Discover Spring Hiking in Southwest Michigan!

southwest michigan trial challenge

As winter gradually loosens its grip and nature awakens with renewed vigor, Southwest Michigan beckons outdoor enthusiasts to explore its stunning landscapes through invigorating hikes. With the arrival of spring, the region bursts into life. From magnificent Lake Michigan dunes to lush forests, Southwest Michigan promises unforgettable journeys for adventurers of all levels.

Let’s delve into the best hiking locations, sights to see, and essential tips for making the most of your spring hiking experience. Adventure awaits in this charming corner of the Great Lakes State.


Spring hiking in Southwest Michigan promises an array of captivating sights. From vibrant wildflowers carpeting the forest floor to migratory birds soaring overhead, every step offers a beautiful encounter with nature. Keep an eye out for trilliums, jack-in-the-pulpits, morel mushrooms, dogwood, and redbud blossoms. Listen for the trills and calls of redwing blackbirds, robins, warblers, seagulls, and spring peeper frogs as they herald the arrival of spring. Visit a railroad garden or hunt for sculptures.

The rhythmic lapping of waves against sandy beaches along the lakeshore provides a soothing soundtrack to accompany your hike. Challenge yourself and your hiking partners to a rigorous climb up giant dunes where you can see the incredible beauty of Lake Michigan for miles. Comb the shore for rocks, fossils, driftwood, and beach glass. Always make time to stay and watch a breathtaking sunset paint the sky in hues of gold and pink, casting a spell of enchantment over the landscape. It’s magical.

young family walking in the dunes male female child



Located along Lake Michigan’s southeastern shore, Warren Dunes State Park boasts some of the region’s highest dunes, dense woodlands, and panoramic Lake Michigan views. Trails wind through diverse ecosystems, offering insights into the ecological processes shaping the dunes. This state park is also one of Southwest Michigan’s favorite places to bring your leashed dog on marked trails and a designated beach.


Warren Woods State Park transforms into a wonderland each spring. It offers the unique opportunity to hike through Michigan’s last virgin beech-maple forest. April and May are the best months to see trilliums blanket the forest floor and to watch for migratory birds nesting in the tall trees. This wooded state park is an ideal spot for wildlife photography.


With its dunes, beaches, and quiet woodlands, Grand Mere State Park is a spring haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Lupines, violets, and wild geraniums cover the landscape. The park is also on an ancient migratory bird route so expect to see raptors, shorebirds, and songbirds as they wing their way north.


Harbor Shores Nature & Fitness Trail System offers 12 miles of urban hiking fun. The paved trails take you through the Harbor Shores Golf Course, along the Paw Paw River, Ox Creek, and the St. Joseph River, across wetlands, and up the dunes for a mesmerizing view of Lake Michigan and the historic North Pier Lighthouse.

The trail system’s six loops offer food and beverage destinations along the way and easy access to the Benton Harbor Arts District. If you hope to spot wildlife along the trails, the best times are in the early morning and evening.


This wonderful nature center has eight miles of trails meandering through its 1000 acres. Hike along the Paw Paw River bluffs for great views of the river valley below. Follow the boardwalks to observation platforms in the floodplain to see spring awakening in the wetlands. Watch for wildlife emerging from their habitats in the wet forests, cattail marshes, shrub carrs, and even a unique alkaline wetland called a fen. Sign up for guided birdwatching hikes to spot some of the over 300 bird species that call this preserve home. See it all without getting your feet wet!


Love Creek County Park features six miles of hiking trails that take you through a variety of habitats, including a mature beech-maple forest with spectacular spring wildflowers. Watch for white-tailed deer and their fawns, and bring binoculars and a bird guidebook or phone app to identify the numerous birds that flock to this 200-acre natural area.


This picturesque park is on the east bank of the St. Joseph River. Its mile-long loop trail goes through pine and oak forests to a river bluff observation tower. You can also walk playing the 18-hole disc golf course.


