Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in South Haven, MI

  • Published 2023/03/17

South Haven is the land of Ni-Ko-Nong (beautiful sunsets) bordering the beautiful shores of the marvelous Lake Michigan.

The city justifies its name by offering tourists exquisite views of its glorious sunsets and surrounding landscapes.

In addition, the city offers some of the finest wineries in the country.

Indeed, you can’t go wrong by planning a holiday in this fantastic city.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 20 best things to do in South Haven, Michigan:

Pay a Visit to South Haven Lighthouse

Exterior of South Haven Lighthouse

Michael Deemer /

You can enjoy stunning views from your high vantage point perched in the top tiers of the South Haven Lighthouse lying on the shore of Lake Michigan.

The structure dates back to 1873, when retired naval engineers built this 37-foot-tall lighthouse.

You can sprawl on the beach in a relaxing siesta!

Aerial view of South Haven Lighthouse

Frederick Millett /

Play Bowling at Lakeside Entertainment

Lakeside Entertainment is a go-to place by both locals and tourists when looking for an all-around amusement place in South Haven.

Both a restaurant and a bowling alley, Lakeside Entertainment has a little bit of something for everyone.

If you just want to drink the night away, they have a solid selection of alcoholic beverages along with pub food to match it.

But the main attraction here are their entertainment facilities, most prominently their bowling alley and their mini golf course.

A fantastic spot for all ages, Lakeside Entertainment can be found along Blue Star Memorial Highway.

Wander around Kal-Haven Trail State Park

The Kal-Haven Trail State Park lined with trees

spablab, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thrill-seekers can have exciting adventures at the Kal-Haven Trail State Park.

Here, you can enjoy refreshing hikes and bike rides while focusing on the lush green surroundings.

Winters can be more fun when you can snowmobile along this path.

The 33-mile stretch lies amid marvelous groves, making your walk full of great pleasures.

Go Swimming at Oak Street Beach

Oak Street Beach is a great spot to swim in Lake Michigan, offering access to a sandy shore and wavy waters.

Many locals go here, so expect a crowd during the weekends.

While typically busy, you can still have a scenic experience here because of the sheer beauty of Lake Michigan, especially during sunsets.

It’s a popular place to do kayaking as well, so try the boat rentals around the place.

Oak Street Beach can be accessed along North Shore Drive.

Have a Picnic at North Beach

Seagulls at North Beach

Robert Howard Adams /

North Beach gets some of the region’s most gorgeous sunlight and is perfect for getting an impressive tan!

The North Beach redefines leisurely pleasures for you with so many facilities.

Several outdoor sports are available to relax both your mind and muscles.

Finally, quickly plunge into the calm waters to wash away your stress!

Taste Some Wines at Cogdal Vineyards

Wine lovers can try tasty wines while learning exciting nuggets about the craft of wine-making at the Cogdal Vineyards.

The vineyard is a sheer delight to explore because of its rich orchards.

You can also drown in the sweet fragrances of these orchards filled with fresh fruits and vegetables!

They also house some beautiful Christmas trees to add to your pleasures.

Established in 2008, Cogdal Vineyards is one of the top tourist hotspots in South Haven.

Revisit the City’s Maritime History at Michigan Maritime Museum

Exterior of Michigan Maritime Museum

Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the rich nautical heritage of the Great Lakes at the Michigan Maritime Museum.

Many displays here are interactive to keep you engaged.

Packed with rich media, the museum provides an immensely immersive experience.

Many exciting pieces in the museum include old-time and new navigation and other on-sea instruments.

Experience the Wagon Rides at Bumbleberry Acres

Kids will truly enjoy the delightful wagon rides at the Bumbleberry Acres.

This place is one of the best family-friendly spots in South Haven, and you must check it out!

In addition, they host a great farm market.

They also have a small but rich collection of farm animals.

Kids will love the warmth of petting these friendly creatures.

The unique attraction, though, is the fun berry-picking sessions.

Make your way around the shrubs and keep a weather eye open for the reddest and juiciest beauty to pluck!

Finally, you can test your puzzling mojo by trying to successfully make your way out of the corn maze.

Visit the Van Buren State Park

The Van Buren State Park includes lush green forests and alluring golden beaches.

The forests and beaches have several enticing campsites, and you should stay overnight to drink in all the pleasures of the place.

Here, you can admire the splendor of Lake Michigan by sitting relaxedly along the shoreline.

Have Fun at Kids’ Corner Playground

For those traveling with kids on a tight budget, Kids Corner Playground is the place to be!

It is the best destination for young people in South Haven to spend a relaxing day.

