Hi there!

 

South Haven is one of the official “Michigan beach towns,” as designated by the West Michigan tourism people.

These beach towns in Michigan are on the shores of Lake Michigan.

 

South Haven beach. best things to do in south haven MI. south haven biking trail. best beaches in south haven. lake michigan beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach. best things to do in south haven MI. best beaches in south haven. lake michigan beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach. best beaches in south haven. best things to do in south haven MI. lake michigan beach towns. west michigan travel blog

 

 

South Beach and North Beach are the main beaches of South Haven. These are also the most popular beaches in South Haven.

There is the iconic South Haven Lighthouse, and you can walk out to the end of the pier where the lighthouse stands.

South Beach is directly on one side of the lighthouse pier, and North Beach is directly on the other side of the pier.

 

South Haven beach to south haven lighthouse pier. best things to do in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach. best things to do in south haven MI. best beaches in south haven. lake michigan beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach. best things to do in south haven MI. best beaches in south haven. lake michigan beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach. best things to do in south haven MI. best beaches in south haven. lake michigan beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach. best things to do in south haven MI. best beaches in south haven. lake michigan beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach. best things to do in south haven MI. best beaches in south haven. lake michigan beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach. best things to do in south haven MI. best beaches in south haven. lake michigan beaches. west michigan travel blog

 

 

 

 

More South Haven beaches

Aside from South Beach and North Beach, the list below will take you along the South Haven coastline further north. These are smaller beaches.

It is actually mostly like one big beach along the South Haven coastline. Many sections of beaches are named based on the street the beach access is located.

 

South Haven beach access street. free street parking in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog
👆 Location of Oak Beach.

 

Most of these beaches have their own paid parking lots for minimal walking from your car to the beach. Otherwise, or if you don’t mind walking an extra minute or 2, then you can probably find free street parking.

 

South Haven beach parking. free street parking in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach parking. free street parking in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

No matter where you park in South Haven, be sure to pay attention to the signs when you’re parking!

 

South Haven beach parking payment cost. parking in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach parking payment cost. parking in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

Private property (including residences and vacation rentals) separate the beaches and beach access spots. This of course means you shouldn’t be setting up shop and hanging out on the beach in front of these beachfront properties unless you’re staying there. But it seems to be okay to pass by and go for beach walks in front of the beachfront properties as long as you keep moving. 

 

South Haven beaches. private beaches. beachfront vacation rentals in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches. private beach near dyckman street. beachfront vacation rentals in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches. private beaches. beachfront vacation rentals in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches. private beaches. beachfront vacation rentals in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches. private beaches. beachfront vacation rentals in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

So, you can make it a walk on the beach in South Haven! (Start at North Beach and walk north!)

 

South Haven beaches. private beach near dyckman street. beachfront vacation rentals in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Paying for beach parking

South Haven beach parking payment cost. parking in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

There are paid parking areas around the beach access spots. Once you park, you’ll look for the little payment station kiosk and make your payment that way. (Not all beach parking lots have a payment station.) Parking is listed as $10 per “trip.” It’s possible to get a $30 weekly pass. See more about beach parking.

 

South Haven beach parking payment cost. parking in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach parking payment cost. parking in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

Parking at South Haven beaches. Paid parking May, June, July, August, September. michigan travel blog

 

 

Kayak rental or SUP rental at the beach

South Haven beach swimming. kayak rental. stand up paddleboard sup rental. canoe rental. north beach. south beach. west michigan travel blog

 

You can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) at both South Beach and North Beach from SoHa Surf Shop.

 

South Haven beach swimming. kayak rental. stand up paddleboard sup rental. canoe rental. north beach. south beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach swimming. cost of kayak rental. cost of stand up paddleboard sup rental. canoe rental. north beach. south beach. west michigan travel blog
Cost of rental starts at $20 per hour. If there’s no one manning the rental stand, you can call the shop and they will come to you.

