Set on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Grand Haven is a small city named after its location at the mouth of the Grand River. For centuries, the area was inhabited by the Potawatomi and Ottawa Native American people who traded along the river before being settled as a fur trading outpost known as “Gabagouache”.
Things to do in Grand Haven
On the main street of Grand Haven is the Tri-Cities Historical Museum, which houses exhibits dedicated to the area’s Native American peoples and its early settlers. Learn about the fur and logging trades before stepping inside a pioneer cabin and getting up close to vintage tools once used to grow food. The museum also features a recreated general store from the 1890s.
From the city’s musical fountain, you can stretch your legs on the riverfront trail that leads to Grand Haven State Park, a popular recreational destination for swimming and sunbathing. It offers impressive views of the bright red Grand Haven Lighthouse, an 1839-built tower that rises atop South Pier. Nestled behind the beach is Mulligan's Hollow where you can ski and toboggan in the winter months.
A short drive south of Grand Haven is the Rosy Mound Natural Area, which encompasses high wooded dunes and a sandy beach. You can follow the one-kilometre-long boardwalk trail that leads up and over the dunes to enjoy scenic views across Lake Michigan. Directly south is the American Dunes Golf Club, which was designed by the legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus.
Getting around Grand Haven
Grand Haven is around a one-hour drive from Grand Rapids and just over an hour from Gerald R. Ford International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the United States. Buses connect to Grand Haven while the downtown area is compact enough to explore on foot.