Fun Things to do in South Haven Michigan

Looking to find the best things in South Haven MI?

We’ll be sharing our top picks for things to do in this west Michigan beach community.

South Haven is a popular beach destination for tourists, who travel to the coast for the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan and the charming downtown shopping and dining.

The many charming B-and-Bs and wineries nearby make it a romantic getaway.

South Haven, Michigan is one of the best Michigan beaches and offers the perfect Lake Michigan vacation.

South Haven Vacations

Charming South Haven, Michigan’s ultimate beach town is right up there alongside St. Joseph and Grand Haven.

The well-kept and expansive lakefront will delight you. There’s a walkable lighthouse, pier and bustling harbor.

The perfect Michigan beach town is also downtown South Haven. You will find specialty shops and toy shops along the streets.

It is easy to walk around the charming downtown shopping district. There are wide sidewalks lined with colorful flowers.

There are many natural beauty spots, including Pilgrim Haven Natural area, a public preserve that is home to a wide range of wildlife.

Get inspired by the best things to do in South Haven.

Visit the Downtown South Haven Beaches

South Haven is not the only Michigan beach town that should be on your to-do list.

Two beaches are located in South Haven that you shouldn’t miss. There are many others in the surrounding area. Both South Beach and North Beach are popular spots in South Haven. They are both clean and well-maintained.

They are also beautiful: The iconic, red South Haven Lighthouse and the pier are the subject of many postcards and calendars.

You might be able to see the Friends Good Will, which is a replica of an historic square-rigged merchant sailing sloop from War of 1812.

North Beach in South Haven

In the summer, both North Beach and South Beach are alive. Visitors flock to the large beaches with all the amenities they need for a great day at the beach.

South Haven MI also does a great job in providing access to public beaches for people with mobility impairments.

North Beach is the most popular and largest beach in South Haven.

Concession stands, toilets, play equipment and parking areas are all available at this ADA-accessible beach. It also has wide-paved pathways that make it easy to navigate.

North Beach also has volleyball courts for beach volleyball.

South Haven’s South Beach

South Haven’s South Beach, like North Beach, is one of the most popular and largest beaches.

The beach is also accessible for the ADA and offers many amenities such as concession stands, restrooms and play equipment. There are also parking areas and paved paths.

However, South Beach is home to the famous red lighthouse that extends into the turquoise waters at Lake Michigan.

Find out more about South Haven Beaches

Although South Beach and North Beach are both popular, there are many beaches in South Haven.

These are our top picks and the special things that make them stand out.

  • Casco Township Nature Preserve: Beach, Swimming, Wheelchair-Accessible, Walking Path, Restrooms
  • Covert Beach Beach. Swimming, Restrooms. Picnic Tables. Grills. General Store. Paddle Boards.
  • Deerlick Creek Beach and Swimming, Rustic Toilets, Dog-friendly
  • Dyckman Park Beach: Beach, Wheelchair-Accessible Ramp to Water, Swimming
  • Newcome Beach Beach, Swimming and Roadside Parking
  • Oak Street BeachBeach, Swimming, Picnic Area
  • Packard Park Beach – Beach Swimming, Dog-Friendly. Grill, Play Structure. Picnic Tales. Deck overlooking Lake Michigan
  • Pilgrim Haven Beach: Beach, Swimming, Wheelchair-Accessible via Paved Barrier-Free Walkway to Beach, Wildlife Viewing, Hiking, Canoeing, Kayaking
  • Van Buren State Park Beach, Wheelchair Accessible
  • Woodman Street Beach: Beach and Swimming

Do Some South Haven Shopping

These spots are worth a visit to South Haven if you’re traveling down Phoenix St., the main street of the town.

Bayberry Cottage, offering a variety of home furnishings and accessories from country primitives up to fine linens.

Two floor-to-ceiling showrooms are home to a variety of whimsical clocks, lamps and candles.

Center Street Emporium , featuring a selection of work by West Michigan artists and artisans.

It includes traditional art like paintings, prints, ceramics, jewelry, mobiles and baskets as well as natural soaps and balms. There are also locally-made natural jams, syrups and honey.

Harbor Toy Company offers toys for children from newborn to 99 years old. It carries educational toys, travel toys, beach toys and water toys as well as puzzles and board games.

Lakeshore Trends is a boutique that combines vintage charm with modern design. Shop for apparel, home decor and gifts as well as jewelry and paint.

Nature’s Country Cupboard offers a variety of specialty and health foods, including aromatherapy, herbs and supplements, specialty food and kitchen gadgets, as well as home decor, Michigan products and fudge.

Check out our Favorite South Haven Restaurants

Captain Nemo’s has been providing South Haven with delicious food for over 25 years. This charming diner features a nautical theme and serves burgers, quesadillas, and ice cream waffle cones.

Clementine’s is a popular South Haven restaurant. It’s a family-friendly casual dining establishment that is located in an old bank. Built in 1896, the building has a historic cupola and features a golden cupola. The famous Matilda’s Cheese Dip is made with fontina cheese and parmesan cheeses, baked with artichoke hearts and baby spinach. It’s simply amazing.

Since 1938, Golden Brown Bakery has been a South Haven institution. The bakery offers full-service breakfast and lunch, as well as a dining area.

Maria’s Taste of Italy is a long-standing South Haven favourite. There are authentic Italian staples such as homemade sausage, meatballs, and pizza.

