Things To Do In South Haven, Michigan: Explore Beaches, Museums, and More

Places to visit in South Haven, MI.

Things to do in South Haven, Michigan, encompass a wide array of activities for visitors. Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, this charming community is known for its scenic beauty, outdoor adventures, and cultural attractions. It’s where you can find tranquility and excitement in equal measure.

The iconic South Haven Lighthouse is a beacon of history and a symbol of the town’s maritime heritage. Visitors can stroll along the pier to the lighthouse, enjoying the breathtaking lake views. The lighthouse is a photogenic spot, and its red exterior has become a beloved landmark.

South Haven’s beaches are a significant draw for tourists and locals alike. The sandy shores and clear waters provide the perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming, and beach volleyball. For those interested in water sports, the area offers fishing, boating, and kayaking opportunities. The lake’s calm waves and beautiful surroundings are ideal for relaxation and recreation.

What to do in South Haven, Michigan

Places to visit in South Haven, Michigan, include the Michigan Maritime Museum, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s nautical history. With exhibits showcasing shipbuilding, navigation, and maritime trade, the museum provides an educational and engaging experience. Visitors can also embark on sailing excursions aboard historic vessels, adding a hands-on dimension to the museum visit.

While South Haven is primarily in Van Buren County, a small portion extends into Allegan County. This unique geographical feature adds to the town’s charm and offers visitors more exploring areas.

Both counties are rich in natural beauty, with parks, trails, and wildlife areas offering outdoor enthusiasts plenty of hiking, bird-watching, and nature photography options.

South Haven is not just about nature and outdoor activities; it’s also a hub for arts and culture. The town hosts various festivals, art shows, and musical performances yearly. Local galleries and theaters provide platforms for artists and performers, fostering a vibrant cultural scene that enriches the community.

South Haven, Michigan, is a destination that caters to diverse interests and tastes. It offers something for everyone, from historical landmarks to outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, and serene landscapes. It’s a place that invites exploration, relaxation, and enjoyment, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and fulfilling experience.

North Beach

Located in Michigan’s beautiful Lake Michigan region, South Haven is a wonderful place to visit. It’s a small town with much to offer, including a beautiful beach. In addition to its beaches, it’s also home to the Michigan Maritime Museum. If you enjoy maritime history and boating, this is a great way to spend a day.

There are many other fun things to do in South Haven, MI, and North Beach is one of the most popular. This beach has a lovely long sandy shoreline on the city’s north side. It has restrooms, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and concession stands. There is a large parking lot and plenty of room to park your vehicle.

 Best places to visit in South Haven, North Beach
Best places to visit in South Haven, North Beach

Michigan Maritime Museum

Located in South Haven, Michigan, the Michigan Maritime Museum focuses on the history of boating in the Great Lakes. Its exhibits include replica vessels and watercraft. It also has a research library and a shipbuilding facility. In addition, the museum features an array of on-water excursions.

The museum has several boats, including a custom wooden canoe called the Hummingbird. It also has a river launch called the Lindy Lou. It has five buildings in total. These buildings include exhibits, classrooms, offices for staff, and a learning center.

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Even though the Michigan Maritime Museum is one of the smaller facilities in the state, its quaint harbor ambiance makes it one of the best in the region.

Places to go in South Haven Michigan Maritime Museum
Places to go in South Haven Michigan Maritime Museum

The largest of the museum’s five buildings is the Maritime Heritage Center. These complex house exhibits tell the story of the lake’s role in World War II. It also has a Great Lakes Research Library housed in an old lightkeeper’s residence. This is the museum’s flagship building and a sight to behold.

South Beach

South Beach in South Haven is a welcome oasis during the summer months. Located on the sparkling shores of Lake Michigan, this destination offers a variety of fun activities for everyone.

The South Beach is located on the eastern end of downtown South Haven. The area is a popular waterfront destination with a large white sandy beach and a unique downtown. The park offers a lovely walk along the river and is an excellent place for a picnic.

There are several places to park at South Beach. Parking is either self-pay or paid. The paid lot is the closest to the beach. The parking fee is $10. The free lot is near the marina. During peak seasons, the drawbridge is staffed all day.

Things to do in South Haven The south beach in South Haven, Michigan
Things to do in South Haven The South Beach in South Haven, Michigan

The Blue Stairs in South Haven are a great way to get to the beach. The stairs are a great view of Lake Michigan and have bike racks. The stairs also lead to small dunes trails. The building next to the stairs was constructed in 1896 and is a historic landmark.

The South Haven Preserve is a great spot to exercise and enjoy the view of the lake. The preserve includes a trail that leads to several of the lake’s most beautiful overlooks. It also has restrooms, a compacted stone pathway to the beach, and a lookout deck with stunning views.

South Haven Light

Located at the end of the South Pier, where Lake Michigan meets the Black River, the South Haven Light is an iconic landmark in South Haven. Built in 1903, the tower is a slender, 35-foot-tall structure with a lantern room.

Best tourist attractions South Haven Light
Best tourist attractions South Haven Light

This historic lighthouse has been an active aid to navigation for over 100 years. The Coast Guard is currently responsible for maintaining the light as an active aid to navigation. The lighthouse is not open to the public for tours. However, there is a lighthouse keeper’s house that you can visit. The keeper’s house is located at 91 Michigan Avenue in South Haven.

The Fifth Order Fresnel lens was installed in the lantern in 1913. It was manufactured by Parisian glass makers Barbier and Fenestre.

Deerlick Creek Park

Deerlick Creek Park is a small but fun Lake Michigan beach near South Haven, Michigan. This quaint spot is slightly more hidden than other beaches but is a great place to picnic or launch a kayak. Plenty of free parking spots allow you to enjoy the day without worrying about traffic.

The beach is dog friendly, so bring your four-legged family member along. A splash pad nearby is also designed after the ship at the Michigan Maritime Museum. The splash pad is open from July through August. There are also restrooms, grills, and a concession stand.

Places to visit in South Haven The rock wall at Deerlick Creek Park
Places to visit in South Haven The rock wall at Deerlick Creek Park

The park is also home to the famous Friends Good Will, a replica of an 1800s merchant sloop. The ship offers blueberry-tasting tours and a hands-on learning experience about the area’s history, including the War of 1812.

The best part about this park is that it’s free. While most other beaches charge for parking and other activities, this is free. So whether you plan to spend the day swimming, sunbathing, or kayaking, this beach will ensure a memorable experience.


Located on Lake Michigan, South Haven is a small town that offers a variety of things to do. The city is known for its beautiful beaches and great fishing. There are also several festivals held throughout the year.

South Haven Pier
South Haven Pier

A trip to the lighthouse is one of the best things to do in South Haven. This historic landmark is located near downtown. You can visit the lighthouse and get a guided tour of the structure. The lighthouse is a 35-foot bright red building. You can even walk along the pier for a closer look.

Another place to visit is the Maritime Museum. The museum is filled with nautical history and displays a variety of interactive exhibits. There are also boat tours available.

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