The Best Of South Haven, Michigan
For my husband and I’s first anniversary this past September, we took a weekend trip up to South Haven, Michigan. From Indianapolis, it was only about a 3-hour drive, so it was perfect for a short weekend trip. But honestly, we could have spent much longer than just a couple of days in South Haven.
South Haven Mornings
We got up early Saturday morning and headed north. We arrived in this cute little waterfront town around 10:00AM and for late September, the weather couldn’t have been better. It was in the low 60’s but the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
We parked for free in a lot down by the pier, and since it was still slightly early and the town wasn’t crowded yet, we didn’t have any problems finding a spot. With most shops not opening until 11:00, we decided to take a stroll along the lake and on the pier.
There were fisherman at the end of the pier reeling in fish after fish (so if you have time and love to fish, bring a pole!). But besides them, it was a quiet morning on Lake Michigan.
Shopping & Farmers Market
By the time our walk on the pier was over, the shops in town had begun to open. If you love local stores with unique things, you’ll love these shops.
There are some interesting antique stores throughout the town that you could spend hours strolling through. Not to mention, there’s also a candy store that we spent about $7.00 at on taffy, I would highly recommend it.
As we strolled the streets, we noticed everyone gathering in what seemed to be a park or parking lot in the middle of town. Out of curiosity, we went to see what was going on and found ourselves in an adorable town farmers market. Vendors had tons of fresh fruit and vegetables for sale, jewelry, breads, pastries, more.
We found out that this takes place on Saturday’s during the months of May to October from 8:00AM – 2:00PM on Saturday’s, and during the months of May through September 8:00AM – 2:00PM on Wednesday’s!
We walked out of the market with a pint of concord grapes (best I’ve ever had), three ghost peppers and an apple. Both my husband and I were very glad that we happened to be in South Haven on a Farmers Market day, we would love to go back in the future.
Exploring By Bike
By this time it was about 1:30 and we just snacked for lunch while we continued walking through town and ran into a bike shop called Rock ‘n’ Road. On a whim, we went in wearing our jeans and nice shirts and paid about $15.00 per bike to rent each for almost three hours. The people here were extremely helpful, got us fitted for bikes and pointed us in the direction of the Kal-Haven Trail.
We hopped on our bikes and headed out with a map, about a mile or 2 from the shop we found the entrance to the Kal-Haven Trail! It was easy to access and just a short ride away from the Rock ‘n’ Road. We loved this trail to ride on. It was pretty well paved in most parts and nicely shaded throughout our whole ride.
It was wooded and quiet, not too many people out and about. We did pass by some little apple and berry orchards you could stop at along the way though. We bike out for about an hour and fifteen minutes, found a little bench to sit on for a short break, and then headed back.
Food and Hotel
That night we went to a restaurant called Clemintines, a very popular place. We had a 45 minute wait, but we thought it was worth it. The atmosphere was fun and the service was good.
That night we stayed at a chain hotel just up the road from downtown South Haven. There are tons of hotels and Inns around town, we just went for something low cost so we could spend more money on activities.
Hiking In The Area
The next morning we got up and headed about 30 minutes north to Saugatuck Dunes State Park! We both really enjoy hiking and being outdoors, so we were excited to see what Saugatuck was like. And we were definitely pleasantly surprised. It was tucked away down a back road and free to get into.
We parked and found a map and picked the Saugatuck Dunes Beach Trail to take. It was probably about three or three and a half miles round trip and well worth it. Most of the trail is sandy, so be prepared to dump your shoes out a couple of times throughout your treck. There wasn’t any crazy amount of elevation change, but a couple of the hills were extra sandy, your calves will get a good work out in on those. We mad it to the beach though, it was beautiful. We found a little place to sit and relax before we started the hike back to our car.
For the rest of the day, we stopped at little markets, antique stores and orchards we passed as we drove the streets between Saugatuck and South Haven, and by early evening, we had to head home.
South Haven was a wonderful little town to visit. Both my husband and I truly enjoyed our short weekend there and agreed it was worth the three-hour road trip (besides, getting there is half the fun). This is a town we will visit again, we can’t wait to go back.
Check out this link for more information about South Haven, events, and things to do: http://www.southhaven.org