South Haven Things to Do Tips by Bunsch Top 5 Page for this destination
South Haven Things to Do: 18 reviews and 53 photos
Boxes of blueberries are readied for shipping
Whether it is to see the 150 acres of blueberry bushes or the sample their delicious harvest, a South Haven guest ought to make the effort to get to DeGrandchamp Farms, three miles south of the town on Blue Star Highway.
Today, DeGrandchamp has a packing and shipping facility with a large farm market, featuring many blueberry and cranberry items (they have 40 acres in cranberries) as well as container-grown nursery stock. One particularly nice feature is that nearly all of their jams, preserves, barbeque causes and other berry treats are available for taste-testing. After carefully evaluating the blueberry-cherry, blueberry-raspberry, and blueberry-cranberry preserves, I finally opted for all three! (Yes, they do have single-fruit preserves as well.) The bakery at the farm market has all kinds of tasty goodies, but I virtuously chose not to indulge. My companion had no such qualms and purchased a nice slab of fudge.
Address: 76241 14th Avenue, South Haven, MI 49090
Directions: Exit 18 off I-196 and follow the signs to the corner of Blue Star Highway and 14th Avenue
Phone: (269) 637-3915
You can find all sorts of blueberry items...
South Haven is known as the Blueberry Capital. To celebrate this honor, the National Blueberry Festival is held every August. Not only are there loads of blueberry products available, but there is plenty to see and do -- concerts by the Black River, a craft show, 5K run/walk, blueberry pie social, blueberry pie-eating contest, fish boil dinner, the annual AAUW book sale, and children's activities are all part of the free weekend event.
In 2011, the festival took place on August 11-14, but poor weather on Saturday definitely made for a challenging time. So plan on being in South Haven for the 50th anniversary festival in 2013!
First Congregational Church
It's true, I'm an avid Episcopalian...but that doesn't mean I'm not willing to sample other denominations, particularly when my hostess is the head of the bell choir at a particular church! At the National Blueberry Festival, First Congregational was well represented. The AAUW Booksale took place within its fellowship hall; members of the parish had baked and were selling all manner of blueberry items (pies, turnovers, muffins...); two young people were amongst the "royalty" and a lot of members were involved in the Kiwanis Blueberry Pancake Breakfasts. All of which meant that the congregation was somewhat reduced in size, but those who were present made a joyful noise unto the Lord and the pastor, the Rev. Jeffrey Dick, gave a very interesting sermon.
I'll try to visit South Haven's Episcopal Church next time I'm in town, but meanwhile, I can recommend the UCC.
Address: 651 Phoenix Street, South Haven, MI 49090
Directions: On Phoenix between Pearl and Broadway
Phone: (269) 637-3804
Big waves in Lake Michigan (not my pic)
Living in the northeast, I have a fair amount of contact with lighthouses -- in fact, I kayak out to one quite often during the summer months. But I knew nothing of South Haven's bright red beacon until a local friend sent me a postcard of the lighthouse under assault by icy Lake Michigan waves. It was warmer when I visited, thank goodness!
The lighthouse, and the pier on which it sits, were originally constructed of wood. A replacement for the 1871 lighthouse was crafted in steel in 1903, and is still in use.
The lighthouse, now a part of the Michigan Maritime Museum, is open for public tours during Harborfest (held each June over Fathers Day weekend). During the balance of the year, people may stroll along the pier.
Directions: On Lake Michigan, at the entrance to Black River
Phone: (800) 747-3810
Each summer, the city hosts free outdoor concerts at Riverfront Park on Water Street, overlooking the Black River. All concerts begin at 7:00 PM and last until approximately 8:30 PM on Thursdays. Parking is located nearby and concert-goers should bring lawn chairs or blankets.
Address: 345 Water Street, South Haven, MI 49090
Directions: Follow Phoenix Road to the end and you're there
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