Monday, December 26, 2011

Destination: Grand Haven, Michigan

The day after Christmas always seems like a haze.  I am a little hungover from all of the food, drinks and festivities.  I am also a bit stir crazy.  Day-after Christmas shopping seems to be the perfect solution to get out of the house and stretch my legs.  Instead of heading to the mall (which I HATE) Joe and I decided to get our "shopping local" on and make the half hour drive to Grand Haven, MI.

"Coast Guard City, USA"

Grand Haven is popular tourist destination nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan.  The town is known for boating, fishing and its picturesque lighthouses.  There is also a huge Coast Guard presence.  So big that President Bill Clinton signed an act of Congress to officially designate the town "Coast Guard City, USA" back in 1998 (random Jeopardy fact for the day!)  It is also where Joe's sister lives.
Best Brunch in Grand Haven
Our first stop was Dee Lite Bar and Grill right on the town's main drag Washington Avenue where we met up with Joe's family.  (I mean, who can shop without a little bit of nourishment??) This is such a cute, eclectic neighborhood spot with amazing egg dishes and tasty coffee.  I had an incredible egg white spinach wrap filled with lots of asiago cheese and roasted red peppers that would make Pop-eye proud.  If you are looking for a place to grab brunch this is the place to go!

Down to Earth
With full stomachs we head to Down to Earth.  This store has been around for more than 20 years and sells the prettiest frocks and accessories.  I can never leave this store empty-handed so it's not surprising we walk out with a lovely gift for someone special (not telling who though!!)
First purchase of the day
Right next door is Just Dogs Gourmet.  This "all-things-canine" shop is filled with toys and freshly baked treats.  It looks more like a bakery than pet store with all of the dog-friendly pastries and cookies.  Of course we had to get Ruby something.  Since Michigan is known for its tasty blueberries we bought some of the "Blue(berry) Moons" cookies.
Bakery counter at Just Dogs Gourmet

Freshly baked doggie cookies for Ruby
If you are looking to purchase or just look at some interesting local art in Grand Haven you need to head to Uptown Gallery.  They have a huge collection of local artists' work from pottery to water colors to oil on canvas.  I was really intrigued by a collection from Grand Rapids photographer Elizabeth Reynders with Hershey's kisses.  
Photographer Elizabeth Reynders' work

Other Grand Haven recommendations:

Best Gyro in Grand Haven

If you are craving Greek food or some Chicago style fare Mr. Kozak's Gyros is where it is at!

Cutest kids clothes

Aberdeen's Clothing for Children has the most adorable kids clothes and toys.

Favorite Bakery

With offerings like Cinnamon Swirl, Cherry Walnut, Cracked Pepper Parmesan and Mediterranean Olive the Great Harvest Bread Co. can feed any carb craving! 

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