The Galien River County Park gets high ratings from foot and wheelchair hikers. First, choose between hiking on two wheelchair-accessible boardwalks or a non-ADA-approved dirt and gravel trail.

The 300-ft. canopy walkway is a thrill for all ages. The ADA-accessible boardwalk takes you above the treetops to a 60-ft.-high marsh overlook. Or hike a 600-ft.-long boardwalk to a fishing platform where you can catch steelhead, rock bass, largemouth bass, and freshwater drum.

From either boardwalk, you can spot turtles, waterfowl, deer, and other marshland animals. Your best time to see wildlife is early morning and early evening.

The third trail is a 1.4-mile loop through the woods, edged by steep ravines, to the wetlands and river. It is not ADA-accessible.


Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve is one of Southwest Michigan’s most treasured river hikes. It boasts meticulously curated gardens, wildflower-strewn woodlands, a pond, a water mill, a railroad garden, and St. Joseph River views. Spring blooms include daffodils, tulips, fragrant herbs, and wild cherry blossoms. Buzzing bees and flitting butterflies contribute to the ever-changing spring views.


A local favorite, Ross Coastal Plain Marsh Preserve has three of the highest quality coastal plain marshes in Michigan, a rare find in the Great Lakes region. As you explore more than five miles of trails, you are likely to encounter reptiles and amphibians around the coastal plain marshes and small ponds. Watch for elusive mammals such as red fox, coyote, and many of the 100 bird species known to nest in the preserve’s shrubs and trees.

trails challenge model photoshoot sarett


Southwest Michigan has launched a new challenge to get you to lace up your boots and hit our gorgeous trails this spring. Download the Visit Southwest Michigan app to get started and play. Then visit five different trails in Southwest Michigan. Take a selfie by the trailhead and upload it to the app. The first 100 people to complete the challenge will earn prizes. Get all the Trails Challenge details here – then have fun!



Check the weather forecast and dress in layers. Pack essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, a cell phone, a basic first aid kit, a compass or GPS device, and a map from the trailhead or a copy of the Southwest Michigan Trail Guide.


Spring weather can bring unpredictable conditions such as mud, snowmelt, and swollen streams. Check trail conditions beforehand and be prepared for any obstacles you may encounter along the way.


Springtime is prime tick season, so take precautions to protect yourself from tick bites. They like shady, moist areas. Wear long sleeves and pants and use insect repellent containing DEET.

Stay on paved or well-groomed trails. Avoid contact with high grass, brush, and any ground that is covered with fallen leaves. Perform regular tick checks during and after your hike and remove them promptly if you find any on you, your children, or pets. For more advice, download this helpful guide.


Stick to designated trails to protect fragile ecosystems. Refrain from disturbing wildlife, especially spring babies. Leave no trace behind and dispose of trash and pet waste responsibly.

man walking through apple blossoms in springtime


After exploring one or more scenic trails, extend your stay. Discover the region’s arts and craft-beverage scene. Indulge in the culinary delights of local restaurants, savoring farm-to-table cuisine made with local, seasonal produce, delicious fish and meats, and mouthwatering artisanal desserts. Find the latest spring fashions and home decor in quaint downtowns and boutique shops. Take a sweetly scented blossomtime tour through our orchards and vineyards.

Stay over at one of our amenity-filled hotels with affordable spring rates. You will awaken relaxed and rejuvenated for more outdoor adventures tomorrow.

Book Your Stay

A Travel Team Guide to Fun Activities in Southwest Michigan

Family on the dunes in grand mere state park

Are you getting ready to participate in an exciting sport or robotics tournament in Southwest Michigan? Welcome!

Here’s a guide to what our competition-loving region has to offer.


Watching tournament action all weekend can be boring for children who come along for the trip. Here are some places you can give them a break.

