The Great Intern Scavenger Hunt 2024

The Grand Haven Area Convention & Visitors Bureau covers a lot of West Michigan, from West Olive north to Ferrysburg. In order for the 2024 interns to have a successful summer in assisting visitors at the Visitors Center, they were sent on a scavenger hunt around the Grand Haven Area. Not only did they find hidden beaches and explore the great Ottawa County Parks, but they also tried sweet treats and delicious food. All of this combined helps them give knowledge to newcomers in the area. So let’s see where they explored and what they learned! 

Grand Haven

One of the first places they stopped on their journey through Grand Haven was the 5-mile lookout after the ride up Prospect Street. Once there, they took in the rewarding overlook of Mulligan’s Hollow Park and much of Grand Haven, seeing as far as 5 miles (thus the name). On the other side, it was a wonderful view down towards Grand Haven State Park! It’s no wonder why this is one of the many named landmarks in Grand Haven.

Next, they walked the boardwalk all the way to the pier and lighthouses! On the way, they passed many Grand Haven Area favorites like Pier Peddler and Snug Harbor, which offer amazing views of the Grand River. They also saw several boats and ships sailing into the port on their walk, up until they reached the end of the pier where the view of Lake Michigan was unmatched.

Finally, to finish Grand Haven’s locations, they found themselves tucked in between the beech and hemlock trees of Duncan Woods. Surrounded by nature, they walked through the windy paved path, seeing other hikers, bikers, and plenty of wildlife. We asked one of the interns what Duncan Woods was like: “It was a very scenic escape and you would never be able to tell you were surrounded by a city.” Mary Auterman, GHACVB Intern.

Ferrysburg/Spring Lake

Heading north, the interns ventured to Ferrysburg and Spring Lake to tally off more places on their list. In Ferrysburg, they trekked through Coast Guard Park’s sidewalks and trails, making the most of a cloudy day and even encountering turkeys on the way. Of course, they saw many more pretty birds gliding between branches in the canopy above. The trail curved through the nearby forest, fulfilling their sense of adventure in the already very spacious park.

All that walking called for lunch time, which led them to Pine Street Cafe. There they received wonderful service and plenty of options on the menu to fill their stomachs. They couldn’t decide between breakfast or lunch! Once they finally made their choices, the old-school vibe in the restaurant made them feel right at home while they waited. In the end, they all agreed that their food was splendid and they wanted to eat lunch there everyday!

With a craving for dessert, they made their way to A La Mode, an ice cream shop in Spring Lake. There they were met with kind service as they tried and rated A la Mode’s top three flavors. It felt like a perfect pit stop before heading back to the office. More aspects they liked was the easy access off the highway and lots of open space for sitting and a small playground next to the shop! “This is a perfect place to bring your kids!” noted Eve Mourglas, GHACVB Intern. 

West Olive/Port Sheldon

Driving south, the interns stopped at the gorgeous Rosy Mound Natural Area to venture into its magnificent trails. Surrounded by tall trees, they witnessed the sun peeking through the leaves and viewed the dense forest from various overlooks. Then, they reached the blowout sand dune area that leads to Lake Michigan, offering more stunning images for them to capture. The views didn’t stop after turning around either, as the trails lead you through three different ecosystems. Their favorite trail was the Acorn Trail.

One of the beaches they were tasked to find was Windsnest Park, hidden behind the landscape off Lakeshore Avenue in Port Sheldon. As soon as they parked, they realized it was only a short 20-yard walk until they were on the beach. Even as the wind blew hard, they snapped pictures of the beautiful park and took notice as to how pretty it was from the overlook. They declared it as the definition of a hidden gem, and were grateful it was on their list of places to find.  

One more stop the interns made was the Ottawa County Parks Nature Education Center in West Olive. Once inside, the interns observed historical stories of the Grand Haven Area and felt like children on a field trip. There were coloring books, fun activities, and cool things to aid in learning all about the nature surrounding this area! If they had time, they would’ve checked out their trail, too. Caleb Maser, a GHACVB Intern had this to say: “I never knew I was into history until reading the stuff in there.” 

The interns had a lot of fun learning and exploring the Grand Haven Area! They can’t wait to help visitors enjoy their experience to the fullest for the rest of summer!




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