Jump to content
Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums

Where to vacation in southern Michgan?


Recommended Posts

I need to visit someone in Marshall, Michigan at some point between July 7th and August 14th. Trying to figure out the best way to turn this into a week-long vacation. Thinking I want to stay some place that is within 2 hours of Marshall. What are some good options?

Will be with my wife and teenage daughter. We like the beach, good restaurants, biking, walking around some nice town, parks, kayaking, relaxing. 

I know nothing about Michigan at all...simply looking at the map I am guessing there should be good options along the cost of Lake Michigan, something between Grand Haven / Holland / Saugatuck / South Haven / Lake Michigan Beach / Benton Harbor. Are there any nice resorts at any of these locations? 

I guess another option would be some AirBNB along one of the many smaller lakes that seem to be all over the interior of the state. Are there any particular areas that would be good? 

And wherever I end up staying, and recommendations for day-trips in that general area? Any specific sites to see? 

Thanks for any help!

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, dancer said:

I need to visit someone in Marshall, Michigan at some point between July 7th and August 14th. Trying to figure out the best way to turn this into a week-long vacation. Thinking I want to stay some place that is within 2 hours of Marshall. What are some good options?

Will be with my wife and teenage daughter. We like the beach, good restaurants, biking, walking around some nice town, parks, kayaking, relaxing. 

I know nothing about Michigan at all...simply looking at the map I am guessing there should be good options along the cost of Lake Michigan, something between Grand Haven / Holland / Saugatuck / South Haven / Lake Michigan Beach / Benton Harbor. Are there any nice resorts at any of these locations? 

I guess another option would be some AirBNB along one of the many smaller lakes that seem to be all over the interior of the state. Are there any particular areas that would be good? 

And wherever I end up staying, and recommendations for day-trips in that general area? Any specific sites to see? 

Thanks for any help!

 

 

 

Scratch Benton Harbor off the list right away.    All of the others are beautiful.  If you want to keep it 2 hours the west coast areas are 2 hours or less from Marshall.   Northern would be 3-4 hours.

Saugatuck, Grand Haven, Ludington are all nice on Lake MI.

 

I am busy now but will get back to you.

Edited by Da Guru
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife's family has lake house at Manitou beach on devil's lake near Adrian Michigan but it is one of the small interior lakes you mentioned.   It is a lot of fun but mostly private residences so probably not what you are looking for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grand Haven or Muskegon. You will be in between Saugatauk and Ludington. Grand Haven state park is consistently rated the best family beach in Michigan and plenty of shopping and restaurants. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ll be in Ludington in mid-June and it’s a nice relaxing beach town. Technically I’ll be at Hamlin Lake, just north of there, fishing and family cabin time. My brother lives by Grand Haven and really anywhere around there on Lake Michigan is going to be nice. Coincidentally I have family that lives in Marshall. Not much there. heh 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Maybe you should go to Northern Michigan.  I hear you can try different things while smoking funny things while making love out by the lake to your favorite song.  Sounds like a good time.

Edited by Gally
  • Laughing 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, playin4beer said:

Grand Haven will be packed that time of year.. And with the construction on the drawbridge, I wouldn't go anywhere near there this Summer..

 

Definitely a year to consider taking Lake Michigan Drive (M-45) off I-196 instead of taking M-104 via I-96.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Southwest MI is fine.  There are not a ton of hotels or traditional resorts in close proximity of downtowns.  Best bet is going to be AirBnB or VRBO.  I'd add South Haven as another good option to the ones listed above (nice bike trail is Kal-Haven Trail).  You can make day trips to check out the various towns as they are all a little different. 

If it were me, I'd consider driving up to Traverse Bay area.  The natural scenery gets a lot nicer than Southern MI and has a more relaxed vibe.  Worth the drive if you are spending a week. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

Definitely a year to consider taking Lake Michigan Drive (M-45) off I-196 instead of taking M-104 via I-96.

Definitely.. I'm right by the new 231 bypass so I can take that to M-45 and M-45 to US-31 just South of Grand Haven. The problem is, traffic gets backed up all the way thru GH with the drawbridge shut down to one lane both ways. It's going to be a nightmare in the Summer

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, playin4beer said:

Definitely.. I'm right by the new 231 bypass so I can take that to M-45 and M-45 to US-31 just South of Grand Haven. The problem is, traffic gets backed up all the way thru GH with the drawbridge shut down to one lane both ways. It's going to be a nightmare in the Summer

 

I was gonna suggest 231 but it’s too complicated to explain. My brother has riverfront on Green St (which becomes Mercury Drive), he refuses to ever take 131/drawbridge no matter where he’s going.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, BobbyLayne said:

Grand Haven - Holland - Saugatuck are all excellent

2 1/2 months til we're there and i cannot freaking wait

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Da Guru said:

Scratch Benton Harbor off the list right away.    All of the others are beautiful.  If you want to keep it 2 hours the west coast areas are 2 hours or less from Marshall.   Northern would be 3-4 hours.