Lincoln Township Park Splash Pad


Choose your favorite hand-carved animal figure or chariot on the Silver Beach Carousel and go for a spin around the Carousel House. There is an assortment of family-friendly activities, including interactive exhibits, a well-stocked refreshment stand and gift shop, and free games that will delight toddlers to grandparents. It rightfully boasts of being the happiest place in Southwest Michigan!


You can fill an hour or more at these hands-on learning centers geared toward toddlers to pre-teens. The children’s museum is on the bluff in downtown St. Joseph, and the Discovery Zone is below the bluff in the Silver Beach Center. The biggest challenge will be pulling your kids away from all the interactive fun.


Directly across the road from the Silver Beach Center is the FREE Whirlpool Compass Fountain, open from May to early September. The 200 ft. diameter fountain sprays water 30+ ft. in the air and has water cannons that run every 15 minutes. More water fun is available at three St. Joseph beaches — Silver BeachLions Park Beach and Tiscornia Park Beach. There are also a variety of other family-friendly parks in the area, even one with a skate park.


If you’re looking for a place where your restless toddler can play while you stay caffeinated — leave the game and go to The Little Things Play Cafe. This safe indoor play space includes wooden climbing structures and centers that nurture imagination. If other parents of young children are on your team, invite them to come with you to sip locally sourced-coffee and chat while your kids play close by.


This is Southwest Michigan’s newest splash pad. It is 1,854 sq. ft. and includes zones for toddlers, families, and older kids. Water blasters, a frog sprinkler, and two interactive spraying flowers keep children squealing with unabashed delight. Check out these other Southwest Michigan splash pads near your tournament.


Each of your children will find a fun activity they will love to do at Hidden Pointe. There is an exciting 18-hole miniature golf course, Eddie Cole’s Jumpshot Basketball, batting cages, arcades, and go-karts on a unique 100-foot banked track. They also have a large event venue that is ideal for team parties.


If your tournament is near Dowagiac, Sprague’s Family Fun Farm is the place to bring your restless fans from July to October. Show your kids where their fruits and vegetables come from and let them taste the just-picked flavor difference. In the fall there are hayrides, one of the area’s most amazing corn mazes, a big pumpkin patch, and lots of on-the-farm fun.

girls team huddle sports softball baseball youth sports


Even the smallest team players can have voracious appetites after a day of tournament action. Many Southwest Michigan restaurants and caterers can feed your group with ease. Several other popular family restaurants around St. Joseph can host your group with advance notice. They include Silver Beach Pizza,  Clementine’s TooThe BuckAzul TequilaMark III Grille & Bar, and Round Barn Brewery & Public House.

Your team and families will especially have fun at these three places that combine good times with delicious food.

  • Nardo’s Pizza in downtown St. Joseph has spacious seating within eyesight of an arcade room. Their five-star-rated pizzas are the only way to entice your pinball wizards to stop playing.
  • Peat’s Cider Social in Stevensville has bowling lanes, an arcade room, popular local food trucks Friday through Sunday, plus beverages for the kids and hard ciders and meads for the adults.
  • Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery gets high marks for serving healthy options for a range of dietary needs and following earth-friendly food practices. Another stand-out reason to come is Welter’s Folly, an 18-hole putting green considered one of the 10 largest in the world. It’s fun for the whole team, but coaches and team parents especially enjoy playing while sipping Journeyman’s renowned distilled spirits.


There are so many fun things to see and do in Southwest Michigan as a team or as a family. Plan to come a day or two early or extend your stay after the tournament ends. Besides going to the suggestions above, these activities bring you closer together as a team and family.

Two people exploring Bear Cave.


North Pier Lighthouses & South Pier | St. Joseph

Southwest Michigan’s two most iconic lighthouses are on the North Pier, accessible from Tiscornia Park. There is the black and white outer lighthouse and the red and white inner lighthouse. Both are over 100 years old and are no longer in active service.

When Lake Michigan is calm you can walk out the pier to see both lights up close. Self-guided and guided tours are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend.

