by Anthony Vaarwerk
South Haven Michigan
The shores of South Haven, Michigan are the vacation destination for anyone desiring a small beach town getaway. Picturesque and full of treasures for almost any interest - this Lake Michigan town provides all the joys of outdoors and personal touch of home town culture. Resorting in South Haven is sure to offer a respite from the big city or business of life with its rich heritage and lake landscape along with its 100 year old lighthouse in view. Retreat to South Haven's "Big Blue Water" and return with a vacation to remember.
South Haven-population approx. 4,403- is located on Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Black River. Tourists enjoy South Haven for its recreational harbor and beaches. First inhabited by Native American Indians-by the 1850s the first permanent settlers arrived and not long after erected the first steam sawmills on the Black River. South Haven has always been a port city. During settlement, major ship lines stopped there, both passenger and freight. In the early 1900s South Haven became a resort town, sometimes referred to as "The Catskills of the Midwest". The timber harvested in South Haven was shipped to Chicago and Milwaukee via steamboats and schooners, and the cleared forests were then used by fruit farmers, who primarily grew peaches, blueberries and apples. As a result of these industries, South Haven created many jobs in the area, and the city began to boom. Although its economy was on the rise, the resort area realized the challenges of having a seasonal economy so they reached out to other industries to increase the stability of their economy. In 1925, South Haven received their first foreign shipment of goods. Even though the resort industry has had its ups and downs, South Haven has steadily grown in recreational boating as well as through the strengthening of existing resorts within the area. Many visitors enjoy the Centennial Celebration and the Blueberry Festival as well as the South Pier Lighthouse built to replace its original from 1872.
South Haven caters to hikers, bicyclists and equestrian traffic as it winds through lovely countryside and peaceful woodlands-through charming villages and along historic sites. The Kai-haven Trail stretches from Kalamazoo to South Haven and attracts 90,000 people each year. South Haven Golf Club sets the standard high as one of the region's best courses -opened since 1930. Now under the ownership of Jason Fargo, the landmark 18-hole course greets players with a fresh look and the latest conveniences. Another legendary course nearby includes the highly-rated Hawks Head Links, designed by internationally renowned golf architect Arthur Hills. The course draws about 20,000 golfers annually. For those looking for fast-paced entertainment, the Gingerman Raceway offers fun at the races. Wine buffs can check out the wineries located along the Lake Michigan Shore appellation or the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail. Antiquing is a popular pastime for travelers from all around-South Haven offers old fashioned charm in turn of the century stores. When visiting South Haven, the beach is a must with its variety of park and beach accesses-boating, fishing and camping all easily available to add to the mix. Whether enjoying dinner on the harbor in the evening or a sailing excursion on Lake Michigan, South Haven offers a one of a kind beach-town experience to fill any vacation with great memories.
For more information: http://www.southhavenmi.com/
Map of South Haven Michigan