Ideas: Craft a Fun-Packed Itinerary
We created this list of activities so you can customize one or more days to fit your guests’ interests and ages. Most of these idea-starters are doable throughout the day. And if there’s free time when meeting attendees and their guests can get together, many of these suggestions work well for that, too.
Invigorate at a Spa, Sauna or Yoga Class
(Approximately 1½ hours)
Are you looking for a place to help your guests feel their best? Southwest Michigan is where you want to be! Schedule time at Spa at Harbor Shores for manis/pedis, custom facials and a choice of massages. Or unwind with flotation therapy or body treatments at ReVive Spa in St. Joseph , get a Swedish massage, deep tissue and hot stones at Reva Salon & Spa or dissolve your worries at these other sites .
Or get a day pass at
Renaissance Athletic Center where you can finish your workout, yoga or pilates class and sauna getaway with a delicious smoothie.
Benton Harbor/St. Joseph
Relax at the Beach
(Approximately 3 hours)
Summer isn’t our only Lake Michigan beach season. Spring and fall are for fossil, rock and beach glass hunting; surfing the pounding waves and spying migrating shorebirds and raptors. Summer offers beach volleyball, paddle boarding, splashing, sandcastle building, freighter watching, picnicking and uninterrupted reading. Even beaches in winter entice visitors with their sparkling ice formations, snowy hikes and dune sledding or snowboarding. Most
Southwest Michigan beaches are easy to access, have restrooms, scenic picnic spots and nearby parking.
(Approximately 1 - 2 hours)
Paddling is a favorite pastime in Southwest Michigan. Rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards from Third Coast Paddling and take in the beautiful scenery of the Paw Paw River, Silver Beach, the Galien River and Warren Dunes State Park. The harbor and river paddles are good for beginners, but we strongly recommend only experienced paddlers go on Lake Michigan. Other places to rent or get lessons include S cooter Joe’s Wheel and Water Rentals in downtown St. Joseph, Doe-Wah-Jack's Canoe Rental in Dowagiac, Uncle Jib’s in New Buffalo or Black River Kayaks & Canoes, Outpost Sports or SoHa Surf Shop in South Haven.
Shop for Fun
(Approximately 2 hours)
If you love hunting for one-of-a-kind art, antiques, stylish fashions, home and holiday decor, good reads, the best toys and games and the latest in kitchen tools and gourmet foods — you will love
shopping in Southwest Michigan. Visit art galleries, boutiques and name-brand stores. Mixed in are craft beverage tasting rooms, restaurants, seasonal farmers markets and cheese, bakery and sweets shops. Some of the best hunting grounds are the Benton Harbor Arts District, The Market, and the walkable, historic downtowns of St. Joseph, New Buffalo, Niles and South Haven.
(Approximately 1 - 2 hours)
To foster camaraderie among your team’s companions, offer private classes. Southwest Michigan is home to Whirlpool Corporation, an international leader in home appliance manufacturing, so our community loves learning to cook. Several places offer cooking, food-pairing dinners and cocktail-mixing classes. Arrange team-learning experiences with The Culinary Cottage , Perennial Accents , River Saint Joe Brewery , Free Run Cellars , Round Barn Winery & Estate and more.
The art scene is also vibrant in Southwest Michigan. Set up a private group class in fused glass, mosaics or bead/jewelry at
Water Street Glassworks or a private painting or drawing class at ARS Gallery, Arts & Culture Center or JLN Studios. If time permits, enjoy brunch at one of the Benton Harbor Arts District’s eclectic selection of restaurants: Mason Jar Café, Anemel, The Livery or Souls Ground Cafe.
Take a Tasting Tour
(Approximately 2 - 3 hours)
Southwest Michigan has bragging rights for being one of the best wine, beer, cider and spirits making regions in the country. A fun way to discover favorite craft beverages is to taste your way along the
Makers Trail. With over 40 wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries within minutes of each other, you can dedicate two or more hours to this self-guided adventure. Each site has its own ambience, many offer food along with flights and live music. Tour services are available to make visiting even easier.
Makers Trail Map
Grow Closer to Nature
(Approximately 1 - 3 hours)
Whether you hike, bike, cross-country ski or snowshoe, your group can refresh their spirits in Southwest Michigan.
Trails take you along Lake Michigan, high up the dunes, deep into the woods, through vineyards, over wetlands, across wildflower-strewn prairies and into beautifully designed gardens. Popular natural settings are Warren Dunes State Park, Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve , Mt. Tabor Trails, the International Dark Sky Park, the butterfly house at Sarett Nature Center and the Kal-Haven Trail Sesquicentennial State Park.
Watch an Incredible Sunset
(Approximately 1½ hours)
Whether along the coast or inland,
Southwest Michigan’s sunsets are renowned around the world! The sky can become a splash of peach, gold, scarlet, lavender and cream as a hazy yellow or fiery red sun sinks below the horizon. Watching sunsets is a ritual here, gazing from our bluffs, by our shores or across our marshes, orchards and vineyards. Bring an ice cream or coffee to watch from land. Or take an awe-inspiring sunset cruise on the Southwest Michigan CycleBoat, Nia’s Pontoons, the New Buffalo Sailing Excursions, Oselka Marina yacht cruise or The Sun Setter.
Thanks for joining us!
We hope you enjoyed your travels throughout Southwest Michigan. Check out other trips that you can take on our itineraries page. Happy trails!
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