You can reach the South Pier from Silver Beach County Park. Both piers are popular places to fish, watch Great Lake freighters and private boats, and see spectacular sunsets. In the winter, when conditions are just right, the piers, lighthouses, and catwalks become majestic, jaw-dropping beautiful ice formations. It’s unforgettable.

Bear Cave | Buchanan

Explore West Michigan’s only cavern, formed over 10,000 years ago by glacial drift. With its fascinating geological formations and historical lore, Bear Cave offers a rare adventure.

Eden Springs Park | Benton Harbor

Experience the charm of yesteryear with miniature train rides at Eden Springs Park! Restored by dedicated volunteers, these original House of David steam and gasoline engines pull passenger cars through the park’s historic landscape. Eden Springs is open on Saturdays and Sundays in the summer and for special event rides on weekends leading up to Halloween and Christmas.

Lake Arvesta Farms | South Haven

Embark on an outdoor adventure at Lake Arvesta Farms! Swim, challenge each other on the floating obstacle course, and fly down the water slides, kayak, and paddle board. Throughout the year, play outdoor or indoor pickleball on an 18-hole disc golf course. This is an especially fun place to bring school-aged kids and teens.

Michigan Flywheelers Museum | South Haven

One of the easiest places to go back in time is the Michigan Flywheelers Museum. This is a great place to introduce your kids to the history of rural America. See vintage farm equipment and take a self-guided tour through Olde Town.

group kayaking down river during summer family kayak


Beach Day at Warren Dunes State Park

Soak up the sun in Sawyer at one of Michigan’s most popular beaches. Race down giant dunes, swim, build sandcastles, hike, or play beach volleyball. The dunes are a great workout if you sandboard in the warm months and snowboard in winter. If you bring your team’s four-legged mascot, there’s a dog beach for romping on the sand and in the water.

Kayak or paddle board scenic rivers and Lake Michigan

One of the most memorable and fun outings is group paddles on Southwest Michigan rivers, inland lakes, and Lake Michigan. Hook up with one of the rental services in St. Joseph, New Buffalo, Dowagiac, and South Haven. Bring your kayaks or SUPs and expand your water trail options.

Hike dozens of trails 

It’s easy to find a hiking trail near your lodgings. Hike through woods, orchards, and vineyards, over bogs and wetlands, through prairies, across beaches, tree-top high boardwalks, and along scenic lakeshores and rivers.

Challenge each other at fun centers

Besides Hidden Pointe listed above, the St. Joseph area is home to two other popular family fun centers. Bring the team or your family to:

  • Slackers Family Fun Center in Stevensville is open seven days a week and will keep your kids hopping between laser tag, laser maze, bounce houses, arcade video games, pool tables, mining and so much more.
  • Captain Mike’s Fun Park in Bridgman is your summer destination for go-karts, junior go-karts, 18-hole miniature golf, bumper cars, bumper boats, water cannons, jump shot basketball, water wars, batting cages, an arcade room, and “The Captain’s Galley” Snack Bar!

Visit a farm or market

Southwest Michigan is renowned for its century-old family farms and markets where you can handpick in-season strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, and much more. Or bring home ready-picked favorites, plus jams, pies, salsas, and more from their markets. Several offer weekend harvest events in the fall with hayrides, games, and corn mazes.

A fun side trip is to tour Shuler Dairy Farm in Baroda on Tuesday through Sunday afternoons. Watch them robotically milk the cows, see calves and a bull, learn more about innovative farming technology, and, perhaps best of all, eat fresh ice cream.

Go shopping in downtown St. Joseph

This pedestrian-friendly, lake resort downtown has free nearby parking and sidewalks. This makes it easy to explore their blocks of toy and book stores, ice cream and candy shops, boutiques, trendy clothing stores, home decor shops, restaurants, craft wine and beer tasting rooms and so much more.

Sail a tall ship on Lake Michigan 

In so many ways, this is the ultimate adventure. Hop aboard the replica tall ship Friends Good Will in South Haven. Choose for day sails, adventure sails, and sunset sails. Or see the Big Lake from St. Joseph’s Tall Ship MJ. This vintage wooden schooner is available for daily sailing excursions, private events, and special group programs.

