Every time we visit Grand Rapids, Michigan, we make it a point to also try to visit Grand Haven beach for views of Lake Michigan located about 30 minutes away. No matter what the weather is like during our visit, there is always beauty to behold. This winter was a little different because we experienced the warmest temperatures that we’ve ever had during a visit. The absence of snow and temperatures in the 50’s were definitely unseasonably warm for West Michigan in December.
We decided to visit Grand Haven State Park first. In the winter it’s easy to access free parking close to the pier. We love to walk on the pier which can sometimes be challenging during winter visits. Some years we are bundled up and experienced below freezing temps from the bone chilling wind. The last time that we visited the pier in the spring, it was covered in ice.
You can see more pictures from that visit here. We didn’t go too far out this time because the waves were crashing onto the pier with great force towards the lighthouse. I even got my boots pretty wet when a wave drifted farther onto the pier than I anticipated. It was still worth it for the scenery.
The sights and sounds of the waves crashing into to the pier were breathtaking.
Of course, the kids had to run around on a few of the small dunes and the rocks. I can’t blame them.
Our next beach view came from Rosy Mounds Natural Area. The location is a few minutes drive from Grand Haven State Park. There are quite a few steps involved with this trail but we had many calories to burn off anyway. There is plenty of parking and no fee to enter the park. The wooded trail gradually takes you to the top of a sand dune. The views are worth it once you get to the edge of the woods and you can see the water. Just keep in mind that what you walk down, you have to walk back up.
If you are in West Michigan, I highly recommend taking the time to enjoy a few moments at the beach no matter what the weather is.
You can find more activities going on in Grand Haven year round from their tourism website.