Saugatuck, Grand Haven, Ludington are all nice on Lake MI.

 

I am busy now but will get back to you.

I live in Harbor Country.  No one is going to Benton Harbor, but many go to St Joseph.  South of Bridgman is Chicago-priced.  There are many wineries and breweries in this area if thats your thing.  A lot of hotels in Stevensville and New Buffalo also.  Red Arrow Highway runs along Lake Michigan.

Edited by FairWarning
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a ton of nice cities and towns all along Lake Michigan. Sagatuck is super nice - but its not the only place along there. So I'd probably just search a good airbnb or something along the water and then - if you have multiple cities to choose from, just pick one. 

Lake Michigan is awesome. A great place to vacation.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, dancer said:

I need to visit someone in Marshall, Michigan at some point between July 7th and August 14th. Trying to figure out the best way to turn this into a week-long vacation. Thinking I want to stay some place that is within 2 hours of Marshall. What are some good options?

Will be with my wife and teenage daughter. We like the beach, good restaurants, biking, walking around some nice town, parks, kayaking, relaxing. 

I know nothing about Michigan at all...simply looking at the map I am guessing there should be good options along the cost of Lake Michigan, something between Grand Haven / Holland / Saugatuck / South Haven / Lake Michigan Beach / Benton Harbor. Are there any nice resorts at any of these locations? 

I guess another option would be some AirBNB along one of the many smaller lakes that seem to be all over the interior of the state. Are there any particular areas that would be good? 

And wherever I end up staying, and recommendations for day-trips in that general area? Any specific sites to see? 

Thanks for any help!

Marshall has some nice historic homes and not much else, but definitely hit Schuler's Restaurant & Pub before you blow town. They've been there over 100 years and it's awesome.

Grand Haven is exactly two hours NW of there. Avoid going through Grand Rapids and taking I-96 because 1) it's painful going in on M-104, a two-lane state road with traffic backed up, and 2) immediately after going through Spring Lake you'll hit a drawbridge that should be avoided even when they aren't in the middle of a two-year rebuild. So, I-94 West, US-131 North, exit 55 for the M-222. Follow your navigation and if you ever get lost (impossible with smartphones) just remember the whole friggin' state is a N-S/E-W grid.

Saugatuck has the best arts scene and some good restaurants and it's my favorite place to go via boat. Holland is a nice family town and if it were springtime I'd recommend the tulip festival. I don't think it's anywhere near as charming as the smaller beach towns. South Haven is another good beach town.

Grand Haven gets the most traffic from Chicago because they have awesome beaches. The dining is just good but not OMG that was amazing. Lots of quaint shops downtown for all these Lakeshore towns, but Holland is a bit more spread out and sprawling (something of a bedroom community for Grand Rapids.)

There are no big resorts that I'm aware of, the hotel lodging is hit or miss, I think the best option is a BnB like Looking Glass Beachfront Inn (across from the state park beach), Boyden House (bit longer walk), or Harbor House if you would like to be within walking distance of everything. Or find a house/apartment on VRBO, that's what I do when I visit my hometown.

There's a musical fountain with nightly concerts and a laser/light show. Try to be impressed, they think it's a big deal. Really nice riverwalk / boardwalk to the beach. The lighthouse has a lighted catwalk and it's beautiful at night. Tons of great beaches. Rosy Mound recreational area south of town is worth visiting for a few hours to walk through the dune woods, great vistas from the dune bluffs. It's not a town full of attractions but it's perfect to unplug and enjoy natural beauty.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, playin4beer said:

Just an FYI on Saugatuck..  There's a reason the nickname is "sausagetuck".. NTTATWWT

https://www.saugatuck.com/blog/posts/2019/july/saugatuck-named-one-of-the-10-hottest-gay-destinations/

 

That's been the case for NLT 50 years. That said, my hetrosexual nuclear family had awesome summers there from 1969-79. It's a progressive bastion in a sea of red. My home county last voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in '64. That was Major General George McClellan in 1864, running on a peace platform during the American Civil War.

