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

Waterfront, Lake & Channel Views, Best Location on Grand Haven Channel

Bedrooms 3
Half Baths1
Space 1,800 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights


About the property

3 Bedrooms, Bath and a half, Sleeps 8, plus a cottage with toilet and shower

The Channel House is located on what locals call, “The Strip”. It is the closest (why we have a big backyard) and, from our research, is the oldest house on the channel which is only 85 feet away. It is about midway between the Lake Michigan shore (2-3 blocks) and downtown (5 blocks) via the lighted channel boardwalk. If you don't want to walk or drive, the trolley stops right across the street and there are four bicycles in the garage. The home occupancy is 8 (Queen and Full upstairs and Single downstairs). It has a large L shaped living room with 1 queen and 1 single pull outs.

We also have a charming unattached cottage in the backyard that we call ''The Retro'. 'The Retro' offers a unique/private getaway for a variety of situations. This is a wonderful option for multiple family renters especially for teenagers that don't always want to be around mom and dad. The 'Retro' also comes in handy for seniors or other guests that like to get away from large groups from time to time (No stairs). It is nicely decorated and equipped with a bathroom and shower plus wifi, cable TV, DVD, and a nice breeze with a channel/boardwalk view.....The retro is a retreat and an optional social space and not intended for overnighting. The property rental permit specifically states that overnighting is not allowed in the cottage.

The back yard ascends on a heavily wooded dune with a 70 slope. You will witness the regular whitetail visitors throughout the day and early evening. The outdoor furnishings include a seven piece table and chair set, pergola, grill and a dozen other yard chairs. There are two platform sitting areas on the dune that provide great views. The home has a front loading washer and dryer. We have a large kitchen with 2 tables and 10 chairs. It comes with all the accoutrements and can seat 8-10 comfortably. We have a large sun room and attached sitting deck to watch the endless passers by and the water traffic. When a freighter goes through it is a spectacular experience. You’ll also witness, up close and personal, the United States Coast Guard several times a day performing their regular duties and training.

More Details

Property Manager
Mike Whalen
Member since: 2012
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 16, 2018

About Mike Whalen

Mike and Judy Whalen have been married for 18 yrs. Mike retired in May of 2011 after 34yrs with the Dept. of Corrections as a Health unit Manager. He grew up in Muskegon and has lived in Spring Lake for the last 34 years. We purchased the channel house in April of 2012 and we enjoy being there as much as we can. We have made every effort to provide our guests with many comforts and extra amenities to make the house and 'Retro' (cottage in back) a great place to stay. We want you to feel as welcome being here as we do and want you to return year after year. We hope to have this one in a million channel house remain in our family forever and to continue to keep it's doors open for other families to enjoy.

Mike Whalen purchased this house in 2012

Why Mike Whalen chose Grand Haven

We feel very fortunate to live in this area and seem to gravitate to Grand Haven. We had been looking for unique rental properties for a long time and got lucky when we found both the 'Channel House in April 2012 and The Jackson Place in December 2012- ( see property number 3495870 - another great place but not on the water). We have put our hearts and souls into making the Channel House inviting and comfortable. We have done all the work of refurbishing this longtime single family home ourselves and in the process we have come to love it. We spend a lot of time there and sincerely believe it is the perfect vacation home.

What makes this house unique

We have always admired this house and were very fortunate to have purchase it in April 2012. Although lovely, the house was just 'tired looking' both inside and out. We worked feverishly for hundreds of hours on every inch both inside and outside to create a very unique and welcoming home for all to enjoy. The transformation of our channel house was very gratifying but the process also connected us to the house in ways we would never have imagined.The history of the former property owners is fascinating and includes the first owner selling the city the land where the first light house stood. Our research also indicates that it is the first house on the channel. Mike shows a picture of the house to everyone from 1900 of the long aproned lady on the porch (now sun room) overlooking the then much closer river watching a steam ship pass. It will always be called the channel house now and hopefully remain in the family for generations.

Guestbook comments from the manager

The place was awesome-there was plenty of everything. Granddaughter used the bikes, grandson the books and games. Nice place to walk-convenient to downtown.It was very clean and we would recommend it to anyone and looking forward to using it again in the future. It is a beautiful area. Enjoyed the musical fountain at night. Thank you for a great weekend!
May 2015
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Grand Haven House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1800 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
  • Refer to rental agreement for other house rules
Location Type:
  • Beach ...
  • Downtown ...
  • Lake ...
  • Mountain ...
  • Resort ...
  • River ...
  • Ski in/Ski out ...
  • Village ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Broadband Access
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Elevator
  • Garage
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Shampoo
  • Sofa Bed
  • Telephone
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 10 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , Downstairs
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , Upstairs
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower , Cottage
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 3 - 1 twin/ single
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double , Antique four poster with new mattress
    Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Vintage seating with great views of channel and light house
  • ATTENTION It is a very comfortable home for a maximum of 8 overnight guests - certainly invite family and friends to visit as we have lots of parking (six spaces MAXIMUM) and cottage with bathroom and shower in the back yard, but more than eight (8) for overnighting is not allowed. (Per owner's permit and Grand Haven Ordinance for this home)
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Video Library
  • Beach Towels
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Deck Furniture
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Porch Furniture
  • Screen Porch / Veranda
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Walkway to Water
  • Wood Deck
  • Yard
  • 5 bicycles
  • 12 garden chairs
  • Singles
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(49 traveler reviews)

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Waterfront, Lake & Channel Views, Best Location on Grand Haven Channel
average rating of 4.897959 based on 50 reviews


  • 5 of 5

This house has the perfect location - close to the beach and downtown! It is stocked with everything you could possibly need. Also love that there is a back yard and outdoor eating area. The property is very well kept, and the owners are a pleasure to work with. We have rented it 2 years in a row, and are hoping to keep it a family tradition.

