Michigan may have a longer winter season than summer season, but when summer does grace the state with its presence the lakeshore communities gear up for festivals. Grand Haven's Coast Guard Festival is a prime example of a festival that occupies locals' lives for about a week. One of the biggest attractions is the opportunity to tour Coast Guard ships and talk with its members. Plan your day ahead of time if you aren't familiar with the area. You'll want to get there earlier in the day to find parking (state beach parking is a few blocks away or try a side street) and then claim your spot on the beach before taking a break from the sand to explore the pier and ships. The festival typically spans the last week in July into August. Dates for the 2013 festival are set for July 26 to August 4.