Do you want a perfect beach vacation? or an amazing nature getaway? South Haven is just the place.
Home to seven amazing beaches, South Haven has traditionally been a port city due to its location on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Black River.
The city was once known as “Ni-No-Nong,” which means “beautiful sunsets.
From the beautiful lighthouse to the beautiful sunsets and the delectable dishes, South haven is a place anyone would fall in with.
It comes as no surprise that tourists keep coming back to South Haven for its beaches, quaint shops, and countless opportunities to enjoy the waves.
Furthermore, South Haven’s food and beverage culture has expanded along with the city’s popularity.
Whether you are coming from far or near, you are always welcome here. These are the best things to do in the city.
Things to do in South Haven
1. Michigan Flywheelers Museum
This location will pique your attention if you enjoy antiques and vintage vehicles.
The Michigan Flywheelers Museum is committed to preserving and restoring vintage tractors and gas/steam engines.
Although the museum is a nonprofit organization of volunteers, it doesn’t fall short of quality and relevant history.
A sawmill and shingle mill are among the displays of the museum, and the museum spans an area of around 80 acres.
In addition, you will also find “Old Town,” a neighborhood from the 1920s that includes establishments like the Old Tyme Jail, the Over The Forge blacksmith shop, and Albert & Sons Farm Machinery Repair here.
If you have time or schedule your visit right, you will be able to attend at least one of the few events held in the museum.
There’s the farm History Day that takes place in May, the Swap Meet in June, and Kids Lawn Tractor Day in July.
The biggest event and the one you will enjoy, the Antique Engine and Tractor Show are held in September. You shouldn’t miss this event.
In addition, every five years, a fifth event called Christmas at the Flywheelers takes place.
The museum is open every Saturday from 9 am-3 pm while it is closed for the rest of the week.
Address: 06285 68th St, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
2. Pilgrim Haven Natural Area
As Henry David Thoreau would say, “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads”. This is to say nature is beautiful and spending some time with nature is an amazing thing to do.
Although overlooked by a lot of people, Pilgrim Haven Natura Area is where you go if you need a time out with nature.
Located just south of South Haven, this distinctive park is a favorite among rock hunters, hikers, picnickers, and anybody who enjoys the great outdoors.
The Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy has owned and operated Pilgrim Haven since 2011, taking over ownership from the Camp Fire Girls of America.
All trails here lead to the rocky shores of Lake Michigan, where rock hunters search for fossils and attractive stones.
The Dyckman Creek, which flows slowly through the park and into Lake Michigan, is crossed by a wooden bridge. People with disabilities can go closer to the water here than at most parks in the vicinity since the parking lot is paved.
Wander through the spring wildflowers, explore the beech-maple forest trails, or just go on rock-finding on the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Dogs are allowed, however, they need to be on a leash at all times.
This place is open every day from 6:30 am to 10 pm.
Address: South Haven, MI 49090, United States
3. South Haven Lighthouse
Get your DSLR out to capture some amazing pictures as you be getting some of the best views of South Haven at the lighthouse.
South Haven downtown is a quick, downhill stroll from the Lighthouse.
It’s at the end of an old, 30- to 35-foot wide concrete pier.
Although it was constructed in 1872, it retains its originality and charm.
Two chambers were erected on an elevated platform in the wooden square pyramid building. The upper room held the light, while the bottom room was used to store oil.
Particularly among lighthouses in conical form, the lighthouse is one of the shortest along the Lake Michigan shoreline at only 37′.
Furthermore, only four lighthouses in Michigan have kept their original catwalks, and this one is one of them.
Take in stunning views as you stroll from the downtown area to the lighthouse.
You must determine whether it is too windy and damp to walk down to the real lighthouse once you arrive at the dock.
Boats on the water and people can be seen very well from this location.
While you are not allowed to enter the Lighthouse itself, you will still enjoy the beautiful vistas leading to the lighthouse, the boats, and the magnificence of the lighthouse.
To get one of the best views, you should go during sunset.
