We have seen ads saying you don't need a car in Bluffton. Although you can walk to the beach, the Shoreline Trail, a restaurant open during spring through fall, the deli at the tri-corner, a petit church, the Muskegon Yacht Club, and bike to the Lakeside neighborhood district of Muskegon, you really need a car to experience all the great things there are to do and see while vacationing at Eagles Nest Cottage or Redbird Cottage.
You can leave your car at your vacation home while going to Pere Marquette Beach at Lake Michigan. However, if you have baby or picnic things to carry, you might as well put them all in the car, drive a minute to the beach, and park for free. There is no admission charge, but parking on the cement street along the beach is "First come, first served."
If you have never known Lake Michigan sand but only salty, shell, Florida sand, BEWARE! YOU CANNOT DRIVE ON LAKE MICHIGAN SUGAR SAND! You will sink in!
Bring your bikes and ride to the Muskegon Channel, the beach at Lake Michigan, along Shoreline Trail at Lake Michigan, then on a wide bike path to Lakeside, where you cross at McCracken Street and continue the trail along Muskegon Lake to downtown and even further to North Muskegon.
BIKE RENTALS AVAILABLE, only a few minutes away:
Visitors' Bureau, 610 W. Western Ave., Muskegon 49440
City Hub Cyclery, 585 W. Clay Ave., Muskegon 49440
Bring Your Kayak/Small Boat or Rent One
If you bring your own small boat, you will be able to launch it at the end of the street from your cottage, either Eagles Nest or Redbird. The area is called "Wilcox Avenue beach," but it is not a beach in the conventional way. It's where the locals launch their kayaks or row boats, or sit on the bench to watch Muskegon Yacht Club sailboat races or the huge container ships coming through the Muskegon Channel on their way to deposit their goods.
On a calm day you could paddle to the Harbor Town Marina beach and have lunch at Dockers Seafood Restaurant, eating outdoors on the patio overlooking the boats and Muskegon Lake.
KAYAK RENTALS: Putters Creek.
Trolley, spring-fall season
When you see the Muskegon Trolley, you can flag it down - just wave at the driver - and the price is very reasonable. The trolley passes down Lakeshore Drive, just 3 blocks from Eagles Nest or Redbird, continues on Beach Street, and travels all around "The Ovals," which is the oval drive circling the vacant beach area between the houses, Beach Street, and Lake Michigan.
After rounding The Ovals at Pere Marquette beach, the trolley continues to downtown Muskegon and repeats. You could get off at Lakeside business district 2 miles from the cottages and stop at the homemake candy store or have a beer at two sports bars.
Even though "oval" is singular and probably started out being called "The Oval," it became "The Ovals," as in "I'll meet you at The Ovals." In the evening at The Ovals, there might be a few high-school kids courting, or "watching the submarines." Only now, there really is a submarine docked along the Muskegon Channel!
The MATS bus goes down Wilcox Avenue and stops at the corner of Wilcox Avenue and Cherry Street - that's kitty-corner across the street from Eagles Nest and Redbird cottages.
MATS stands for Muskegon Area Transit System. You could take it as far as Lakeside business district on Lakeshore Drive, the main street coming out of Bluffton, and on to downtown.