Chicago Escape: A Weekend in Grand Haven, Michigan

Take a break from the city and unwind with beautiful sandy, shores and bike-only transportation.

Photo By: Bob Peskorse / Grand Haven Visitors Bureau

Photo By: Ed Post / Grand Haven Visitors Bureau

Photo By: Bob Peskorse / Grand Haven Visitors Bureau

Photo By: Stefanie Herder / Grand Haven Visitors Bureau

Photo By: Stefanie Herder / Grand Haven Visitors Bureau

Photo By: Masphotomi.com / Grand Haven Visitors Bureau

Photo By: Ed Post / Grand Haven Visitors Bureau

Charming Beach Life

Less than a three hour drive from Chicago, Grand Haven, Michigan offers an escape from city life with picture-perfect Lake Michigan shores and a relaxed, Americana vibe.

Skip the Car

There are more than 100 miles of bike paths around the Grand Haven area, winding around the beach, main streets, lakes, rivers and the dunes. Slow down and enjoy the beach town on two wheels.

Must-Hike Trails

Love long walks on the beach? Try the lakeshore trail that connects Grand Haven to Holland, Michigan. You can stop at Kirk Park and beautiful Olive Shores along the way. Need some shade? The Rosy Mound Natural Area has a popular shaded canopy boardwalk around the dunes. Just be prepared to hike 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the dunes!

Where to Eat

Locals know that no visit to the beach is complete without a stop at the Pronto Pups stand. The corndog franchise has been a Michigan staple for more than 60 years.

Where to Drink

Cider lovers will love craft selections at Vander Mill. For beer, Odd Side Ales is a funky craft brewery with selections like Pineapple IPA and Mayan Mocha Stout.

Must-Instagram

Even if you visit the Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier during the day, come back for the postcard-worthy sunset. It's worth the wait. 

When to Go

The summer season is the best time to visit Grand Haven, but if you can, come the first weekend in August for the Coast Guard Festival. Grand Haven, nicknamed the Coast Guard City, celebrates the oldest sea branch of the military with a parade, fireworks show and craft fair.

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