by Jill P
Located by both the Grand River and Lake Michigan, this beautiful area has endless fun things to do with the whole family. From chocolate factory tours to exciting festivals, Grand Haven is the perfect vacation spot for summer.
With Grand Haven voted as Coastal Living’s America’s Happiest Seaside Town, you’ll want to see what all the fuss is about.
The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is a fun evening activity for families. Every day at sundown, a 20-minute light and music show plays here. This is the largest musical fountain in the world! Bright colors, flashing lights, and upbeat music create an enchanting experience.
The Harbor Trolley is a unique (and extremely inexpensive) way to see the streets of Grand Haven. All summer long, you can ride the historic trolley to points of interest such as the Boardwalk, Chinook Pier, and the State Park. The trolley runs from 11 am to 10 pm, and it includes a historic tour of the town.
photo courtesy of the Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce
If you’re lucky enough to be in town during the Great Lakes Kite Festival, you’re in for a treat! The third weekend in May, head to Grand Haven State Park Beach to see the show. Massive kites the size of cars, kiteboarding, and kite ballets are some of the main attractions. You can also bring and fly your own kite of any type.
July and August bring the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival to Grand Haven. This festival is a huge deal! A carnival, parades, fireworks, and live entertainment are just a few of the many awesome events. We love watching the boats come U.S. Coast Guard Boats coming in and the opportunity to tour them during the festival.
Walking the Boardwalk in Grand Haven is one of the best ways to see the harbor.
Plan a day of shopping and discover the unique shops of Grand Haven with plenty of local charm.
Kirby House is a local favorite, and one restaurant you definitely can’t miss. It’s located in a historic hotel, and it serves excellent food. Come get some great American classic
Snap a seat at Snug Harbor restaurant which has a great view of the Grand Haven Harbor. The regular menu contains fancy dishes such as calamari, but at a very affordable price. Of course, there are also kid-friendly options, like burgers and chicken.
Pronto Pups has been around for a while—sixty years, to be exact. The menu is simple: it serves hot dogs fried in batter. It’s not elaborate, but it sure is delicious. And very popular. During busy times of the summer, be prepared to wait in line. The World Famous Pronto Pup is just $1.75.
The Pump House for fro yo is the way to go! Make everybody happy when you stop here for some cool treats. This place also has a charming atmosphere—the benches are made from a century-old barn. Other local sweet treat stops include Sweet Temptations, Dairy Treat, and Kilwins.
Tour of Chocolates by Grimaldi is a fun tour your family will enjoy. Everybody loves chocolate. Don’t just eat chocolate; learn chocolate!
A trip to Chocolates by Grimaldi is a field trip, but your kids would never guess it. You can watch and learn how chocolate is made, and then taste the sweet result. You won’t want to miss the chocolate covered potato chips…they’re addictive. We love that you get a small goodie bag at the end of the tour. Tour costs $4 per person. Call ahead to schedule your tour.
Imagination Station. Have you ever seen a playground designed by children? Well, this one is! The Imagination Station was designed by kids and built by volunteers. It’s an expansive network of towers, bridges, and tunnels. You’ll have a tough time dragging your kids away. This is one of my kiddos favorite playgrounds in the area.
Plus, there’s a splash pad that’s right downtown Grand Haven that your kids will love.
You won’t want to miss a chance for a day at the Grand Haven Beach. Enjoy a lazy day at the pristine beach or build sand castles along the water.
Harbor House Inn. Stay in comfort in a beautiful Victorian mansion. This lovely hotel has river and lake views and is located in a peaceful area. It also a breakfast area and library, so you can relax when you’re not exploring the nearby attractions.
Holiday Inn Grand Haven – Spring Lake. The Holiday Inn is a familiar and comfortable place to stay while you’re in Grand Haven. It has a pool, fitness center, and game room to keep everyone occupied.
What’s your favorite place to visit in Grand Haven? Let us know in the comment section below.