Grand Haven is located in the perfect spot on the West Michigan lakeshore. It’s surrounded by pristine beaches that make it a popular destination for visitors. If you’re headed out for a day at the beach, you’ll need to know which beaches are more accessible, less crowded, and dog friendly. Let’s talk about Grand Haven beaches in Michigan: where to go, what to do, and how to be prepared for your trip.
Grand Haven Beaches on the West Michigan Lakeshore
There are many beaches near Grand Haven, MI to choose from when you’re planning your trip. Some are more popular and more crowded while others are tucked away and secluded. Here are a few Grand Haven beaches you should know about.
Grand Haven State Park
The most popular beach near Grand Haven, MI is the Grand Haven State Park. Just north of the city, this park is 48 acres of trails, campgrounds, and sand beach. Daily parking costs $9, but you get to enjoy all the amenities of this well cared-for spot, including a paved parking lot, volleyball nets, soccer goals, bathrooms, picnic areas, and a concession stand. The State Park also allows access to the iconic lighthouse, which you can walk out to via the pier connected to the beach. Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed at this park.
Grand Haven City Beach
Grand Haven City Beach is less crowded than the State Park. It stretches from the south of the State Park along the lakeshore. The wide and sandy beach is perfect for swimming or relaxing in the sun — just be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen. Conveniently located near town, it’s easy to access food and entertainment happening in the city, and then take a nice walk out to the City Beach to watch the sunset over Lake Michigan.
Grand Haven City Beach is dog friendly, too! Bring your four-legged friends in the morning or evening, but be sure to keep them on-leash.
For a great dog-and-human-friendly-beach, be sure to visit Kirk Park. At this beach spot, there’s a designated off-leash area* as well as a people-only section. The park also has plenty of trails to explore with your furry friends, as well as horseshoe pits and picnic tables to enjoy with your human ones.
*Due to high water levels, the dog-friendly beach hours are temporarily restricted.
Other Grand Haven Beaches
A few other beaches near Grand Haven Michigan offer the chance to enjoy the water and avoid the crowds.
- Rosy Mound Natural Area: Located a short drive south of town, Rosy Mound is a popular spot for beachgoers and nature lovers. Before reaching the beach, you’ll venture through scenic trails and cross picturesque Michigan dunes.
- Olive Shores: Climb Mount Olive to enjoy the sweeping lakeshore views, then head down the stairs to the access beach. This beach is not handicap accessible.
- North Beach Park: Although a short drive from town, this beach is quieter and more secluded. It also has access to a trail system which connects to the North Ottawa Dunes.
What to Bring to the Grand Haven Beach
Whether you’re headed on a solo trip or bringing the whole family, you’ll want to be prepared so you can claim your spot on the sand and stay awhile. Don’t forget these items when headed out to the beach!
- Sunscreen: Yes, it’s Michigan, but the sun is still powerful! Don’t let fun at the beach make the following days much less fun.
- Mask: Even though you’ll be outdoors, don’t forget to pack your face mask. When passing through areas where it’s difficult to socially distance from other beachgoers, the CDC recommends you protect yourself and others with a face covering.
- Money for parking: All parks have fees for parking (from $5-$9), except Grand Haven City Beach, which is free, although parking spots are limited.
- Games & Activities: Some parks will have volleyball nets for beachgoers to use, but you may need to bring your own equipment. Other fun beach activities to bring include a soccer ball, a frisbee, spikeball, or a kite. Don’t forget the sandcastle supplies! If you visit Saturday, August 8th, you can participate in the Sand Sculpting Contest.
- Water and Snacks: Pack a nutritious picnic or grab some takeout from town to bring with you.
- Sunscreen: Seriously, don’t forget this one.
What Not to Bring to the Grand Haven Beach
When you’re planning your trip to the Grand Haven beach in West Michigan, here are a few things to leave behind:
- Dogs: Most beaches near Grand Haven don’t allow dogs at peak hours. Some may have on-leash availability during parts of the day that are less busy. Also, remember that the beach is hot! If the sand is too hot for your feet, it’s definitely not okay for your pet’s paws. Leave your dog at home unless the park allows it. If you do visit a dog-friendly beach, be sure to clean up after your pet and respect other dogs’ space.
- Alcohol: When headed to the Grand Haven beach, you can pack all the snacks you can carry and plenty of water to stay hydrated, but stick to beer of the root variety. The beaches are family friendly and don’t permit alcohol consumption on park property.
- Electronics: If you’re out at the beach for the day, put down your phone for a while and enjoy the outdoors! Unplug and spend time with family and friends on the beautiful West Michigan lakeshore.
Not ready to leave the beach just yet? Why not make the West Michigan lakeshore your home? BlueWest Properties is proud to showcase homes in the Grand Haven area, just minutes from the beach! For more about our available listings, reach out to our team.