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Boaters Ahoy


By Marie Havenga


If you’re boating through town, you may want to tie up at the wall or pull into a slip at the Municipal Marina to check out some of the hot spots for boaters.

You can moor at the wall for free for a 24-hour period. If it’s not a busy weekend, you may be able to snag a slip at the Grand Haven Municipal Marina.

Check out these boater-approved venues within walking distance of your vessel:

Washington Avenue boasts the main shopping district with restaurants, galleries and specialty stores.

*Sleeping on your boat? Your best bet for breakfast is outdoor dining at Dee-Lite Bar & Grill and the new Joe’s Wooden Nickel’s (formerly the Rosebud) breakfast buffet and Bloody Mary bar.

*Need a quick pick-me-up? Coffee Grounds is a favorite morning stop for boaters, offering free wireless internet, too.

*Stroll through downtown and check out the numerous art galleries and specialty spots. For an outdoor art experience, walk along the boardwalk and you’ll see sculptures from past ArtWalk competitions.

*Fortino’s is a must-stop for fresh candy, nuts, specialty beer, wine and groceries. The creaking screen door is an original at this long-time family business.

*Floto’s Gifts with its unique aqua storefront is another family-run business that offers a true taste of Grand Haven with beach-themed clothing and souvenirs.

*Michigan Rag Co. is a can’t-miss stop for screen-printed clothing. Many items carry local themes such as “Lake Michigan Unsalted” and “Grand Haven, like Key West only Colder.”

*Looking to grab a quick lunch while you’re strolling? Boaters recommend a famous corn dog from Pronto Pups on Harbor Drive or a gyro or spinach pie from Mr. Kozak’s on Washington.

*If your sweet tooth is aching, try Village Baker or Harvest Bread Co. on Washington, which offers a free slice of fresh-baked bread to visitors. Several ice cream parlors dot the well-traveled route from Chinook Pier to the lighthouse.

*Keep the kids happy with a romp in the splash pad in the grassy area behind the municipal marina or a round of mini-golf next to Chinook Pier. The tiny Pier Peddler along the boardwalk also offers a storybook-like shopping experience for families.

*Dinner choices abound, but Tip-A-Few Tavern’s Mexican specialties and Kirby Grill’s American cuisine remain boaters’ favorites.

*Grab a brew at Odd Side Ales or sample wine at 12 Corners. Both tasting rooms are inside Harbourfront Place, the old piano factory on Washington Avenue.

*Groove to live tunes at the Kirby Grill or try the family-friendly Musical Fountain, which you can view right from your vessel.