Relax on pristine beaches, take a sail on a replica tall ship, walk out to a lighthouse and explore maritime history in this Lake Michigan shore town.


What to do

City beaches Several city beaches give visitors access to wide expanses of sand as well as amenities such as grills, picnic tables and campsites. Try South Beach for an exceptional view of the city's iconic lighthouse. 

South Haven lighthouse
South Haven lighthouse

DeGrandchamp Farms Acres of blueberry bushes await pickers on the edge of South Haven. An on-site market sells boxes of berries, plus other blueberry specialties, such as barbecue sauce, dried blueberries, preserves and salsas. (

Friends Good Will Feel the wind in your face at the bow of this sloop during a 90-minute sail from the Michigan Maritime Museum. Learn the original tall ship's role in the War of 1812. Special Pirate Chaser Adventure Sails cater to children. 

The Friends Good Will
Friends Good Will

Kal-Haven Trail Breathe in deeply to appreciate the pleasures on this 34-mile route past blueberry patches and peach orchards between South Haven and Kalamazoo. Following a former railroad line, the predominantly flat, crushed-gravel path skims seven bridges, including a covered wooden trestle over the Black River that's a favorite photo op.

Michigan Maritime Museum Explore permanent and changing exhibits on the state's maritime history. Check the website to see what's on display now. 

Where to eat

Golden Brown Bakery A small-town bakery and cafe on South Haven's main drag offers both delicious baked goods (many with local cherries and blueberries) and full breakfast options.

Sherman's Dairy Bar What you get isn't fancy, but it's delicious and wallet-friendly. A single-scoop cone looks more like a double, so if you don't want to overindulge, ask for a "baby scoop."

Taste Pair small plates such as filet bites or crispy artichokes with a signature ginger lemongrass martini at the casual space.

Tello Italian Bistro Local ingredients flavor dishes such as pan-seared scallops and butternut squash ravioli. 

Where to stay

Carriage House at the Harbor Choose from 12 bedrooms in an 1890s Victorian mansion. Gourmet breakfasts might include pears with gorgonzola, artichoke tomato quiche or raspberry scones. 

Yelton Manor A charming Victorian bed & breakfast surrounded by perennial gardens sits across the street from the beach and within a 10-minute walk of restaurants and shops downtown.

Victoria Resort Bed and Breakfast This 1920s resort features spacious guest rooms and cottages, many with whirlpool tubs and fireplaces. 

Victoria Resort
Victoria Resort Bed and Breakfast

For more information: South Haven/Van Buren County Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 764-2836;