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Watching Great Lakes Freighters in Southwest Michigan

A freighter passing near the lighthouse in St. Joseph, MI
Related Member: Inn at Harbor Shores, Michigan Maritime Museum, The Boulevard Inn, Tiscornia Park, Silver Beach County Park, Lake Bluff Park, Plank’s Tavern on the Water

It is captivating to watch big freighters and barges arriving to and departing from Saint Joseph. Because they do not arrive on a daily basis, it is a special occurrence. You often see cars pull over to watch and Great Lakes shipping enthusiasts congregate along the river channel. Watching a ship navigate past the railroad swing bridge is particularly fascinating. It is hard to imagine how such a large vessel, fighting the river current, can so precisely navigate through the narrow space alongside the bridge. At night, it is even more dramatic to watch as they navigate the channel by spot light. I am in awe of these impressive vessels and their hardworking crews.

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Southwest Michigan’s Empty Nesters Freedom Tour

No longer traveling with children? Enjoy your freedom in Southwest Michigan — your four-season empty-nester destination. Experience hours of relaxation, adventure and play time during this three-day tour. So, pack your bags and find life’s simple joys on this road trip.

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Fall Color Tour

Southwest Michigan,the beautiful transitions from deep green leaves to brilliant yellows, orange and reds, typically begin in mid-September and peak the first two weeks of October. Companioned with our gorgeous autumn sunsets along our Lake Michigan shore, you are never far from breathtaking views from dawn to dusk. Take a day, a weekend or a week to welcome this colorful season by following these three favorite routes.

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Beer-illiant Brewery Tour

Visiting breweries is a reason to travel, and Michigan harbors more than 150 craft breweries and counting. Nestled among Southwest Michigan's wineries, sand dunes, and hoppin' towns are this Lake Michigan-hugging region's contributions to the Great Beer State. Arm yourself with this itinerary and find your perfect pint.

While you can certainly do this tour a day-at-a-time, it's a lot more fun to pitch camp at one of these locally owned or national chain lodgings in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph or Stevensville. Most offer a complimentary breakfast and a solid launching pad to hit up some nearby breweries over an extended stay.

Want a designated driver? No problem! Check out Southwest Michigan's transportation services to ensure you can have your beer and drink it too before safely turning in for the night.

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