Brian and I have spent the past week visiting with family in the midwest, and we were lucky enough to have a little weekend getaway with my family in the adorable beach town my mom grew up in, Grand Haven, MI. We had such a fantastic time being together, relaxing and listening to stories my mom shared about growing up in Grand Haven. Most of our time was spent outside, exploring and soaking up time together. I loved it!
It was a wonderful little getaway, so I thought I would share some highlights from the trip. If you are looking for a fun, relaxing getaway, Grand Haven is a GREAT place to do it 🙂
We were able to spend time at the beach on Friday and Saturday and it was absolutely perfect. The weather was around 80 degrees and the water was surprisingly warm at about 75 degrees.
There was a wonderful breeze at the beach, so it was really comfortable just laying around and not hopping in the water (even though it was pretty warm!)
My parent’s dogs came with us, so we were constantly on the hunt for dog-friendly areas. The main beach in Grand Haven is not dog-friendly, but there is a designated area that is specifically for dogs. This area was perfect for giving the dogs a nice walk in the sand and a bit of water time. They loved getting out there in the morning before the sun got things really hot.
Grand Haven has a beautiful lighthouse at the end of the pier. It’s right by the beach and easy to access from the boardwalk.
When the weather is nice it’s really neat to walk to the end of the pier just past the lighthouse and you can capture some pretty awesome pictures. That being said, when the weather is windy and/or rainy it can be very dangerous to be out on the pier. It’s important to pay attention to the coast guard warnings and to the water. If it’s windy and there are lots of waves in the water, it’s best to save the walk down the pier for another day.
When my mom found out we were making the trip up to Grand Haven for the weekend, there were a few things on her “must do” list and eating at Pronto Pups was one of them!
This little shop has been around since 1957 and is located just outside of the Grand Haven State Park (the beach.) They make and serve hand dipped and fried corn dogs…that’s it!! They literally make them right in front of you. I didn’t try one, but Brian, my mom, my sister and my grandma all said they were delicious!
Brian got his with double ketchup and double mustard. They literally paint the condiments on the corn dog for you making it ready to eat as you walk up and down the beach. Such a cute little shop!
On Saturday, we rented several kayaks from Sun Sports Rentals and paddled our way through the Chinook Inlet. It was such a fun activity and a great way to spend time outdoors on the water. Because we were kayaking through the inlet, we had a path we were following and a destination to reach. We weren’t just paddling around in circles for a couple of hours in a big open body of water. I was thankful to have a destination and a path to follow! I would highly recommend this kayak rental as a fun activity!
Saturday morning, we headed to the Grand Haven Farmers Market, and I was so sad that we were leaving the next day because I wanted to buy just about everything!
There were amazingly beautiful flowers (those are dahlias in the picture above), wonderful produce, local meat and eggs, cheeses, homemade baked goods, and dog treats. It was so much fun to just walk around and LOOK at all of the mouth-watering produce.
There are several adorable shops in the downtown Grand Haven area, but one stop that my mom ALWAYS has to make (one of those items on her “must do list”) is Fortino’s.
Fortino’s is a little market that sells nuts, candies, specialty foods, meats, cheeses, and wine. There are a ton of unique sauces, pastas, and dry goods…it’s just fun to look at everything! One thing they are known for is their freshly roasted peanuts. We made sure to get a bag and I am so glad we did! The peanuts are in the shell and unsalted, and they taste absolutely amazing!
While visiting Grand Haven, I had pizza for the first time in over a YEAR…and it was good 🙂
Fricano’s is another place on my mom’s “must do” list, and it has been around for a long time…for good reason! They only serve pizza, there are five topping options, they use paper plates, and they don’t offer free refills on soft drinks. The wait-staff is amazingly friendly and everything tastes delicious.
This restaurant is a total dive, but so fun to eat at.
Their specialty? A wet burrito, which is basically a burrito covered in enchilada sauce. While this is definitely a bar and they serve traditional bar food like chicken fingers and fries, they really specialize in Mexican food and these burritos.
All of the portions are huge, but thankfully they had a luncheon-size portion (only slightly smaller) and many different filling options (mine was filled with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and beans). While I don’t typically order this type of meal when I go out, it was a fun and indulgent treat 🙂
Every night in the summer the Grand Haven Musical Fountain puts on a show when the sun goes down.
The music is different each night, and it’s really fun to make a night of it by walking up and down the boardwalk, checking out the shops, grabbing ice cream or a sweet treat and watching the sunset.
When we watched the show the music was a lot of movie themes and my favorite…Disney! 🙂
It’s been an amazing week visiting friends and family! I hope you all have a great Monday!