 

 

Water levels in Lake Michigan

South Haven beach swimming. Lake Michigan water levels. west michigan travel blog

 

The summer of 2020 set records for high water levels in Lake Michigan. As a beach-goer, the high water level could be seen in the form of minimal sandy shoreline on the beach in some parts.

 

South Haven beach swimming. Lake Michigan water levels. west michigan travel blog

 

The South Haven beach pictures of Lake Michigan that you see on this page were taken in June 2020. 

 

 

The boring Lake Michigan swimming “know before you go” safety tips!

Plus South Haven “beach rules”

Lake Michigan is a lake, but in some ways it can act like an ocean!

South Haven beaches don’t have any lifeguards, although there is talk about getting lifeguards in South Haven. (However it still seems unlikely that there will be lifeguards in 2021.)

Lake Michigan can be deadly. There have been many Lake Michigan drownings, including off the shores of South Haven beaches. There is a South Haven drowning reported as recently as September 2020, from swimming in Lake Michigan off of South Beach. It took a week to find the body in Lake Michigan.

Take care when you go swimming in South Haven!

 

South Haven beach swimming in Lake Michigan. things to know. are there lifeguards in south haven. dangers of lake michigan. rip currents. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach swimming in Lake Michigan. flag warning. things to know. is it safe. dangers of lake michigan. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach swimming in Lake Michigan. flag warning. things to know. is it safe. dangers of lake michigan. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach swimming in Lake Michigan. are there lifeguards in south haven. dangers of lake michigan. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach swimming in Lake Michigan. rip currents. things to know. is it safe. dangers of lake michigan. west michigan travel blog

 

And a few more signs that were posted around one of the Lake Michigan beaches of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The same applies for the South Haven beaches.

See more water safety tips from Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

 

South Haven beach swimming and Lake Michigan safety tips. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach swimming and Lake Michigan safety tips. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach swimming and Lake Michigan safety tips. west michigan travel blog

 

Things to know about beaches in South Haven. 👇

 

South Haven beaches. things to know. west michigan travel blog

Are there dog-friendly South Haven beaches. are dogs allowed on beaches in south haven. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches. things to know. west michigan travel blog

 

More below about the different South Haven beach access spots!

 

 

🌳⚓

 

 

 

So…

Let’s start from around South Beach and then continue onwards north up along the Lake Michigan coastline in South Haven!

 

Driving to South Haven

If you’ll be driving up from the south (like from Chicago), or if you’ll be driving across through Kalamazoo (like from the Detroit area), then set your destination for google maps as the blue stairs (kid’s corner – there’s a playground here by the way). You can find free street parking around here.

But more importantly, this can be a perfect intro to South Haven! You will get amazing views of Lake Michigan from above! You can walk along with views of Lake Michigan, you can stop for a seat on the bench to take in the Lake Michigan views, or you can bring your own chair and find a spot along here to read a book and glance up to see Lake Michigan!

 

South Haven beaches: Driving to South Haven. Lake Michigan scenic drive. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Driving to South Haven. Lake Michigan scenic drive. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Driving to South Haven. Lake Michigan scenic drive. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Lake Michigan overlook in South Haven MI. Best Lake Michigan views in South Haven. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Lake Michigan overlook in South Haven MI. Best Lake Michigan views in South Haven. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Lake Michigan overlook in South Haven MI. Best Lake Michigan views in South Haven. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Lake Michigan overlook in South Haven MI. Best Lake Michigan views in South Haven. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Lake Michigan overlook in South Haven MI. Best Lake Michigan views in South Haven. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Lake Michigan overlook in South Haven MI. Best Lake Michigan views in South Haven. west michigan travel blog

 

After you’ve taken in the views of Lake Michigan, you can then take the blue stairs down and you will end up at South Beach.

