IMG 6507 scaled Grand Haven Beach

Grand Haven Beach

1001 Harbor Avenue Grand Haven MI, 49417
(616) 847-1309

8 AM-11 PM (Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day) 8 AM-Dusk (regular hours)

IMG 6648 11 Grand Haven Beach

I recently sat down with Grand Haven State Park Supervisor Joyce Rhodes to talk about the park’s beach, today’s featured contender.

AM: What would you say is an average day during the summer as far as visitors, and how many do you usually have visit over the course of the summer?

IMG 6576 1 Grand Haven BeachJR: Attendance, we can have as many as 12 thousand people in the park, on the beach, and on the channel. For the total season-we go by October 1st to September 30th-we get about 1.5 million visitors a week for the year. Of course most of those occur in June, July and August.

AM: What Demographics would you say you cater to the most, and why?

JR: It varies a great deal. We try to keep the park and the beach a safe and enjoyable place for everyone. We do get a good amount of families and campers staying at the park, but we also have a lot of foot traffic and bicycles coming through from around the area. Also, we’re gearing our park more and more to being handicap accessible. We’ve got a beach wheelchair and a couple water wheelchairs so that our visitors with disabilities can go swimming in the lake. We want everyone to be able to come and enjoy the beach.

IMG 6527 Grand Haven BeachAM: What recreational equipment or activities do you offer your visitors?

JR: We have several volleyball courts on the beach, we have sand-soccer tournaments, and we are working on getting horseshoes. Of course we have a lot of visitors coming to swim, but we also offer a lot of different activities. Every year we have the Beach Survival Challenge, which is a series of various team events that teach people lake survival skills, like what to do in a rip current. We also have the 4th of July festival coming up, as well as the annual Coast Guard Festival.

AM: Are your visitors mostly local?

JR: We definitely get a lot of locals frequenting the beach. People can walk or bike to and from town pretty easily. They spend a couple of hours here and then head back in town to shop or stop for lunch. As for our campers, about 85% of them come from within a 50 mile radius of the park. Grand Rapids and its outlying areas is where we get most of our folks from, but we draw them from all over. We do get a good amount of people from out of state and even internationally.

AM: What makes this beach the best in the state?

JR: Well, as you can see we’re not the largest beach, and we’ve got a pretty small staff, but we do our best to keep the beach clean and safe for visitors. We really try to offer everyone who comes here the best experience possible.

-Chris Dier-Scalise, Feature Writer

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