22 of the best wineries in Southwest Michigan

So you love wine.

Red, white, blush. Sweet, dry, sparkling. You enjoy it all. Chances are you’d be a sommelier if you didn’t have to go back to school. You’re also a huge fan of the winery experience. From tastings to tours to simply kicking back with a glass of your favorite vino, wineries are your happy place.

You don’t have to travel to Burgundy, Argentina, or Tuscany to visit world-class wineries. You don’t even need to leave the state of Michigan. Southwest Michigan boasts many award-winning wineries that craft extraordinary wines.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. Here is our exhaustive list of the 22 best wineries in Southwest Michigan.

The top wineries of Southwest Michigan

12 Corners Vineyards

Founded by a small group of friends who grew up in Michigan, 12 Corners offers an impressive array of estate-grown varietals produced from grapes grown on its 30-acre vineyard.

Estate wines such as Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, and Cabernet Franc are bursting with delicious local flavor. On the other side of the wine spectrum, 12 Corners offers a rotating roster of wine slushy flavors, such as Watermelon and Triple Berry! With tasting rooms in Benton Harbor, South Haven, and Grand Haven, 12 Corners has a glass of wine waiting for you not too far away.

Baroda Founders

Baroda Founders hits a home run with its lineup of sweet wines. Treat your taste buds to fan-favorite flavors like Cranberry or Green Apple. Baroda Founders also offers delectable dessert wines such as Smorleaux, which combines milk chocolate, marshmallow, and Merlot into a campfire-worthy concoction.

Looking for something a little more traditional? Try a Cabernet Franc or a Dry Riesling, or experiment with a varietal you may not have tried, like a Seyval Blanc or a sweet and tasty Traminette — a spicy Gewurztraminer hybrid.

Leonard Olson, Baroda Founders’ creator, was the first to plant commercial European vines in Michigan. His passion for both tradition and experiment shines through in every bottle.

Visit Baroda Founders at its Wine Cellar in (you guessed it) Baroda or its Tasting Room in St. Joseph!

Chill Hill

Chill Hill, owned by Ashley and Norma Nitz, a grandmother-granddaughter duo, offers 14 wines and 10 ciders on tap! Located between the beaches of Lake Michigan to the west and farm country to the east, Chill Hill creates wines that appeal to those wearing flip-flops and steel-toed boots alike.

Meritage 2018 — a blend of Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Merlot — is a can’t-miss vintage. White wine lovers will swoon for Chill Hill’s Albariño and Sweet Riesling, as well. Looking for the perfect wine to take to the beach? Grab a bottle of Sparkling Raspberry Blanc, a blend of sparkling wine and raspberry juice, or Dockside Dan, which is finished in oak barrels and tastes like strawberry jelly with a toasted almond finish.

Check out everything Chill Hill has to offer at its tasting room in Baroda!

Contessa Wine Cellars

Third-generation winemaker Tony Peterson worked as an apprentice in his father’s winery for years before opening Contessa and strives to combine old-world charm and traditional techniques with modern amenities.

Renowned for bold, big reds and crisp whites, Contessa crafts two sweet fruit wines, Blueberry and Cherry, as well as Dolce Vita, a sweet red with Concord attributes — a favorite for those who prefer their red wines without the bite of tannins.

Contessa’s tasting room, located in the fertile hills of Coloma, boasts a European-style terrace and sweeping orchard vistas. You’ll want to try everything that this premier Michigan winery has to offer while soaking in unmatched views of Southwest Michigan.

Dablon Vineyards Winery & Tasting Room

You can’t talk about great Michigan wine without bringing up Dablon Vineyards. This award-winning winery grows and harvests 17 varieties, crafting over 30 estate wines from these grapes.

Celebrated for using traditional winemaking methods, such as hand-planting each vine and hand-nurturing grapes, Dablon crafts a plethora of deliciously dry red and white varietals, including a Tempranillo, a Tannat, and an Unoaked Chardonnay.

Prefer your wines on the sweeter side? Dablon has you covered. They also produce a Sweet Riesling, Moscato, and Music Box Matinee Red, replete with notes of strawberry jam, boysenberry, and pink pepper.

Don’t miss Dablon’s 21+ tasting room in the heart of Baroda!

Domaine Berrien Cellars

As you might expect, Domaine Berrien is located in Berrien Springs and is best known for an array of dry reds and Rhone varietals, including Syrah, Marsanne, and Viognier. Domaine Berrien is also one of the few wineries in the state to produce a Lemberger, often called the Pinot Noir of Eastern Europe.

Since 2001, Domaine Berrien has focused on boutique, handcrafted wines and takes a minimalist approach to let each grape express itself in a varietally accurate manner.

Visit their tasting room on East Lemon Creek Road, and enjoy an outdoor seating area, as well as locally-made cheeses, chocolates, and artisan sausages!

Filklins Vineyards

One of the newest family-owned vineyards and wineries in Southwest Michigan, Filkins Vineyards in Coloma, continues the story of the beloved Karma Vista Vineyards. Since their first winery visit on their honeymoon in California, Zach and Lindsay Filkins dreamed of owning a winery. They were thrilled when the opportunity came to take the torch from Karma Vista owners Joe and Sue Herman.

