What To Do In A Day In Downtown Grand Haven

The Grand Haven area is full of several activities to keep you occupied the whole day. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach day, places to eat, or downtown shopping, the Grand Haven district has it all!


Early Morning 8 A.M – 9 A.M. – Breakfast

Starting your day on the right foot is always important. Morning Star Café on Washington Avenue is a great place to begin! Follow the delicious smells of cinnamon rolls, breakfast potatoes, and omelets into their brightly colored atmosphere that’s sure to catch your eye. The stuffed French toast is a crowd pleaser, with cinnamon swirl bread, sweetened cream cheese, and drizzled with vanilla and raspberry sauces. It’ll have you licking your plate clean. Anna’s House is another great option right downtown. They have a large menu, offering several vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. The breakfast burrito is delicious, giving you a side of salsa and guacamole served with hash browns or American fries.

If you’re not a breakfast person and like to wake up with a nice cup of coffee, Aldea Coffee can satisfy all your needs! The delicious smell of coffee beans welcomes you in to meet a cozy atmosphere that feels like home.

9 A.M. – Noon – Morning Activities

The Grand Haven area is blessed with miles and miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and spectacular beaches. Arriving there mid-morning is the perfect time to roll out a beach towel, wade in the water, or go for a beach stroll. There are several beaches to choose from, including Grand Haven State Park and Grand Haven City Beach if you want to be right on the beachfront. If you have a furry friend with you, Kirk Park in West Olive is the perfect place to hike.  Lakeside Beach in Spring Lake is a great option, which offers a sandy beach and picnic shelters overlooking Spring Lake.

Grand Haven Beach Walk - Photo Credit Brian Fett


Noon – 1 P.M. – Lunch Time

Now that your toes are sandy and you’ve got a nice tan, you’re probably hungry and want a bite to eat. A walk along the boardwalk is the perfect way to get from the beach to the downtown area lined with restaurants to choose from. About a 3-mile walk round trip, you’ll enjoy endless views of the water. 

Once downtown, Electric Hero is a bright and stylish sandwich shop with mouthwatering options, including some vegan and vegetarian. Lucy’s Deli & Market is also a great option located on Columbus Avenue, one street over from Washington. Try their #27, aptly named The Lighthouse, which includes buffalo chicken, bacon, and habanero jack cheese. The pretzel bun is hard to beat. Sticking to the sandwich theme, the Toasted Pickle is a wonderful option for all things grilled sandwiches. Just a tip, order a side of their truffle fries.

If you want something a little more simple, quick, and easy, Butch’s Beach Burritos is your go-to. Located on Harbor Drive just a couple minute walk from the beach, their burritos are sure to impress. 

1 P.M. – 5 P.M. – Afternoon Activities

Now that you’ve filled up from your lunch downtown, shopping couldn’t sound better. Washington Avenue has a plethora of boutiques, gift shops, and specialty stores. Lee & Birch, Marushka, and Down to Earth are great for all your clothing and accessory needs! Step into Buffalo Bob’s to check out all their different types of boards, including snow, skate, and skim. MACkite is full of toys and games, great for keeping the kids entertained, especially since toys are available to be test-played before purchase.

Surf Shop is great for your coastal needs. They sell beach apparel, surf boards, and skateboards, as well as offer rentals for a variety of boards, including skim boards, stand-up paddleboards, and surfboards!

If shopping isn’t really your thing, then a trolley ride around town or a game of mini golf at Chinook Pier may be just the thing you’re looking for! The Lakeshore Trolley runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day and has several stops located around town, including Chinook Pier, The Pump House, Frank’s Market, Norm’s Ice Cream, leading into Spring Lake at the Front Porch and Ala Mode. Jump on the trolley at either of these locations for a tour of downtown Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Ferrysburg.


6 P.M. – 8 P.M. – Dinner

If dinner and a view sounds ideal, Snug Harbor on South Harbor Drive right off Washington Avenue is a great place to go. You can sit upstairs on their deck and enjoy a drink with friends, or head downstairs to sit on their outdoor patio right on the boardwalk with a clear view of the channel. With an extensive menu, (including sushi from the upstairs restaurant, Jelly’s), Snug Harbor is sure to impress. If you’re looking for something a little fancier, Noto’s at the Bil-Mar is perfect for beachside eatery. Located right on the beach with an unbeatable view of the lighthouse, nothing’s better than amazing food with views to match it.

Kirby House on the corner of Washington Avenue hosts three restaurants in one, featuring Kirby Grill, and the Grill Room. The pizza and burgers are popular among their menus, offering alternative options, such as their cauliflower steak that can be vegan and gluten free upon request.

Paisley Pig is a favorable restaurant located less than a mile from downtown. Featuring several pork options, this gastropub is a fan favorite. Their new “Let’s Smash This” menu offers many new options, including handhelds, burgers, pizza, and chicken. They have classic pizza options, such as pepperoni, but they also have more standout pizzas, including Krab Rangoon, Taco Twist, and the Spin Dip. With so many choices, it’s hard to pick just one!

8 P.M. – 9 P.M. – Evening Activities 

Watching the sunset over Lake Michigan is truly a sight to see. Pairing this with an ice cream from Temptations or Dairy Treat makes your night picture perfect. If you happen to watch sunset on the pier and are walking back towards downtown, reward yourself with ice cream from Pier Peddler or snow cones from Halaula Hawaiian Ice Shack located right on the boardwalk. The Pump House, located on Harbor Drive, is a frozen yogurt shop where you get to pick your flavor and all the toppings you want, including boba, cheesecake bites, candy, fruit, and more. The possibilities are endless. After purchasing your frozen yogurt, take a seat in one of the swings located inside with a view facing the channel. The decorative style truly fits the beach town theme. Before you leave, take a stop in their photo booth and take a few pictures as a souvenir!

Night Life

9 P.M. – 12 A.M. – Night Life

To finish off your perfect day, you can’t go wrong with staying after dark and watching the one-of-a-kind Musical Fountain, a 20-minute synchronized light, music, and water fountain show. To get the best view, make sure you sit at the Waterfront Stadium. If you’re looking for nightlife, Odd Side Ales is a lively bar within the piano factory offering uniquely flavored craft beer and live music.

Located on Washington Avenue, Burzurk Brewing Co. offers a retro-Caribbean themed taproom with 12 taps ranging from Mexican Lagers, to fruited and sour beers. You can also flavor your own hard cider or hard seltzer. Open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, this lively brewery will not disappoint.

Grand Armory Brewing Co. is located right downtown in the historic Armory Building with 20 taps from local and craft beer communities in their taproom. They offer great beer, food, and music to create a communal and fun night scene. Open until 10p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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