Escape the ordinary and rediscover the beauty of your backyard with a Southwestern Michigan winter staycation.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to overlook the tranquil treasures that lie just beyond our doorsteps. A rejuvenating break doesn’t have to involve venturing far and wide; sometimes, all it takes is a change of perspective and a willingness to embrace the wonders closer to home.
Thousands flock to Southwest Michigan each year for a taste of its vibrant charm. But why should that experience be reserved for visitors? As locals, we often miss out on the very gems that draw travelers from across the globe.
Embark on a refreshing escape without leaving your backyard. Here’s your guide to a Southwestern Michigan winter staycation filled with relaxation, adventure, and rediscovery.
What is a staycation?
A staycation isn’t just a trendy term; it’s a gateway to self-indulgence and a chance to savor the simple pleasures of home—all without the hefty price tag of a traditional vacation. Embrace this budget-friendly escape and discover the joy of rejuvenation within your neighborhood.
Escape the Chaos and Embrace Tranquility with a Southwest Michigan Staycation
In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding moments of true relaxation at home can be a challenge. The kitchen table doubles as a makeshift desk, the kids clamor for outdoor adventures after school, and the looming pile of cleaning chores casts a shadow over any attempt at respite. Sometimes, the allure of a rejuvenating escape far outweighs the comforts of home.
Southwest Michigan beckons with its tranquil havens, where someone else takes care of the bed-making and bathroom cleaning, allowing you to unwind and reconnect with yourself. No need to endure the tiresome drive or the incessant chorus of “Are we there yet?” echoing from the backseat.
The charm of Southwest Michigan remains timeless, but our hotel options have evolved to match the modern traveler’s needs. Several newer hotels have graced the region, many of which pamper guests with complimentary breakfast. For families seeking extra space, connected suites offer a haven for both parents and children, ensuring peaceful nights and harmonious days.
Depending on your chosen retreat, you’ll enjoy an array of amenities designed to enhance your stay. Onsite restaurants offer culinary delights, while stunning vistas provide a backdrop for tranquil moments. Art galleries stimulate the mind, while spas soothe the body. For those seeking adventure, trails beckon for exploration, and bike rentals await.
Let someone else handle the mundane tasks while you indulge in rejuvenation and rediscovery. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you.
Hotels with Swimming pools
Since it’s too cold to take a dip in Lake Michigan, you and your kids can always make a splash in a hotel pool!
The following hotels in Stevensville/ Benton Harbor/ St. joseph that have onsite pools:
- Best Western
- Comfort Suites – Benton Harbor
- Comfort Suites – Stevensville
- Country Inn & Suites
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Hampton Inn & Suites – Benton Harbor
- Hilton Garden Inn – Benton Harbor/ St. Joseph
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites – St. Joseph
- Inn at Harbor Shores
- SpringHill Suites
- Super 8
- SureStay Plus by Best Western
- tru by Hilton
Grab a bite to eat
Speaking of food, take a breather from your kitchen on this staycation. Try exploring the many food establishments at your disposal in our area. There is a cuisine for everyone, including barbecue, classic American eats, seafood, and farm-to-table meals. If you have a staple favorite nearby, indulge! Just make sure to jump out of your comfort zone and go somewhere new, too. Not to overwhelm you, but you can’t go wrong with the food here. Here are a wealth of options.
Several of our restaurants have igloos and warm outdoor seating options, so you can still enjoy the fresh air and a view, too.
Staycation ideas for the family
Sometimes it’s hard to find something everyone will like. Not here! There is plenty of room to roam and plenty to do across it.
Play in the snow outside
You can build snow castles at the beaches, fat tire bike several trails, watch the stars at Dr. T.K. Lawless International Dark Sky Park, run on the snowy dunes, or hike — and that’s just the start of it. Explore the fresh-air hotspots with our trail guides and park guide. When you’re ready for something extreme, stop by Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area to hit the slopes. Or race down the 400-foot, icy tubing lanes under the night sky at Five Pines.
Explore our history and culture
If outdoor recreation isn’t your thing, no worries. Your local corner of the mitten has several tours and attractions for history buffs and curious souls. ARS Gallery & Culture Center in the Benton Harbor Arts District is just one place of many where you can find curated gallery exhibits showcasing national and regional talent, plus fun classes. The Arts District is also home to delicious restaurants, The Livery Brewery, entertainment, sculptures, and murals. Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph offers rotating galleries, sculpture tours of the area, plus classes and take-home art kits for you and your children.
The History Center in Berrien Springs can give you some background information you might not know about the area you live in. It is home to the 1839 county courthouse, the oldest of its kind in Michigan! Speaking of history, stop down by the Silver Beach Carousel. Here, you’ll find artifacts from Silver Beach Amusement Park. This isn’t the original carousel, but this decade-old version is magnificent and features replicas of six of the horses from the 1910 original. The hardest thing is picking which of the 48 hand-carved figures and two chariots (one is wheelchair accessible) to ride while listening to the band organ play the happiest music in Southwest Michigan.
Other local favorites to take the kiddos include Curious Kids’ Museum Discovery Zone and Eden Springs Park with its December holiday train rides.
Perhaps you plan to see a play, give one of these art classes a crack, or visit a museum. While you’re at it, play some Creative Connections. Visiting any of the participating places will earn you a stamp. Read more about the prizes for the levels at the link above.
Staycation ideas for adults and couples
Are you going on a solo staycation? Getting some time away with your significant other or some close friends? Hit the Makers Trail and visit some of the 30-plus local wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries. You can also download a free Makers Trail passport online to gather a few stamps from September to April each year. Collect 10 stamps by visiting 10 makers and you’ll win $15 toward any Makers Trail destination. Ten more stamps get you a Makers Trail t-shirt and 30 earns you a Makers Trail hoodie. To learn more and plan your route, visit the website above.
Start planning your perfect staycation
Leave the planning to us! Enjoy this detailed Culture and Romance Tour through Southwest Michigan. If you still need some ideas while planning your staycation, check out our itinerary page! We have 12 itineraries that are geared towards specific plans. Whether you want to bring along your dog, focus just on food or simply get some fresh air the whole time, we have an itinerary for you.
What are you waiting for? Get planning!