Address: South Haven, United States
4. South Beach, South Haven
If you need a place to unwind and have a picnic while enjoying one of the best views you can get in South Haven, then south beach is the place to be.
South Haven beaches are among the best in Michigan, with white sands, clear waters, and a scenic lighthouse.
Being able to view the south haven lighthouse from the comfort of the positing at the beach is a plus.
Furthermore, if you just want a picnic on the beach, multiple picnic tables with spots for umbrellas are available.
The beach even has its own website for a live view of South Beach, but currently on a 30-minute delay.
There’s also a play area for children right at the beach.
You won’t even need to worry about being hungry as there are a lot of nearby restaurants, ice cream places, and souvenir shops to check out while enjoying the beautiful view of Lake Michigan.
Address: South Haven, United States
5. Michigan Maritime Museum
Visit Michigan’s premier center for maritime education, research, and preservation to learn about the rich maritime history of the Great Lakes.
The museum isn’t huge, but they have some very interesting displays and photos.
In fact, the Michigan Maritime Museum has everything for every Great Lakes fan, from interactive displays to historically immersive experiences onboard the water fleet.
A center for teaching boat construction and related maritime skills, and a research library with a reputation for excellence in the region are available here.
Permanent and changing displays on Michigan maritime history are also a few of the fascinating options available to museum visitors
Also, do not miss the chance to take one of the boat trips!
Address: 260 Dyckman Ave, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
6. Cogdal Vineyards
Cogdal vineyards is a wine lover’s heaven.
Near Lake Michigan, Cogdal Vineyards is tucked away between South Haven and Saugatuck.
Enjoying the vineyard is the first part of the experience, which is followed by a setting that looks out over the vineyard.
You can visit the tasting room which sits more than 2000 feet from the road.
As you enter the tasting room, you’ll feel welcomed and relaxed.
They also provide local goat cheese, a charcuterie board, and chocolate pairings to go with your wine.
You can even choose to take your wine home with you.
The patio is nice to sip your wine if the weather is just right.
Aside from the wine, you will also get to enjoy some amazing musical performances here.
The ten-night summer music series on Wednesdays (6–8 p.m.) begins on June 15 and ends on August 17.
Furthermore, the dates for the fall music are August 28, September 11, and September 25.
Address: 7143 107th Ave, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
7. Three Blondes Brewing, South Haven
If you’re looking for a place to get fantastic craft beer, there isn’t a better option in town.
With indoor and outdoor seats, three Blondes Brewing provides a chill atmosphere, creative craft beer, and a wide selection of hand-crafted foods.
Perhaps you have a guess how they came about the name. Yes, you are correct, three sisters established the brewing and they are blonde.
These three sisters from South Haven decided to take matters into their own hands after realizing that despite all the development, there were no breweries in South Haven.
To the great satisfaction of the public, local sisters Carrie, Megan, and Amanda founded Three Blondes Brewing in June 2018.
Customers who fell in love with the colorful and robust flavors kept the tap flowing nonstop thanks to an excellent choice of home-brewed labels.
In addition, for those who like classic favorites with their food, this Brewery also provides a large assortment of ciders and wines.
Egg rolls, tacos, and a range of pub pizzas with components you can mix and match are among the mouthwatering options on the menu.
A visit to Three Blondes Brewing is a tasty experience in a lively and relaxed atmosphere.
Address: 1875 Phoenix St, Suite B, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
8. Jensen Charters, South Haven
Don’t just stop at the shore of lake Michigan, there are still more amazing views to see and capture on the waters.
Jensen Charters is the ideal location to go if you want to take in stunning city views while also taking in the sunset over the city’s perimeter.
Jensen charters offer sunset and private excursions, scuba diving expeditions, and dive charters as you explore the shores of South Haven Harbor and Lake Michigan.
Jensen Charters takes you through the most amazing locations on their extremely comfortable and opulent boats.
They also provide a variety of boat experiences, such as private cruises, day or early morning cruises, passenger pirate trips, and sunset cruises.
