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visiting sw michigan

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cleveland
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visiting sw michigan

I need help! We have been going to Bethany beach DE for the past 6 summers and are looking for a change. Our party is comprised of 8 adults and a 2 year old looking to do nothing but park it on the beach!

Someone reccomended a week in South Haven, others have said stick to the shore. Can anyone reccomend a place in SW Michigan? Is southhaven a good place to spend a week?

Michigan
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for Saint Joseph
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1. Re: visiting sw michigan

The west coast of Lake Michigan has miles of fabulous white sand beaches. South Haven would be a good choice and also St Joseph. Silver Beach in St Joseph is very popular and very close to food and the lighthouse. South Haven has a similar set up with great city beaches on the lake and nearby shops and restaurants. For St Joseph info check out: http://www.sjtoday.org

Hopefully Rono will add some info on South Haven for you.

Bay City, Michigan
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for Michigan
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2. Re: visiting sw michigan

I think you have been given good info. You could actualy visit all 3 cities: South Haven, Saugatuck, and St. Joseph. But if you just want one place, I'd go for South Haven, it is in the middle...lol.

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for South Haven
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3. Re: visiting sw michigan

i'm a south haven fan so of course I'd recommend going there....you don't mention your budget but so haven can handle both....there are lovely condos right on the beach in walking distance to town on the north side...you can contact any relator in town for info...i've used shores but i've also used others and had no problems...if your budget is tighter there are houses for rent a block or two from the beach that would accomidate your whole party on both the north and south sides...i too just like to "park it on the beach" and being in walking distance from home is great! the quaint town has lots of eating/drinking places and a couple of wonderful toystores to amuse your 2 yr old...and a cheap show with bob (bring your own bag) for free popcorn once a week...and in the summer there are free concerts on the river usually on thursdays

saugatuck has interesting shopping and more of it and is just a few minutes down the road...there is wine tasting in town (so haven has this too but i didn't care for the pourers) and a winery in fennville as well as some great fruit places in the area for fresh goods and you pick if you go that way

try the south haven site for more info www.southhaven.org

good luck!!

and wheres rono?? he lives there and can REALLY advise!!

Michigan
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for South Haven, Saugatuck
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4. Re: visiting sw michigan

Rono is not a morning person. Honestly for three months of the year the west coast of Michigan is the best place in the US to be imo (late June thru mid Sept, mid July thru mid Aug would be prime.). The rest of the year, not so much (I dislike snow). In fairness I've never spent time on the DE coast, but I have spent a lot of time on the FL, SC, and Southern CA beaches. Once was even talked into spending time at the beaches of Cape Cod.(Won't do that again)

Expect the water to be fresh, no salt, waves smaller, a sunset at night, no tide and loose soft sand. If you had a mind to you could walk from St. Joseph to South Haven or SH to Saugatuck as the beach is uninterrupted sand.

If I were coming to South Haven for a beach vacation I'd strongly look at Sleepy Hollow. As someone mentioned take a look at Southhaven.org and Saugatuck.org for other rental options. I think TravDreamer is correct in your case that St. J and SH would be better choices than Saugatuck as Saugatuck is actually up river about a mile and unless you were lucky enough to snag a house on the lake you’d be driving to one of a couple beaches there, but by all means visit there as IMO I think they have the best shops and restaurants.

If you decide to take a closer look let us know if you run across some properties and we can give you some perspective as to their location and proximity to the beach.

Bay City, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Michigan
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5. Re: visiting sw michigan

I am with Rono, I am not a morning person at all!

Chicago
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6. Re: visiting sw michigan

Although Sleepy Hollow is nice, recognize that you will have to get in your car everytime you want to come to town. I'd find a house/condo either on the beach or close by.

Wisconsin
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7. Re: visiting sw michigan

I grew up in this area, and having lived briefly in the Philly area, and spent a couple of vacations on the North Carolina shore and around Tampa, I'd say the western shore of Michigan stacks up very well against the Jersey shore, the NC coast, and yes, even Tampa-St. Pete. The beaches are great, with nice sand, and almost everywhere there are fantastic sand dunes -- or cliffs in some places -- and there are plenty of activities for most tastes in the surrounding area. The Lake is large enough to be a veritable sea, but without tides. Also, there won't be sea shells. However, some parts of the shore feature very smooth, round or oval, flat-ish pebbles which are perfect for skipping on the water. On windy days the surf can kick up a fair bit, too, but rarely enough to qualify as "dangerous". It's a perfect place for just "parking" on the beach all day. If you go in August, it will be peach season, and one of the secrets about the southwest corner of Michigan is the wonderful peaches that grow there. Actually, all sorts of fruit are grown there in the summer (straw berries, blue berries, cherries, raspberries, black berries, grapes, peaches, apples, pears, plums, nectarines, and melons of all kinds), all of it among the tastiest you'll find anywhere. (It has to do with sandy soil and relatively mild winters, I think.) You can charter a fishing boat and go for some lake trout, pick yourself some fruit, go antiquing, visit several nice wineries in the area (another well kept secret are the wineries), shop in the galleries and boutiques in Saugatuck, or just park on the beach. The state parks and the many county and city beaches along the shore are better if people watching is your thing, otherwise you can find less visited and more isolated beaches as well. You'll find great beaches all along the western shore, from New Buffalo on up to Traverse Bay. Best of all, relative to the east coast, especially the mid-Atlantic parts, the towns and villages are less crowded and less commercial.

8. Re: visiting sw michigan

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