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In our recent cruise, we went to Grand Haven for a couple of days, and it was spectacular. We highly recommend it.

We currently have no dinghy, so we needed a slip. I did see one person anchored in the river, but I am not sure if anchoring in town is really "allowed."

We stayed at the DNR marina, and it was just fine. It was in the heart of down town. There is plenty to do for the whole family, lots of stores and shops and it is not that far from the beach. We brought bikes, so we had some good mobility. It is across a little river from the coal powerplant, but don't let that deter you. In fact, you can ride your bike over to the powerplant as the area around it is a nice park.

There is also this fountain light show that they do seemingly every evening where they have this lighted fountain and synchronized music. Kinda cool.

In doing sailing vacations, it is important for me to pick destinations that the whole family will enjoy, not just the die hard sailors.

On the weekend, I was struck by the sheer number of people on the boardwalk and the number of boats going up and down the river. Boats tie up on the wall of the boardwalk and hangout all day. I suspect they do not allow one to tie up all night there. But, perhaps one could find a place to anchor at night, then tie up on the wall during the day.

We rented a deckboat for a couple of hours and checked out the Lake up river. It was pretty cool. It is just beyond a fixed bridge that we would not be able to take the sailboat.
 

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1968 Columbia 50
Columbia 50
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Grand Haven is quite nice, you can tie off on the wall overnight up to 7 days I believe, but as of last summer there were no utilities, and depending on wind direction, and traffic, it can get a bit wavy. Someone told me last week there are new plug ins, but don't take my word for it. The city was talking about installing barge boards to help boaters tie off, but that may or may not have been done yet. Sometimes on weekends boats tie off up to 4 deep, usually partying power boaters, so be aware of that. Otherwise the location can't be beat, everything is right there...
 

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Badger Sailor
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Grand Haven is quite nice, .... and depending on wind direction, and traffic, it can get a bit wavy. .... The city was talking about installing barge boards to help boaters tie off, but that may or may not have been done yet.
A bit wavy is something of an understatement. We've been there when the wind and waves did their best to pound the boat to bits against that wall. It would be an incredible improvement to have planks to cushion the blow and have something to actually tie off too.

You are right about the location though.
 

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Broad Reachin'
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We sailed out of Grand Haven for several years. As others have mentioned, tying to the wall is permitted, even for overnight stays, but it'll beat you and the boat up if there's any swell coming in off the lake.

A better bet is the municipal marina (as you found out) or anchoring in the "bay" across from the municipal marina, just up river from North Shore Marina. We've anchored there many nights. It's shallow and subject to river current, but sheltered from the swells in all but the worst conditions. It's also a short dinghy ride across the river to town. You can tie the dink on the wall or go up river where there's a dinghy dock just the other side of Chinook Pier.

If you're up for a hike, there's some nice dunes and coastal trails on shore in the anchorage. In fact, you can hike up on top of the dune where the musical fountains are located. The trails close at dusk, but we've hiked up a few times and watched the fountains from overhead anyway. Plenty of good restaurants and shops in town, if that's your thing.
 

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I visited the Grand Haven, Michigan few months ago with my friends. It is a beautiful city to see in US. This city is very famous among the photographers because its offers a wide range of incredible places to see and capture.
 
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