This Midwestern Beach Town Is A Great Spot For A Lakeside Vacation

It's hard to beat the beauty of a lakeside vacation. With fresh air, calm water, and plenty of options for outdoor activities, lake life is a perfect escape. While the Midwest has its fair share of gorgeous scenery, one beach town on Lake Michigan proves to be a fantastic spot for a lakeside vacation.

Known for its beautiful sandy shores, South Haven offers lakeside adventures, a charming downtown, and plenty of fun attractions. From watersports, like kayaking and paddleboarding, to relaxing beachside, visiting museums, wandering around shops, dining in delicious restaurants, and witnessing the famous South Pier Lighthouse — there is so much to do in South Haven. Plus, it's easy to get around. Leave the car parked and travel by scooter or golf cart. They're available to rent at South Haven Scooter Rental ($150 per day, per scooter; $125 per day, per golf cart). What a fun way to explore this Midwestern beach town!

Things to do in South Haven, Michigan

South Haven is one of the best towns to visit on the Great Lakes. Tourists are treated to 10 public beaches, the largest of which are North Beach and South Beach. Both are big, sandy, and beautiful, and both have concession stands, restrooms, and picnic areas. For watersport enthusiasts, SoHa Surf Shop lets visitors rent equipment, like kayaks and paddleboards, at either beach during the summer months.

From South Beach, tourists can access the iconic red South Pier Lighthouse. It stands 1,200 feet tall and is particularly stunning at sunset. From North Beach, beachgoers can utilize the ADA-accessible decked walkways that lead to the shoreline. And for tourists looking to fish, try casting a line off a pier or head to Black River Park, which has a free fish cleaning station.

Due to the city's rich maritime history and beautiful Harborwalk, South Haven is also an excellent U.S. city for history buffs. The Harborwalk, a pedestrian trail along the Black River, running from the piers at North Beach to South Beach, is home to the Michigan Maritime Museum. Additionally, historic markers line the route, giving walkers ample opportunity to learn more about the area's fascinating past. After a day of fun at the lake and strolling South Haven's Harborwalk, head downtown. It's the perfect place to peruse boutique stores, search for antiques at the Eagle Street Market, sip at a local coffee shop, visit a retro arcade, or watch a movie in a historic theater.

Where to stay in South Haven, Michigan

After exploring everything that South Haven has to offer, every visitor will want a comfortable place to lay their head. Luckily, this lakeside town has some great options. The Old Harbor Inn (starting at $99 per night) is located on the harbor in South Haven's Maritime District. Guests can choose between harbor views and downtown views, and they can even opt for one of two original 1920s cabooses with screened-in porches. Another fun accommodation option at the Old Harbor Inn is "The Pomeroy" room, which has a king-sized bed, full bath, and kitchenette inside South Haven Railroad Depot's former weigh station. The perfect location for water views, boardwalk strolls, and trips to the pier, the Old Harbor Inn is also close to plenty of dining and shopping options downtown.

Alternatively, Yelton Manor (starting at $150 per night) is a top-rated, boutique hotel located just across the street from Lake Michigan and is a quick walk into town. Yelton Manor is adults-only, quiet, and perfect for a romantic escape. Breakfast is included, and the gardens are well-kept with plenty of outdoor space to enjoy a morning coffee before heading back to the lake.