Gaze across the vineyards from the hilltop winery and tasting room — the vista is beautiful all four seasons. The red and white wines are exceptional, and the charcuterie is a delectable pairing. Filkins’ warm hospitality makes it a perfect place for couples, family, or friends to come together. They welcome large groups and tour buses. Bring your dog, too.

Free Run Cellars

One of Michigan’s most unique winemakers, Free Run is also located in Berrien Springs and boasts single-vineyard production and small-batch wines created with innovative winemaking techniques.

Free Run’s laid-back, hip tasting room boasts live music on Sundays, a European dinner series, and, of course, the chance to taste memorable wines. Don’t miss Free Run’s 2018 Pinot Noir, one of the smoothest Pinots you’ll find at any price point. Their Cabernet Franc, Rosé, and Sauvignon Blanc are also noteworthy and delicious.

Golden Muse Winery & Gallery

One of the newer wineries to open in Southwest Michigan, Golden Muse is a woman-owned space. Visitors are transported into the Golden Age of Paris the moment they walk through the doors. Enjoy a free-spirited environment celebrating wine, art, and all forms of decadence! This Parisian experience is a lovely surprise in Southwest Michigan. 

Gravity

At every corner, Gravity bucks convention. Located in Baroda with an additional tasting room in South Haven, Gravity defines itself as a “modern, edgy winery,” and strives to demystify wine by providing each guest personal time with a tasting consultant.

These knowledgeable wine professionals will walk you through Gravity’s catalog, including light, accessible reds such as Equation — a Bordeaux-style blend, unique wines such as a bubbly Pinot Noir Rosé, and sweet wines such as their Chocolate Cherry Dessert.

For those who don’t drink wine or are looking for other options, Gravity offers a Green Apple Cider as well as R.A.D. (Really Awesome Drinks). These fruity, fun sparkling-wine-based beverages come in a variety of flavors.

Hickory Creek Winery

Spanning the gap between traditional and approachable, Hickory Creek Winery does everything by hand. “We put our hearts and souls into every bottle,” says owner and winemaker Adam McBride.

Specializing in small batches, Hickory Creek offers a lineup of unique stalwarts such as a Gentil Rosé, a Honeycrisp Apple Wine, and a Blaufränkisch, as well as more traditional varietals, such as an outstanding Dry Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Be sure to check out Hickory Creek’s large seating area, fire pits, and picnic area outdoors, as well as an indoor tasting bar, next time you’re in Buchanan!

Lake Michigan Vintners

Lake Michigan Vintners stand for all things local. They buy from local growers, press fruit in-house, and craft products that exemplify the best that Michigan wine has to offer. They are also home to the Midwest’s first commercial teaching winery, providing students with hands-on experience.

Their tasting room, located on the campus of Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, lets you taste the fruits of their labor, literally. Lake Michigan Vintners’ wines trend towards traditional varietals, such as Pinot Gris, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, but when you visit, don’t miss the chance to try their exquisite Blaufränkish, as well.

Stop by Lake Michigan Vintners and taste the future of Michigan winemaking!

Lazy Ballerina Winery

Lazy Ballerina, a winery owned by women, has been producing high-quality Michigan wines since 2015. They have tasting rooms located in St. Joseph and offer a wide range of reds, whites, and blushes. Recently, they have also started producing Spiced Rum, expanding their product line to include spirits.

Standout selections include Cran Jeté, an 18% ABV cranberry wine, Barrel Rouge Rye, a Cabernet Franc aged in Journeyman Rye barrels, and Cherry Kissed Red, an enchanting blend of Lazy Ballerina’s Merlot and Cherry wines.

As if these award-winning wines weren’t enough reason to visit, Lazy Ballerina hosts exciting events, like earring workshops, metal stamping workshops, and artisan pop-up markets!

Lehman’s Farmhouse / Lehman’s Orchard

Looking for luscious, sweet fruit wines? Look no further than Lehman’s. This winery/orchard/brewery/distillery, renowned for its sustainable agriculture practices, offers no fewer than twelve fruit wines, including Black Currant, Pure Raspberry, Pure Plum, and Honeycrisp Apple.

Fans of traditional varietals will also enjoy Lehman’s Petite Syrah, Traminette, and Sauvignon Blanc, among others. In addition, Lehman’s produces ciders, meads, beers, whiskey, gin, and more, and its taproom serves a variety of pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.

Lehman’s Farmhouse Store and Taproom are located in downtown Buchanan, and its orchard is located in Niles.

Lemon Creek Winery

Few Michigan wineries produce timeless iterations of classic varietals better than Berrien Springs’ Lemon Creek Winery. From Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer to Shiraz and Petit Verdot, Lemon Creek’s wines are effortlessly exquisite.

In true Michigan winery fashion, Lemon Creek also crafts a few fruit-forward wines, including a Raspberry Spumante, Peach Spumante, and a Cherry Wine.

