Many of the buildings downtown were built in the late 1800's. Today the historic buildings house shops, antique stores, restaurants and galleries.
The historic Merson Building is one of my favorite shops. The upstairs shop is filled with beautiful things for the home along with a nice DIY book and journal selection. If you are a Christmas ornament collector be sure to visit the upstairs at McDonald's drug store - the entire floor is dedicated to holiday decorations. Props is filled with adorable gifts for friends and fun items for your home.
Each Saturday the farmer's market comes alive with homegrown fruits & veggies, artisan made baked goods, homemade jams, fresh cut flowers and artists and craftsmen selling their wares. During the winter the farmer's market is converted into an ice rink.
You can't visit South Haven without stopping into the Golden Brown Bakery. They have been baking up treats for South Haven residents and tourists since 1938. I can't get away without a cupcake or a custard filled long-john! And if you have time for another round of treats, stop into Captain Nemo's for Sherman Dairy Ice Cream - made right in South Haven. My grandfather was a milkman for the dairy!
(Lighthouse photo credit: Mic Stolz)
If you walk through downtown the sidewalk ends at the South Beach pier. The best color show is put on nightly, courtesy of Mother Nature. South Haven has several public beaches along the coastline. The two main beaches, the North and South Beach, are separated by the Black River.
There are boat tours along the River, including a replica of 1810 merchant vessel called the Friends Good Will. If you are coming into town early or staying later on Sunday afternoon I recommend adding this to your to-do list. You can work as part of the crew hoisting the sail!
We will be in South Haven during the quiet season. Memorial through Labor Day the town buzzes with visitors from near and far, enjoying the slower pace of life and amazing beaches. Some shops may be closed for the season, but most will be open. Parking downtown is free.