  • Thinking 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, playin4beer said:

Just an FYI on Saugatuck..  There's a reason the nickname is "sausagetuck".. NTTATWWT

https://www.saugatuck.com/blog/posts/2019/july/saugatuck-named-one-of-the-10-hottest-gay-destinations/

 

it's got a really laid back, welcoming vibe as a result we've felt. 

everything there feels way more relaxed.

cool little shopping district, good food options. seems a popular place for boaters to tie up and hop on shore.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, mr. furley said:

it's got a really laid back, welcoming vibe as a result we've felt. 

everything there feels way more relaxed.

cool little shopping district, good food options. seems a popular place for boaters to tie up and hop on shore.

Fully agree, my cousins have lived there forever and love it. Another option if the OP really wants to relax and be away from crowds, try to find a riverfront place in Douglas, which is a sleepy hamlet adjacent to Saugatuck. 5 minute drive into the better known town for breakfast/brunch/gallery hopping.

Same kind of deal with north shore/Ferrysburg which is across the river from Grand Haven - also puts you on the wrong side of the big, bad drawbridge but it would be fine if you're going for a beach house rental and don't really want to do the touristy things.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, mr. furley said:

it's got a really laid back, welcoming vibe as a result we've felt. 

everything there feels way more relaxed.

cool little shopping district, good food options. seems a popular place for boaters to tie up and hop on shore.

I didn't say it like it was a "bad" thing.. lol.. Just throwing information out there.. One of my best friends (gay) constantly calls it "sausagetuck".. lol.. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

Fully agree, my cousins have lived there forever and love it. Another option if the OP really wants to relax and be away from crowds, try to find a riverfront place in Douglas, which is a sleepy hamlet adjacent to Saugatuck. 5 minute drive into the better known town for breakfast/brunch/gallery hopping.

Same kind of deal with north shore/Ferrysburg which is across the river from Grand Haven - also puts you on the wrong side of the big, bad drawbridge but it would be fine if you're going for a beach house rental and don't really want to do the touristy things.

Trolls live South of the bridge... I like to think anything North of the bridge is the "right" side ;)  Just like the how Yoopers feel about the Mackinac..  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, playin4beer said:

Trolls live South of the bridge... I like to think anything North of the bridge is the "right" side ;)  Just like the how Yoopers feel about the Mackinac..  

lemme hear ya pronounce sauna

(we weren’t discussing the mighty Mac but right now is always a good time for regionalism)

love it up there, my son just finished up at Tech last year

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

lemme hear ya pronounce sauna

(we weren’t discussing the mighty Mac but right now is always a good time for regionalism)

love it up there, my son just finished up at Tech last year

lol.. Sauna rhymes with "dawn-a"  and "lawn-a"

  • Thanks 1
  • Laughing 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, playin4beer said:

I didn't say it like it was a "bad" thing.. lol.. Just throwing information out there.. One of my best friends (gay) constantly calls it "sausagetuck".. lol.. 

oh, i didn't think you were implying it was a bad thing

just adding some more color

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BobbyLayne said:

lemme hear ya pronounce sauna

(we weren’t discussing the mighty Mac but right now is always a good time for regionalism)

love it up there, my son just finished up at Tech last year

Every youper I've ever heard said "sowna". Makes my ears bleed.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, mr. furley said:

it's got a really laid back, welcoming vibe as a result we've felt. 

everything there feels way more relaxed.

cool little shopping district, good food options. seems a popular place for boaters to tie up and hop on shore.

My brother and his wife were married at the park in that little arts/shopping district.  Big draw for the chicagoans.  The area really took off after the article in the NYT some time ago about a top gay destination.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Ron Swanson said:

Every youper I've ever heard said "sowna". Makes my ears bleed.

Correct and they love them. Very normal to have one at your house up there. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

Also @dancer you are talking about Western Michigan. Nobody really calls any part of the State "Southern Michigan"

Probably because there isn't anything there. It's been a long time, but is there anything beyond Devils Lake that's worth going to anywhere in the state south of 94? And even that place may be nostalgia too. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

Probably because there isn't anything there. It's been a long time, but is there anything beyond Devils Lake that's worth going to anywhere in the state south of 94? And even that place may be nostalgia too. 

No, not really. Irish Hills is nice if you have a house on the Lake but not really a vacation destination.  But if you just looked at a map of Michigan, you might think Southern Michigan nearly anything South of Lansing, maybe even further North if you factor in the UP. 

