Introduction to South Haven, Michigan

South Haven, Michigan, in Van Buren county, is 35 miles W of Kalamazoo, Michigan (center to center) and 79 miles NE of Chicago, Illinois. It is part of the surrounding Kalamazoo - Battle Creek metro area.

South Haven History

In 1833, J. R. Monroe was granted a land patent along Lake Michigan’s shore by the U.S. government. The first permanent settlers arrived in the 1850s and the city of South Haven was founded in 1869. A sawmill was constructed around the same time, which led to the establishment of other buildings. In the early 1900s, the city of South Haven became a resort town and was often referred to as "The Catskills of the Midwest." The area is the Kal-Haven Trail’s western terminus, and is well-known among snowmobilers and bicyclists.

South Haven and Nearby Attractions

  • Michigan Maritime Museum
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park
  • Holland Museum
  • Outdoor Discovery Center
  • Van Buren State Park

Things To Do In South Haven

Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum in South Haven is a national historic site that houses artifacts and documents about the life and times of Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey, a famous horticulturist and botanist. Joyce Petter Gallery, which is not far from the city, has a large collection of art and paintings on display. Golfers may enjoy a game at the Glenn Shores Golf Course. Festivals celebrated by the community include, Icebreaker Festival during February, Harborfest in June, and the National Blueberry Festival in August. Museums nearby include Michigan Maritime Museum, Holland Museum, and Cappon House Museum.

South Haven Transportation

Flights are available from Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport.

South Haven Higher Education

Colleges near South Haven are Lake Michigan College, Western Michigan University, and Hope College.


Total Population 4,357
Male Share of the Population 41.7%
Female Share of the Population 58.3%
Senior Citizens 25.4%
Employed Population 16+ 1,795
Age of the Population 52


% of people married 47.2%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 29.3%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0


Median Family Income $62,212
% Above Poverty Level 81.9%
% Below Poverty Level 18.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 2.3%
% Walking and Biking to Work 7.9%
% Using Public Transportation %


People Living Alone 45%
Median Gross Rent $566
Median House Value $169,200


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 18.7%
US/American 0%
English 11.5%
Irish 14.3%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

South Haven Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 35 miles W of Kalamazoo, Michigan (center to center)
Nearest Large City 79 miles NE of Chicago, Illinois
County Van Buren
Metro Area Kalamazoo - Battle Creek
Standard Zip Codes 49090
Phone Area Codes 269
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.403
Longitude -86.273

South Haven Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 0.5 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 32 F
Apr Temp 39 to 55 F
Jul Temp 64 to 78 F
Oct Temp 46 to 61 F
Annual Precip 35.1 inches
Distance 20 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 30 F
Apr Temp 37 to 56 F
Jul Temp 61 to 81 F
Oct Temp 42 to 61 F
Annual Precip 37 inches
Distance 26.8 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 31 F
Apr Temp 38 to 59 F
Jul Temp 63 to 84 F
Oct Temp 44 to 62 F
Annual Precip 36.5 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Bangor 1,849 $36,250
Bloomingdale 655 $37,679
Breedsville 249 $21,818
Coloma 1,600 $54,583
Hartford 2,634 $38,333

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

South Haven Public Libraries

South Haven Memorial Library
South Haven, Michigan
(269) 637-2403

library logo

More Information for Librarians

South Haven Hospitals

(Government - Hospital District or Authority)
(269) 637-5271
Emergency Service: Yes

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South Haven High Schools

Serves 800 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.2

Study Online in South Haven
Historic South Haven


Avery Beach Hotel between 1890 and 1901

Select a photo to view (Source):

Avery Beach Hotel between 1890 and 1901

Black River between 1900 and 1905

The Kaiser cottage between 1900 and 1905

Additional Resources
Info for South Haven Government Officials

Are you an official in the South Haven government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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