With locations in Berrien Springs and Grand Haven, Lemon Creek’s vintages are never too far away from any part of Southwest Michigan. The winery often hosts art and music events at its tasting rooms, as well, so check their calendar frequently!

Moonrise

The first winery to open in Bainbridge Township, Moonrise, a family operation owned by Tom and Karen Zabadal, crafts small-batch wines with love, passion, and patience.

Moonrise is unafraid to introduce new varietals to the Michigan wine market, such as its take on a Grüner Veltliner, the leading white wine in its native Austria.

Visit Moonrise’s tasting room in Watervliet, and be sure to try the Cabernet Sauvignon, the Cabernet Franc Rosé, and Amore, a semi-dry white. Looking for something sweeter? Enjoy Concord Jack, made from 100% Concord grapes, as well as Moonrise’s easy-drinking sangria.

Red Top Winery

Baroda’s Red Top Winery isn’t afraid to get a little boozy with its Spirit Series — three different varietals aged in liquor barrels. Rum Barrel White, El Vino Tequila Barrel White , and Bourbon Barrel Cab Franc provide an incredibly tasty juxtaposition between spirit and grape.

Headed to the beach? Grab a bottle of Red Top’s Caribbean Twist. Replete with coconut and pineapple, this sparkling wine is perfect for those summer afternoons at Silver Beach. In addition, Red Top also crafts a slew of tasty ciders! Visit their tasting room and prepare to be impressed.

Round Barn Winery

Round Barn does it all. From wine to beer to spirits, this Southwest Michigan mainstay boasts three locations: a brewery & public house and estate in Baroda, and a tasting room in Union Pier.

Must-try Round Barn wines include American Pinot Noir, Edel Doux, and Vineyard Tears, a succulent blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling that will leave your taste buds anything but sad.

Best known for the namesake red barn at its Estate location, Round Barn hosts a plethora of live music and other events. If you haven’t already, put a visit to this award-winning winery on your bucket list.

St. Julian Winery

It’s virtually impossible to live in Southwest Michigan without being aware of St. Julian’s existence. It’s the most-awarded winery in Michigan for a reason: it has been family-owned and operated for over a century, and its commitment to quality is unwavering. St. Julian’s portfolio contains over 100 products. From spirits to ciders to countless varietals, these Michigan wine giants do it all.

Don’t know where to start? Try the fruit-forward Michigan Awesome Red Blend, a versatile medium-bodied red, or the Social Butterfly Sweet Rosé. Feeling adventurous? Pack yourself a bottle of PB&J for lunch, a sweet red that tastes like the iconic sandwich.

With tasting rooms and retail stores in Paw Paw, Frankenmuth, Union Pier, and Dundee, in addition to Detroit and Rockford, chances are there’s a St. Julian wine tasting in your near future. You might as well stop by while you’re already in Southwest Michigan!

Tabor Hill Winery

Within Michigan wine circles, the name Tabor Hill is synonymous with upscale luxury. From its array of award-winning vintages to the high-end dining experience its Buchanan restaurant provides, Tabor Hill never ceases to impress and is consistently ranked as one of Southwest Michigan’s top wineries.

The important part, of course, is the wine, and Tabor Hill’s offerings don’t disappoint. From dry whites like Albariño and Pinot Blanc to big, bold reds such as Meritage and Cabernet Sauvignon, Tabor Hill nails the standards. For those with sweeter palates, fruit wines such as Blueberry Franc, Cherryscato, and Cranberry are also available.

Celebrate your special occasion with a bubbly bottle of Grand Mark in one of Tabor Hill’s indoor event spaces or its Estate Tent! You can also swing by their Bridgman tasting room.

Vineyard 2121

Husband-and-wife-owned Vineyard 2121 has provided world-class wines and a relaxing getaway destination since opening its doors in 2015.

Don’t be fooled by this winery’s relative youth. Vineyard 2121 produces some of Michigan’s top wine, like Miss Fortune Red Blend — which effortlessly combines Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc with Merlot and Chambourcin into an approachable, yet assertive, blend that is aged in French oak for two years.

For something completely different, indulge in a bottle of Peach Passion Spumante. Or, try a Wine Slushie in flavors like Cherry or Mango Piña Colada in a frozen to-go pouch, perfect for those toasty Michigan summer days!

Grab a seat on Vineyard 2121’s patio overlooking a 14-acre vineyard, and enjoy the bevy of exquisite wines that this winery has to offer!

White Pine Winery

Last but certainly not least, White Pine Winery crafts impeccable iterations of traditional varietals. Owner David P. Miller, a South Bend native, honed his craft during a lengthy tenure at St. Julian, and White Pine was birthed from his years of experience.

Perhaps best known for its incomparable Ice Wine, a classic dessert wine made from naturally vineyard-frozen grapes, White Pine also produces an award-winning Cabernet Franc and a tasty Traminette, among others.

White Pine’s tasting room is located in the heart of charming downtown St. Joseph. Stop in, order a flight, and catch one of their frequent events!