  • Submitted: Aug 19, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Best Location!

  • 4 of 5

The location of the house is perfect for enjoying all that Grand Haven has to offer! You can easily walk to the beach or to local eateries. The trolley stop is right outside the door. There is plenty of parking and the house is very roomy, comfortably sleeping eight. The kitchen is large and the outside seating is a perfect place to sit for morning coffee or people watching. If you are lucky, you will get to see a freighter go by as well. The only reason why I did not give this house five stars is because there is no central air and the air conditioning room units were not enough to cool the upstairs during a very hot summer night. However, most of the time a cool breeze from the lake works just fine.

  • Submitted: Jul 16, 2018
  • Stayed: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Yountville, CA

Location. Location. Location.

  • 5 of 5

Location. Location. Location. This is just the beginning. The cottage is just a short walk to Grand Haven's sandy beach. Also, a short walk to downtown Grand Haven. As for the cottage itself, it was perfect for us (4 adults and one 5-year-old). The cottage is old but in a good way . . . charming and a bit funky. Screened porch is perfect for morning coffee and evening cocktails. The kitchen is large with two tables and lots of food prep room. We ate outside nearly every meal at the glass-top table that has a canopy that provides shade. The upper bedroom has a queen bed and an in-window air conditioner (which was only needed the first few nights of our 7 night stay). Another bedroom has a double bed and the downstairs' bedroom has a single bed. We only used these, but we understand one or more of the couches fold out to reveal hide-a-beds. We used the gas BBQ extensively. Washer and dryer are large and very useful (a 5-year-old can find creative ways to get clothes and towels dirty). Bikes were in the garage and we used these for rides along the boardwalk. While we only met Mike, he and his wife Judy thought of everything to make our stay wonderful. We will definitely be returning.

  • Submitted: Jul 8, 2018
  • Stayed: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great home and great location. Fits our needs perfectly.

  • 5 of 5

Property is well maintained and has history in the town of Grand Haven.

  • Submitted: May 20, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Perfect for a family vacation.

  • 5 of 5

Our stay at the Whalen Channel House was delightful. The house was clean and decorated nicely. It was very nice to have a large living space to relax in. The location was perfect. Close enough to downtown for a nice walk and the pier was just across the street.

The highlight of each day was to walk across the street to the beach to enjoy the beautiful sunsets.

We also enjoyed watching the family of deer that visited the back of the property each day.

The Whalen' s were very easy to work with and answered any questions we had promptly.

  • Submitted: Oct 15, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great place and location

  • 5 of 5

The "Channel House" is right on Grand Haven's "main drag" between the State Park and downtown. We were able to walk anywhere to do the kinds of activities we enjoy. Clean little home, stocked with everything you need to have a wonderful vacation while still feeling like you are staying in your own home. We would definitely stay there again.

  • Submitted: Sep 25, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
12 Miles
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Miles
22 Below
Nearest Ferry
20 Miles
Nearest Golf
3 Miles
Grand Haven Golf Course
Nearest Train
20 Miles
Holland, MI
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
US 31
Nearest Restaurant
0.6 Miles
Kirby House
Nearest Ski
0.2 Miles
Mulligan's Hollow- literally our back yard!
Nearest Beach
100 Metres
Grand Haven State Park
Car: not necessary

The annual Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival is Grand Haven's biggest event of the year. The men and women of the United States Coast Guard are honored throughout a week of fantastic festival fun, celebration, and tradition. For a complete list of events, schedule, and more visit the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival's website You will never forget the fireworks as they are second to none.

The trolleys run all day and through late evening and the pick up stop is just across the street from the channel house. You will enjoy inexpensive transportation along with delightful historical narratives along the way. Tour the historic downtown shopping district, art galleries, charter fishing, or sailing excursions on Lake Michigan. There is a rental shop only 0.5 miles away with all types of water toys from kayaks to pontoon boats. The river front in downtown Grand Haven is renowned for the world's largest musical fountain and a 2.5 mile boardwalk that takes you from downtown to Lake Michigan and the sandy beach. Another huge local attraction is the Michigan's Adventure (Cedar Point owned) amusement park and only 18.5 miles away via hwy.

Michigan's Adventure is a 250 acre amusement park in Muskegon County, Michigan, about halfway between Muskegon, It is the largest amusement park in the state and has been owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company since 2001. As of 2012, Michigan's Adventure has 53 rides, more than any other park in the state. The park also includes an outdoor water park ...


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable Damage Deposit $300

Owners meet you on arrival -- Please call about an hour before you arrive at 616 402 2578 or 616 402 6589.
Contact owner for Off Peak and Nightly rates. Check in is 4pm and check out is 10:am.

Manager'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.