Summer is the perfect time for day trips along the lakeshore and fun activities across West Michigan. With so much to do and see, it can be easy to get carried away with booking a full schedule. But a full schedule doesn’t have to break your budget. If you’re looking for some fun-filled AND free activities to do at the Lake Michigan shoreline, we’ve got you covered!
Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Did you know that one of America’s most beloved stories was written in and inspired by Holland? That’s right! The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written by Author L. Frank Baum, who spent many summer vacations in one of our favorite Lake Michigan towns. To honor this classic American tale, you can visit the free outdoor exhibit in downtown Holland! Located across the street from Centennial Park, you’ll find beautiful bronze statues and sculptures replicating the classic characters of Dorothy, Toto, the Cowardly Lion and more!
Check Out Castle Park: One of Holland’s most hidden gems, this stunning community full of classic architecture is the perfect thing to do on a rainy day in Holland. You can explore grounds and take in views of the castle, while never leaving your vehicle. The “castle” building was built in 1876 and is now a popular tourist attraction and gathering place for local residents. In addition to the castle itself, you’ll also want to explore the Greco-Roman amphitheater.
Get In Touch with Nature: If you’re looking for more ways to spend time outdoors and connect with nature, make sure you visit the Pilgrim Haven Natural Area. This beautiful piece of land stretching 26.5 acres is open to the public and part of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy. The trails winding through wood and meadows are about one-third of a mile and are perfect for hikers of all skill levels. You can head down the path to some Lake Michigan overlooks or even access the beach.
Window Shopping at Local Market: Check out the amazing local vendors as the community gathers to enjoy the fresh and homegrown food at the Farmer’s Market in South Haven, located downtown at the Huron Street Pavilion! Mark your calendars for the next scheduled date on Thursday, August 5th from 4 pm-7 pm, perfect for a leisurely walk after spending the day at the beach!
Saugatuck Scavenger Hunt: Everyone can get in on the excitement by participating in the Saugatuck Scavenger Hunt that takes you around the town and shows you all of the cool things the city has to offer! The rules and answer key can be found at https://frommichiganwithloveblog.com/saugatuck-scavenger-hunt/!
Mt. Baldhead: Located in Mt. Baldhead Park, you will find an amazing staircase that leads you up 282 stairs all the way to the top of the Mt. Baldhead dune! With stunning views of the city of Saugatuck, Douglas, and Lake Michigan and a hiker’s path leading to Oval Beach, this is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors!
Visit Saugatuck-Douglas History Museum: In the Douglas area, you can feel free to take the family and park your car in the Mount Baldhead lot before walking across the street to visit the Saugatuck-Douglas History Museum! Unfortunately, the exhibits inside are temporarily closed due to Covid, but you can enjoy the abundance of flowers around the outside, as well as several plaques with tons of interesting historical information about the region, the old pump house and the local environment.
Check Out the Old Pump House: Built in 1904 with the Prairie-Craftman style of architecture, the Old Pump House is a must-see in Douglas! Home to the first-ever water tower and power systems, it completely changed the way of living throughout the area.
Spend the day at Beery Park: Sitting on 1.2 acres not far from Center Street is Beery Park. From basketball courts and ball fields to children’s playgrounds and flower fields, this park is the perfect spot for you and your family to spend the day!