Start visiting our wineries today

Southwest Michigan’s wineries offer incredible wines as well as unforgettable experiences. Each winemaker combines passion and flavor with tradition and creativity. Don’t take our word for it, though: we invite you to visit every winery and discover the magic of Southwest Michigan wine. If you are here between Labor Day weekend and Memorial, make sure to check in along the Makers Trail while you’re at it!

14 Reasons to Visit South Haven This Summer

South Haven is a small community situated comfortably within walking distance of the Lake Michigan shoreline. With a diverse array of lodging & dining options, as well as a legendary history of summer festivals and hospitality to match, South Haven is the perfect place for friends and families to visit and begin new traditions. Here are 14 Reasons folks visit (and revisit) South Haven the most:

1. Sugar Sand & Rocky Beaches
The number one reason why people visit South Haven in the summer is to spend time on the city’s beautiful beaches. Along the Great Lakes you will find different terrains on the shores, from rocks to dunes to soft and silky sand. South Haven’s public beaches (there are seven!) are full of groomed, sugary sand that is perfect for relaxing, building sand castles and enjoying the sunshine.

Photo Credit: @jenninthesun

Photo Credit: @jenninthesun

2. Walkability
You can park anywhere in town and walk from the downtown shopping area to the beach with relative ease. Getting to and from locations is simple in South Haven, and there are several hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals within walking distance to all the excitement of the downtown and nearby beaches. This makes it easy to rent a scooter, a bicycle or a golf cart and have fun around town! It’s easy here!

photo credit: @timlargentsr

Photo Credit: @timlargentsr

3. Variety Of Accommodations
There is a huge variety of places to stay in the city and township. Two locally-owned hotels are located directly downtown, while four chain hotels lie just a mile down from the main strip on Phoenix Street. You’ll also find several bed and breakfasts, an abundant amount of vacation rental homes, unique inns and camping cabins.

The Caboose Inn

Photo Credit: Mark McCulfor

4. Exciting Adventures
Kids will love splashing around at the Friends Good Will Splash Pad, located near South Beach. The Splash Pad is an enchanting and safe place to allow small children to frolic Also, located just 4 miles from downtown, Arvesta Sport Complex contains two wibbit play areas, a cable park for skiing, wakeboarding and kneeboarding (no experience required), waterslides, a drink bar and more!

5. On-Water Experiences
There are so many different options to suit your taste for adventure, relaxation and fun:
• SoHa Surf Shop sets up camp at North and South Beaches with kayak and paddle board rentals.
• The Michigan Maritime Museum hosts a fleet of historic and replica boats, including tall ship Friends Good Will, an experience you can’t miss out on!
• The Sunsetter is docked at the South Marina and is a relaxing cruise that offers views of the lakeshore.
• Elsie J, a renovated 1945 Tugboat, takes day trips and sunset cruises.
Try one, or try all!

6. Pure Michigan Trail Town
In 2019, South Haven was one of the first four communities to be designated as a Pure Michigan Trail Town. Rent a bicycle from Rock n’ Road Cycle and hop on the Kal-Haven and Van Buren Trails for a scenic ride, or a casual stroll. Rent a kayak at Black River Park and paddle up river on the Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail. Visit one of the township’s four nature preserves and hike along dunes, wooded paths and even search for beach glass. There are so many ways to enjoy South Haven’s trails, and each trail has its own unique aspects.

7. Waterfront Bars
If you’re looking for a fun atmosphere to grab a bite or have a drink, look no further than Captain Lou’s, Admiral Jack’s and the Idler Riverboat. All three are situated around South Haven’s harbor and you can very easily walk to and from each bar. Live music is a frequent occurrence on the weekends in the summertime.

Photo Credit: Radiant Landscapes Photography

8. Handcrafted Haven
Three breweries, one craft beer tasting room, three wine tasting rooms, a winery and a cidery all exist within the South Haven zip code. You can find even more if you venture further afield in all directions. There are so many flavors to try!

9. Michigan’s Fruit Belt
Fresh produce is a staple at South Haven’s downtown farm market, which runs every Saturday from mid-May to mid-October and every Wednesday from June-August. There are several surrounding farms offering u-pick strawberries, raspberries, peaches and (of course) blueberries. Summer fruit is a must have, and in South Haven there is PLENTY to go around!

South Haven, aka The Blueberry Capital of the World!

10. Locally-Owned And Quaint Downtown
South Haven’s downtown is full of locally-owned shops and restaurants. You’ll find a variety of stores, from t-shirt shops to jewelry, women’s clothing, home decor, candy, toys, books and so much more. Make it an adventure with in-store experiences like 42N Naturals‘ fragrance and terrarium bar, and Kalamazoo Candle Company‘s candlemaking workshop!

11. Eating Across Downtown
Whether it’s a burger and beer or a martini and chef’s plate, you’ll be able to satisfy your craving at one of the many South Haven restaurants. There are classic American diners, upscale destinations, pizza joints and ethnic options. On the water, the beach, in town, or in the country, there’s a place to eat in nearly every corner of South Haven. With vineyards and craft breweries to tour as well, you can try something new every day. Eat your way through South Haven’s restaurants and maybe you’ll even find your new favorite food spot!