Address: South Haven, MI 49090, United States
9. Kal-Haven Trail State Park
Are you in for some adventure? Then, you should head over to Kal-Haven trail state park.
The park is a lovely 34-mile linear, multi-use route connecting Kalamazoo and South Haven.
This walk is quite beautiful and serene amid the dense Michigan forests.
In fact, the Kal-Haven Trail is the first state park of its sort in Michigan and one of southwest Michigan’s most popular tourist attractions.
From crowded cities to wide fields to fragile wetlands, the trail cuts through some pretty unique places before reaching its destination on Lake Michigan’s shores.
We highly recommend using this trail for walking, running, or biking.
Address: South Haven, MI, United States
10. Michigan Theater
If you are looking for an inexpensive theater to see some new releases, this is the spot.
Located in downtown South Haven, Michigan Theatre provides family-friendly prices on premium digital movie enjoyment!
Although the theatre is not a big one, however, you will enjoy it here.
They have three auditoriums: a big one above and two smaller ones on the main floor.
Additionally, if you purchase a sizable plastic bucket of popcorn, you can add your own butter and then bring the bucket with you for free and refills on the following visits.
The theater is just a little worn, but this is a great place to catch some movies.
Address: 603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States
11. North Beach, South Haven
Although South Haven is home to seven public beaches, the north and south beaches are the most popular and visited.
While the south beach is located on the south of the river, the north beach and other beaches are located in the northern part.
However, this beach location is much less crowded than South Beach, and you can still see the lighthouse.
Furthermore, the waves are a bit higher, because the pier does not protect you, and the beach is about twice as long.
The beach has parking areas, refreshment stands, play areas, picnic tables, and restrooms.
You can go paddle boarding or kayaking right from the beach.
In addition, it is also fun to walk out to the lighthouse on the pier after dinner. The scenery at sundown is stunning and relaxing.
Address: South Haven, MI, United States
12. Overhiser Orchards
Visit the Overhiser Orchards to pick your own fruits and be mesmerized by the sight of farm animals and different fish species.
Favorite among locals as well as tourists, Overhiser orchards have been operating for several decades now.
During their U-Choose seasons, Overhiser Orchards allow you to pick as much fruit as you can carry.
Various fruits are available for U-Pick at different times of the year.
You can have a lot of fun for hours by picking the tastiest fruit from the orchard’s trees. Apricots, pears, and plums are among the numerous fruit varieties that Overhiser Orchards produce and sell at the market.
In addition to offering U-Pick fruit, Overhiser Orchards also provide opportunities for feeding animals. So if you have kids, this will interest them a lot.
If any of the above mentioned doesn’t interest you, perhaps the fish pond will interest you.
They have a vast variety of fish in their pond, including bass, sunfish, big bluegill, and perch.
Furthermore, you can go fishing at the pond from May 15 to labor day.
You don’t even need to carry your own fishing equipment because you can rent it at the orchard.
Address: 6405 109th Ave, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
13. Maria’s Taste Of Italy
Eating Italian dishes is never a bad idea any day, anytime, and you are in for a treat at Maria’s taste of Italy.
Maria’s taste of Italy is a family-owned restaurant and is one of those notable success stories in America.
Maria’s Taste of Italy has established itself as a popular spot for authentic, family-friendly Italian cuisine in South Haven.
Come sample family recipes that have been passed down for more than 70 years.
The menu items include the well-known homemade Italian sausage and meatballs, as well as spinach artichoke dip, lasagna supper, Caprese salad, chicken carbonara, and more.
The restaurant also serves specialty pizzas with a broad variety of toppings, including ground beef, sausage, red onion, banana peppers, and black olives.
Address: 330 Center St, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
14. Bumbleberry Acres
If you love overhiser Orchards, then you will also find bumble berry acres interesting.
In short, if you’re looking for an adorable animal farm and beautiful blueberry fields for picking within South Haven, then this is definitely the place.
A day on the farm is jam-packed with fun, adventure, and lots of smiles.
