Top 10 Things We Are Most Thankful For

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving 2015 is already upon us! This is the time of year to reflect on the things we are most thankful for and we must say – we have a lot to be grateful for. The Grand Haven area is an amazing place to visit or live…here are just a handful of the reasons why.

#1 – Water, Water Everywhere

Not only is the Grand Haven area situated along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, but we are surrounded by inland lakes, rivers, streams, bayous, and creeks. Thanks to the Grand River, Spring Lake, Pigeon River, Pigeon Lake, Crockery Creek, and Lake Michigan there are countless opportunities for boating, stand up paddleboarding, fishing, swimming, kayaking, and more.

Kayaking Along the Grand River. Photo Credit: Marci Cisneros

#2 – Stunning Sunsets

Being on the western coast of Michigan, we experience sunsets in their full glory along the horizon of Lake Michigan. Sunsets are not just a summer thing. While summer sunsets are amazing, the colors and intensity of a fall and winter sunset in the Grand Haven area cannot be rivaled. Our sunsets are so great, that we even share a ‘Sunset Photo of the Day’ on our Facebook page.

Grand Haven Sunset - Photo credit: Bob Peskorse

#3 – Four Seasons of Awesomeness 

Summers in the Grand Haven area are what has brought it the most fame with our sandy, freshwater beaches along Lake Michigan. However, we love that we get to experience all four seasons each year. Seeing the flowers and trees start to bloom at Central Park in the Spring, walking barefoot in the sand at North Beach in the summer, taking in the fall colors at Hemlock Crossing, and cheering on the competitors during Winterfest’s cardboard sled races at Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl are some of the seasonal activities we look forward to most each year.

Snowboarding at Mulligan's Hollow Grand Haven. Photo Credit: Ed Post

#4 – Preserved & Celebrated History

Community leaders, business owners, and residents take great pride in moving with the times while respecting and preserving our area’s past. You can see evidence of this along Grand Haven’s downtown, the Coopersville & Marne Railway, The Kirby House, Grand Armory Brewing, Khardomah Lodge, at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum and more. The shining example of this happens to be the beacons of our community – the Grand Haven Lighthouses. Thanks to the efforts of the Grand Haven Lighthouse Conservancy and their donors, both the cylinder light and fog house have been repaired and repainted in the past few years.

Grand Haven Lighthouse at Night. Photo credit: Bob Peskorse

#5 – Parks and More Parks!

Looking for a park with a stunning view of Lake Michigan? We have that! A park to fish at? You got it! A dog park? Totally! A park to go sledding? Sounds like fun – can we come too?! The Grand Haven area is full of parks, big and small.

Rosy Mound Natural Area Grand Haven. Photo credit: Marci Cisneros

#6 – Coast Guard City USA

We are proud and thankful to be the official Coast Guard City USA! Though we were designated as such in 1998 by an act of congress, our relationship with the US Coast Guard goes back much, much further. The annual Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival unofficially began in 1924 as a Coast Guard personnel only picnic when the local Coast Guard station held rowing competitions for those service members stationed in Grand Haven. Today the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival has become a premier event with attendance of over 350,000 people including the nation’s highest ranking Coast Guard dignitaries from Washington, D.C. During the annual festival, the National Coast Guard Memorial Service is held at Escanaba Park where those who sacrificed their lives in the service of their country are honored.

Coast Guard City USA. Photo credit: Randy Riksen Photography

#7 – Local Eats & Drinks

We’re getting hungry just thinking about this one! The Grand Haven area is full of locally owned eateries as well as breweries, farms, and food & drink centered events. We have you covered for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and beyond.

Fricano's Pizza - Grand Haven, Michigan

#8 – Shopping Small

The Grand Haven area is home to countless locally owned retail shops that offer up unique products and gifts you can’t find at the mall. Most shops are open all year long too! Some shops have been staples for generations including Fortino’s which has been open in Grand Haven for over 100 years.

Carlyn & Company - Grand Haven, Michigan

#9 – Countless Festivals & Events

If you haven’t checked out our Event Calendar yet, trust us when we say that there is always something going on in the Grand Haven area. Literally hundreds of events occur each year here. We have major festivals including the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, the Great Lakes Kite Festival, Salmon Festival, and WinterFest. We have 5K runs, parades, art shows, sand sculpture contests, live music, fireworks, chili cook-offs, and even a zombie walk. Not only are we thankful that all of these events exist, we are very grateful to the event organizers, sponsors, and volunteers that make them each possible every year.

Great Lakes Kite Fest. Photo: MACkite

#10 – You!

Yes, you! We are thankful to those who choose the Grand Haven area as their vacation destination. We are thankful for the residents of the area who are so welcoming, kind, and giving. We are thankful to the visitors and residents that share their photos and videos of the area with us so that we can share them with the rest of the world through social media. We are thankful to the community leaders – past and present – who have helped shaped the Grand Haven area into the incredible place it is today. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Grand Haven. Photo credit: Instagramer Haileywatkins210


Have never traveled to the Grand Haven area or haven’t lived here? No worries! We are thankful for you taking the time to read this 🙂

Let us know what you are thankful for most in the Grand Haven area in the comments section below!


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