Monday, June 20, 2011

South Haven, Oh How I Love Thee

I heart South Haven. Seriously, I do. We discovered this charming little beach town last year (somewhat by accident) and I am so very glad that we did! My family LOVES trips to the beach. The sun, the waves, the bright colorful beach umbrellas, the fresh air, we love it all! Every year we try and take a family beach trip. The problem that we kept running into, however, was that most beaches are a ten to twelve hour drive from our home (not so fun with three small children!) and the weather there was always so very much hotter than we were used to, that we could only enjoy the water first thing in the morning or once the sun started to set in the evenings. Then we were left to fill countless hours (and spend lots of extra money) coming up with ways to entertain the children indoors for a week. We always had a good time seeing new things and spending time together, but we came home feeling a bit stressed out from the drive and exhausted from the heat.

So last summer I googled 'Lake Michigan Beach Towns' and an advertisement for South Haven popped up. I knew right away that we had to go there, and it was love at first sight. To us, it looks like a mini Malibu (and it is only a six hour drive from home!). There is a high cliff where all of the charming beach cottages sit looking down on the lake, the water is clean, cool, and fresh, the weather doesn't seem to climb much higher than the eighties, there are darling stores, cute ice cream shops, a quaint lighthouse, and gorgeous sunsets. We have hopes to visit there year after year, and my hope is that my children grow up with fond memories in their hearts about our trips to the beach.

This year we took my mom and dad along with us! We rented a cottage four houses from the water, and it was so charming! I fell in love. We enjoyed the water, lots of bike rides and walks to town, hiking, shopping, playing games, and just being together. It was so nice to just get away, turn the cell phones off, and be together. We all came home feeling refreshed. It was a wonderful, wonerful trip. So long, South Haven. See you next year!