The trolley driver rings the rickety vehicle’s bell to signal the tour of Grand Haven has officially started. It’s unbelievable that he is able to fit in Grand Haven’s finest attractions in only one hour, since there is seemingly an endless amount. We all buckle up, eagerly awaiting what the tour has to offer. After what appears to be only a few seconds, we reach our first destination.
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“Welcome to Morning Star Café” announces the driver. It’s a small purple building with knick knacks hanging in the windows and a star on the door that chimes every time someone enters. “Known for their award winning cinnamon rolls, this café has something for everyone. Ranging from their frittatas to their stuffed French toast, the menu is unbelievable. People are willing to wait a long time to try just a taste of a Morning Star Masterpiece. The engine begins to roar and the trolley takes off as the café slowly gets farther away.
We drive down Washington Street, the main street in town. There are all sorts of people walking down the sidewalks with ice cream cones and shopping bags from the cute boutiques lining the road. I notice the sun kissed skin and beach hair on almost every passerby. But what I notice most is the gargantuan smile that every single pedestrian wears. Everyone looks genuinely happy.
Our driver points out the large white letters on the hillside that spell out Coast Guard City USA. He informs us that Grand Haven has a festival in the beginning of August to honor the members of Coast Guard. The town swarms with tourists and large festival rides take over this exact street.
We soon ease to a stop, but I couldn’t figure out why. All I could see was a small yellow shack with an outdated sign that read “Pronto Pups”. Almost reading my mind, the driver begins with, “Once you try these one of a kind, deep fried, pancake batter covered corn dogs, and you’ll know why we’ve stopped here.” He directs us to get in line. Following his order, we rush out eager to see what all this hoopla was about. Long story short, I’ve never enjoyed a hot dog on a stick more than. Whatever the secret recipe is, I will find it someday and eat too many for my own good.
Leaving the scrumptious corn dog building behind, we embarked on our third destination. A few minutes away and we reach the beach. First to the right was the Pier. A beautiful long cement block with a shiny red lighthouse stuck out into the crystal blue waters. There were bikers, roller bladders, dog walkers and teens all enjoying the glorious attraction. To the left were the volleyball courts and what looked to be almost 1,000 beach goers all soaking in the rays. Whether they were reading, passing a volleyball, throwing a Frisbee, walking along the water, boogey boarding in the waves or simply taking a snooze on the warm sand, everyone was enjoying themselves. I can hear the laughter all the way from the trolley. I smile knowing how joyful one town could make so many people.
We continue past the beach and stop at a couple more locations. A half an hour later and we’re back to where we started. I giggle to myself as I walk back to my car. I just went on a tour to see places I see every single day and loved every second of it. What can I say? I love my town more than anything and I know you would too.
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