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View Full Version : Going to Grand Haven for Coast Guard Week....


TnTWalter
05-27-2010, 06:21 AM
any tips? restaurants? things to do? Thanks so much.

We're actually staying in Spring Lake so we're planning to take the trolley or ride our bikes into Grand Haven for activities.

Kids are so excited to go back to the L'Ocean....can you believe they preferred it to Anna Maria Island, FL? Boo Hoo.

I know it's not disney or budget but the DIS boards are a wealth of knowledge.

Thanks.
Trish

bouncycat
05-27-2010, 08:11 AM
I heard that place is HOPPIN for Coast Guard day!!! I've always wanted to go up there, but never been. Good luck with your search, and enjoy the party!!!

timandlesley
05-27-2010, 08:24 AM
Just be prepared it will be SUPER DUPER crowded. We love Pronto Pups, can't go there without getting one, Downtown Dogs, The Clove Pizza Bar, of course be sure to go to Farmer's Market (every Wed. and Sat.), and we also love Harvest Bread Company.
have fun!
Lesley

budbeerlady
05-27-2010, 08:29 AM
Welcome to our neck of the woods (or beach!) We usually hang at the beach, Dh fishes on the pier and when we are too hot we go walk downtown to browse.

Get pizza at Fricanos!!!! They have the best! http://www.fricanospizza.com/map4.htm They even were featured in Rachel Rays magazine a couple of years back. Love the stuff!

The fireworks are awesome, people camp out very early to get a good seat. We usually would go and spend the day on the beach, send someone for a food walk and stay in the same area for the fireworks.

We also walk thru the arts and craft show early in the morning before hitting the beach. If you want to drive about 30 min north you can visit Michigans Adventure. http://www.miadventure.com/ Its not Disney but its not bad. Dd loves it!

over the hill
05-27-2010, 02:05 PM
Be prepared for a very busy time--it is fun to watch the coast guard boats come in--usually on Monday at noon.

Many places to eat--Fricano's pizza is the best--get there early, they open at 5 or plan to stand in line. Kirby grill is good, either the restaurant or the pizza upstairs. Also Deelite on the same street--Washington Ave. Snug Harbor is good too--on Harbor Avenue. Have to have a pronto pup and Butch's burritto's--Grand Haven originals.

They also have the chains, Culvers, Russ', and Panera Bread.

Ice cream at Sweet Temptations or on the boardwalk. Yummy

MI Adventure is a good day trip, if you like rides and water parks.

Like someone mentioned, if you want to see the parade or fireworks--get there very early--you can set down a sheet or blanket on the grass starting at 6 am on Sat to save a place for the fireworks--be sure to spread it out and remember where you put it--when you come back it will be covered with blankets--make sure yours is distinguishable!!!

Have fun and enjoy -- the beach is wonderful too.

TnTWalter
05-28-2010, 07:08 AM
thanks for great tips...

any particular place for the fireworks to set up?

I am excited.

720L
05-28-2010, 08:28 AM
Another vote for Fricanos. For the fireworks I would try to be near the musical fountain so you can get a good view of that. Those spaces fill up EARLY so plan on sitting there a few hours to save your spot.

TnTWalter
05-28-2010, 08:41 AM
thanks for the tip....I'll bring a book and let the family ride bikes or something....:thumbsup2

Any tips for Spring Lake?

We're hoping to trolley in or bike to Grand Haven because of crowds. Does this sound reasonable? Thanks.

Trish

tinkercat
05-28-2010, 09:47 AM
thanks for the tip....I'll bring a book and let the family ride bikes or something....:thumbsup2

Any tips for Spring Lake?

We're hoping to trolley in or bike to Grand Haven because of crowds. Does this sound reasonable? Thanks.

Trish

How much biking does your family typically do? To get from Spring Lake to Grand Haven, you'll be biking near some pretty busy roads and possibly through the downtown area of Grand Haven. There are bound to be LOTS of people in the area, so be aware of that too. Its at least a few miles of biking too. Honestly, if I were you, I'd really try to do the trolley. Its going to be REALLY crowded in GH, especially once you get near the waterfront.

Spring Lake is such a nice little town. I hope you have a great time! I live in Muskegon (about 15 minutes north) and its always nice to hear about people coming to my neck of the woods for vacations. West Michigan has SO much to offer and I think lots of people overlook it when vacation planning.

sTINKS
05-28-2010, 09:53 AM
Funny how I see the Clover Bar vs Fricanos debate starting here.......I prefer Clover Bar pizza over Fricanos. Fricanos is too rich and greasy.

You will be fine taking the trolley or biking from Spring Lake. I don't think theres much to see or do in Spring Lake, so I am guessing you will be spending most of your time either in your hotel pool if it has one, or in Grand Haven. Have Fun!

There is always a carnival set up in town during Coast Guard Festival. Be prepared for you kids asking for rides, and cotton candy.

720L
05-28-2010, 10:23 PM
Get ice cream at the Front Porch in Spring Lake, also Two Tony's restaurant is good.

