Cruisin' the West Michigan Pike: South Haven to Fennville
Find inspiration for your fall color tour with these West Michigan Pike hightlights between South Haven and Fennville, MI!
1. First thing's First: Breakfast!
It's not good to travel on an empty stomach, so check out the menus available online at these breakfast hotspots. What do I like? The Falafel Bowl from Phoenix Street on Broadway is one of my Top 5 Favorite Menu Items in town, so is Cafe Julia's Green Glory Smoothie!
Local Tip: Looking for a quick bite with an awesome view of Lake Michigan? South Haven American Legion Post 49 offers a breakfast buffet to the public every Sunday through October from 8 am - 12 pm. Thanks 49'ers!
Open: Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm | Sundays, 10 am - 4 pm
Here at The Sugarhouse, pure Michigan maple syrup is tapped locally, processed, sold, and distributed to many local retailers. But when you come straight to the source, you have the full breadth of flavored syrups available at your fingertips in several styles of attractive bottles. Sugarhouse maple syrup is the perfect all-purpose gift, and so I keep several bottles on reserve.
Local Tip: Pure Michigan Maple Syrup isn't just for pancakes. Try some in your morning coffee!
Good Neighbors: The Ridleys purchase excess fruits from neighboring farms to flavor syrups and minimize food waste.
3. Casco Township Nature Preserve
Every time I drive back to South Haven from a long trip, I stop here first to stretch my legs and fill my lungs with fresh lake air and the scent of pines. The Casco Preserve features a paved loop adjacent to a lightly wooded meadow, with plenty of places to pause and rest while savoring a peaceful, quiet moment in nature. If you've visited the Preserve in years past, you might remember the beach stairs that provided access to the rocky beach below. After being battered by a period of excessive erosion, the stairs were washed out, along with much of the hillside. Today, a sheer drop from the bluff is evidence of the persistent might of Lake Michigan, and that's why it's still one of my favorite local lookouts.
Know Before You Go: Have a healthy respect for the barriers along the edge of the bluff.
Part of the allure of Casco Township Nature Preserve is the lookout's elevation. Photos just don't capture it well enough, you truly have to see it with your own eyes.
This isn't your average roadside antique store. It's the most eclectic & eccentric arrangement of collections to pique even the most passive picker's interest. From tools and set pieces for the man cave, to unique statuary and exotic pieces from across the globe, this compilation of curiosities will surely have a Holy Grail you didn't know you were looking for!
Business Hours: Open Thursday to Monday from 11 am - 5 pm. Sometimes by appointment only, so do yourself a favor and call ahead: (269) 637-5777.
Let's compare our favorite lineups of Crane's famous blueberry, apple, pumpkin, and raspberry rhubarb pies then decide which one to bring back home! Visiting Crane's is like stepping into the Fennville of yesteryear, with enough local artifacts to fill a history museum! Rustic charm, down-home deliciousness, and first-rate hospitality that gives Southern Charm a run for it's money are just a few of the secret ingredients that have made Crane's a West Michigan Destination for half a century!
Business Hours: Open Daily from 8 am - 6 pm.
Local Tip: Come back in winter for Crane's first ever drive-thru holiday light show, November 29 - December 31st.
Waypost is farm-to-pint glass excellence situated on a 58-acre berry farm in Fennville. The spacious outdoor beer garden is a great place to relish in harvest season vibes with friends and family, and the lagers are absolutely legendary. Be right back, I'm gonna try on these hats...
Let's see, it's just past 4 pm and we're on our way back to South Haven...let's stop and see what the Murdochs are up to! Located a half-mile from the shoreline, Cogdal Vineyards is the perfect place for beginners to get a crash course in Michigan wine. I recently had the pleasure of joining owners Jack & Deb Murdoch for a day of processing grapes with a crew of Cogdal Superfans. As a passive wine enthusiast, Jack gave me a whole new appreciation of the Michigan wine industry, just ask my lower back! It's frenetic work shoveling those grapes onto the conveyor, but I can hardly wait to taste the fruits of our labor on the front patio overlooking the vines, or maybe around the fireplace if it's chilly.
Open Daily, 12 - 5 pm
Cogdal Vineyards is insulated by trees that offer the full-spectrum of Fall colors in peak season.