Day Trip Destinations for the Restless Teen


Jordan George, Editor in Chief

If you are anything like me, you really enjoy getting out of GR for a day. I love Grand Rapids, but sometimes I feel a strange desire to hop in my car and drive 45 minutes to places that feel a little different. Two specific places that have become my personal favorites are downtown Holland and Grand Haven, and if anyone also feels the same occasional sense of teenage wanderlust, these two places should be must-visits.

Downtown Holland is seriously underrated. Only a quick 45-minute drive from Ada, downtown Holland has a lot to offer including blocks of popular retail stores, numerous delicious restaurants, and a state park on Lake Michigan. For anyone craving a delicious burger or other food item, Holland’s New Holland Brewery is an excellent spot with a great atmosphere and a prime location on 9th street that offers some pretty entertaining people watching. On top of that, Holland boasts multiple popular coffee spots (most notably Lemonjello’s and JP’s), as well as pizza joints and a few ice cream shops such as Kilwin’s and Captain Sundae. After you are grossly full and have eaten your share of sweets, a trip to the beach is only a couple miles from downtown, and the state park has incredible views to take in the sunset or have a relaxing day in the water. All in all, Holland perfectly weaves the beach town feel and the bustling downtown shopping center, making it a prime location for a quick day trip getaway.


While Holland does boast a nice beach, it can’t quite compare to Grand Haven’s. Grand Haven is a true beach town and is already a wildly popular summer destination for FHC students. The seemingly endless beach combined with the pier and lighthouse (cliche insta pics here we come!) offer anyone looking for a typical beach feel a great option. The beach also hosts numerous events each year, including Soccer in the Sand and the nationally popular Coast Guard Festival, which both really draw huge crowds to the beach and offer FHC students just another opportunity to make their way out to the lakeshore. In addition to Grand Haven’s popular beach, downtown Grand Haven plays home to multiple restaurants that offer delicious food, including my personal favorite, The Kirby House. The Kirby House’s steak burger is one of the best burgers that I have ever had, and restaurant has a diverse menu that could cater to anyone’s appetite. Another popular spot in Grand Haven is Pronto Pups (cliche snap story time!!), which gives beach goers the unique experience of waiting in a line for thirty minutes for a corn dog. The corn dogs are pretty good, but I think being able to say that you had a pronto pup is really what the experience is for.


Both Holland and Grand Haven offer their distinct experiences for people looking to wander out to lake shore, and they both have their specialties. Whether it be Holland’s shopping or Grand Haven’s beach, FHC students really can’t go wrong when they visit either of these places to curb a case of cabin fever.