The Reuben Sandwich at The Lodge

12. Sherman Dairy Bar’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream
Sherman’s has been a local favorite for 63 years and for good reason! Their old-fashioned ice cream is made one batch at a time with rich flavors. You’ll find classic flavors along with fun and unique choices, and of course the midwestern favorite, blue moon!

13. Historic Movie Theatre With Throwback Prices
Rain or shine, a movie at the historic downtown Michigan Theatre is a fun way to spend your time. The prices have not changed since the 90’s so you can see a matinee for only $4, and an evening show for $5.50. You can’t beat that!

14. Sunsets Over Lake Michigan
Cozy up in the sand, gather in front of the lighthouse, or find a spot among the bluffs. Sunsets are a magical sight and they are a great way to wind down from the day. If there is anything we highly recommend, it’s witnessing a stunning, colorful sunset. That’s a South Haven specialty! Click here for our 2023 Sunset Schedule.

photo credit: @timlargentsr

Photo Credit: @timlargentsr

Discover a Hidden Gem in West Michigan: Muskegon

blue surfboard with wave and sun design stands in beach sand in front of muskegon mural

Looking for a fun-filled summer vacation? Muskegon, Michigan is a must-visit destination for anyone! This beach-town is a hidden gem in West Michigan. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, relaxation on sandy beaches, or a taste of local culture, Muskegon has it all.

Beautiful beaches, stretch for miles along the shores of Lake Michigan. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or a place to enjoy water sports, there’s a beach for you. There is even a beach to bring your dog at Kruse Park!

rollercoaster and seadragon rides are reflected in small lake at Michigan's Adventure amusement park

When you’re done soaking up the sun, there are plenty other things to do in Muskegon. One popular attraction is Michigan’s Adventure. This “two parks for the price of one” is the state’s largest amusement park and includes a water park. For those who prefer a more active vacation, check out the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. Experience thrilling summer activities like ziplining, wheel luge, archery, rock climbing and more!

Two red light towers stand in front of blue sky filled with cumulus clouds. a sailboat with white sails is seen to the right of pier that leads to one of the lighttowers.

If you’re interested in history and culture, Muskegon has you covered there too. There are three lighthouses worth exploring. And two to tour: Muskegon South Pierhead Light and the White River Light Station. Tour historic homes, a WW2 landing ship or submarine – or visit one of many museums. The Muskegon Museum of Art features works by noted American & European artists. There are galleries of rotating and traveling exhibitions.

When the sun goes down, visit one of the 9 drive-in theaters that remain in Michigan.  The Getty Drive-In Theatre offers double features on 4 outdoor screens. Tune your car radio to the cinematic sounds coming from the big screen.

When it comes to accommodations, there are hotels from names you know and trust. Or, if you prefer a cozy cabin or spacious beach house, there are vacation rentals to fit your needs – and budget!

Overall, Muskegon, Michigan is a summer destination sure to please. From sandy beaches to outdoor adventure to cultural attractions, there’s something for everyone. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to make lasting memories in Muskegon, Michigan!

An Art Enthusiast’s Guide To The Art Coast

Saugatuck/Douglas has long inspired artists of all mediums and captivated the art lovers who visit. Home to numerous galleries, studios, exhibitions, and public art installations, art aficionados will find much to appreciate in the Art Coast of Michigan.

Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Exhibitions

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts regularly featuring exhibits throughout the year. From June 4-September 10, 2021, see Elevating Humanity: Forging Healing Through Connection, artist Sandra Antongiorgi’s collection of work which allows viewers to reckon with their shared legacy of inhumanity and invites people to connect with individuals most marginalized by systems of oppression.

Launched in 2021, the Saugatuck Douglas Fennville Arts Initiative is dedicated to placing highly interactive visual, performing, culinary, healing, and horticulture arts in public venues at no cost. From July 1 through October 10, 2021, Art of the People: Anishinaabe Contemporary ArtistsMaking Moves to Break Down Barriers will be on display at the Saugatuck Douglas Old School House. Prepare to discover a dynamic and evolving culture where history, identity, social justice, and environmental issues are brought up in the works presented by seven regional artists from the Anishinaabe culture. From July 15 through August 15, 2021, eight Latino artists take over the Fennville District Library with the ARTE:LATINO Contemporary Latino Art: Creativity Takes Courage exhibition. Never before seen contemporary works delve into civil rights and immigration as these artists look deeply inside themselves to find a voice of their Latino identity.

J. Petter Galleries

Gallery Strolls

While the long-established Fall Gallery Stroll is known for being the premier arts weekend of the year in Saugatuck/Douglas, other inspiring Gallery Strolls featuring special exhibits and activities happen here each season. Wander through dozens of galleries and artists’ studios, chat with the artists, watch live demos, enjoy live music, and sample delicious local bites and refreshments, all while expanding your artistic tastes. The picturesque streets of downtown Saugatuck and Douglas make for a charming backdrop as you stroll leisurely from one unique gallery to the next. 

