South Haven found itself under the radar this month when the host of the popular PBS show of the same name visited as part of National Travel and Tourism Week.
Tom Daldin, an Emmy-award-winning producer, actor, and writer, who has created programs that have aired across Michigan and around the United States, was part of a celebration at Dyckman Park and the downtown pavilion, on May 11, to help usher in the summer tourism season in South Haven.
Although he has traveled throughout Michigan to feature towns over the years as part of his “Under the Radar” show, he's no stranger to South Haven.
“My wife and I visit here quite often, we love this town,” Daldin said during an interview shortly before the taping of a 90-minute webcast, on May 11, at Dyckman Park, featuring a couple of dozen South Haven business owners that cater to tourism. The webcast can be viewed on YouTube and Michigan.org
Although Daldin and his wife live in Rochester, north of Detroit, he and his wife enjoy visiting the shores of Lake Michigan, especially the beaches of South Haven, and downtown restaurants and businesses.
“The stroll down to South Beach along Water Street, there's no other walk like that in the state. It's ironic,” Daldin said. “The downtown is just the right size. It's not too big and not too small.”
Daldin was joined for the taping of the 90-minute show along with Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan.
They came to South Haven, on May 11, as part of Travel Michigan's annual celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week. South Haven was featured along with four other cities in Michigan – Ann Arbor, Flint, Charlevoix, and Sault Ste. Marie.
Lorenz feels optimistic about the upcoming summer tourism season in Michigan, following the COVID-19 pandemic
“People still feel hesitant to travel,” he said, “but the announcement of restrictions being dropped earlier this year makes a big difference. There's a pent-up demand from people to travel.”
During the 90-minute webcast, Daldin and Lorenz talked with representatives from South Haven area tourism-related businesses and non-profit groups who showcased the variety of attractions available to people who visit the community, including The Fields glamping campground, The Lodge restaurant, Three Blondes Brewing, Rocket Arcade, the Michigan Maritime Museum, Cogdal Winery, and Sunnybrook RV Resort.
In preparation for the visit from Travel Michigan, The South Haven/Van Buren County Convention and Visitors Bureau played host to the event, on May 11, planning an afternoon and evening of food and music at the downtown pavilion and Dyckman Park.
Several hundred people came to the park and pavilion on May 11 to enjoy food from area food vendors while listening to music from South Haven DJ Trenton Trim and South Haven band Nautic Bound.