Located at the mouth of the Grand River, from which it derives its name, and on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Grand Haven is the county seat of Ottawa County.
The first groups to arrive in the area were the Potawatomi and Ottawa Indians, who chose the location for its proximity to the Grand River, which they used as a trade route. French fur traders arrived hundreds of years later, and Americans followed suit shortly thereafter, in the early 19th century. Over the years, Grand Haven has evolved from a logging dominated down, to a shipbuilding hub and a center for industry. The Grand Haven Lighthouses, crucial in its emergence as a shipping hub, still stand today.
Grand Haven Public Schools operate 12 schools in the community, including eight elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. The community is also home to two private schools: Grand Haven Christian School and St. John’s Lutheran School. Amtrak service to Chicago and Detroit is available in nearby Grand Rapids. The Grand Haven Tribune circulates daily in Grand Haven, and has been in print for over 140 years.
Due to its aforementioned location along scenic Lake Michigan, Grand Haven is a bustling beach resort community. Popular activities in the summer months include: fishing, boating, water sports, sailing, and numerous other recreational opportunities. With over 100 miles of walking and biking trails, there are plenty of opportunities for off-the-water enjoyment. The central attraction is Grand Haven State Park, which has been recognized by Good Morning America as having one of the top 5 beaches in the United States. With 174 campsites and a large pier with a scenic boardwalk that runs for nearly a mile, the state park draws thousands of visitors in the summer months.
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Grand Haven Area Public Schools