 

South Haven beaches: Blue stairs to South Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Blue stairs to South Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Blue stairs to South Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Blue stairs to South Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Blue stairs to South Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

 

South Beach

South Haven beaches: South Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. Best South Haven beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: South Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. Best South Haven beaches. west michigan travel blog

 

Aside from taking the blue stairs to get to South Beach, there’s also a pretty big paid parking lot for South Beach too. 

There is a concession stand at South Beach, along with bathroom facilities.

 

South Haven beaches: South Beach parking in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: South Beach parking in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: South Beach food, concession stand. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: South Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. Best South Haven beaches. west michigan travel blog

 

 

You might want to stop by the Van Buren Street Lake Michigan overlook.

This is another spot that would be a great intro to South Haven. You can see more views of Lake Michigan from above. You can also take the Van Buren Street overlook to get down to South Beach.

 

South Haven beaches: Van Buren Street overlook to South Beach. Lake Michigan overlook. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Van Buren Street overlook to South Beach. Lake Michigan overlook. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Van Buren Street overlook to South Beach. Lake Michigan overlook. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Van Buren Street to South Beach. Lake Michigan overlook. west michigan travel blog

 

 

You might want to stop by the South Haven lighthouse.

From South Beach, you can walk on the lighthouse pier.

 

South Haven beaches: South Beach lighthouse pier. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: South Beach lighthouse pier. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: South Beach to South Haven lighthouse. Lake Michigan lighthouse in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Getting from South Beach to North Beach

There is the Black River that separates South Beach and North Beach, and it’s not possible to go directly from one beach to another along Lake Michigan.

 

South Haven beaches: South Beach lighthouse pier. black river to lake michigan. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: South Beach lighthouse pier. black river to lake michigan. west michigan travel blog

 

You’ll drive a little “inland” to get to North Beach. You can stop for a walk along the river trail.

 

South Haven beaches near black river that opens up to lake michigan. south haven river trail for walking and biking. west michigan travel blog

 

You’ll drive across the Dyckman Avenue drawbridge, and you can also stop by the Michigan Maritime Museum right by the bridge. You can also stop by Captain Lou’s restaurant (menureviews) for riverfront outdoor seating that’s also located by the bridge.

 

South Haven beaches near dyckman avenue drawbridge. west michigan travel blog
👆 Dyckman Avenue bridge across the river

 

 

South Haven beaches near waterfront restaurants on the black river. west michigan travel blog
👆 Captain Lou’s

 

 

North Beach

South Haven beaches: North Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. Best South Haven beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. Best South Haven beaches. west michigan travel blog

 

This is the South Haven beach that has the most amount of sand that goes back from shore. It’s kind of like Channel Beach in Muskegon State Park, or Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon.

You’ll find a concession stand and bathroom facilities at North Beach.

There’s paid parking available right along the beach. 

 

South Haven beaches: North Beach biking trail in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach biking trail in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach parking in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach parking in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach, Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach food, concession stand. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach food, concession stand. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach volleyball. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. Best South Haven beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. Best South Haven beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. Best South Haven beaches. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: North Beach. Best Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven MI. Best South Haven beaches. west michigan travel blog

 

From North Beach, you can also walk out onto another pier that will take you to a smaller light. From this pier, you can see the main South Haven lighthouse across the river.

 

South Haven beaches. South Haven north pier light. Lake Michigan light station. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches. South Haven north pier light. Lake Michigan light station. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches. South Haven north pier light. Lake Michigan light station. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches. South Haven lighthouse from north pier. west michigan travel blog

 

Once you’re at North Beach, you can also start walking north to go for a long walk on the beach! (Passing by the beaches next up on the list!)

Now for the following beaches, they are located off of North Shore Drive. This a main road. The beach access is pretty much directly off of North Shore Drive for each of the beaches. You can likely find free street parking on North Shore Drive.

 

 

Woodman Beach

Beach access at the intersection of Woodman Street + North Shore Drive

There’s a small parking lot at the Woodman Street Beach, and you can get to the beach from the end of the parking lot.

