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Related Member: Shadowland on Silver Beach

Shadowland on Silver Beach

When it comes to picking a date for weddings in Southwest Michigan, most brides gravitate toward the summer months. Makes sense with our sugar-sand beaches, gorgeous Lake Michigan and charming countryside.

But have you ever thought of an off-season wedding in this coastal corner of Michigan? There are so many perks for choosing the shoulder months of January to April and September to December. One of the main advantages is the reduced cost. Most wedding venues and vendors lower their rates during the off-season, especially from November thru April.

at Timothy's in Union Pier

Southwest Michigan is home to the first winery in Michigan to plant vis vinifera grapevines (grapes from central Europe and the Mediterranean winemaking regions). In 1968, this totally transformed the quality of wines in our state. Now you can visit more than 19 wineries and taste award-winning vintages in Southwest Michigan. But before you start, here are five "don'ts" (and one giant "do!") to make your wine trip more enjoyable:

Related Member: Third Coast Surf Shop

Ryan of Third Coast Surf Shop surfing Lake Michigan photo by Nowicki

Though it is believed that Great Lakes breakers were first surfed nearly a century ago, and possibly much earlier by native peoples, the first significant wave of participants arrived in the 1960s. The California surf craze was leaking into Middle America, and small surfing communities sprouted across the Great Lakes. Slowly but surely, surfing spread throughout the region, and today, surfing on the Third Coast is more popular than ever.

DSC 7787golfSWMI

While golf is usually thought of as a spring and summer sport, fall's comfortable weather coupled with captivating scenery create the ideal setting for getting out on the course. It makes sense, then, that National Golf Day is celebrated in the heart of autumn each year on October 4.

Throughout Southwest Michigan on any given sunny September or October day, you'll see golfers of all skill levels perfecting their shot while soaking in the beauty this corner of the Mitten affords. Why should you join them? We have five great reasons!

National Drink a Beer Day photo Joshua Nowicki

Michigan's long-time moniker of The Great Lakes State has, in recent years, taken on a much-deserved variation with the proliferation of craft breweries popping up from lake to shining lake. With well in excess of 200 craft breweries and more opening every month, it's easy to see how Michigan has earned its place as The Great Beer State, so aptly dubbed by the Michigan Brewers Guild.

While Southwest Michigan has long been known for its winemaking prowess, the region's beverage spotlight is widening to include a growing number of craft breweries. With a mix of late summer, lake-influenced landscapes and delicious beer varieties, southwestern Michigan is the perfect place to celebrate National Drink a Beer Day, September 28.

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