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With fall and the holidays right around the corner, talk at the office turned to our favorite events, traditions and local spots to enjoy with our pets. Read on to discover why our region gets a five-paw rating from those in the know. Southwest Michigan Tourist Council staff Vicki Dunlop and Snowman, Brandi Tucker and Zelda, and Marcy Simpson and Lola share their tips on the best of the Southwest for pets and their people.

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No trip to St. Joseph is complete without riding the Silver Beach Carousel, open year-round and just a short walk from the shores of Lake Michigan. Before you plan your trip, here are 10 tips for making the most of your visit to the Carousel:

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July is when Southwest Michigan’s summer produce really blossoms! Farmers markets and farm stands will be overflowing with an assortment of fresh fresh fruits & veggies from a variety of vendors. Check out the last page of our Farms & Harvest Guide for a list of community farmers markets.

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We recently asked Ashley Rojics Rubino to share how you can have more fun visiting wineries, breweries and distilleries along the Southwest Michigan Makers Trail. Here’s what she had to say about letting Grape and Grain Tours do the driving:

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Does your dog love the water? Chasing waves? Leaping up to catch Frisbees on the sand? Then bring your tail-wagging friend to Southwest Michigan. Five of our Lake Michigan beaches welcome pets.

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