I know what you are thinking, why would you take a road trip to the west side of Michigan in the dead of winter? The lake effect snow there is terrible! I know. In fact, I learned that the hard way. You can read all about it in my first article, Our Road Trip to South Haven was ALMOST Ruined.
After getting through that winter storm though, the second day of our trip made up for the first and reminded me why I wanted to take a trip to South Haven in the first place. So I apologize in advance, but this article is going to be chocked full of photos because there aren’t proper words to describe how lovely South Haven is in the winter.
This is just about the entire reason I wanted to go to Lake Michigan in the winter, to see the ice covered lighthouses. I’ve seen so many photos of them circulating around the internet that I just needed to see it for myself. Even though the lighthouses weren’t as covered in ice as I had hoped, they were still strikingly beautiful against the white snow covered landscapes.
South Haven is pretty much known for its lake side community so even though it was the dead of winter, I still wanted to check out the well known area known as the Old Harbor Village and see the vibrant colors that had beckoned me from the internet.
From the view out my window at the Old Harbor Inn, I could see the remnants of the small beachfront community. To the other side of these buildings was the harbor where ships could pull up to dock and enjoy the rows of businesses, restaurants and bars along this small corridor. At the very end of this strip was my hotel, I can image what a great place this would be to stay in the summer, overlooking the entire madness below.
The party deck, completely covered in snow. What a shame.
Downtown South Haven
Less than a block away from the harbor is the downtown area of South Haven. Here I was able to get a hot cup of coffee to warm me up as I continued to navigate through the streets. I was happy to find that everywhere I looked here I found color and beauty!
The Michigan Theater
Within the downtown area I stumbled upon the Michigan Theater, a retro movie theater which shows newer movies but still with vintage prices. It was beautiful. Seriously, I think all movie theaters should be like this, but that is a whole new story. In case you are wondering, I believe they have $4 movie tickets and $0.50 popcorn. I didn’t stay for a movie, but would be worth checking out.
As we headed out of town on our way home, I spotted something unusual, a caboose in docked right next to the harbor. I made my husband pull over the car and I got out to check it out. This, my friends, is an old caboose turned into a hotel! Next time, I am totally staying here!! How awesome is that?
While South Haven in the winter is extremely cold, it is worth it! The sights of Lake Michigan frozen over were breath-taking. There are also several other lake front communities within half hours drive that each have their own lighthouses too. We took time to drive through Saugatuck/Douglas and Holland as well and I was able to get this photo.
|Saugutuck/Douglas Light House|