South Haven beaches are just one of the many reasons that people make South Haven, Michigan, their vacation destination. There are at least seven public beaches or access points to Lake Michigan with wonderful white sand, sun, and balmy breezes in or within a mile or two of town. Larger Beaches North Beach, 45 Lakeshore Drive South Beach, 60 Water Street, South Haven
North and South Beaches, which flank either side of the Black River and the piers jutting into the lake, are the largest public beaches in South Haven and within walking distance of many of the vacation homes that are rented through the summer months. Our Summer House vacation rental is just a four-block walk to South Beach, accessible by a stairway that leads you from the top of the dune down to the water below. Both beaches offer the most amenities and, therefore, are the busiest on summer weekends and holidays. Concession stands offer light lunch fare, ice cream, shaved ice, drinks, snacks, and the like. Both also have playground equipment, picnic tables, and public restrooms. North Beach also has an area that is set up for volleyball. South Beach adjoins Riverfront Park, a scenic area along the Black River with a walking path and more picnic areas where you can watch the boats go in and out of the marinas or drop a fishing line in the river. Both are ADA accessible; parking is $10 or $30 for a week pass, or you can try to find parking street side. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kjre-So4G8 Smaller Beaches Still within a mile of town are five smaller South Haven beaches that have fewer amenities but offer the same sun, white sand, and Lake Michigan surf. Dyckman Avenue Beach, 175 North Shore Drive Also very close and walkable from the downtown area of South Haven is the Dyckman Avenue Beach, just over the drawbridge on the north side of town. Dyckman Avenue dead ends at Lake Michigan. There is parking available and stairs that lead to the shoreline. Packard Park Beach, 231 N. Shore Drive Two blocks north of North Beach is Packard Park Beach. There are several picnic tables, a grill, restrooms, and a large, shaded, grassy area abutting the beach. There is also a ramped deck on top of the dune for handicap accessibility. $10 parking. Newcome Beach – 725 North Shore Drive This is a small beach with public access consisting of a long walkway from North Shore Drive. There is no parking lot or restrooms. This beach is mostly frequented by those who are within walking distance. If driving, parking is available along North Shore Drive just south of Baseline Road. Oak Street Beach, 375 North Shore Drive Like Newcome Beach, the Oak Street Beach is mostly visited by people staying in houses from the immediate neighborhood. It is a public beach, however, and open to all. There is a small parking area that accommodates about eight automobiles. Woodman Beach, 97 North Shore Drive Located at the intersection of North Shore Drive and Woodman Avenue, this public beach access may look like a private parking area for those unfamiliar with the area. There is a parking area for $7, cash only. A brief walk past some lakefront homes will bring you to the lake. Beaches for More than Swimming Pilgrim Haven, Between Fire Lane L & 18th Avenue, South Haven The 27-acre Pilgrim Haven Natural Area is part of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, including more than 750 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline and a stretch of Dyckman Creek. Formerly the Pilgrim Haven Camp, the property features one-third mile of easy walking trail through woods and meadows overlooking Lake Michigan. There is paved access to the beach for swimming, canoeing and kayaking.
Van Buren State Park, 23960 Ruggles Road, South Haven Approximately five miles south of town off the Blue Star Highway is Van Buren State Park, featuring a beach, picnic area and shelter, playground, and restrooms. There is also a large dune that you can climb. Camping is available (reservations suggested for the summer months and weekends) and the park can be accessed by the Van Buren Bike Trail that has a trail head in South Haven. A trail system runs through the park for hiking. Plenty of parking: $11/day for out-of-state or $32 for an annual out-of-state pass good at all Michigan state parks. Michigan residents can purchase a Recreation Passport for $11 which entitles them to free parking.