South Haven has embraced three of its major pastime industries: tourism, fruit farming, and boating. It defines itself as a resort town, and the people of the town embrace its heritage as one. In the fall and winter months, South Haven provides lodging for nearby ski and snowboarding resorts. In the spring and summer months, the town becomes alive. Several surrounding farms offer “U-Pick” produce, where one gets to harvest their own fruit to take home, and join in the town’s multiple farmers’ markets. At these farms, one can pick blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, and peaches. Local shops offer a homey feel to the town. Its four marinas offer an outlet for those who wish to test their sea legs and enjoy the Lake Michigan waters. The nearby Van Buren State Park offers camping and picnicking options.
Today, South Haven is the home of the Michigan Maritime Museum and the National Blueberry Festival. Built in the 1970s, the Michigan Maritime Museum was created to celebrate Michigan’s impact in the area of maritime practice. It has become a heritage site which offers both instruction on maritime practices, educational tours and research opportunities.
There is nothing that brings the town together more than the National Blueberry Festival. Held on the first weekend in August, hundreds come together to see concerts, tour local shops, play games, partake in a 5k run, and of course enjoy the wide variety of blueberry delicacies. The festival lasts four days, and festival committee members expect close to 50,000 people to attend this year’s festival.