Edited by Ilov80s
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

No, not really. Irish Hills is nice if you have a house on the Lake but not really a vacation destination.  But if you just looked at a map of Michigan, you might think Southern Michigan nearly anything South of Lansing, maybe even further North if you factor in the UP. 

My kids hear me talk about Michigan all the time and don't understand why we haven't been there.

We go to NW Ohio all the time, dad. Michigan's right there. You say it's awesome. Yet we don't go. 

Well, yeah. It is awesome. It's just that Adrian, Monroe, and Ypsilanti aren't.

  • Laughing 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

Also @dancer you are talking about Western Michigan. Nobody really calls any part of the State "Southern Michigan"

We don’t call it western Michigan. That’s a mediocre state school in Kalamazoo. It’s west Michigan.

:P  

@dancer - MI beach towns, ranked:

The State with the best beach towns isn’t on a coast

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Laughing 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

We don’t call it western Michigan. That’s a mediocre state school in Kalamazoo. It’s west Michigan.

:P  

@dancer - MI beach towns, ranked:

The State with the best beach towns isn’t on a coast

True, honestly I just called it the west side of the the State. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Ilov80s said:

True, honestly I just called it the west side of the the State. 

Regardless of where live in Michigan, it’s the same conversation every Thursday.

Whatcha doing this weekend?

Going up north again 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

 if you just looked at a map of Michigan, you might think Southern Michigan nearly anything South of Lansing, maybe even further North if you factor in the UP. 

As someone who knows nothing about Michigan and did just look at a map before starting this thread, yup.

I assumed the best places to go were on the west side, but if someone wanted to convince me the best place to vacation was Devils Lake or Ann Arbor or Lansing or Kalamazoo or whatever else is within 2 hours of Marshall, I was happy to listen and learn!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, dancer said:

As someone who knows nothing about Michigan and did just look at a map before starting this thread, yup.

I assumed the best places to go were on the west side, but if someone wanted to convince me the best place to vacation was Devils Lake or Ann Arbor or Lansing or Kalamazoo or whatever else is within 2 hours of Marshall, I was happy to listen and learn!

Nah Lake Michigan is where you want to go. Ann Arbor is a great city but worth a vacation unless you are going for a college football game.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, dancer said:

As someone who knows nothing about Michigan and did just look at a map before starting this thread, yup.

I assumed the best places to go were on the west side, but if someone wanted to convince me the best place to vacation was Devils Lake or Ann Arbor or Lansing or Kalamazoo or whatever else is within 2 hours of Marshall, I was happy to listen and learn!

The West side is the Best side ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/18/2021 at 4:31 AM, FairWarning said:

I live in Harbor Country.  No one is going to Benton Harbor, but many go to St Joseph.  South of Bridgman is Chicago-priced.  There are many wineries and breweries in this area if thats your thing.  A lot of hotels in Stevensville and New Buffalo also.  Red Arrow Highway runs along Lake Michigan.

Thanks for clarifying.  SW Michigan is a nice destination, although the specific city of Benton Harbor is not.  Breweries and wineries galore.  Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Weko Beach in Bridgman, or Warren Dunes State Park beach near Sawyer.  I live in Stevensville here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Bob N. Weaver said:

Thanks for clarifying.  SW Michigan is a nice destination, although the specific city of Benton Harbor is not.  Breweries and wineries galore.  Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Weko Beach in Bridgman, or Warren Dunes State Park beach near Sawyer.  I live in Stevensville here.

Shhhhhhh.  We don’t let the masses into Weko ;)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, BobbyLayne said:

We don’t call it western Michigan. That’s a mediocre state school in Kalamazoo. It’s west Michigan.

:P  

@dancer - MI beach towns, ranked:

The State with the best beach towns isn’t on a coast

Whoooooa there.  I’m a proud alum of WMU.  Even paid my student loans off.

  • Thanks 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

Whoooooa there.  I’m a proud alum of WMU.  Even paid my student loans off.

#fireipchips here. I was on a full ride but took out student loans for keg money. #truestory Probably 70% of the concerts I saw in h.s. & college were at Wings Stadium.

:hifive:

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, FairWarning said:

Lol Toledo is a bigger Battle Creek.

And Michigan traded it for the entire U.P.

https://lynngarthwaiteblog.com/2011/04/29/michigan-trades-toledo-for-the-upper-peninsula/#:~:text=Michigan trades Toledo for the Upper Peninsula. Posted,and Ohio were getting close to achieving statehood.

Edited by Leroy Hoard
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...