A Day in Grand Haven, Michigan

My husband and I woke up a few Sundays ago to a forecast filled with rain. Our first instinct: escape the rain. We checked the west side of Michigan and the forecast was clear, so as soon as my son woke up, we jumped in the car and headed west to Grand Haven.

It turned out being a perfect family day, and totally do-able if you can’t stay the night. We were only there for 6 hours and had a blast! Here’s what we did:

7am: Wake up, gather beach towels and snacks, and jump in the car!

9am: We ate breakfast at the Morning Star Café, a few blocks off main street. This is a popular spot, so we had to wait 20 minutes before being seated. Luckily, a darling little book store called Bookman is located right next door, and was open at 8am, so Max and I read some books in their kids section while we waited for our table.

10:30am: We grabbed coffees to go and walked around their main downtown area. We were really early, so the shops were just starting to open up. We popped in and out of a few, and then made our way to the pier and beach.

11:30am: We walked from downtown to the Grand Haven South Pierhead Inner Light lighthouse. This had to be a good 1-2 mile walk.

12:30: Beach time! We spread a beach blanket and allowed Max to splash in the water. It wasn’t warm enough to go all the way in with bathing suits, but he had a blast running in and out of the water.

1:15pm: Walked back to downtown

1:45pm: Lunch at the Grand Haven Brew House

3pm: Head home!

There’s so much to do in Grand Haven, we just did a fraction of what’s available. Here are other day trip ideas:
  • Shopping – the downtown is filled with boutique shops, including clothing, unique Michigan apparel, kids toys shops, art shops and even a boutique dog store.  If you want  ‘Michigan Love’ apparel, you will find tons of options.
  • Rent a pontoon – this is more for a nice day, but half day rentals are available!
  • Rent Kayaks
  • Beach! It wasn’t warm enough to swim when we went, but my son could have spent hours splashing his little feet in the tide.
  • There are a lot of restaurants on the main street. We ate breakfast at The Morning Star café (5 stars!) and lunch at the Grand Haven Brew House
  • Picnic on the beach – pack a lunch and picnic blanket and snack on the beach
What’s your favorite Michigan day trip? I’d love to hear suggestions of cities and fun things to do while visiting! Please comment below!

5 thoughts on “A Day in Grand Haven, Michigan

  1. I love that area of the state. The beaches are nice. I haven't been there in way too long. I think I need to make a plan.

  2. I absolutely LOVE Grand Haven. The west side has some really incredible beaches and cute little towns. Some of my other favorites are Saugatuck, Ludington, Charlevoix, and Beaver Island.

  3. Grand Haven is my favorite city in Michigan, and their beach is one of my favorites in the US. I'm reviewing a b&B in Fennville tomorrow night and we plan on heading to GH the next day 🙂 my boyfriend has never been. Must-do's in GH for me: the beach, The Toasted Pickle (sandwich place), Turtle sundaes on the boardwalk, the trolley tour (only $1.50!), Peace Frogs store, and walking the boardwalk.

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