The family-run Bumbleberry Acres is situated in lovely South Haven, close to Lake Michigan’s shores.
Families, school groups, and even corporations can visit this location to take part in what is known as agritourism.
Furthermore, you can also plan private tours of their packing facilities and blueberry sampling trips on weekends.
Don’t forget to visit the store for one-of-a-kind, regional goods, freshly picked fruits and veggies from the farm, and treats from our bakery.
The first week of July through the second week of September are the dates for the blueberry u-pick season.
A petting zoo and different entertaining activities are also available to kids of all ages.
Address: 6785 Baseline Rd, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
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15. Rocket Arcade, South Haven
Why not take a break from the beaches, lighthouses, and farms? Instead, come play some retro games at the rocket Arcade.
A trio of pals started the arcade in 2019 with the single goal of preserving the arcade culture for upcoming generations of gamers.
The arcade will send you back in time into the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s with its games.
The majority of the antique pinball, video game, and coin-operated amusements at Rocket Arcade are set to free play.
Try your hands at Bronze Age games like Atari Basketball, Breakout, and Super Bug.
Don’t forget the play the legendary Pac-man, Donkey Kong, and Xybots.
If you are in South Haven and you are a gamer, you need to come here.
Address: 237 Broadway St #6, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
16. South Haven Ice Rink
If skating while listening to music and snow falling sounds like something fun to you, then you will love the South Haven Ice rink.
Located right in downtown South Haven, next to the Visitor’s Bureau, South Haven Ice Rink is a fun family vacation spot, especially during the winter.
Even on a warm day, the South Haven Ice Rink’s cooling system maintains the ice’s frozen state.
Furthermore, the rink is typically open in all types of weather, even when it is heavily snowing, while the covered pavilion offers all-weather protection for skaters, ensuring the ideal skating surface.
You don’t have a pair of ice skates? Don’t worry, South Haven Ice rink offers a wide range of rental options, allowing you to skate to your heart’s desire.
Birthday celebrations, huge gatherings, school groups, religious groups, and business events can be held here.
Address: 546 Phoenix St, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
17. Warner Vineyards
Existing for more than 80 years now, Warner vineyard is a nice romantic getaway. It is also one of Michigan’s oldest vineyards still in operation.
The Warner Vineyards tasting room is located in the Old Harbor area of South Haven, right along the waterfront.
The third generation of Warners, who continue to cherish the art of producing award-winning wine, owns and manages the vineyard.
There are currently five distinct tasting rooms for Warner Vineyards spread out over Michigan.
You may be sure you are in for a treat as there are over 25 different wines to pick from.
Visit the establishment and partake in an $8 wine tasting that includes five different taster glasses.
Don’t worry about being a lightweight when it comes to wine, as Warner vineyard also offers freshly made cheese platters.
Address: 515 Williams St Suite 11, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
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18. Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum
Liberty Hyde Bailey museum is one of the few places in South Haven to escape from streets and buildings and see what South Haven looked like during the frontier era.
Built-in the Greek Revival style in 1858, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum is the birthplace and childhood home of Liberty Hyde Bailey; America’s Father of Modern Horticulture.
Similarly, this is the only museum in the world devoted exclusively to Bailey’s life and work.
The grounds and gardens of the Bailey Museum include a nature trail, a number of magnificent gardens with informative signage, and a number of community garden plots.
The museum also includes the former smokehouse from the Bailey Farm, the South Haven Blacksmith Shop, and a number of other buildings from the Bailey Farm.
In addition, a large number of the plant species that Bailey devoted his entire life’s work—both horticulturally and creatively—to are on display in the Living Collections at the Bailey Museum.
On the east side of the museum’s site, a stand of woods that has regained a portion of the original Bailey Farm contains a brief nature trail
Address: 903 S Bailey Ave, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
19. DeGrandchamp Farms
DeGrandchamp Farms is a twelve-acre blueberry plantation bought by Vincent and Beatrice DeGrandchamp in 1958.
