The Grand Haven/Spring Lake community is an active beach resort with boating, fishing, sailing, biking, skating etc. along with connecting campgrounds and recreational areas. The area has over 100 miles (160 km) of bike trails, a state beach, boardwalk, two lighthouses, a pier, wharf, large charter fishing fleet and a Great Lakes port, where it imports limestone, slag, cement and coal while exporting sand. Grand Haven is a destination point for residents of inland cities of West Michigan, as well as many from the other side of the state. Grand Rapidians regularly visit to take advantage of the close proximity to the Lake Michigan beaches, State campgrounds, restaurants, bars, attractions with many even owning cottages in the area as their home away from home.
Grand Haven State Park was nationally recognized for having one of the top five beaches in the United States, by Good Morning America. In summer, Lake Michigan and Spring Lake bring tens of thousands of visitors as a boon to the local economy.
The state park also includes a campground on Lake Michigan, near the pier and lighthouses. In addition, the Grand Haven features a ski park (Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl) and a skate park. The waterfront locations host boating, sailing, jet skiing, tubing, wind surfing, and an annual kite festival which make it an exciting place to live.
Grand Haven hosts the annual Coast Guard Festival, which draws U.S. and Canadian vessels along with parades of bands and other activities, including a memorial to the 101 sailors lost in the Escanaba sinking. The yearly attendance for this event exceeds 300,000 people over the two-week period of the festival. Grand Haven is the only city officially designated as Coast Guard City, USA.
Both communities are known for a high quality of life with their friendly people, great recreation and superb school systems.