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Graduation Trip

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Peoria, Illinois
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2 posts
13 reviews
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Graduation Trip

I am taking my 18 year old niece for a long weekend trip as her graduation gift. I have been considering South Haven and/or Saugatuck... but just not sure. Also in on the debate is Galena. My husband and I went to South Haven a handful of years ago for a weekend, and it rained the whole time which may be the reason for my lackluster memory of the town. It seems that I don't remember seeing a whole lot of shopping or quaint little restaurants. Thoughts? Is there another town along the S/SW border of Lake Michigan that I should be looking at? Looking for restaurants, shops, spas (maybe), beaches. Also thinking I want to go with a bed and breakfast, and hopefully something centrally located within walking distance of most attractions. Thanks in advance for info you can provide!

Aunt B~

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24 reviews
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1. Re: Graduation Trip

I like st joe and holland

Chicago's North...
Destination Expert
for Illinois, Chicago
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6,532 posts
261 reviews
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2. Re: Graduation Trip

south haven is nice as is st joseph. i'd pick either (or both) over galena any day. in fact, i'd pick just about any michigan beach town over galena any day, except for maybe during the fall colors season....

if your niece is into the beach scene, and/or is interested in trying kayaking, stand up paddle board etc (there are rental places in both) then definitely SH or SJ.... if she's more into the arts scene, then saugatuck might be better.... dune rides can be done near saugatuck as well.... anything much past saugatuck, you're talking a long drive from peoria......... all 3 have cutesy downtowns with lodging, eats, shops etc.... of the 3, i think i like st joe the best (plus it's closer for you, and SH is still an easy 20 minute drive away).... also, a few hours at warren dunes is great....


Edited: 26 April 2012, 05:46
Rochester Hills...
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563 posts
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3. Re: Graduation Trip

You could always drive a little further north to Saugatuck, Holland, or Grand Haven. All of these are easy drives and relativiely close to each other. Saugatuck has a lot more shopping, art galleries, restaurants. Grand Haven also has some shopping, the boardwalk and restaurants. I personally find these areas more entertaining then South Haven. IMO South Haven is great for a low-key get away when you want to hang at the beach

Destination Expert
for South Haven
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824 posts
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4. Re: Graduation Trip

depends on what your neice likes....if she digs relaxation and enjoying the beach south haven is for you.....and you can day trip up to saugatuck for more shopping and great people watching....including a boat trip and dune rides...

sh has kite boarding lessons for the more adventurous....as well as kayak rentals at the outpost....

allegan has canoe rentals as does st joe...

I love st joe but stay in sh.

Destination Expert
for Saint Joseph
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981 posts
34 reviews
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5. Re: Graduation Trip

I have been to both Galena and South Haven and like StrangeTripper says South Haven wins by a mile. I of course think St Joseph would be a great fit for your weekend too. Stay at the Boulevard Inn on the bluff right in downtown St Joseph. It is close to the beach, lighthouse pier and all the downtown shops and restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream places. You can get cheap to rent bikes from the Welcome center a block away for cruising around town. Or motor scooters practically next door. Check out www.sjtoday.org for more info.

Edited: 02 May 2012, 20:17
6. Re: Graduation Trip

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