Play outside in winter

If you are in Southwest Michigan for a winter sporting tournament, there’s plenty of fun to enjoy during your extended stay. Several of our parks offer snowshoeing, fat tire biking, and cross-country skiing. Go ice skating or play ice bumper cars indoors at The Garden Ice Arena (open year-round) or skate outdoors at these area rinks. Skate rentals and concessions are available at both.

Downhill skiers and snowboarders can get thrills at Swiss Valley Ski and Snowboard Area in Jones. While it has challenging slopes for intermediate-level skiers and snowboarders, it is best known for its beginner lessons and experiences.

Before you finalize your plans, check out these other winter bucket list ideas.

Let us help you plan your stay

We’d like to help make some of your travel team’s best memories in Southwest Michigan. Please give us the details of your upcoming event for your group of 10 or more. We will reach out to area hotels, restaurants, entertainment sites, and services, then provide you with choices that will enhance your plans and fit your budget.

Plan your stay

Keeping the Harvest Tradition Alive in South Haven

Hot cider, pumpkin patches, apple picking, and hayrides: these are the hallmarks of the Fall harvest! South Haven is one of the best areas to keep the harvest tradition alive, especially for young families looking to craft and capture memories that will a lifetime! Plus, we can always use more excuses to enjoy warm cider and donuts. So explore the brilliant fall colors of the South Haven countryside, do some picking of their own, or even get lost in a corn maze!

DeGrandchamp Farms
76241 14th Ave

Start off the harvest season at this family farm that dates back to 1958. DeGrandchamp Farms Cranberry Harvest begins in mid-October. Once a year, the farm opens its fields and invites attendees to witness the beauty of harvesting cranberries in the natural bogs.

Catch a hayride to the bogs throughout the day to watch the crew rake in bright, red cranberries from the flooded bogs. Then, head to the sorting line to learn about how cranberries are sorted, packaged, and shipped. Cranberry products are available for purchase at the retail market, including jams, salsas, dried fruit, and baked goods. Fresh cranberries are available in October and November.

Overhiser Orchards
6405 109th Avenue

Grab the family and head to Overhiser Orchards to pick your own pumpkins or apples and explore the farm and its many harvest activities. Available apples for u-pick include Empire, Cortland, Jonamac, Blondee, and Gala. Munch on some fresh donuts while you sip cider, pet the farm animals, or feed the birds with the farm’s sunflower seed harvest.

Take time to get lost in the corn maze or head over to the sunflower field for the farm’s new nature walk. Hayrides are available, weather permitting. You can even fish in the pond on-site, but save some room for the corn maze!

Bumbleberry Acres
6785 Baseline Rd.

A true farm for the whole family, Bumbleberry Acres features u-pick, farm animals, a playground, wagon rides, and more. Halloween is always an especially fun time at Bumbleberry, so be sure to visit online for special events and activities!

Dutch Farm Market
6967 109th Ave.

At the Dutch Farm Market just north of South Haven, apples (Red Delicious, Matsu, Cortland, Yellow Delicious, North Spy, Ida Red, and Rome) and Bosc pears are available for picking, and free wagon rides are available until the end of October. The market store has all the apples and pears, and everything from homemade jams, taffy apples, fresh-pressed cider, honey, and maple syrup, to home-baked pies, bread, turnovers, and donuts, to name just a few.


Can’t squeeze a trip to the farm into your schedule?


There’s good news! You don’t have to compromise on freshness. The South Haven’s Farm Market operates through September under the Huron Street Pavilion in downtown South Haven, and Barden’s Farm Market on the corner of Phoenix and Blue Star Highway is open daily! Drop in for baked goods, craft beer, and something sweet for all your friends and family!

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

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!


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!


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 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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For more Michigan Beachtowns articles, visit our blog here!