Explore the South Haven Wineries

Discover the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail

It is located on the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail. South Haven has award-winning wineries as well as craft breweries, making it a popular destination for beer and wine lovers.

Local vintners took advantage of the near perfect growing conditions along the Lake Michigan coast and created unique and delicious wines. This makes it a key stop on Lake Michigan shore wine trails that runs from Kalamazoo MI to Battle Creek and Grand Rapids.


12 Corners Vineyards Tsting Room allows you to taste wines from an award-winning vineyard covering 115-acres. It features both hybrid and vinifera grapes.

At their South Haven location, the 12 Corners tasting room offers Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Merlot as well as Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, and many other wines. Marquette oak barrel-aged Marquette is a popular dry red wine that has savory blackberry and cherry notes, followed by a soft touch of black pepper.

Cogdal Vineyardsis the ideal place to enjoy innovative wines in a intimate setting, just 1/2 mile from Lake Michigan’s shores.

They produce a Maple wine from maple syrup that is made at the vineyard, in addition to their traditional whites and reds. The “Little Man”, award-winning blends of their wines, Nana’s Kiss, is a fruity rose.

Fenn Valley Vineyard can be found north of South Haven, Fennville. This vineyard is an award-winning one and well worth the drive.

Visitors to the Fennville Estate are able to enjoy wine tastings and educational tours. They can also have a glass of wine with a small dish, walk through actual vineyards, and even take a picnic. You should add the dry, red Capriccio to your shopping list.

Warner Vineyards is a winery located in Paw Paw, Michigan. They also have a tasting room in South Haven. It’s worth visiting, especially for the wine slushies.

South Haven Breweries is a great choice.

South Haven is a well-known name in west Michigan brewing. Visitors flock to South Haven to experience unique flavors and be surrounded by the beauty of Lake Michigan’s shoreline.

South Haven’s Best Craft Breweries

Harbor Light Brewery is an original location with 20 house-made beers and 6 ciders. This historic building, which dates back to 130 years ago, is located in downtown South Haven. It offers local food or menus from one of its partners.

South Haven Brewpub can be found in Old Harbor Village. It offers hand-crafted beer, cocktails and a full menu. There is also outside seating. The South Haven microbrewery offers unique tastings in the form ciders, Shandies and ales.

Three Blondes Beer is a family-owned and operated brewery in South Haven. The restaurant offers both indoor and outside seating.

You can enjoy a variety of creative pub food including sandwiches, pizzas, hamburgers and shareable plates. A Russian Imperial Stout, DG7 with raspberry & vanilla is what they serve.

Take a selfie at the South Haven Lighthouse

Since over 100 years, the historic South Haven Pierhead Light guards the Black River’s entrance. Enjoy Lake Michigan views as you walk along the 1200-foot-long pier.

Visit the Michigan Maritime Museum to see a historic warship.

South Haven’s nautical connections are the heart of much of the excitement and fun. These ties are preserved and celebrated at Michigan Maritime Museum.

The Michigan Maritime Museum is the perfect place for any Great Lakes fan. They have hands-on exhibits on their waterfront campus as well as historically immersive experiences aboard the fleet.

You can ride the waves on a square-rigged boat: this is a replica of the 1812 warship “Friends Good Will”. It’s part of a fleet of five ships docked at museum.

Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum and Gardens

This National Historic Site is a garden, park and museum, as well as an educational outreach center. It honors the contributions and life of the South Haven-born Father in Modern Horticulture. Many of the exhibits in this museum are unaltered.

Ride the Kal Haven Trail

The former railroad bed runs 33 miles and has a limestone/slag finish. It connects South Haven with Kalamazoo.

The Kalhaven Trail crosses bridges and passes through small towns. It also stops at historical sites. It is a favorite destination for those who love skiing or snowmobiling.

Go Hiking in Van Buren State Park

Van Buren State Park is a must-see for anyone visiting the South Haven area. It boasts a mile of sandy beaches, towering dunes, and trails that can be explored.

There are many other activities available, including biking, hiking and metal detecting. You’ll also find a picnic area, playground, and toilets available for day-use.

Check Out Lake Arvesta Farms Outdoor Waterpark

This outdoor adventure venue is located in South Haven and offers many activities. Lake Arvesta Farms offers a variety of activities, including swimming, kayaking and pickleball, as well as and disc golf , wakeboarding, boat rides, and paddleboarding.

Lake Arvesta in Michigan is a wonderful place to plan a day or an event. You can also let your children have a blast while they are outside.

The South Haven Blueberry Festival

In the West Michigan region, blueberries and South Haven are almost synonymous. Blueberries and South Haven are almost synonymous in the west Michigan area.

Race at the Gingerman Raceway

This two-mile track is home to sports cars and motorbikes.

Visit the Michigan Flywheelers Museum

Van Buren County Museum is dedicated to preservation and restoration of antique steam engines and tractors. The museum is located on nearly 80 acres and features old farm machinery, a sawmill, and shinglemill. You can also explore the museum with Old Town, a 1920s-era community. You’ll find many businesses there, including Over The Forge blacksmith shop and Abbert & Sons Farm Machinery Repair.

South Haven Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration

This town knows how celebrates: see the stunning South Haven Fourth of Jul Fireworks celebration. It’s aptly called “Light up the Lake” and draws huge crowds each year.

The South Haven Visitors Bureau provides updated information about local cultural attractions.

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