You are away from home. Doing your best to disconnect from work. Enjoying all that Western Michigan has to offer in the way of food and drink. But did you know that you could still relax, enjoy your vacation AND stay active at the same time? One of the great things about Michigan in the summer time is that the weather is perfect to be outdoors. Temperatures are no where as high as they are in Florida and you still have sandy beaches within blocks of your door. Here's a quick list of great things to do that will enhance your vacation and your health while staying in South Haven, Michigan.
1. Leave the car at the house
South Haven is safe and it is all close-by. You can easily leave your car at your vacation rental and walk to both south beach and north beach. You can stroll through downtown and visit the blocks of local shops. You can also walk all the way out to the light house (weather permitting) and get a great view back of downtown and the Black River. Make it a point to walk to where ever you go in South Haven - it's all close enough to enjoy easily.
2. Rent paddleboards or kayaks at SoHa on Phoenix St
The Black River leads from Lake Michigan inland and provides a great place to explore without braving the big lake and the lake traffic. Get up early and explore before others are up and going to have a truly relaxing adventure along the river and see the area from a unique vantage point. Link: https://www.sohasurfshop.com/river-rentals.html
3. Pack the running shoes
For those runners out there, you are always looking for great places to get your miles in. SoHa will not disappoint. The neighborhoods provide a great backdrop as you meander through the town. See homes ranging from 160+ years old to new homes built along the beach to entice vacationers. For the most part, the terrain is fairly flat along the western side of Michigan, so if you are looking for hills, you might need to venture a little further or find some stairs to climb, but if you are looking for a way to clear your head and get your heart pounding, you'll find some great places to explore. Link: https://www.mapmyrun.com/us/south-haven-mi/
4. Rent a bicycle
Just 3 blocks from the Peach Mansion, you'll find Rock 'N' Road where you can rent bikes of all kinds. Just like for the runners, there are great neighborhoods to navigate and see the quaint town of South Haven. Bikes are also a great way to get to both beaches (and to go back and forth between the two). To get from one beach to the other, you'll need to go over a draw bridge and through a part of the downtown as the beaches are separated by the Black River. Link: https://www.rocknroadcyclesouthhaven.com/rental\
5. Head east, then back west
There is a popular trail that connects South Haven and Kalamazoo, aptly called the Kal-Haven Trail. This trail continues on east for 33 miles. So if you are so inclined, you can find yourself in Kalamazoo! It has a crushed rock surface (not smooth), so be aware of this if you are renting or bringing your own bike - you'll want more than a "road bike" tire to ride on this trail. The trail is well kept and can be enjoyed throughout the winter as well for cross-country skiers. Link: https://www.michigan.org/property/kal-haven-trail-state-park
6. Hit the beach
While many love to lay on the beach and just listen to the waves, many others like to be a bit more active. You'll find that the beaches of South Haven have plenty of room for your beach games and also for those relaxing. If that's not enough for you, head south a few miles to the North Point County Park and traverse the sand dunes down to Lake Michigan...and back up again later. I will warn you, going back up is not for the faint of heart. It is MUCH more daunting than you might think. Link: Google Map
7. Anytime Fitness
Sometimes people just need a gym, and SoHa has that too. Any one that is open 24/7 at that. If you are an Anytime Fitness member you are in luck. If you are not, they do have free 7-day passes available. Link: https://www.anytimefitness.com/try-us-free/
Have other ideas? I am sure there are many more, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. Just remember, relaxing in South Haven can also mean staying healthy - I hope you find what makes you happy while here.