Southwestern Michiganis a treat for your senses in the spring. All across our countryside verdant orchards and vineyards explode in pastel blossoms and sweet scents. Our markets reopen, with trays and baskets of ready-to-plant flowers in a brilliant array of colors. You'll find jars of tantalizing jams and jellies, bunches of just-snapped asparagus, creamy chocolates and palate-pleasing wines and cheeses along the way.
Finding blossoms is as easy as going east from Lake Michigan and exploring Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties. Here's one of our favorite routes:
Start your tour at this market in the heart of Berrien County's orchards. It's open May through Oct. 31, every day of the week, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Stop in for in-season fruits, vegetables and flowers, jams and jellies, fresh-made cookies and doughnuts, or a ready-to-bake pie in your favorite fruit flavors.
From Piggott's Farm Market, drive north 5 minutes to:
3824 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor
These vineyards are planted on slopes that bring a distinct and pronounced terroir to the wines served here. Come sample winemaker Glen Greiffendorf's passion for making Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay and Traminette. Five tastings are $10 per person and include a chocolate and 12 Corners glass. Live music and art classes are held throughout the year.
From 12 Corners, go northeast 10 minutes to:
1201 N. Benton Center Road, Benton Harbor
Take a leisurely drive through blossom country to this market that in spring offers gourmet honey, jams, salsas, dessert and muffin mixes, bakery items and delicious box lunches.
From Bob's go southeast 5 minutes to:
4830 Coloma Road, Coloma
Tony Peterson carries on his family's winemaking tradition in this winery nestled in the fertile hills of northern Berrien County. Enjoy spectacular vistas of blossoming orchards from the European-style terrace overlooking the Coloma Valley. Wine tasting is $5 per person.
From Contessa Wine Cellars, drive south 2 minutes to:
3235 Friday Road, Coloma
Roll down the windows as you cruise by the orchards in late April through May and breathe in the air perfumed by cherry, peach and apple blossoms.
Complete your aromatherapy tour by driving south on Friday Rd, turning left on N. Branch and viewing more orchards. Then circle back to I-94 to make your way home or to your lodgings. There are more blossom-scented roads to explore tomorrow.
1850 Friday Road, Coloma
We hope you enjoyed your travels throughout Southwest Michigan. Check out other trips that you can take on our itineraries page. Happy trails!