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Summer Vacation

Wyandotte, MI
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36 posts
2 reviews
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Summer Vacation

My Husband and I are looking for a vacation desination for the week of July 4th this summer. We are from South - Eastern Michigan and have never visited the west coast. I am looking for an area with some things to do. A downtown area with shopping / resturants / etc... Waterfront, with nice beaches. Is South Haven what I am looking for, or does anyone have any suggestions of other cities?

Michigan
Destination Expert
for South Haven, Saugatuck
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6,017 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: Summer Vacation

Yikes, 4th of July? You better hurry.

Towns with good shops, beaches, restaurant choices IMO are New Buffalo, South Haven, Grand Haven. I believe Pentwater, Ludington, and Manistee's downtown are also a close walk to the beach. Further north I think Charlevoix and Petoskey would be excellent choices also. You would need to drive to the beach in Saugatuck and Holland. I think you'd be disappointed in the shopping and restaurant choices within the downtown of St. Joseph although it has a nice beach withing walking distance of downtown. Sunsets I would think might be a problem in Traverse City, but it has all the rest. They're all nice towns though.

Destination Expert
for South Haven
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827 posts
236 reviews
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2. Re: Summer Vacation

personally i just love south haven....lots of great little cottages, condos, etc to rent by the week or inns & hotels if shorter stays are desired, entertainment can usually be found like local plays or bands or fests....at 4th of july they have some really spectacular fireworks on the lake....the restaurants aren't what i'd call spectacular but we love clementines or hawkshead for dinner or phoenix inn for breakfast and there are lots of other lil eateries to sample as well....nice coffee shops like the bear claw or julias to sit a spell....and then the main attraction that big blue water!! I love the beach...you can walk or park and stay all day....great sunsets (it's like a nightly event) and quaint shops & a few antique stores thrown in. Saugatuck is a better shopping destination but its just a 10 min drive up the highway so i save that for a day trip....Everyday people cafe is worth the quick side jaunt to douglas....wineries are within an easy drive also...

i'd say it IS just what you're lookin for!!

Livonia, MI
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689 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Summer Vacation

Pentwater is a nicer “walking” town than Ludington in my opinion but I love Ludington State Park so I stay on Hamlin Lake (Ludington) every year and take a day shopping trip into Pentwater. They are not very far from each other and you could easily visit both. Both are within walking distance to the beach and both have beautiful sunsets. Manistee has come a long way in the last 10 years. The downtown has some nice shops. Goody’s is a good place to grab a sandwich or cup of coffee. They also have a great wine shop but the name escapes me but it’s on the main street and you can’t miss it. There’s also a casino if Manistee if that interests you. Manistee is on the river so if you stayed downtown or near downtown you would have to drive to the beach unless you camp at Orchard Beach State Park which is nice. South Haven would be another good choice and it would be a shorter drive then the Ludington area. It has shops, a beach and bike trails. Have fun – I don’t really think you could go wrong with most West Coast towns.

4. Re: Summer Vacation

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