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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
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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:
May 23, 2017

About Mike Whalen

Mike and Judy Whalen have been married for 17 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 Western Michigan

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:
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
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 ...
  • Garage
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Safe
  • Shampoo
  • Sofa Bed
  • 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
  • New may 2016- On demand hot water heater.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , New Furnishings (2012)
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double , Antique Furnishings New Matress (2012)
    Bedroom 3 - 1 twin/ single
  • ATTENTION It is a very comfortable home for a maximum of 8 over night 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 to accommodate others, 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
  • 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 -
(29 traveler reviews)

Waterfront, Lake & Channel Views, Best Location on Grand Haven Channel
average rating of 4.8965516 based on 30 reviews

Very nice!

  • 5 of 5

It is much more pleasant than staying in a hotel. It was clean and comfortable. They had everything we needed and more. We enjoyed sitting in the porch and talking with family.

  • Submitted: Apr 30, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great channel location

  • 5 of 5

Great location close to everything, the beach, the lighthouse and town. Grandkids loved seeing the freighters go down the channel. Nice outside area with lots of bikes available for riding and plenty of room inside. Very clean, the kitchen and baths were nicely stocked. Lots of history to the house. Definitely recommend.

  • Submitted: Oct 24, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Napoleon, MI

Best location!

  • 4 of 5

Mike greeted us when we arrived and gave a tour along with the history of the house. Showed us the few quirks, of which every house has.

We loved being able to walk across the road and onto the channel. We walked twice daily.

In the morning we would get online in the large kitchen while having breakfast. In the evening the many seating options of the living room was impressive.

Our daughter and young grandson came for a few days and used the bikes that were available.

We enjoyed our stay at The Whalen House and Grand Haven.

  • Submitted: Sep 15, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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livonia, Michigan

The channel house is the perfect place for your grand haven vacation

  • 5 of 5

We had the pleasure of staying at the channel house during the second week in August. The house has been beautifully maintained and cared by the owners Judy and Mike. The location of this house is perfect for sitting on porch watching big boats come down channel or walking barefoot to state beach. The trolley also stops right across street. We have rented houses previously on VRBO but have never had a home that provided our linens, towels, paper products, detergents etc. They even provided shampoo, conditioner and a first aid kit. Only thing you need to bring is your clothes. I also liked how Judy met us at property and showed us where everything was located and how things work. She also made sure to let us know how to get in touch with her in case we had problems (which we didn't). The property has a beautiful backyard with eating area, bbq grill and bikes! There is also a small retro cottage in back yard that has a bathroom and shower. My husband used it as his work office for few days. Our teenage daughters and their friend loved how safe they felt getting around to beach and downtown. Special treat was being able to see a mother deer and her 3 babies in backyard on the hill and walk the various sandy paths that wind behind house. The house is only 25 minute drive to Holland and Michigan Adventure. We would recommend this house to anyone looking to vacation with their family in the heart of grand haven. We will be sure to be returning to this property in future years. Thanks again Mike and Judy for making this such a memorable week for our family.

  • Submitted: Aug 22, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Clean, Convenient and oh, so nice

  • 5 of 5

Everything about the Channel House says, "Welcome! Kick your shoes off...put your flip-flops on and stay awhile!"

Mike and Judy have made the House comfy and inviting. This is our third year staying here, and it's pretty much perfect for our needs. We take walks to the beach with our grandchildren; walk the boardwalk and trails early in the morning; watch sunsets from the beach; and of course sit on the front porch and people watch. Also important: there are THREE ice cream shops within a short walking distance. ;-)

Thank you, Mike & Judy for another wonderful stay!

Marti & Ron

  • Submitted: Jul 29, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

Great location. Well kept property. Very responsive owners.

  • Submitted: Jul 18, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from 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

Grand Haven House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
early Spring
Apr 2 2017 - May 27 2017
2 night minimum stay
early summer
May 28 2017 - Jun 17 2017
4 night minimum stay
early Summer cont.
Jun 18 2017 - Jun 30 2017
4 night minimum stay
4th of July
Jul 1 2017 - Jul 8 2017
6 night minimum stay
Jul 9 2017 - Jul 29 2017
Changeover Day: Sunday
6 night minimum stay
coast Guard Festival
Jul 30 2017 - Aug 6 2017
Changeover Day: Sunday
7 night minimum stay
late summer
Aug 7 2017 - Aug 14 2017
4 night minimum stay
late summer
Aug 15 2017 - Aug 24 2017
3 night minimum stay
thru labor day
Aug 25 2017 - Sep 5 2017
4 night minimum stay
Sep 6 2017 - Oct 31 2017
2 night minimum stay
Nov 1 2017 - Jan 1 2018
2 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $300
Tax Rate 8.0%

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

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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