What It's Like To Live In A Tourist Town In The Winter
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What It's Like To Live In A Tourist Town In The Winter

What It's Like To Live In A Tourist Town In The Winter

Reasons why it is nice to live in a tourist town in the winter, and why I occasionally miss the summer.

I live in the small tourist town of Grand Haven, Mich. It is located on the lovely shores of Lake Michigan, and our economy arguably relies on the months of May – September. 

During those months, our city is full of annoying tourists, yet you can still recognize every other person. The boardwalk is full of teenage girls in half of a bikini-top or bottom, with high-waisted jean shorts or a crop top. You can get some of the best food that is only open in the summer (Pronto Pups), and the beach is so crowded that you have to find somewhere else to spend your beach time (but you don't want to go to Ferrysburg, or travel to Saugatuck, South Haven, Ludington or Pentwater because those places are equally busy — so many problems) When you are home during the summer, these are problems you are forced to deal with, and they are minor compared to Coast Guard week. 

When you are home during Winter Break though, it is a whole new ball game, especially when your city relies on the summer months for their tourism. I come home to a ghost town. You leave for school to the strangers in Meijer wear flip-flops as they buy firewood and bug spray for their camp site and then suddenly come home to feeling like you need to go out in a ball gown because you seem to run into every single person you have known since you were born every single time you leave the house. You cannot escape it. 

The biggest attractions in my town are the downtown area and the boardwalk/beach. This area might as well have the wild-wild west tumble weeds blowing around because there is nothing but college kids meeting up at Jumpin' Java for a coffee date to catch up on life. In the summer you could not move two inches without running into someone, offending a tourist, waiting 45 minutes for a table somewhere or even find a parking spot for that matter. I now have my pick of any spot downtown, get  get seated in two seconds and have my food in five because restaurants are so excited to have customers. 

I have briefly mentioned it, but having no tourists (even though they run the town during our money making months) is really nice. Having them does certainly add a little "pizzaz", but not having them makes everything a lot more quiet. They are loud, terrible at parking, seem to have the messiest and loudest children, can't navigate down a boardwalk (HINT: follow the body of water), don't tip more than 5% (next time, don't eat out if you insist on buying $500.00 on "Unsalted" T-shirts), and above all, they are very inconsiderate of the town that we are opening up for them. When it is just the locals during the off months, you know everyone, you know that there are going to be no unpleasant events in the near future, just peace. 

During the off-season, there is not much of a reason to come to GH. Downtown is dead, the beach is fenced off, you can walk the boardwalk, but not the pier (you will most likely fall and slip right into the lake), and there is nothing to do besides meet up at the favorite old "high-school-after-school-places" to catch-up. 

With these reasons in mind, there is no place I would rather be than Grand Haven in the summer or winter. It is a great place to call home. 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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