April 11, 2012

South Haven's Beaches - Seven and Counting

South Haven's location on Lake Michigan make it a favorite destination for beach-goers, but many visitors only know about the two iconic beaches near the lighthouse.  There are many more access points throughout the city, so here's a quick list from the north to the south.

Newcome Beach - a long walkway from North Shore Drive marks this small public beach access point.  The historic Newcome Resort was located here over a hundred years ago, and today's visitors will park along North Shore Drive just south of Baseline Road to access the shore.
Oak Street Beach - a small parking area can host six to eight vehicles, and like Newcome, this beach access has more of a neighborhood beach feel as most visitors walk from the surrounding area.  This beach is closest to the Victoria Resort.
Packard Park - A semi-circular driveway from North Shore Drive offers plenty of parking, and a bathroom facility plus some picnic tables are available away from the heat of the beach.  This is a relatively long stretch of sand and is located just north of Dyckman Avenue.
Dyckman Avenue Beach - Cross the drawbridge to the North Side and where Dyckman Avenue ends is the Dyckman Beach.  Frequently overlooked for the larger, flashier North Beach, this particular access offers a fair amount of parking and a gentle stretch of stairs to the shoreline.
Woodman Beach - Located at the intersection of North Shore Drive and Woodman Avenue, this public beach access is often mistaken for a private parking area.  The sand slopes gently down to the waterline, and a short walk past the lakefront homes would bring you to the edge of the North Beach.
North Beach - Volleyball players, concession stand and the most famous cruising strip in South Haven mark the famous North Beach.  Aside from all of the comotion, this is a fabulously long stretch of sandy beach and it's a good walk from the parking area to the waterline.
South Beach - The South Beach is best known for it's easy access to the pier featuring South Haven's historic lighthouse and catwalk.  Less explored however, is the long stretch of sand passing by Saint Basil Church and the neighborhoods to the south.

Several other unofficial (but still public) accesses are scattered about the area, so feel free to ask the innkeeper at the Victoria Resort about Deerlick or 114th Street or one of the other less popular destinations.