TnTWalter
05-29-2010, 09:31 PM
Thanks so much for the great tips.

miraclemommy
05-30-2010, 10:42 AM
My family and I are thinking about visiting western Michigan this summer. Could you guys give some tips on where to stay and what things are a must do? I would love to rent a cottage close to the beach, but I need to keep it very budget.

Thanks,
Jennifer

miraclemommy
05-31-2010, 09:53 PM
bumping for more info

tinkercat
05-31-2010, 11:07 PM
Where in west Michigan are you thinking you'd like to go, and when? I live in Muskegon, which is about 20 minutes from Grand Haven. There are lots of fun local festivals through the summer, and we also have Michigan's Adventure which is a decent Amusement/Water park just a bit north. We've got lots of golf courses in the area, and several state parks for hiking, camping, etc. Pere Marquette Beach is one of only 3 nationally certified "clean beaches" on the Great Lakes.

Here is a website with more info about the area, if you are interested.
http://www.visitmuskegon.org/index.html
In addition, there are lots of other lakes in the area where people might rent houses for less than those along Lake Michigan. Hope that helps a bit!

budbeerlady
06-01-2010, 09:00 AM
My family and I are thinking about visiting western Michigan this summer. Could you guys give some tips on where to stay and what things are a must do? I would love to rent a cottage close to the beach, but I need to keep it very budget.

Thanks,
Jennifer

I hope you come on over and check our area out! We love it here!!!! :rotfl:
http://www.southhaven.org/content.cfm?m=44&id=44&CFID=1563086&CFTOKEN=89d20f28c2a47042-F3914D52-AF0F-2746-A51A6E269D52F04B

We are over by South Haven, its a little lower end and very family oriented. If you come you must eat at Clementines! The best food! http://www.ohmydarling.com/


Dd loves to take pirate cruise on our tall ship Friends Good Will. It is so fun and that boat can really move if the wind if right! http://www.michiganmaritimemuseum.org/friendsgoodwill/

We love blueberry festival, the weekend farmers market, walking down the hill from downtown to the beach. It has so much to offer!

South Haven is about 15-20 min drive to Douglas/ Saugatuck. http://www.saugatuck.com/index.asp

And 30 min by highway to Holland. http://holland.org/

budbeerlady
06-01-2010, 09:07 AM
Also for anyone near Grand Haven/ Muskegon I would recommend to walk thru the Hackley and Hume homes in Muskegon. I took DD (8) last summer during Summer Celebration to walk thru them, it was free that weekend so we did it after the art fair. http://www.muskegonmuseum.org/hackley_hume.html

Amazing! Even Dd enjoyed it and to help it all sink in we also toured the Scolnik depression era home and the fire station. http://www.muskegonmuseum.org/scolnik.html

Fire14
06-01-2010, 11:54 AM
We are over by South Haven, its a little lower end and very family oriented. If you come you must eat at Clementines! The best food! http://www.ohmydarling.com/


South Haven is about 15-20 min drive to Douglas/ Saugatuck. http://www.saugatuck.com/index.asp

And 30 min by highway to Holland. http://holland.org/

I love Clementines used to meet my dad there for lunch a lot and dad's boss always made him bring back order of onion rings.

Holland is a fun lil place to vist. I miss my vists home. they have a ben and jerry's ice cream store (yummo), It's is fun to vist windmill island, Dutch village and watch klompen dancers proform. I personally wouln't waste time at excuse for outlet mall or westshore mall. Another neat place if you have younger tikes is kids museum in st joesph.

PixiePlanner
06-01-2010, 02:21 PM
I hope you come on over and check our area out! We love it here!!!! :rotfl:
http://www.southhaven.org/content.cfm?m=44&id=44&CFID=1563086&CFTOKEN=89d20f28c2a47042-F3914D52-AF0F-2746-A51A6E269D52F04B

We are over by South Haven, its a little lower end and very family oriented. If you come you must eat at Clementines! The best food! http://www.ohmydarling.com/


Dd loves to take pirate cruise on our tall ship Friends Good Will. It is so fun and that boat can really move if the wind if right! http://www.michiganmaritimemuseum.org/friendsgoodwill/

We love blueberry festival, the weekend farmers market, walking down the hill from downtown to the beach. It has so much to offer!

South Haven is about 15-20 min drive to Douglas/ Saugatuck. http://www.saugatuck.com/index.asp

And 30 min by highway to Holland. http://holland.org/

I grew up in South Haven and was going to suggest stopping at Sherman's! http://www.shermanicecream.com/default.aspx Unless you are starving, order a baby cone (I worked there in highschool).

Golden Brown Bakery can be fun for lunch. http://www.goldenbrownbakery.com/ Although it will always be MacKenzies to me. I am now dating myself.

Clementines is a must. Onion rings!

I didn't realize all that my parents gave me with a childhood there until I had children of my own. DD & DS will be spending a week with Grandpa and Grandma this summer.