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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Vacation in the shadow of a dune.

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Space 1,000 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Cottage, 2 Bedrooms, 1.25 Baths, (Sleeps 5)

A chance to cure your Nature Deficit Disorder at the 'Sandbox' a newer home fully air conditioned and heated . Very private and secluded located right next to State Park and surrounded by county land.You can walk to the Van Buren State Park, North Point Conservation area + Van Buren Bike/hiking trails. Experience the natural wonder of the MI dunes at your front door. Miles of Lake Michigan frontage located over the dunes in front of the Sandbox.Even when the wind is howling and the rain slashing, the dunes are stunningly beautiful.

They rise from the beach and run toward the interior in increasingly higher peaks and end at the Sandbox. Area is similiar to the Peaked Hill Bars Historic District(Cape Cod) created to protect not only the homes but also the way of life they enabled. The cottages at Peaked Hill attracted playwrights Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and novelist Jack Kerouac all seeking space, solitude and beauty. These days you don't have to be an artist to enjoy the Sandbox-you just have to be lucky.

There are no concession stands here or noisey neighbors. Some come alone, others come with family and friends. Some come to write, paint, take pictures,others to heal, to think, to clear their heads, or to just enjoy a week by the Lake in a different latitude. Whatever they do here, whatever their reason for coming, the tracks they make should be their own!

One Bath plus an Outdoor shower( summer use )and wrap-around decks to enjoy the abundance of wildlife attracted to the Lake Michigan shoreline and the surrounding woods. View the deer, birds, fox and the famous 'Black Squirrels of South Haven.' Outdoor firepit located in the shadow of the frontal dune for privacy and seclusion.

This is a year round house available all year. It is an experience that few people have the opportunity to enjoy. Located in the 'Critical Dunes' section of the shoreline of Lake Michigan protected from developers. Home is just as spectacular in the winter as in the summer.Don't just rent a summer cottage-this is a pristine area to be preserved for generations to come.

A wonderful opportunity for someone seeking to experience childhood memories of the shores of Lake MI and the thrill of the ever changing wonder of the dunes. Not your 'typical' rental cottage. Learn what 'true' beach living is all about you are part of it!! Forget having to 'share' the beach, go hiking or skiing over magnificent ever-changing dunes with Lake Michigan and crystal-clear skies as your backdrop.

The 'Sandbox' will enable you to enjoy an area that has been saved for future generations. Sit on your deck in the privacy of your own dune and watch the children play in your front yard. No worry about automobile traffic at the Sandbox, road deadends at the dune where it is located. The dune is active and is always recreating a new dunescape. Your neighbors are the shifting, whispering sands!

Ideal for that romantic weekend get-away or a place to forget about the stresses of everyday life. Your closest neighbor is a magnificent dune!

Access to beach thru private wooded trails or hike thru dune area.

. NO STAIR ACCESS! Private community and private access for those living in and around the


'These dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Az-once lost, the loss will be irrevocable' Carl Sandburg

Borders the proposed West Michigan Water Trail- bring your non-motorized water craft and head North to Ludington or South to New Buffalo along the beautiful shoreline. Pilgrim haven Recreational Area North along the beach soon to become an incredible outdoor space highlighting this scenic area.


More Details

Member since: 2002
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 16, 2018

About Maureen

Retired real estate professional and carpenter contractor from the Western Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Grew up boating on Lake Michigan and visiting harbor towns in Il, Mi, In, Wis and Cn.

Maureen purchased this cottage in 2004

Why Maureen chose South Haven

Incredible frontal dune location. No neighbors to invade your space. South Haven is quaint you can do as much as you want or as little as you want truly the 'Nantucket of the Midwest'.Home is notba remodel. Was torn down and new home built keeping existing footprint per Critical Dune Regulations.

What makes this cottage unique

Hike thur the dunes, North Point Conservation area(see website) Van Buren State Park ,bike on the nearby Kal Haven Bike Trail, Deerlick Park and beautiful new nature area Pilgrim Haven. The home is surrounded by the natural dunes. Private no traffic road with only 3 other homes sharing the roadway. The road deadends at the Sandbox and the dune situated in front of the home.

Home featured in Coastal Living Magazine 2005 upon completion of the residence and is still listed as one of the preferred vacation properties.


South Haven Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1000 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • Min. age of primary renter: 21
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Beach View
  • Lake View ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Waterfront
  • Away From It All
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Heating
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 5 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 1.25 (Outdoor shower enclosed with hot and cold running water)
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Queen size Beds (1), Double Beds (1), Bunk Beds (1)
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television
  • Toys ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
Central air conditioning and heat, No Pets, Due to dune access to Lake-home may not be suitable for the physically challenged, elderly or very young children. No paper products provided.$100.00 extra housekeeping charge if home not left in good condition. $100.00 late check out fee.BEACH AND BATHING TOWELS NOT PROVIDED, PAPERGOODS NOT PROVIDED.