Village Square Park Art Show

Art Festivals

Each year in July, the Saugatuck Douglas Art Club hosts two juried outdoor art fairs—the Waterfront Invitational Fine Art Fair and the Village Square Arts and Crafts Fair. Both are open-air art fairs that attract art collectors and art lovers from near and far. The fairs showcase the work of fine artists from around the nation working in a variety of media, including painting, photography, glass, woodworking, ceramics, jewelry, basketry, fibers, and sculpture.

James Conner Gallery and Studio

Artist Studios

Experience art at its source and get the opportunity to speak with artists directly with a studio visit. Discover the artist-owned Peachbelt Studio in Fennville, where original oil paintings by Dawn Stafford are exhibited in a rural historic red brick one-room schoolhouse circa 1867. Stop by the James Brandess Studios & Gallery, housed in the historic Post Office of Downtown Saugatuck, to see the artist in action painting landscapes, still-lifes, and portraits. Enjoy the ambiance of the 1890’s Fernwood Farm, which houses the solar-powered Khnemu Studio where resident artist Dawn Soltysiak makes handmade art and functional pottery. Of course, no artist’s farm would be complete without chickens and ducks roaming free, along with a horse, llama, and a few peacocks!

Downtown Saugatuck

Public Art

Art is everywhere around the Art Coast, and here are some of the places you can encounter it as you’re out and about.

One of the most iconic sculptures in Saugatuck, Family of Man IV, created by artist Cynthia McKean, resides in Coghlin Park, overlooking Lake Kalamazoo. Vibrant red with a dramatic silhouette, the sculpture represents the cyclical nature of mankind’s existence from the present to the past and the future.

Encounter Seurat in Saugatuck just across from Wicks Park. Adorning the walls of the public restroom is a stunning recreation of Georges Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The mural has been a Saugatuck fixture since 1977 and was painted by artist Carol Miron. Visitors can often be seen lounging leisurely on the grass around the park, just as the subjects do in the painting.

Located nearby on the Dockside Market Place building on Water Street is the colorful Smile! You’re in Saugatuck mural, which makes the perfect backdrop for a pic to commemorate your time with us.

The Village Square Park and playground is home to Romero Britto’s Big Temptation sculpture as well as the “Girl With Puppet” statue, erected by the Saugatuck-Douglas Art Club and Friends in honor of Burr Tillstrom, the famous puppeteer and creator of Kukla, Fran and Ollie and distinguished citizen of the area.

Stop by our Visitors Bureau in Douglas and see Big Fish, a colorful 12-foot by 8-foot rainbow fish sculpture created by artist Stephen Rubinkam in collaboration with local artists Jeff Blandford and Josh Russell.

Cheers Your Way Across the Beachtowns Craft Beverage Trail

Odd Side Ales flight of beer

As you travel through the Lake Michigan Beachtowns, don’t miss stopping at the many spots along our Craft Beverage Trail! We have breweries, vineyards, tasting rooms, distilleries, and cider mills. Discover some new favorites and bring them home as souvenirs and gifts!

Holland

New Holland Brewing was founded in 1997 and today is recognized as one of the leading innovators in the revolution of craft brewing and distilling. Their Pub on 8th in downtown Holland where you can sample the beers on tap as well as their Michigan made bourbon, gin, vodka, and rum. New Holland also has a few menu to pair with your drink of choice. Farmhaus Cider Co. in Hudsonville has their Cidergarten Tap Room located on their 150 year old family farm. On the weekends, they invite local food trucks to sell food to enjoy with their ciders. Our Brewing Company is a nano-brewery in the heart of downtown. They create small batches of complex beer using local ingredients that you can drink while playing trivia, games, and live music. Learn about all of the Holland area stops along the Lake Michigan Beverage Trail here!

Muskegon

Unruly Brewing was the first brewery to brew been in Muskegon since 1957. Their downtown taproom is always alive with live music and their outdoor beer garden is a favorite spot in the summer months. Down the way from Unruly is 18th Amendment Spirits who found their home inside of the former Savings & Loan Bank. Their craft cocktails are made from house made ingredients and freshly squeezed juices. Take your chance on the ‘Dealer’s Choice’ and trust their barstaff to create an original, handcrafted cocktail based on your preferences. North of Muskegon, in Whitehall, you will find Fetch Brewing Company who has an ever changing on tap list. They are known for hosting local food trucks and live music and open mic nights. Learn about all of the Muskegon area stops along the Lake Michigan Beverage Trail Here!

Saint Joseph

Southwest Michigan is home to their very own Makers Trail! Grab yourself a free copy of the Makers Trail Passport which will help you discover over 40 participating craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries. You can also download the Makers Trail app to help navigate to each stop. Collect stamps at each participating location to earn rewards including apparel, tickets to the Makers Trail Festival, Yeti tumblers, and overnight stays in the Saint Joseph area. Learn more about the Makers Trail here!

Silver Lake Sand Dunes – Hart

Big Hart Brewing Company’s mission is to provide the best beer, the finest in fresh local food, and excellent service. They are committed to showcasing the bounty of Hart and Oceana County. Big Hart serves up their craft beers as well as their Big Hart blends of wine. The Fox Barn Winery in Shelby is a fruit and asparagus farm with over 2000 acres. In 2005 they introduced their Farm Market and then their Winery soon after. They serve up their fruit wines as well as hard ciders on tap and ‘Barn Bites’ like cheese & crackers and smoked fish dip. Learn more about the Silver Lake Sand Dunes area craft beverage stops here!

