Whether inland or by-the-coast, Southwest Michigan’s "sunset game" is strong! Enjoy a great meal with the family, or a weekend getaway with your sweetie or your besties, and take in an after-dinner treat featuring beautiful hues of red, orange and yellow streaks across the western skyline.
Growing up here in Southwest Michigan, I have more than a few personal favorite sunset spots to enjoy, and I’m happy to share them with you:
High atop the winery hill at Contessa Wine Cellars. Take a quick trip up I-94 to the Coloma Exit (#39) and head toward the sprawling winery hill on Friday Road, and you’ll find Contessa’s quaint tasting room. The scenic deck and indoor tasting bar point northwest, looking out for miles across beautiful farmland and fields. Bring your girlfriends and be sure to get a picture.
Down on the farm at Jollay Orchards. The Jollay Family welcomes your family as you enjoy their beautiful farmstead during the fall season, just a bit further down Friday Road in Coloma. After an afternoon of hayrides and attractions, catch a gorgeous tree-lined sunset while sipping cider.
On top of a sand dune at Warren Dunes State Park. I spent many summers as a teenager working at this majestic location along the Lake Michigan Coastline. Every sunset was different and special, and even more so atop "Tower Hill" 236 feet in the air! No matter the time of year, if you’re an adventure-seeker, scale this sand dune close to sunset, and you will not be disappointed! By the way, it’s even more fun on the way down the hill.
Add in a lighthouse or two. Can you believe Southwest Michigan is lucky enough to have two of the most beautiful lighthouses within 30 miles of each other? St. Joseph offers lighthouse pier access to catch the sunset after the end of a long beach day by entering at Tiscornia Park. Or, watch from the south end downtown on the bluff, at Lions Park or Silver Beach County Park, and also Jean Klock Park in neighboring Benton Harbor. Over in South Haven, the beautiful round red lighthouse will blend in nicely with the glowing red sunset over the lake; a perfect backdrop for a family photo to remember for a lifetime.
Share the sunset with nature. Just north of New Buffalo and down Red Arrow Highway is a new favorite spot for a serene sunset view for the nature-lover. Galien River County Park features a 300-foot tall canopy walkway overlooking the beautiful marsh and wetlands of the Galien River Watershed. The trees will glow at sunset. The views are unforgettable! Or perhaps you’d enjoy a rustic garden view with your sunset? The lodge and grounds at Fernwood Botanic Gardens & Nature Preserve in Niles will keep you in touch with mother nature.
Make your sunset the main course. Have your meal outside near the water and enjoy a beautiful sunset at locations across Southwest Michigan with stunning views. The Bistro on the Boulevard and The LakeHouse Restaurant & Bar both feature spaces closely overlooking the lake in St. Joseph, as does Bentwood Tavern in New Buffalo. Perhaps a cocktail and a steak at Grande Mere Inn overlooking the state park of the same name in Stevensville. Or maybe a burger and beer at Plank’s Tavern at the Inn at Harbor Shores overlooking the marina of the St. Joseph River. Maybe a glass of vino in the vineyard at Tabor Hill Winery’s beautiful dining hall outside of Baroda. Whatever your choice, you can’t go wrong!
Give thanks for another day at Weko Beach. Residents and visitors alike appreciate a sunset at Weko Beach in Bridgman for more than just the view; this beach features a volunteer resident paying respects to those we have lost with the playing of "Taps." Hearing this bugle call as I take in the dusky hues of the day fading into the lake, there is a sense of reflection and appreciation for life, for love, and for the beauty that is bestowed upon me in the moment. I know you’ll appreciate it, too.
Take a moment to find your sunset in Southwest Michigan soon! Click swmichigan.org, book your stay and plan your getaway today!