Grand Haven state park is one of the most unique campgrounds in Michigan. It’s basically a parking lot on the beach with lines painted on the asphalt. It’s kind of a love it or hate it park, If you love being on the beach and in Grand Haven you will love it. But if you prefer some trees and a more traditional campground you may not like it.
- Right on the beach
- Near downtown Grand Haven
- New Bathrooms
- Asphalt parking lot style sites
- Sites are extremely small
- No fire pits
- No Alcohol
- Extremely busy in the summer especially weekends
There must be a lot of people who love the beach in Grand Haven since this park is always full even though it’s not much more than a parking lot. I hope this review does not come across as negative, but I want to be honest. The sites are extremely small, no I mean really small. If you have a travel trailer that has a slide on both sides you will be the width of your site and the length of your site. If you are lucky you can open your awning without hitting the trailer next to you. Your truck will have to be parked in the lot next to the rangers shack at the entrance. If you have a small 20 foot or less trailer you could probably park your vehicle in your lot. Avoid getting a lot near a walkway to the park or bathroom or the beach because you will have people constantly walking through your site. The sites along the beach are the most popular. The park does not provide fire rings for the sites. I see most people bring their own, I would think a portable propane one would be ideal so you don’t have to deal with the ashes when packing up. If you like being on the beach and don’t mind the enormous crowds at the Grand Haven beach then you should give it a try. The campground is laid out in loops with sand on the outside of each lot even on the inner loop. If you pitch a tent you can put it up in the sand. I have never slept in a tent on the sand but it must be kind of soft. Like sleeping on the beach.
Note that Holland State Park beach campground is similar, but the sites are about twice as large. So if you have camped there expect smaller sites at Grand Haven
The park is extremely popular and you need to make your reservations six months to the day and if you can get a coveted spot along the beach consider yourself lucky and you should go out and by a lottery ticket.
The park does have a new bathroom building and they are currently building another one which will be finished in the summer of 2018. One the other bathroom building is finished Grand Haven will probably have some of the nicest bathrooms in the Michigan State Park system.
Cell service is good since the park is right in town.
Beach and Boating
The beach is what Grand Haven State Park is All About at’s a huge Sandy beach on Lake Michigan just be aware that the day use parking lot is next to the campground and is flooded by beachgoers in the summer.
The park does not have a boat launch
The park does not have a camp store. Downtown is about a mile away but it’s mostly gift shops, bars, and restaurants. Meijers is about 3 miles away. It may only be about 3 miles but in the summer traffic, it may take you 20 minutes to get there. If you want to go to downtown you can walk or take a bike down the path that takes you where it will be easier than driving since you won’t have to deal with the traffic and then find a place to park.
Things To Do
Besides the beach and downtown shopping there Grand Haven lighthouse is on the pier next to the park. You can check out the musical fountain near downtown and enjoy ice cream from any number of places along the path from the park to downtown. If you want a break from Grand Haven you can visit Holland. Lakeshore Drive is a nice road along Lake Michigan that will take you to Holland State Park.
For more reviews and photos be sure to check out the Unofficial State Park Handbook HERE
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