Southwest Michigan is a treat for your senses in the spring. All across our countryside, verdant orchards and vineyards explode in pastel blossoms and sweet scents from mid-April to the end of May. Many of our markets reopen in May, 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 day driving to this orchard and farm market in southern Berrien County. The market is typically open during blossom time, but call ahead. They offer frozen cider year-round, plus their craft wines, hard ciders, house-made nut butter, original trail mixes, a variety of vinegar flavors, jams, chutneys and relishes. Be sure to cruise by the beautiful orchards and see the sweet and tart cherry, peach and nectarine blossoms fluttering in the breeze.
Drive 30 minutes north on US-31 to 12 Corners Vineyards in Benton Harbor.
2280 Portage Road, Niles
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, drive north 2 minutes to Contessa Wine Cellars.
1201 N. Benton Center Road, Benton Harbor
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 $8 per person.
From Contessa Wine Cellars, drive north 2 minutes to Fruit Acres Farm Market & U-Pick.
3235 Friday Road, Coloma
The market and U-pick do not open until June, but you will enjoy the scenic drive by Fruit Acres’ black sweet cherry, peach and apple trees bursting with delicate flowers.
Go east on I-94, then north on M-140 at Watervliet to drive by the orchards that will fill the JW Morlock & Girls’ farm stand this summer and fall. You will be there in just minutes.
3452 Friday Rd, Coloma
Roll down the windows as you cruise by the orchards in late April through May. Breathe in the sweet fragrances of cherry, peach, apple and other blossoms. Now is the time to see acres of pastel trees as you drive through northern Berrien and Van Buren Counties. Swing onto North M-140 near Watervliet and past the blooming orchards that will fill the farm stand run by the Morlock sisters this summer and fall. They grow over 40 varieties of fruits and vegetables!
5000 North M 140, Watervliet
We hope you enjoyed your travels throughout Southwest Michigan. Check out other trips that you can take on our itineraries page. Happy trails!