Refresh at Michigan’s most relaxing vacation spot | Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council

Refresh at Michigan’s most relaxing vacation spot

Two people enjoy the sunset from Lake Bluff Park.

You know you need a change of pace. A break from your routine. A way to release your tensions. 

We have the perfect place for you to ease through the day and then drift off at night into a deep, refreshing sleep. Come stay awhile in Southwest Michigan. Once here, your only challenge will be not wanting to leave. So, promise yourself that you will be back. 

Southwest Michigan is one of the top quiet vacation destinations around

Relaxing is what we do best in Southwest Michigan. Our Lake Michigan shore is lined with tranquil beaches and a horizon that paints gorgeous, lingering sunsets. There are quaint, historic towns and villages to explore at your own pace, stopping for a delicious meal or a refreshing craft beverage whenever you wish. Head out to our countryside to breathe in the fragrant, blossom-scented air, gather farm-fresh foods and flowers, take leisurely walks or paddle under the beautiful, sun-dappled fall leaves or cross-country ski in the hushed serenity of winter. Let each season’s calmness wash over and seep deep within you. 

Plan your trip around these relaxing activities

Here are 11 options to assist in planning a relaxing vacation. 

St. Joseph, Margaret B. Upton Arboretum 

Along the St. Joseph River in downtown St. Joseph, the Margaret B. Upton Arboretum is a peaceful retreat from life’s hectic demands. Leisurely sit, walk or fish beneath trees that showcase each season. Watch boats and giant Great Lakes freighters, or see the historic railroad bridge swinging open for boats and closing for passenger and freight trains.

Relax in St. Joe

Benton Harbor, Jean Klock Park

If you want to escape the crowds and fully enjoy Lake Michigan’s ever-changing beauty, visit Jean Klock Park in any season. This sugar-sand beach is a warm-weather destination for rock skipping, kite flying, swimming, picnicking or reading a good book. All-seasons you can walk along the shore to the North Pier to see some of the most photographed lighthouses in America. Jean Klock Park also serves as a trailhead for the Harbor Shores Trails, offering 10 miles of natural and urban fitness adventures, whether you prefer hiking, biking, cross-country skiing or exploring the bohemian vibe of the Benton Harbor Arts District

Immerse in the arts

Southwest Michigan, Spas & Wellness Centers

If you’re looking for a place to help you feel and look your best, Southwest Michigan is home to many spas that will help boost your confidence and your mood. Set aside time for yourself, whether alone, with a special someone or a friend. Make this the most relaxing vacation ever and try more than one throughout your stay. We guarantee these spas and wellness centers will help you melt your worries away.

The Best Spas Around

Bridgman, Lavender Bliss Flower Farm

Nerves a little jangled? Having trouble sleeping at night? May we suggest walking the trails at Lavender Bliss Flower Farm on Thursday through Sunday from July to September. Breathe in the delicate fragrance of lavender blossoms, pick a bouquet or buy handmade treasures. The scenery is as soothing as the flowers.

View from a dune at Warren Dunes
Photo By: @elizabethleighetc

Sawyer, Warren Dunes State 

As one of Michigan’s most popular and spectacular state parks, the beach at Warren Dunes draws summer crowds. But this park is so expansive, that you can find your happy place year-round hiking the towering dunes and trails. When you reach the dune tops, the 360-degree scenery of Lake Michigan, the woods and dunes is exhilarating.

A couple enjoying wine at Dablon.

Baroda, Dablon Vineyards & Winery

Southwest Michigan has many places to unwind on the Makers Trail, but Dablon Vineyards & Winery is a favorite all four seasons. It was named the #8 Tasting Room by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards and Midwest Living Magazine gave it the 2023 Best of the Best Award. Relax in front of their large fireplace or on their deck sipping delicious Burgundian-type vintages. In the winter, snuggle with your wine in an igloo. Live music performed on select Fridays and Sundays enhances the ambiance. To create a relaxing adult environment, this is a 21-year of age or older venue.

Buchanan, Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant and Mt Tabor Trails

If your idea of relaxing is sharing a bottle of wine over lunch or dinner, request a table at Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant. This is one of our oldest estate wineries and you will savor every sip, every mouthwatering bite and the incredible vineyard views from indoors by the fireplace and on the large deck. But this serene experience doesn’t stop there. Enjoy a glass of wine, craft beer or spirits as you hike or snowshoe on the Mt. Tabor Trails between Tabor Hill and their sister winery Round Barn Estate & Winery. It's a communion with nature that you'll want to experience again and again.

Fernwood Botanical Garden

Niles, Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve

What a gem this vacation destination is. Its beautiful, cultivated gardens and surrounding forest nestle in the scenic St. Joseph River valley. Spend time amid the tall trees and carpets of wildflowers. Walk along the tranquil ponds listening to the songbirds, frogs and other wildlife. This magical place will lure you back whenever you need nature’s therapy. 

Vandalia, International Dark Sky Park

Stargazing may be the ultimate relaxation vacation and there is no better place to see the stars, planets, moons and nebulae than at one of Michigan’s three International Dark Sky Parks. Southwest Michigan is home to one of them at Dr. T.K. Lawless Park. With no light pollution from cities or neighborhoods, you will look up at a spellbinding vista of our universe. This is a romantic date night, a peaceful time with family or an inspirational moment just for you. 

Stevensville, North Lake Park

Bring a picnic, a lawn chair and good book, a fishing pole, outdoor games or your kayak to this lovely park on North Lake. You will rarely fight crowds to watch the sun cross the sky and set in brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow. If you are up for a dune walk along Lake Michigan, Grand Mere State Park is just up the road. Or drive into Stevensville for a relaxing meal or craft brew. 

Heart of Wine Country

South Haven, Deerlick Creek Park

Not all of South Haven’s beaches are jammed with people in the summer. Deer Lick Creek Park is a good place to avoid crowds, walk the beach and launch your kayak via a small creek opening into Lake Michigan. This oasis is also a good place to escape to at other times of the year. Other nearby relaxing destinations include the Kal-Haven Trail or sailing on the replica sloop, the Friends Good Will

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