Cleveland Plain Dealer: Guide to the beach towns of southwestern Michigan

The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently sent a correspondent to visit St. Joseph, South Haven and Holland and had this report.

Excerpt: This area is also known as the Art Coast for the myriad galleries and arts fests that color the charming small towns lining the lake. Sure, we've been to the Atlantic -- Cape Cod, South Carolina, Florida and Mexico. And we've been to the California coast, taking in the sun and scenes at Venice Beach and Santa Monica. We've even been to the Adriatic. We never swam much on any of these vacations. The water was always too cold or too dirty, or we were too afraid of jellyfish and sharks. The beaches were usually so crowded it was hard to cram your blanket into the sea of humanity. That's never been a problem on the soft white-sand beaches of southwest Michigan, surrounded by natural dunes straight out of New England. Though the water can be a bit nippy, we've always found the lake clean, clear and -- for the most part -- free of rocks and seaweed. The rolling waves will make you think you're at the ocean -- minus the stinging salt.

Bonus: It's a lot easier to get there, just about five hours from Cleveland.

For more on each community, please read the rest of the story.

Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer 
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