The property today includes 200 acres of blueberry farming, 40 acres of cranberry farming, and a nursery and greenhouse complex on 7 acres.
Although the children and grandchildren are now managing the property, it hasn’t fallen in standard at all.
During the appropriate season, you are welcome to visit the nursery.
Additionally, visitors can pick up their fair share of the farm’s fresh produce as well as butter, vinaigrettes, BBQ sauces, and even mustard.
Delicious purchases in July and August include their incredible fresh fudge and baked pastries.
Address: 76241 14th Ave, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
20. McIntosh Orchards
Do you want to relax in a quaint environment and take in some cold cider?
Visit the winery so you can sample these fine wines and take in the lovely orchard scenery.
They provide a variety of fruit wines, including hard ciders, raspberry, apple cinnamon, Golden Russet, blushing Bare, and more.
You can also try out some of their seasonal and Limited Edition wines. These include fresh Apple Cider, homemade Cider Donuts, deep Fried Hot Dogs, Local Honey, Maple Syrup, and more.
Address: 6431 107th Ave, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
21. Kids’ Corner, South Haven
Kid’s Corner is a beautifully made, age-appropriate wooden playground that is tucked away in a very nice area with a view of Lake Michigan.
In fact, your kids will be amazed at the size of the park right.
There are plenty of room on the play structure, several sets of swings, and a big open green space.
They can cool off by walking on the beach in the spring or by playing in the lake in the summer thanks to the proximity to the shore.
In addition, one of the best sunset views is offered directly at the park, so adults can unwind while the kids have a blast at Kid’s Corner Playground.
Address: 82 Monroe St, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
22. Van Buren State Park
One of the best things free you can do in South Haven is to have a great time at the Van Buren State Park.
The park is ideal for picnicking, taking a stroll through the woods, and relaxing on the beach.
Van Buren Campground includes a mile-long sandy beach, high dune formations, and Lake Michigan shoreline access.
You can have a picnic here with the available picnic shelter, tables, and grills.
Swimmable waters and a lovely beach are also available along Lake Michigan’s shoreline.
If you need to stay over, there are also over 200 campsites available.
You can choose to come all by yourself or, better still, include the family.
Address: 23960 Ruggles Rd, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
23. Gingerman Raceway
The Gingerman raceway is an ideal location for adrenaline junkies and racing enthusiasts.
Dan Schmitt, a racing enthusiast, founded GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan, in 1995.
The track was created to give the best type of experience for both racers and visitors.
It is situated on more than 300 acres of land with plenty of paddock space.
To get the chance to drive on the racetrack, you must either hire a track coach or enroll as a student at their driving school.
The tracks have a great rhythm and is a blast to drive, yet not overwhelming for a novice.
There are also nice viewing platforms for non-racers to watch from.
Address: 61414 Co Rd 388, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
24. KJC ATV Rentals and Trails of South Haven
Want to do something fun? Come and enjoy the lovely trails through the woods while riding on ATVs.
It’s an exciting experience that will leave you wanting more.
They take their time training you on how to drive the ATVs and going over all the rules.
They have a little training trail that you can ride on as long as you want until you feel comfortable, and it doesn’t go against your ride time.
It’s a great experience to have and forget your troubles.
So rent an ATV and have a thrilling trip around South Haven’s incredible trail system.
In the winter, they also do snowmobiling.
In addition, there are two catch-and-release ponds nearby. While you wait or after your ride, you can play horseshoes, corn hole, and other games with us.
Address: 24835 68th St, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
25. Black River Books
Black river books is a great place to go if you are looking for quality used books.
With Nearly 40 thousand books, black river books is a nerd’s den.
The shop is full to bursting with interesting books, and the overall feel is inviting.
Furthermore, they have a children’s section, art, cookbooks, religion, and some great vintage kids’ book series.
Lots of used books and out-of-print selections are available at great prices.
Address: 330 Kalamazoo St # 2, South Haven, MI 49090, United States
From the beautiful lighthouse to the beautiful sunsets and the delectable dishes, South Haven is a place you should include on your bucket list.