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Fireworks on the lake

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Tiskilwa, Illinois
posts: 3
Fireworks on the lake

We are excited to visit South Haven again this year, and this time we get to be there for the fireworks on the 3rd! I am trying to plan ahead & make our few days there as relaxed and smooth as possible. Any tips on easy ways to get in and out of the beach area that night? We are not from the area so I'd like to know where to avoid parking where we would be stuck for too long, or other tips for arriving & departing. Thanks in advance!

9 replies to this topic
Michigan USA
posts: 613
reviews: 3
1. Re: Fireworks on the lake

You can see the fireworks from many places in and around South Haven, it's not necessary to go to the beach. That being said, it would be easier to give you some ideas if we had a location of where you will be staying at.

Tiskilwa, Illinois
posts: 3
2. Re: Fireworks on the lake

We will be staying at the Holiday Inn Express.

Destination Expert
for South Haven, Saugatuck
posts: 3,412
reviews: 12
3. Re: Fireworks on the lake

I'd walk.

Destination Expert
for South Haven
posts: 764
reviews: 154
4. Re: Fireworks on the lake

Park in town and walk. Traffic is a mess that night.

South Haven...
posts: 7
reviews: 50
5. Re: Fireworks on the lake

The night of the fireworks is a nightmare as far as traffic goes. You could watch them from the Wal~mart parking lot if you want to get in & out. Otherwise be prepared for a slow long trip back to the hotel. Even those that know every side road in this town get stuck in traffic. As for walking from Holiday Inn Express, I would only recommend if you are not traveling with children or anyone who has issues with walking.

Tiskilwa, Illinois
posts: 3
6. Re: Fireworks on the lake

Thanks for the tips! We appreciate it! I figured traffic would be crazy, and though I would love to see the fireworks from the beach, I am not sure it's worth the headache. Thanks again!

Ann Arbor, MI
Destination Expert
for Michigan
posts: 1,746
reviews: 120
7. Re: Fireworks on the lake

I think it is worth the hassle to see fireworks over the water, on the beach. It is just such a cool experience to see them reflected on the water. Even the sound of the fireworks is different when you're on the beach.

I've been caught in many a traffic jam from seeing fireworks over water in several states and I've never regretted the decision to go.

Traffic tends to clear out pretty quickly so if you don't want to sit in traffic bring sparklers, a snack and play on the beach for a while to let traffic clear. If it's warm enough, splash around in the water. If you have kids, it'll make their night that much more special. That's what vacations are for--do stuff you'd never do at home!

Remember to bring jackets--it'll be cooler on the beach at night than it will inland.

Edited: 11:14 pm, April 16, 2014
posts: 14
reviews: 62
8. Re: Fireworks on the lake

Another tip.. the year we went - they started an hour late! Afterwards the traffic was bad but cleared out pretty quickly.

Destination Expert
for South Haven, Saugatuck
posts: 3,412
reviews: 12
9. Re: Fireworks on the lake

Seriously, I'd walk. unless you drive in very early you won't find a parking spot near the beach, so you'll be walking anyway. It would be about a mile each way from the HIE.

If you drive, and I wouldn't, stay on the south side, the South Beach from the pier to the blue stairs has great viewing as well as Monroe Blvd above the beach. Do not view from the North Beach unless you want to be there all night. Shortly after the last firework, the draw bridge is opened to allow all the boat traffic off the lake. It is likely to be up for an hour, leaving only North Shore Drive as the only exit. Here's the kicker, they have the overpass at I-196 closed for repair and by the looks of it it won't be open soon. That leaves three options, south on Blue Star which the police stationed there generally won't allow, get onto I-196 south but forget about exiting at Phoenix(because that would require a left turn onto Phoenix and that's not going to happen quickly) so I'm not sure where you're going there, or north on Blue Star which if you knew the back roads isn't a bad option.

Here's your best bet. Park somewhere on a side street as close to the South Beach as you can. When you leave go south not back towards town. Most people are going to head to either Phoenix St. or Broadway and those two streets will be gridlocked.

So take Kalamazoo St. south all the way to Blue Star Hwy, turn right and then a left on 12th Ave, or take Monroe Blvd south to 12th Ave. Traffic is much lighter going south. Take 12th Ave to M-140 where you will probably need to wait there for a few minutes. Turn south on M-140 and travel south a mile and get on I-196 north. Exit at Phoenix Rd, turn right and you're home. If the Phoenix exit is backed up, continue to North Shore exit and turn "right" on to North Shore, take the first right, next left, next right and that will take you to Phoenix Rd right a the Holiday Inn Exp.

Good luck and consider walking.

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