Growing up, dining at that "fancy" waterfront restaurant always felt like a luxury. Staring at the water, watching the birds, or just enjoying the sunset always made me feel like I was on top of the world.

As an adult, it's not quite that dramatic but, waterfront dining still acts as a kind of escape. Here in West Michigan, we happen to have a few waterfront dining options that offer sensational views. If you've been looking for your escape or just a great place for your next date night, here are at least 5 waterfront dining options in the West Michigan area:

1. Plank's Tavern on the Water 

You'll find Plank's Tavern on the Water inside The Inn at Harbor Shores in Saint Joseph. No, you do not have to be staying at the resort to enjoy this waterfront dining option. Plank's sits on one of the oldest harbors on the Great Lakes, according to their Facebook page, and offers plenty of seafood options on their menu. See their full menu, hours, and address on their website.

2. Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant 

Sitting on Lake Macatawa in Holland, Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant serves up meals in the style of New American Fare. In other words, there's probably something for everyone. Don't want to sit outside? That's okay. They also offer elevated indoor dining so you can still catch a view of the water. See their full menu on their website or follow their Facebook page.

If you're headed to Holland for the very first time and need even more suggestions, besides Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant, this list should help you out:

3. The Waterfront Restaurant 

Located in Coloma on Paw Paw lake, The Waterfront Restaurant has been around since the 1940s. Today, they're the last waterfront restaurant left on Paw Paw lake and are still family-owned, according to their website. Apart from their regular menu, which offers a wide variety of food, they also have weekly specials. Learn more here.

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4. Mermaid Bar & Grill 

Overlooking the Kalamazoo River in Saugatuck, Mermaid Bar & Grill is a family-owned eatery serving fresh fish on both their lunch and dinner menus. According to their Facebook page, they welcome all of their guests with a smile and sometimes, a hug. It sounds like a very friendly place. See their menus on their website and follow their Facebook page for announcements and specials.

Looking for more things to do in Saugatuck? Check this out:

5. Cove Lakeside Bistro 

Cove Lakeside Bistro is one of the newer dining options in the Portage area. Patio seating is first come, first serve but, you can make reservations for indoor dining. And, yes, the water is clearly visible with indoor dining. Their menu offers everything from crab cakes to burgers to a daily chef's catch. See their menu, happy hour deals, and specials on their website or Facebook page.

In unbelievable how quickly summer seems to be flying by. If you're looking to enjoy some waterfront dining make sure you do it before winter is here!

While you're driving around West Michigan, there's a historic home on Gull Lake that you can tour for free:

Inside the Kellogg Manor That You Can Tour Free of Charge

The Kellogg Manor, sitting on the highest point on Gull Lake, has been in the area since 1925. Now, it's available for public, self-guided tours at no cost.

This Grand Junction Cabin Is What Lake Life Is All About!

This unique property in Grand Junction just hit the market for the first time ever!

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