and is open for breakfast and lunch. Be prepared to wait for a seat in the summer.
  • Stanz Cafe (Stanz), 1118 Washington (Located on the east side of town).
  • The Kirby Grill, 2 Washington, +1 616-846-3299. A popular downtown restaurant featuring entrées, burgers, a drink menu, and musical entertainment on weekends. It's located conveniently near the waterfront. This historic building has been a part of the scene here since it was a hotel back in the 1800s.
  • The Clover Bar, 601 S Beechtree, +1 616 846-3580. The Clover Bar at Waverly and Beechtree, is famous for pizzas and Italian food.
  • Tip-A-Few Tavern, 10 Franklin Ave, +1 616 846-2670. A dive bar with locally renowned burritos.
  • JW's Food & Spirits (J.W.'s), 6 North 7th Street, +1 616 846-3380. A local favorite with daily specials. The white chili and the pepper-crab soup are great.
  • Pavilion Deli. On the first block of Washington.
  • The Fortune Cookie, 1705-A South Beacon Blvd, +1 616 846-8686. Has Chinese take-out.
  • The Rendezvous, 401 N. 7th Street, +1 616-846-3740. A basic no-nonsense 24-hour eatery on US-31. Daily specials.

Informal establishments[edit]

  • Butch's Beach Burritos.
  • Pronto Pups.
  • Mr. Kozak's. gyros

Drink[edit]

  • Spring Lake Holiday Inn. The bar has a half-price "Ladies' Night" on Wednesdays and a comedy night on Thursdays.
  • Kirby Grill. After Labor Day, there's a great $2 deal on drinks and personal pizzas daily from 4 to 6.

Sleep[edit]

Grand Haven has numerous hotels as well as bed and breakfast places. Check with the Chamber for listings.

Go next[edit]

Holland is a short drive down the coast. The mid-sized city of Muskegon lies just to the north. Grand Rapids, the largest city in the area and second-largest metro area in Michigan, is less than an hour inland to the east.

Routes through Grand Haven
Traverse CityMuskegon  N US 31.svg S  → Jct M-45.svg EHollandSouth Bend


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