Grab your list and your favorite shopping buddies for a delightful outing in Muskegon County. With walkable shopping areas and unique options, there’s something for everyone.
Shopping Areas with Social Districts
Muskegon County boasts three pleasant walkable shopping areas. As a matter of fact, each possesses a distinct personality and offers a treasure trove of gift options. Furthermore, they all have social districts! This means you can enjoy your beverage while moving between shops.
Start your adventure in Downtown Muskegon, presently adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. From stylish fashions to vintage finds and handmade crafts, you’re sure to check items off your list. Don’t miss the diminutive and charming Western Market Chalets.
For a small-town charm, make your way to Montague and Whitehall, collectively known as White Lake. Boutiques to antiques, and everything in between, promise hidden gems.
Shop Small, Shop Sustainable, Shop Muskegon
If sustainable shopping is your style, Muskegon has you covered. All in all, the County is an undeniable treasure trove of antique, vintage, and thrift shops. Given that “Treasure Alley” boasts four vintage shops it is a must-stop. Likewise, they are conveniently located near and next to each other. Find them on Pine Street in downtown Muskegon.
The Grand Haven area is famous for its beaches but there is still plenty to see and do in autumn. With many of tree covered parks and trails, the Grand Haven area offers lots of opportunities to take in the fall colors. Here’s our list of the top fall things to see and do in the area!
What’s geocaching? Geocaching is an anytime, anywhere real world adventure. All you need is a GPS or the free Geocaching app on your phone, a free account on Geocaching.com and you’re ready to go! This endless outdoor activity takes you to places near and far to find hidden caches in all shapes and sizes. Once you find one, sign the logbook and return it to its original location. Some caches have items inside of them for trade so its always fun to bring along your own items to trade out for new ones. You never know what you’re going to find on your next geocaching adventure.
Though the Grand Haven area is known for our beaches, we are home to many farms and u-picks. During the fall, Bethke Farms offers pumpkin picking, hayrides, a corn maze and more.
The Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and GVSU-Allendale Campus farmers markets are still in full swing during fall. You can stop by to grab seasonal produce including apples & pumpkins, as well as baked goods, flowers, meats, cheeses, and more.
Seeing the fall colors from a kayak along the Grand River, Spring Lake, Pigeon Creek, Pigeon Lake, and Lake Michigan is an amazing experience. You can bring your own kayak, canoe, or stand up paddle board – or you can rent one from Lakeshore Kayak Rental. This is also a great way to spot local wildlife including eagles, beavers, otters, Blue Herons, Sand Hill Cranes, turtles, muskrats, fish, deer, and much more!
Whether you are an avid birder or just desire to experience birds beyond your backyard, Ottawa County Parks & Recreation offers naturalist led birding walks and field trips throughout the fall.
Historic River Road Self Guided Auto Tour
If you are looking to cover a larger area during your fall color tour of the Grand Haven area, then by car is the way to go. Our favorite route to take is the stretch of road from Grand Haven to Eastmanville Bayou and back – known as the Historic River Road. Using the handy guide found on our website or at our Visitors Center, this self-guided auto tour brings you along the original River Road which is oldest byway in Ottawa County and one of the oldest in the state. Numbered signs along the way indicate stops and points of interest that mesh local history with our beautiful riverside and park system.
Surfing & Kiteboarding
We’ve been asked several times over the years if Lake Michigan has big waves…it does! While it doesn’t have a tide like the oceans, when the wind starts blowing we can get some pretty sizable waves here in the Grand Haven area. The fall and winter are the windiest times of the year so it is the perfect time for surfers and kiteboarders to take advantage of the wind and waves.
Fall is still an active time for fishing in the Grand Haven area. For a DIY experience, popular spots include Spring Lake, the bayous of the Grand River, and the north pier. To eliminate the guess-work, schedule a trip with a local charter captain. (Plus, they provide all the gear and hottest lures.)
GVSU Football Games Grand Valley State University is located approximately 20 miles east of downtown Grand Haven and is home to the GVSU Lakers. Cheering on the team at GVSU’s beautiful Allendale campus is a fun fall tradition.
If you are looking for a unique view of the fall colors but aren’t up for a long hike you can find stunning views atop 5 Mile Hill, from the dune side stairs at North Beach Park, and from the top of the stairs at Rosy Mound Natural Area.
Nature Education Center
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation’s Nature Education Center at Hemlock Crossing Park offers year round seasonal programs, guided hikes, kids activities, a wildlife viewing area and more. You can also find a kayak/canoe launch here! (Once you click link, be sure to refine your search by clicking the Kayak/Canoe Launches.)
There is no better way to end a fun fall day than with a stunning sunset over Lake Michigan. While we have beautiful sunsets in the summer months, fall sunsets tend to be the most stunning and colorful ones of the entire year. Great places to watch the sunset include Grand Haven State Park, Rosy Mound Natural Area, the north pier, and North Beach Park. To learn more, check out this timeless guest blog post from area photographer Walter Elliott.
Be sure to share your Grand Haven area fall photos and videos with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! #VisitGrandHaven
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Southwest Michigan is bursting with ideas about what to do this summer. It was tough narrowing this bucket list to 73! Here are some traditional and quirky ways to fill your days and nights. But don’t stop with just these. Spend the next few months at our region’s most popular events, hiking our trails, taking in our galleries, learning our history, and, of course, enjoying the Great Lakes shoreline. Try to check off each one of these items on this ultimate Southwest Michigan summer bucket list. Add more to your list and then contact us with your suggestions of where to go and what to do. We will use them to update the bucket list each summer and share it with other travelers.