Grand Haven

Oddside Ales in downtown Grand Haven began as a humble microbrewery in 2010 and has since grown so much that they now brew in their own 44,000 square foot facility. Their taproom has gone through 3 expansions and now has 27 taps of their newest craft brews. Across the street from Oddside you can find Long Road Distillers. Long Road was the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids and has recently opened up a sister location in Grand Haven. They serve up specialty cocktails with their Michigan made spirits as well as farm-fresh food. Vander Mill in Spring Lake started as a cider mill in 2006 and then began distributing their hard cider in wine bottles and kegs in 2008. Their mainstays are Ginger Peach, Bluish Gold, Hard Apple, and Totally Roasted. During their Sunday Brunches, you can order ‘cidermosas’ to go along with your cider doughnut sliders. Learn more about the Grand Haven area craft beverage stops here!

South Haven

Situated on the riverbank in downtown Paw Paw, Warner Vineyards turned the village’s old water-works building into their Wine Haus. They offer wine, beer, and cider tastings as well as host live music and food trucks. You can find one of Warner’s tasting rooms in downtown South Haven, Holland, and New Buffalo. Harbor Light Brewery in downtown South Haven is just down the road from the area’s famous lighthouse. They have 20 original house-made beers on tap as well as 6 ciders. Three Blondes Brewing was founded by three sisters who were born and raised in the South Haven area. Their revolving tap list includes the likes of Boom Boom Betty, Just Took A DNA Test Turns Out I’m 100% That Beer, and Dill With It. Learn more about the South Haven area craft beverage stops here!

Saugatuck-Douglas

Saugatuck Brewing Company boasts two tasting rooms, 16 taps, hard cider, wine, full menu, and outdoor patio dining. They are currently the only brewery in Michigan to offer a Brew on Premise Program. Participants work with the SBC’s brew masters to create their very own unique beer. Virtue Cider in Fennville makes farmhouse ciders from local heirloom apples and an expansive barrel-aging program. Taste and sip their ciders while touring one of their cider houses and wandering around their gardens to greet their pigs, sheet, chickens, and more. Fenn Valley Vineyards & Winery offers tasting, tours, and many events throughout the year including cooking classes, festivals, and live music. They also have a tasting room in downtown Saugatuck! Learn more about the Saugatuck area craft beverage trail stops here!

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Most Romantic Things to Do Along the Michigan Beachtowns

Michigan Beachtowns Romantic Trip Ideas

If you are looking to plan a romantic getaway look no farther than the quaint and friendly towns along the Lake Michigan Beachtowns! We offer traditional wine & dine experiences along with some adventure, quiet time for just the two of you, and the most stunning sunsets you will ever see in your lifetime.

Michigan Beachtowns Hiking

Go for a Hike

The parks and trails along the Lake Michigan Beachtowns provide a romantic backdrop for a hike for two all year long. Muskegon State Park and PJ Hoffmaster State Park have miles of wooded trails and sand dunes over looking Lake Michigan and are dog friendly.  Hoffmaster’s trail system connects to the North Ottawa Dunes trails, the new Ottawa Sands Park, and the Kitchel-Lindquist Hartger Dune Preserve north of Grand Haven if you are looking for a longer hike. To experience something otherworldly, head to the Silver Lake State Park Pedestrian Dune Access area to see mountains of sand dunes and watch hundreds of ORVs fly through the trails. Climb to the top of Mount Pisgah in Holland for a stunning view of both Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan. For those who are not afraid of heights, the steep, wooden stairs of Mount Baldhead bring hikers to the top of a 794 foot overlook of Saugatuck. Black River Preserve in South Haven has easy-to-difficult hiking trails with a one mile frontage of the Black River and other area streams. Weko Beach & John DeeDee Howard Trail is the Saint Joseph area are great spots for a hike.

Spend a Day at the Beach Michigan Beachtowns Beaches

Pack a blanket, your favorite snacks & beverages, towels, chairs, some books & magazines, your headphones, sunglasses, and sunscreen and prepare yourself for a relaxing day for two. If you are looking for a day at the beach close to all of the action Silver Lake Beach, South Beach, Oval Beach, Holland State Park, Grand Haven State Park, Pere Marquette Beach, and Little Sable Lighthouse Beach are perfect for people watching and catching some rays. Looking for something a little more quiet? Muskegon State Park, Newcome Beach, Rosy Mound Natural Area, Tunnel Park, Grand Mere State Park, & Douglas Beach are for you! If you want to add in a little adventure, consider renting ORVs at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and finding a spot along Lake Michigan for the two of you. Learn more about all of the Michigan Beachtowns beaches here!

