The list includes Cirali, a village in the Turkish Mediterranean and Ibo Island in Mozambique. Grand Haven is one of only four U.S. destinations in the list, according to Marci Cisneros, director of the Grand Haven Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“We’re thrilled and consider this an honor,” Cisneros said. “It’s a great way to kick off our pre-season.”
The list, released over the weekend, notes the following about Grand Haven:
“Trolley cars, a 2.5-mile harborfront boardwalk, and two 19th-century red lighthouses give a sweet, old-time feel to this Lake Michigan town. Boaters and fishermen flock here, and hikers like the short-but-strenuous climb to Rosy Mound that includes 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the sand dunes to the shore of Lake Michigan. There are warm shallows for swimming, and the soft sand of two public beaches squeaks when you walk on it. After sunset, the local restaurants, ice cream parlors and shops come alive.”
Cisneros said being included in such a list keeps Grand Haven in the public eye.
“Last year at this time, we got our honorable mention from Dr. Beach,” she said. “Although we’re fairly well-known in Michigan and the Midwest, we’re still considered a secret beach to people from the rest of the nation and internationally."
The director of the visitors bureau said the community has hosted writers groups every year and the nomination to this list could have come from one of the writers visiting the community over the years.
The effect it has on the area is an increase in inquiries and a “chance to retell our story,” Cisneros said.