 

South Haven beaches: Woodman Street Beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Woodman Street Beach parking lot. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Woodman Beach. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Dyckman Beach

Beach access at the intersection of Dyckman Avenue + North Shore Drive

There is a paid parking lot at the Dyckman Street Beach.

There’s a boardwalk to a Lake Michigan overlook, and then you’ll go further down to the beach.

 

South Haven beaches: Dyckman Street Beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Dyckman Street Beach parking lot. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Trail to Dyckman Beach from parking lot. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Trail to Dyckman Beach from parking lot. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Dyckman Beach. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Dyckman Beach. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Dyckman Beach. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Packard Park Beach

Beach access at Packard Park on North Shore Drive

Packard Park is a small park that has an open space and a few picnic tables. You’ll also find regular bathrooms here along with a changing room.

Packard Park has a paid parking lot. From the parking lot, it’s a few steps to get to a Lake Michigan overlook, and then you’ll walk further down to get to the beach.

 

South Haven beaches: beach near Packard Park. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: beach near Packard Park. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: beach near Packard Park picnic area. picnic spot in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Packard Park Beach parking. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Trail to Packard Park Beach from parking lot. lake michigan overlook. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: beach near Packard Park picnic area. picnic spot in south haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Packard Beach near packard park. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Packard Beach near packard park. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Packard Beach near packard park. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Packard Beach near packard park. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Packard Beach near packard park. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Oak Beach

Beach access at the intersection of Oak Street + North Shore Drive

There’s a small parking lot at the Oak Street Beach. There’s no kiosk here to pay for your parking, so you’ll need to already have a South Haven beach parking sticker.  Otherwise, you can find free street parking near Oak Street.

You’ll take a trail from the parking lot to get to Lake Michigan.

 

South Haven beaches: Oak Street Beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Oak Street Beach parking. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Trail to Oak Beach from parking lot. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Trail to Oak Beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Trail to Oak Beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Oak Beach. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Oak Beach. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Newcome Beach

Beach access along North Shore Drive

The Newcome Beach doesn’t have a dedicated parking lot. You can find free street parking on North Shore Drive near the path to Newcome Beach.

There’s a public trail from the main road for Newcome Beach access. You’ll take stairs down to get to Lake Michigan.

 

South Haven beaches: Newcome Street Beach. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: Newcome Street Beach parking. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: trail to Newcome Beach from free street parking. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beaches: biking to Newcome Beach, bike rack. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach: stairs to Newcome Beach. Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog

South Haven beach: stairs to Newcome Beach. high water levels at Lake Michigan beach in South Haven MI. west michigan travel blog
The beach access to Newcome Beach was closed when I went in June 2020.

 

 

For reference, if you walk from North Beach to Newcome Beach it will be around 1 mile one way. So it’ll end up being about a 2 mile round trip walk. I did not do the South Haven beach walk, but I do believe there is sandy shoreline the whole way.

There is another Lake Michigan beach access a bit further up, the small 1st Street Beach (in Casco Township), but the parking situation didn’t seem to be all that great. You can walk there, though! (By foot along North Shore Drive from the direction of Newcome Beach would be easiest.)

 

And that’s a bit about some of the Lake Michigan beaches in South Haven!

 

Explore more of Lake Michigan:

 

Explore more of the Great Lakes:

 

HAPPY LAKE MICHIGAN BEACH TIME IN SOUTH HAVEN!

 

South Haven beach. best beaches in south haven. best things to do in south haven MI. lake michigan beach towns. west michigan travel blog

 

 

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Things to pack for your Michigan vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more lightweight than your average beach towel while still being absorbent. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
How to be a little bit more eco-friendly during your road trip!
Instead of using plastic silverware, try out bamboo silverware like this set!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can beach-proof your phone with a simple waterproof phone case like this.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming in Lake Michigan or Lake Superior! Less sunscreen also means less chemicals from that sunscreen will enter our precious Great Lakes!
Get your travel bags more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.