A charming and friendly community nestled into the dunes edging the shores of Lake Michigan, tourists flock to Grand Haven, Michigan for swimming, sand castles, and sunsets. Visiting the region at the intersection of summer and fall, we found the shops and restaurants less crowded, the boardwalk mostly pedestrian free, but without the Musical Fountain or a Pronto Pup.
In the mood for a bucket list adventure, an opportunity to appreciate the freshwater greatness of the Great Lake state, we made a reservation for a two-hour sunset cruise with Crystal Blue Cruises based out of Grand Haven. In September and October, conditions on Lake Michigan can change like a moody teenager, so we kept in open contact with Captain Kim to select the most favorable evening for our adventure.
Boarding the 1991, 36-foot Carver Aft Cabin Motoryacht mid-week, our group of six adults set out in the late afternoon on the Grand River towards the Lake at a cruising speed of 11 mph. Equipped with two staterooms, two heads, a salon and a full galley, we moved about the vessel in time with light rain clouds. Bringing a stash of appetizers and beverages, we snacked our way up and down the Grand River and parallel to the shoreline as we watched nature and people as the sun descended towards the horizon.
An experience that will stick in our collective memories for years to come, the sunset that evening was no less than spectacular. Blue skies turned purple and maroon and orange in a fireworks show of its own. And if a picture ever was worth a thousand words, here’s a few chapters for you to read:
Following the horizon in the direction of Wisconsin we chased the last rays from the bow as the waves rolled enough to be exhilarating but not nauseating.
Offering charter excursions at different times of day and an additional hour longer, consult the Crystal Blue Cruises website for prices, times, and offerings. Captain Kim notes, “We welcome families with children of all ages and have entertained people aged from infancy through 90+ years! We’ve had wedding proposals, bachelor/bachelorette parties, ladies night, best friend class reunions, burials at sea, and the list goes on! As long as your party doesn’t exceed 6 people (exceptions are made for groups with children under age two, at Captain’s discretion), we can accommodate.”
More Travel Ideas
If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy West Michigan, check out some of our adventures here:
- Top 15 Things do to in Grand Rapids: https://www.roadtripsforfamilies.com/top-15-grand-rapids-michigan/
- Michigan’s Adventure Amusement Park: https://www.roadtripsforfamilies.com/michigans-adventure-amusement-water-park/
- Ludington State Park: https://www.roadtripsforfamilies.com/michigans-ludington-state-park/
- Tunnel Park in Holland: https://www.roadtripsforfamilies.com/west-michigans-tunnel-park/
- Duck Lake State Park: https://www.roadtripsforfamilies.com/lake-michigan-beaches-duck-lake-state-park/
- 5 Fun Places to Eat Ice Cream: https://www.roadtripsforfamilies.com/five-fun-places-to-eat-ice-cream-in-west-michigan/
- SS Badger Car Ferry (Big Ship, More Fun!): http://www.cruiselakemichigan.com/
- What to Know Before You Travel to Michigan: https://www.roadtripsforfamilies.com/important-things-to-know-before-traveling-to-michigan/
Feature Photo Credit: Stuart Johnson