We have never stopped at this small maritime museum in South Haven, though we have been by it numerous times over the years. We decided to take one of their boat rides, thus we also explored the museum.
It is very nicely laid out, and a nice size. You don't get bored and skip half the exhibits, as sometimes happen in certain museums. There is a nice boat house with 3 boats inside and a pretty good film to watch. Grounds are beautiful, and you can have a picnic here, as a few tables are provided. The museum has quite a bit of The War of 1812 exhibits, as well as nautical exhibits. There is also the working boathouse where they repair boats and that was very interesting, the staff provided some fun insight to some of the processes they go thru and showed us how to tie a few knots! There is a small store, also.
We chose to ride the boat Lindy Lou up the Black River. This ride lasted about an hour. At first, you go up to the channel that enters into Lake MI (you turn around right before the channel). The captain pointed out a few old buildings to us (there was only about 8 people on this trip). We turned around and then went up the Black River about 2 or 2.5 miles. Amazing how many boats are docked in that river! It is a pretty ride. However, I have to say we were disappointed in that the captain didn't provide any official commentary whatsoever after he turned the boat around before the channel. Nothing. We and the others asked a few questions and he provided the answer, but other than that, didn't say a word about the river, the buildings, the boats, the land that the museum now stands on (quite an interesting history there). He did point out the Kal-Haven bike trail and the covered bridge for the bikes when we turned to return down the river. The boat itself is very nice and it is a quiet, relaxing ride, unless the river is crazy busy. In that case, I would not want to attempt this ride. Next time, we will venture out on the sailing ship, Friends Good Will.
The trip was $20 per adult, which includes admission to the museum and grounds. I do recommend it, depending on the weather and the traffic on the river. We visited on a weekday, early afternoon, in August.
Bathrooms and entire complex very clean. Parking in private lot, right in front of museum. Easily can walk from downtown.
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