The shining gem of Ottawa County, Grand Haven is a beautiful beach town that attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is home to the Grand Haven State Park, a beach with a beautiful, landmark lighthouse and a boardwalk that stretches 2 ½ miles. This park is frequently listed as the number one beach in the United States. Jump on the Harbor Trolley that runs through the downtown and end your day watching the mesmerizing Musical Fountain, where 90,000 gallons of water dance synchronized to lights and music. Every summer your family will have a blast at the annual Coast Guard Festival, and even the winter has its snow-themed festivities. You only need to visit its freshwater shores once to know why this quiet beach haven is so beloved.
If you’re strolling down the two and a half mile long boardwalk, you’ll end your walk at the historic Grand Haven South Pier. Situated between the Grand Haven State park beach and the end of the Grand River channel, this mighty pier protrudes into the lake and features two historic lighthouses. The inner lighthouse was first lit in 1839, and residents and tourists alike have been mesmerized by these beautiful red beacons ever since.
The pier is a hot spot for fishing and catching the beautiful Lake Michigan sunset. During the evening, you can marvel at its lighted catwalk. The Grand Haven lighthouses are two of the most famous in the Midwest, a mecca for Great Lakes and lighthouse enthusiasts. The pier is also a treat in the winter, where you can find the lighthouses covered in layers of ice after a winter storm.
If you’re looking to avoid crowds on your trip to the beach, the Rosy Mound Natural Area is the place for you. This idyllic site allows you to get closer to nature, where beautiful dunes are greeted by lush, green forests and the crashing waves of Lake Michigan.
A winding trail runs through the woods and beach, spanning almost three quarters of a mile from the entrance to the lake. The trail may be strenuous at times, but you can stop for a rest on one of the many benches found throughout the area. There are picnic tables and grills, so families can enjoy a hearty picnic on a breezy summer evening. Various stairways and decks along the trail offer scenic views of Lake Michigan worthy of a “Pure Michigan” ad. The Rosy Mound is a popular area for jogging, hiking, and swimming.