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(20 traveler reviews)

80% Complete
15% Complete
5% Complete
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Vacation in the shadow of a dune.
average rating of 4.75 based on 20 reviews

Nice Getaway

  • 5 of 5

My girlfriend and I just spent Memorial weekend at the Sandbox. The rental was clean, nicely accommodated had everything we needed for a quiet weekend on the lake. With the cool weather, we really enjoyed the indoor fireplace and outdoor fire pit. Other than the occasional resident meandering past the home to get to the access trail, the unit was very secluded and quiet. The hike over the dune to get to the beach was nice and was well worth it for the view and having the beach almost entirely to ourselves. The owner was extremely friendly and pleasant to deal with. We will definitely return for another stay.

  • Submitted: May 30, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Travis. The location of the home is not your typical beach cottage where you can hear everything that is going on next door. The dune experience is one that I remembered having as a child . However not as comfortable as the Sandbox.My housekeeper asked me if anyone had stayed in the home as it was left in perfect condition, You are always welcome back to the Sandbox and South Haven.
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Great stay right at the beach

  • 5 of 5

We recently stayed at the Dunes Cottage and it was perfect for us and our two kids. They enjoyed the 100 foot or so dune right behind the house and the seclusion. The dune is tough to walk up, but there is a path to a smaller hill that goes tot he same very private beach. We spent hours at the beach in the water and hunting for Petoskey stones. The house is perfect for a small family and well appointed. Thanks!

  • Submitted: Sep 5, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Allendale Michigan

Awesome Girls Getaway

  • 4 of 5

This gem nestled along the dune was perfect for our girls weekend. Close to wineries and downtown South Haven but private enough that you could feel secluded and away from it all. Awesome deck for lounging and dinners in. Owner was very nice and helpful with suggestions for the area. Property was clean and well maintained. We didn't mind the walk over the dunes to get to the lake but someone with small children (or a lot of stuff to carry!) may want to plan on driving to on of the nearby public beaches. Overall I'd definitely recommend this rental and will consider it for another stay in the future.

  • Submitted: Aug 25, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank U for being a guest at the Sandbox. Not your typical summer cottage rental. Is an experience of what living in the dunes along beautiful Lake Mi is like.. Hope to see U in the future.
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Great house, very clean, awesome location, will be going again next year!

  • 5 of 5

Wonderful time, beach was empty, super quick to walk to, last day of the South Haven Blueberry festival was only busy day, but the beach is large enough to find a spot, want to thank Maureen for a great time and stay. We will be staying again next year!

  • Submitted: Aug 19, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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A great place for a get away!

  • 5 of 5

Peaceful and calming. While not able to climb the dune (blew knee out a week before our stay) we visited the local beaches. House well supplied. The deck was used morning, noon and night. Will return!

  • Submitted: Aug 2, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Sorry to hear about your knee. Our beach definitely a challenge for you. We do have other not well known beaches nearby. Away from the City sea of umbrellas- the sand is where again? Our beaches are South Havens' best kept secrets. Thank you for being a guest at the Sandbox
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1 0

Great for our young family

  • 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time staying here. We have a 3 and 1 year old so having the dune right in the back yard was great for them to just play in the sand. Location was great. Minutes from south haven and a short drive to st joe. The house had everything we needed and was very clean and well kept. The hike to the beach from the house was a little much with our little kids but we did make it once. The private beaches were just a minute car ride away and we utilized those along with the beaches in south haven and st joe. Bring water shoes as the private beaches are nice but are a mixture of rock and sand. Highly recommend this place to those looking for a nice place to base a vacation out of.

  • Submitted: Jul 28, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for being a guest at the Sandbox. It is not your typical rental cottage and a way to experience life in the dunes here in Michigan. It is considered a critical dune area by the State of MI and efforts are being made to preserve for future generations. Hope you come back to visit if your vacation plans bring you back to South Haven.
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Nearest Airport
5 Miles
South Haven Regional Airport
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Downtown South Haven
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Hawkshead , South Haven Golf, Beeches, Mini
Nearest Motorway
Blue Star Memorial Highway
Nearest Restaurant
3 Miles
Downtown South Haven,many
Nearest Ski
25 Miles
Nearest Beach
Home borders Lake, Van a Buren State Park +2 more
Car: recommended

Borders West Michigan proposed Water Trail for non motorized crafts & Pilgrim Haven Recreational site currently under development




Additional information about rental rates

Housekeeping $135
Refundable damage deposit $300
Tax Rate 6.0%

Pets are not permitted. Housekeeping fee is charged at $135.00 do not supply beach or bathing towels is a washer/ dryer for your use. If cancelled $75.00 cancellation fee charged for any and all cancellations. Cancellations made within 60 days of arrival date, a forfeiture of the full advance payment will occur.If owner is able to rebook the property for all or part of the period, a refund will be issued
minus the $75.00 cancellation fee

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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