Summer | Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council
Summer day at Tiscornia beach.

This is one of Michigan’s best summer vacation destinations.

Everything about Southwest Michigan is made for summer. The refreshing, clear waters of Lake Michigan, miles of soft, golden sand beaches, towering dunes, and fun-filled lake resort towns. Here, you can spend one day sailing, touring a century-old lighthouse the next, decorating sandcastles with beach glass and crinoids the following afternoon, and playing sand volleyball until sunset. 

There are inland lakes for boating, swimming, and fishing, and rivers and streams for paddling. You can hike or bike along shaded trails. Go from farm to farm picking fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers in the orchards, fields, and vineyards, or from wooden crates in our markets.

When you’re hungry, dine alfresco or inside cool restaurants overlooking the beautiful waterfront, quaint town, and country vistas. Fill several summer days tasting the liquid artistry of our local craft wine, beer, cider, and spirits found along our Makers Trail. Listen to live music in our parks. Applaud talented actors in our lakeshore theaters. Play golf on beginner to championship-level greens, or claim bragging rights on miniature golf and disc golf courses. 

Bring the children to splash in the Whirlpool Compass Fountain, ride our magnificent Silver Beach Carousel, or explore STEM exhibits for hours in our Curious Kids’ Museum and Discovery Zone. Leash your dog and visit pet-friendly wineries, stores, trails, and beaches.

As night draws near, pause to watch our blazing scarlet and orange sunsets — there is a hush that spreads across the region as the sun slips beneath the horizon. For a rare breathtaking experience — drive to our International Dark Sky Park (one of three in Michigan) — and gaze up at a sea of stars and planets after dark. Summer is a great time to make a wish for a shooting star.

An artist at work at Chalk The Block.

Summer events and festivals in Southwest Michigan

Summer is our get-together time of year. Every month, there are local gatherings listed in our events calendar, including these annual activities, fairs and festivals:




Outdoor summer activities for all ages

Put your phone and digital device away unless you’re taking photos. Southwest Michigan is your connect-with-nature getaway. 

How to plan your summer vacation in Southwest Michigan

The nice thing about Southwest Michigan is you can keep your visit as simple or fun-packed as you want it. Spend the day on the beach from morning to sunset, or spend one day beaching it, another touring our Makers Trail, the next day visiting our farms and trails, another day paddling or boating, another shopping, taking in a summer concert or play and gallery hopping. For ideas on how to piece together your route, check out our itineraries or contact us to get answers to your questions. We can help make this one of your favorite vacations ever!

Book your Southwest Michigan summer stay now!

We have many lodgings in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, and Stevensville that offer the amenities and room rates you want, but summer is our busiest season. So, the earlier you make your reservations the better your chances are that you will get the hotel with the best pool for your kids to play Marco Polo, the breakfast options, fitness and spa facilities, romantic packages, or the tail-wagging accommodations you need for your pet.

Your health and comfort remain a top priority at our lodgings, so expect them to follow cleaning protocols to keep rooms and public areas safe. Many offer contactless check-outs and provide guest temperature checks if you request them. You will feel at ease while here.

We look forward to sharing the simple joys of summer with you in Southwest Michigan. The hardest part will be returning home once you are here — so come back as often as you can!

Book your stay today

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