By MARIE HAVENGA
You didn’t stumble into this area by accident. You likely landed here because of the volumes-thick options in entertainment and recreation.
Whether you enjoy sport fishing, shopping, bopping on a bike trail or sailing at sunset, you can dip your toes into the action.
Although the choices are as vast as grains of golden sand, we’ll help you sift through area amenities and pack the most into your precious time.
Here are the Top Five “must dos”:
1. Grand Haven Musical Fountain
Some may argue this doesn’t deserve top billing, but hey, where else are you going to see something quite like this – a 125-foot tall dancing musical fountain that for many years was the largest in the world until Vegas constructed a sprayer on steroids. The fountain blasts off from Dewey Hill at dusk nightly with synchronized music and dancing, darting waters illuminated by a rainbow-spectrum of lights. Best viewing spots for the 20-minute show are in the Waterfront Stadium bleachers or in the grassy knolls along the boardwalk.
2. The Grand Haven Boardwalk
A three-hour tour – that’s the best way to experience the boardwalk. Pack a book, a few bucks (or more) for ice cream and a lightweight jacket. If it’s Saturday or Wednesday, grab fresh munchies from the farmer’s market under the green canopies at Chinook Pier before you step out. Stroll along Chinook Pier where you’ll see large sailing and motor vessels moored at the docks. After passing City Marina, stop and watch the kids frolic in the Rotary Club Splash Pad. Proceed toward Lake Michigan and you’ll be walking along what is commonly known as “the wall,” an area with boaters tie up for day or overnight stays. Lounge in the grass with your book and you’ll get a first-hand glimpse of boating life – and maybe even a freighter lugging into port. As evening rolls in, proceed out to the pier head for a palette-painted sunset that may just rank in your Top 3 ever.
3. Try something new
Take a lesson in kiteboarding, gourmet cooking, Big Lake fishing or sailing. Visit the Chamber of Commerce at the foot of Washington Street for details. Or rent a bike at a local shop and explore the miles of trails in the area.
4. Hit the beach
If you’re filling your bucket list, fill it with sand. Head to one of several area beaches, build sand castles, lay out in the sun and splash around in the Big Lake.
5. Fly a kite
Let your string out and reach new heights. USA Today named the Grand Haven State Park the fifth-best place in the country to fly a kite. Head to the downtown kite store, then soar.