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Planning Your Trip to the West Michigan Lakeshore

by Kyra-EB on March 15, 2021

Spring is just around the corner (promise!) and that means now is the time to make reservations, book activities, and plan your vacation to the West Michigan lakeshore. Getting your planning done in advance ensures you’ll get your share of fun in the summer sun! Besides, you know what they say: the early bird gets the worm…or in this case, the reservation!

West Michigan Activities to Pre-Plan Now

Whether you’re planning a day trip, a long weekend, or a week-long adventure, there is plenty to see and do on the West Michigan lakeshore. Some activities will require a reservation, however, so it’s best to make arrangements sooner rather than miss out on the fun later. Here are a handful of ideas you might want to get in the books, as well as some others to add to your agenda.

Take a Lighthouse Tour in Muskegon

The West Michigan coast has its fair share of picturesque lighthouses you’ll want to make sure to visit, but if you happen to be in Muskegon, you’ll be in for a treat. Not only can you view the lighthouse from the outside, but you can also venture inside! Be sure to put this lighthouse tour on your schedule of fun.

Visit Coastguard City, U.S.A. (a.k.a. Grand Haven)

While most of the events that take place during Grand Haven’s famous Coastguard Festival are free, parking is at a premium and you better have a place to crash in the books far before it’s time to get there! To say this festival draws a crowd would be the understatement of the year, but with everything from music and dancing to parades, ship tours, carnival rides, and fireworks, it’s easy to see why people flock to this summertime extravaganza. Make reservations close to town if you can, and be sure to bring your walking shoes!

Become a Brewmaster in Saugatuck or Create a Cocktail in Holland

There are all sorts of local West Michigan breweries to discover but visit the Saugatuck Brewing Company and you can make your own brew right on the premises. Cocktails more your style? Head a little north to New Holland Brewing where you can make your own concoction in a cocktail class. Cheers!

Dare to take a Dune Ride in Saugatuck

The dunes along the lakeshore are awesome to explore on your own two feet, but if you’re visiting the area, don’t miss out on experiencing the thrill of a dune ride! This fun and exciting adventure literally takes you up and down and all around the dunes in Saugatuck, and sometimes even into the big lake! You can plan on screaming a lot and possibly getting a little wet but believe us, it’s well worth it! 

Climb Aboard a Pirate Ship in South Haven

Commandeer some tickets for the tall ship, Friends Good Will, and set sail on a pirate’s adventure! This 101-foot 1810 replica of a square-topsail sloop hoists its anchor from the Michigan Maritime Museum (another must-see!) and offers both afternoon and sunset cruises.  

Hit the Beaches of Lake Michigan

There might not be any reservations required, but if you want to spend a day at any of the beautiful beaches along the lakeshore, you’re going to want to get an early start! Though there are multiple beaches and miles of shoreline to explore, West Michigan beaches notoriously fill up fast! It’s best to have a plan in place for your beach day so you can enjoy every last minute of it. While you’re at it, make sure you don’t just check out the beach itself, but the Michigan beach town you’re in and all it has to offer! 

Places to Stay Along the West Michigan Lakeshore

If your adventures last more than a day, you’re going to need to arrange for a place to rest up for the days ahead! Camping is a great option as there are numerous state park campgrounds along the lakeshore complete with hiking trails, beaches, nature centers, rentals, and more. There are plenty of other campgrounds spread throughout the area as well, that are worth checking out, especially if you have trouble checking into the others. 

Rather have a roof over your head than a tent or camper? Bed and breakfasts, hotels, and tons of vacation rentals can be found all along the West Michigan coastline. Check out these resources to help find the one that best fits your travel plans:

What to Pack for your West Michigan Trip

Whether you’re a first time or veteran West Michigan visitor, here’s a good list to keep handy when it comes time to pack for your vacation: 

  • Clothes for all types of weather — sure it’s summer, but on the lakeshore sometimes it can get pretty chilly, so bring a sweatshirt and jacket just to be safe. And while no one ever wants rain to ruin their summer fun, it’s best to be prepared just in case. We are talking about Michigan after all!  
  • Gear for every adventure —  if you have your agenda planned in advance, be sure to pack everything you need for each thing you do, such as hiking boots, comfy walking shoes, a bathing suit, sun hat, and umbrella — you get the idea. If you go through each activity you have planned and pack for each accordingly, you’ll be less likely to forget something you need. 
  • Miscellaneous must-haves — sometimes it’s the small stuff we tend to forget, but it’s the stuff we can’t go without! We’re talking about things like sunscreen, bug spray, money for parking and entrance into state parks, and here’s a biggie: a camera (or at least your phone and charger)!  

Planning a West Michigan Stay Made Easy 

Love spending your summers on the West Michigan lakeshore? So do we! At BlueWest Properties, we are proud to offer lakeshore real estate and vacation homes in some of the most scenic and vibrant communities in West Michigan. To learn more about our available listings, reach out to our team today. Now’s the time to plan, after all, and we can totally help get those vacation plans in place!

Kyra-EBPlanning Your Trip to the West Michigan Lakeshore