Visit a Vineyard or a Tasting Room

Cheers to spending time together at one of the many vineyards or wine & cider tasting rooms located along the Michigan Beachtowns. The Fox Barn Winery is the Silver Lake Sand Dunes-Hart area is a unique setting within a restored barn where you can taste their wines along with a ‘Barn Bites’ food board. 12 Corners Vineyards & Winery is located in Benton Harbor but they also have tasting rooms located in Grand Haven and South Haven. Oceana Winery & Vineyard is located in New Era between Silver Lake Sand Dunes & Muskegon but you can also try their wines at their tasting room downtown Muskegon. Fenn Valley Winery has been around since 1973. Their vineyard hosts tours throughout the year and they have a tasting room in Saugatuck. Virtue Cider is located on a working farm complete with tours, sheep, pigs, and chickens. Learn more about the Michigan Beachtowns Beverage Trail here!

Micihgan Beachtowns Paddle SportsPeddle & Paddle

Each of the Lake Michigan Beachtowns offer a variety of ways venture around the area by bike, by kayak, or by SUP. Bring your own or rent from many local rental companies by the hour, by the day, or by the week. The Michigan Beachtowns have hundreds of miles of biking paths and trails for the serious biker and those looking for a casual, scenic ride. While the big lake can be friendly to paddlers, the inland lakes and rivers offer up a relaxing day on the water without worrying about large waves. For the more adventurous paddlers, surf board rentals and lessons are available through Third Coast Surf Shop in Southwest Michigan or you can try Kiteboarding with the help of MacKite.

Listen to Live Music at a Brewery

Grab a tasting flight and cozy up together at one the Lake Michigan breweries. Our Brewing Company in downtown Holland is a nano-brewery and was founded by two couples and their motto is “Smaller on Purpose.” Saugatuck Brewing Company is the only brewery in Michigan to feature a Brew on Premise Program where you can work with their master brewers to create your own special beer. Oddside Ales in Grand Haven recently expanded its downtown taproom complete with garage doors that open up for alfresco drinking and dining. Unruly Brewing Company in downtown Muskegon is the first brewery to brew been in Muskegon since 1957 and offers an outdoor beer garden in the warmer months. Big Hart Brewing Company in Hart hosts live music, karaoke nights, and Trivia nights. Three Blondes Brewing was founded by 3 sisters who were born and raised in South Haven. During the winter months you can snuggle together in one of their igloos nicknamed the Blondomes. In the Saint Joseph area, pick up a free Makers Trail passport and start collecting stamps from more than 40 participating craft breweries, wineries, and distillers.

Discover Iconic LighthousesHolland Michigan Lighthouse

The most romantic times of the day to view and visit one of the Lake Michigan Beachtowns lighthouses is first thing in the morning or leading up to sunset. Walk the pier, beach, or nearby boardwalk hand-in-hand. Saint Joseph’s lighthouses are accessible from Tiscornia Park. South Haven’s lighthouse is a short walk from downtown via the boardwalk. Holland’s Big Red is best viewed from Holland State Park. Grand Haven’s lighthouses can be found where the boardwalk ends at Grand Haven State Park. Muskegon’s lighthouses keep guard over the Muskegon Lake channel. Little Sable Lighthouse is located at Silver Lake Sand Dunes State Park and is open for tours during the warmer months. Before your trip, join the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Passport Program and collect stamps and stickers at each of the Beachtown lighthouses!

Share a Romantic Meal

Houndstooth Restaurant in Benton Harbor is a New American restaurant that was founded by two siblings and features a fine dining experience without the pretense. The menu ebbs with the season and with the culinary duo’s mood. Menu items include Blue Crab Dumplings, Roasted Chicken, and Creamsicle Poke Cake. Taste in downtown South Haven is a small plates restaurant and martini bar with items to share including sushi, sweet & spicy shrimp, a Michigan cheese plate, and signature martinis. Salt of the Earth in Fennville offers scratch cooking from fresh local ingredients. Their menu changes seasonally including their selection of entrees, shared plates, and wood fired pizza. Seventy-Six is located downtown Holland and serves up modern, American comfort food. They offer lunch & dinner along with changing list of modern cocktails like the Tequila ‘Mockingbird’ and a Winter Margarita with elderberry and pear puree. Noto’s at the Bil-Mar in Grand Haven has one of the most spectacular views of Lake Michigan you can find along the shoreline. Noto’s offers spins on Italian classics, wood fired pizzas, apps, and small plates. The Lake House on Muskegon Lake has a marina view and a menu fitting for a fine dining or casual dining experience. What’s not to love about Big Hart Brewing? They serve up their craft brews along with a large menu of small plates, burgers, sandwiches, and entrees.

Lake Michigan SunsetWatch the Sunset Over Lake Michigan

There is no better way to end a romantic day than with a breathtaking sunset over Lake Michigan. All of the Michigan Beachtown beaches offer stunning sunsets all year long. The ‘golden hour’ leading up to sunset provides the best lighting for romantic selfies.

Stay at a Charming Inn, Bed & Breakfast, Hotel, or Vacation Rental

There is quaint and romantic place for the two of you to stay no matter what season along the Lake Michigan Beachtowns. Check out the latest lodging and getaway specials here!

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