Fall in Southwest Michigan

There are definite benefits to being semi- or fully retired in October — topping the list is spending time in Southwest Michigan. We asked several people who no longer have to balance full-time work or kid schedules to give us their favorite day trips and vacations in our area:

The Accidentals

October is a gorgeous time to surround yourself in the brilliant foliage of Southwest Michigan. But it’s also the month to add some extra spice to your stay by discovering indie musicians, talented artists and, of course, spine-tingling Halloween fun.

We asked locals to suggest their favorite things to do with family and friends in Southwest Michigan during the crisp, colorful days of fall.

Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel

Over the next few weeks, visiting Southwest Michigan is a treat for all of your senses. Crunch into a Honey Crisp apple dipped in creamy caramel. Hold a hefty orange pumpkin as you jostle along in a hay-filled wagon. Feel chills race down your spine in an eerie haunted house. Sit on the edge of your seat as two amazing musicians take to the stage ...

Eden Springs - Train

For 4-year-old Jamie, this miniature train ride was the thrill of a lifetime. Sitting beside his grandpa, in the open-air coach, he could hear the clacking of the wheels and watch the steam billow from the engine’s stack. This was like being pulled by Thomas the Tank Engine!

Chalk The Block

Come to see this amazing street art before it disappears! Chalk the Block returns to downtown St. Joseph for its 22nd year. Because chalk art isn’t permanent, it’s a this-weekend-only chance to see creations by regional artists before traffic and rain erases them away. So slip on your slides or flip-flops, apply sunscreen and embrace summer in Southwest Michigan:

Chalk The Block

Renowned chalk artist Nate Baranowski is returning to St. Joseph this year for Chalk the Block, Aug. 3-5. This past spring, he was a featured artist at the KitchenAid Senior PGA where he painted a 3-D “Hang 10” scene of kiteboarding over the Harbor Shores Golf Course and Lake Michigan. The former Floridian bases from a studio in Chicago, but his wife Jill has family in South Bend, Ind. and St. Joseph.

Art Fair on the Bluff

In July, summer festival fun comes on fast and furious in and around St. Joseph. This is an easy month to pile on happy memories whether with family, friends or solo. The best way to ensure you won’t miss out on any of the good times is to make plans now to stay over in one of our lodgings along Lake Michigan. Below are a few must-do suggestions; you’ll find more here. Hope we’ll see you often this summer:

Lemon Creek Winery

When Cathy Lemon, winery manager at Lemon Creek Winery and Farm Market, says, “Farming is in our blood,” it’s true. Her husband, Jeff, is part of the family’s sixth generation to work the land located six miles to the east of Lake Michigan in Berrien Springs. Its high-point vantage escapes most spring and fall frosts making it one of the best places to grow fruit in the U.S. That’s something Eli Lemon discovered when he bought the original 65 acres in 1837, the same year Michigan became a state.

Fishing with Dad

As nice as a new tie or package of golf balls may be for your dad or grandpa, carving out time together is the gift he’ll treasure. So, what can you do June 15-17? We’ve been entertaining dads for centuries in Southwest Michigan and you’ll have no trouble packing a day or two with memory-making activities. Plan to stay over in one of our lodgings to give you more options. You can save the tie idea for his birthday or Christmas.

News Billy Strings

We’re counting down to the first Makers Trail Festival, June 9, 1 to 10 p.m. at Weko Beach in Bridgman, Mich. Twenty-three of the best makers in Berrien County will be popping corks, tapping kegs and pouring spirits so you can taste their refreshing crafts on the shore of Lake Michigan. Get your advance tickets now online for only $10 (ages 10 and up) and, for no extra charge, you’ll soak up the music of five of the best beach-grooving bands including headliner, bluegrass phenom, Billy Strings!

When it comes to making moms feel special, Southwest Michigan does it right. Not only do we have wonderful getaway destinations where she can truly relax and unwind, but we also have a whole weekend of ways to say, “I love you, Mom.” Below are a few ideas – you’ll find more here.


Good times bloom every day, April 29-May 5

It’s blossom time! You’ve heard destinations brag about their fall color (we do, too). But Southwest Michigan also has boasting rights each spring. Our countryside and towns are gorgeous this time of year! Our orchards and tree-lined streets are bursting with pastel blossoms and their fragrances fill the air from late-April to mid-May. Ahhhhh! Make plans now to stay over for a weekend or an entire week of spring fun and relaxation.

srpga bentonharbor

While millions of golf enthusiasts from around the world can only watch the 79th Annual KitchenAid® Senior PGA Championship on television May 22-27, you can be right there at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor. This marks an unprecedented fourth year that this major golf championship will return to Southwest Michigan and we’re thrilled!

Want to wow your LEGO-loving kids? Inspire grandpa to build the 5,900-piece LEGO Taj Mahal? Create a LEGO stop-motion animation video? Win LEGO prizes? Then Build Your Way Around Town with us March 1-April 8 in the LEGO City of St. Joseph. Sponsored by United Federal Credit Union, this month of events will entertain all ages!


Ben Pancoast Photography

Are you … or someone you know … thinking about getting married? Do you have a special occasion to celebrate? A family reunion? A meet-up weekend with your college sorority or fraternity? A significant anniversary or retirement?
Summer is a natural time for people to hold their celebrations, but in Southwest Michigan there are definite advantages to planning your wedding or special event in the shoulder season months - January to April and September to December. Here's why:


With a reputation for being "Michigan's Most Romantic City," a title the Detroit Free Press fittingly gave to St. Joseph, this area creates a lot of magical moments for couples in February.

White Pine Winery

Happy New Year! If our first week of January predicts whether there will be plenty of white flakes to play in, the fun is definitely piling up in and around St. Joseph!

Makers Trail Flight Crew

When friends Steve and Vickie Baker and Elaine and Jim Potter saw the passport on the Makers Trail site, they made plans to spend a few days visiting wineries in Southwest Michigan. The couples from Southeast Indiana were no strangers to doing winery tours in Napa Valley and Sonoma, Cal. and Traverse City, Mich., but this tour had an added incentive to earn free stuff and they love a challenge! From Oct. 3-6, they visited 20 different destinations making them our pioneer flight crew to each earn a Makers Trail t-shirt and hoodie. Here’s what they had to say about their tour:


Happy holidays! This season of wonder takes on a magical aura in and around St. Joseph. Come feel the joy for a day or snuggle for a night or more in our comfy lodgings. Below you’ll find 24 fantastic ways to spend time together – and isn’t that one of the best gifts you can give to anyone?