Spread out your lunch baskets around the several benches thrown carelessly and enjoy the perfect picnic amid sunshine and nature.

Kids will never complain of boredom once they get here!

Visit the Michigan Flywheelers Museum

The United States pioneered farm machinery and still occupies its leadership position.

You can catch the rich history of the finest farm machines and other mechanical systems that laid the foundation for its current excellence!

Some exciting items here include antique farm machines, an original sawmill, and an old-era-style shingle mill.

Michigan Flywheelers Museum‘s staff has well-preserved these yesteryear specimens of cutting-edge technology.

Explore the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum

Exterior of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum

Teemu08, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey is among the most notable residents of the state.

You can learn about his life and philosophy at the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum, which is dedicated to his works.

This place is a national historic site, and they educate visitors about the yeomen contributions made by Dr. Bailey.

Besides the items, the curators are warm and eager to answer your questions.

For those who are fans of the legendary doctor, a trip to this place is one of the things they must do in South Haven.

Front view of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum

Marlene Calderon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Kayaking at Black River Marina

If you want a full-blown kayaking experience, the best place to do it is at Black River Marina.

Giving you access to the lively waters of Black River, this marina is a perfect spot to rent a kayak and launch your boat.

While it’s not as scenic as Oak Street Beach, you can still experience the beauty of the city through the river.

Being that it’s a marina, there are also tons of boats and yachts here that makes it a beautiful spot for photographs.

Black River Marina is located along East Wells Street.

Visit The Mitten Children’s Museum with Your Kids

If you’re with children from 1-12 years old during your trip, The Mitten Children’s Museum is another fun activity in South Haven.

A nicely sized museum, this place offers both fun and learning to children by teaching them a bit of history, science, and art.

Lots of the interactive exhibits here talk about some cool facts about South Haven, so it’s a great bonding activity for parents and kids.

With several games, it’s a nice place for children to meet new friends as well.

The Mitten Children’s Museum is located along Broadway Street.

Dine with Style at Clementine’s

Clementine’s is known for two things in South Haven: its food and its aesthetic.

Located in a historic building that was once a 19th Century bank, Clementine’s interiors is one of the most Instagram-worthy places in South Haven.

While the ornate interior is already fascinating, you can even see a few remnants of the past through photos as well.

The food is stellar at Clementine’s, serving both fancy dishes and American comfort food that matches its ambiance.

You can find this gorgeous restaurant in Downtown South Haven, along Phoenix Street.

Have Fun with KJC ATV Rentals and Trails

Automobile lovers can enjoy a slice of rugged all-terrain driving action at the KJC ATV Rentals and Trails.

It is a pleasurable outdoor experience experience the challenging trails amid groves!

Featuring multiple trademarked technologies, these machines are perfect for conquering any terrain with their many driving modes.

You can get the thrill of riding these four-wheeled beauties on the rollercoaster landscapes!

Enjoy the Views of Lake Michigan with Sailing South Haven

Sailing in South Haven

Michael Deemer /

Enjoy the scenic views of Lake Michigan and surrounding areas while relaxing onboard the Margaret Ann Boat.

Feel the fresh sea breezes kiss your skin and exhilarate you with their soft touch.

Nothing is better than sipping delicious cocktails as the majestic sailboat cuts through the waters.

Sailing South Haven lets you enjoy such an experience.

Sunset sailing in South Haven

Michael Deemer /

See the Sunset with Jensen Charters

The best views of South Haven’s famous sunsets are best enjoyed on one of the Jensen Charters boat tours.

Watch the glorious setting sun melt into the seas over the horizon from your vantage point deep into the waters.

Jensen Charters provides exciting options to choose a boat ride according to your taste.

Visit the GingerMan Raceway

Racing car at Gingerman Raceway

Carpenterdesign, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Motor-sport lovers can have a speed riot at the GingerMan Raceway.

The track proudly claims to be some of the fastest in South Haven and has been enticing motorcar enthusiasts since 1995.

Go Skating at South Haven Ice Rink

Exterior of South Haven Ice Rink

Logan Bush /

Experience the fun at South Haven Ice Rink!

The impressive light design here and the fun skating sessions will delight you.

It is family-friendly, with all the proper safety measures to ensure safety.

The ice rink provides plenty of opportunities for skaters of all skill levels.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to experience Lake Michigan or explore its historic downtown alleys, South Haven is a gem in Michigan.

It’s brimming with all sorts of museums and vineyards, adding tons of variety in planning your itinerary.

Some of the can’t-miss spots here include the Michigan Maritime Museum, South Haven Lighthouse, and North Beach.

The best things to do in South Haven, Michigan are waiting for you—plan your adventure today!

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