A Weekend Trip to Grand Haven, Michigan!

Hello friends!

I know it has been a while since I last wrote on here! As most of you may know, I recently moved from my hometown in Illinois to Chicago. Between moving, working, and being in quarantine – I haven’t really had the time or energy to sit down and write on here.. until now that is. This past weekend was an absolute breath of fresh air for us, so I hope this post takes you out of your house and to the beaches of Michigan (figuratively speaking 😉 ).

Two or so weeks ago, my mom mentioned needing help refinishing her kitchen table. This table has been with her ever since I can remember and well.. it has endured the test of time. With a page from an SAT prep book imprinted on the surface of the table, among other marks from my childhood, this table needed a little love.

Seeing that my mom had last weekend off from work, we decided to make our three hour trek over to Grand Haven to help her refinish her table and have a little weekend getaway. While I am very thankful for having my job and somewhere nice to live, staying home everyday for the past 3.5 months has been getting rough for me. I love being outside and exploring new places, so I was more than excited to go to Michigan for the weekend!

We arrived in Grand Haven last Friday night after heading out of Chicago after work and were too tired to do anything besides watch a movie with my mom. It had been years since my mom and I had watched Miracle, so we new that we had to watch it together and have Ian watch a movie that I had grown up watching time after time. I am determined to get Ian into watching hockey with me 🙂

That next morning, we headed out to Home Depot to purchase supplies for the table and then headed on over to one of Grand Haven’s most popular brunch spots – Morning Star Cafe.

Lemon poppy seed pancakes
Beaumont Benedict

After months of not being able to go out for brunch, it felt so strange but also refreshing having brunch inside a restaurant. Restaurant patios have just opened up in Chicago, but eating inside a restaurant is not yet allowed – unless there are large windows that are opened for fresh air. Even with windows opened, seating in Chicago is restricted to sitting right against the window – therefore limiting seating capacity.

So as you could imagine, it was a weird feeling being able to eat inside and nowhere near a window. Crazy how COVID-19 regulations vary across state and county borders!

Besides feeling strange eating inside of a restaurant, we had a great time catching up over coffee and breakfast in a colorful environment. I felt like we were on vacation!

After brunch, we stopped by a cute bookstore next door to Morning Star Cafe. While I was extremely tempted to get my hands on a new book, I resisted the urge by remembering my two books waiting for me at home 🙂

After heading back to my mom’s place to work on re-finishing her table, we headed back to town while the wood stain & sealer dried. By the time we were back in town it was dinner time, so we decided to enjoy some food and local beer at Porto Bello.

While I am partial to Portland beer, I do have to say that Odd Side’s Citra Pale Ale was pretty darn good. It was the perfect beer to drink on a warm sunny day. Not too heavy with hops, not too watery. It was just right.

After hanging out at Porto Bellos, we decided to grab ice cream while walking around town. Did we really need ice cream after Porto Bellos? No, probably not.. but it was tasty 😉

Morning at the beach

Sunday morning, we started off our morning at the beach with the dogs. I have been craving time outdoors, especially at the beach, so this was exactly what I needed in my life 🙂

Not to mention, I think Winston had a pretty great time at the beach 🙂

While Winston does love being at the beach, he is not into getting in the water. I have been taking Winston to the beach since he was 9 weeks old and he has yet to warm up to the idea of getting into the water. I think waves freak him out? Fergus didn’t seem to mind them though 😂

Coffee time in Grand Haven

After having the dogs run around on the beach for the first part of the morning, we headed back into town and stopped at Odd Side’s coffee shop – Side Bar!

Seconds after walking into this shop, I couldn’t help gawking at their interior decor. I am a HUGE sucker for wood accents, exposed brick walls, plants, and copper.. so I was in coffee heaven hanging out there!

Not only was this coffee shop aesthetically pleasing, but their drinks were also spot on. I ordered their lavender latte and was a little worried that it would be too sweet, but instead it had the perfect amount of lavender and sweetness. Just a hint of lavender and dash of sweetness 🙂

My mom does not drink coffee and loves matcha, so she ordered a matcha latte from Odd Side’s Side Bar and she too was impressed. It had the perfect ratio of matcha and sweetness. I guess you could say that we were all impressed! Even Ian’s chai latte was incredibly good.

Interestingly, Side Bar’s coffee shop is also connected to their bar. I am sure when things are back to normal, this place is full of locals hanging out over coffee and/or drinks. What a cool place.

After hanging out at Side Bar for a while, we decided to walk around town and grab breakfast together one last time before Ian and I headed back to Chicago. This time we decided to try out Dee-Lite Bar & Grill.

Unfortunately all of their tables outside were full so we sat inside – which was also nice!

After enjoying our final brunch together, we walked around town one last time. One of my favorite shops we stopped inside was Grand Haven’s local pet shop – Must Love Dogs. I guess I must love dogs 😉

After walking around town, we began our search for Michigan blueberries to bring back to Chicago.

After passing by Green Acres Market multiple times over the weekend, we decided to stop by and look around for blueberries.

Unfortunately we were unable to find fresh blueberries there BUT we did find fresh blueberry muffins, so I think that is close enough 😉

We also found lots of cute plants there 🙂

Not to mention, there were lots of adorable lighthouses outside and Michigan lawn chairs!

Once we were done walking around Green Acres Market, we headed back to my mom’s place to say our goodbyes and pick up Winston. We had so much fun getting out of the house and exploring Grand Haven. There is definitely more for us to see in Grand Haven, so I may need to put together a Grand Haven travel guide for those of you who are looking to visit Grand Haven in the future 🙂

I hope you all enjoyed this post!

~ Britt

4 thoughts on “A Weekend Trip to Grand Haven, Michigan!

  1. That’s really nice that you get to go out! Omg your brunch and that cafe, either you are really good at photography or the cafe is so gorgeous, i absolutely love the vibes. Hahaha, I know what you mean, I have sooo many books I need to get to but sometimes the urge to buy a new one is sooo strong! Omg the resemblance between you and your mother is UNCANNY! THAT’S CRAZY! My gosh Grand Haven looks absolutely beautiful, I loooove your explorations in this cities! It isn’t the typical tourist attraction things but just the hidden heart of new and unknown places that I absolutely love reading. What a haven indeed!

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  2. A very nice ode to my hometown. You hit some great spots, and I hope you get to explore, many more hidden gems (see Stanz, Ray’s and Fricano’s on the east side of town) and some in plain sight (Fortino’s, Pronto Pups, Tip-A-Few, and Butch’s Beach Burritos). It’s a shame that the old Dairy Treat ice cream stand was torn down. Their old polka dot exterior would’ve added some great pictures for you.

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  3. I’m happy you got to have a little getaway weekend to visit your mom! I hope Ian gets into watching hockey, it’s so fun! Once again, you have delicious food and coffee I must try. The size of those pancakes — wowza! I love seeing the pups on the beach; I don’t blame Winston about the waves, haha. They probably are frightening for a dog!

    Grand Haven looks like a quaint place to visit, and I love the aesthetic of the coffee shop! I haven’t been to a coffee shop yet and I miss going to them. The lighthouses are adorable too. I hope Chicago is treating you both well! At least you’re closer to your family, stay safe and it was fun to see what you’ve been doing lately! ♥

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