BRING YOUR PET ALONG!
We love pets all year round in Southwest Michigan. We’ve labeled the pet-friendly destinations in this list.
1. Farmers markets (Pet Friendly)
One of the best reasons to visit Southwest Michigan in the summer is what’s ripening in our countryside. This is one of the juiciest, crispiest, most-delicious seasons in Southwest Michigan. Check out our farmers market blog to find out where to get locally-grown goods and home-baked treats.
2. Pick produce
Pick fresh fruits and vegetables at our many farms! Check out our harvest guide.
3. Tour the North Pier Lighthouse
Go inside the inner lighthouse in St. Joseph! Where you can look out onto Lake Michigan from its lantern. If you prefer not to tour, you can visit the outside for free, or see them from our beaches.
4. Ride the Amtrak (Pet Friendly)
Take a ride past beautiful beaches and hop off where you’d like! The Pere Marquette line travels between Grand Rapids, Holland, Bangor, St. Joseph, and Chicago. Board at the depot in St. Joseph outside of Silver Beach Pizza.
5. Take the Water Taxi
Ride along the St. Joseph River and choose to hop off and one of four stops in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. Did we mention it’s free? Ride any summer weekend!
6. Go shopping at boutiques (Pet Friendly)
Our boutiques sell home decor, apparel, locally made art, and unique items that your friends at home won’t have! We also have several adorable pet shops where you can get special treats for a man’s best friend.
7. Pedal the CycleBoat
This is St. Joseph’s first and only Cycleboat! Tour the St. Joseph inner harbor with up to 16 of your friends, family, strangers or co-workers with a certified Master Captain. There are two stops at local bars/restaurants.
8. Watch a sunset (Pet Friendly)
Whether inland or by the coast, Southwest Michigan’s sunset game is strong. Pick a beach, vista, park, or waterfront restaurant and end the day in a colorful way.
9. Go to the Market
Shop around, grab a bite to eat, take a cooking class, sample fine cheeses, support local artists or farms, and much more! This collection of shops has so much to offer to keep you busy for hours.
10. Have a picnic watching the races at GingerMan Raceway Pet Friendly
Located in South Haven, the GingerMan Raceway course layout simulates the full spectrum of driving situations: high-speed straights and short sprints, long sweeping corners and tight apexes, heavy and light braking, and elevation change. Bring a picnic and watch drivers zip around the track!
11. Grab an ice cream!
Enjoy an ice cream or frozen yogurt cone on a bench swing along Lake Bluff Park in downtown St. Joseph. Get delicious dips in your favorite flavors at Cabana’s, Chocolate Cafe, Kilwins or State Street Treats. The lake bluff views of Lake Michigan are spectacular, especially at sunset! Pet Friendly
12. Silver Beach Pizza
Watch the Amtrak passenger train and freight trains roll by while eating at Silver Beach Pizza in St. Joseph. It’s home to some of the area’s best pizzas — draft beer schooners.
13. Hot Dog Kart
Grab a Chicago-style hot dog from the Hot Dog Kart on the corner of State and Broad in St. Joseph. They serve Vienna beef dogs in a steamed poppy seed bun and smother it with your choice of toppings.
Watch them make slabs of creamy fudge on cool marble tables at Kilwins Ice Cream-Fudge-Chocolate Shoppe in downtown St. Joseph. Just follow your nose to their screened door. You won’t leave empty-handed.
15. Fire & Ice Pizzeria (Pet Friendly)
Wow! Watch Fire & Ice Pizzeria & Creamery in St. Joseph makes the coldest, creamiest ice cream in seconds with a blast of liquid nitrogen. It’s almost as much fun to see them make your favorite ice cream flavor as it is to eat it!
16. RyeBelle’s rooftop
Request a seat on Ryebelle’s Restaurant & Bar’s rain-or-shine rooftop in downtown St. Joseph. Then order your favorite beverage from the full bar. The Lake Michigan views are mesmerizing.
17. Have a farm feast
Enjoy dinner on the farm — you will rarely taste food this fresh and delicious! Granor Farm, a certified organic grower in Three Oaks, prepares and serves meals on Fridays and Saturdays. The vegetables, grains, herbs, and other ingredients come from their farm and local farming neighbors.
18. Feast on food truck goods (Pet Friendly)
Grab a snack or a meal from Southwest Michigan food trucks. They serve tacos, barbecue, cajun, burgers, and treats all summer. Find them at Lookout Park in St. Joseph, Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Watermark Brewing Co. in Stevensville, Arclight Brewing Company in Watervliet, and at special events and festivals.
19. Sherman’s Dairy Bar (Pet Friendly)
Get an ice cream cone or sundae at Sherman’s Dairy Bar in South Haven. If you think the baby dip cone is BIG, wait until you see the Pig’s Dinner. This place loads every scoop with flavor!
20. Play the Creative Connections Game
Earn prizes while exploring the vibrant and rich art, history, and culture of Southwest Michigan! This game is played year-round and gives you plenty of good reasons to come back.
21. Mural tour (Pet Friendly)
Take a colorful tour through our towns by seeing all the murals we have to offer. Several of these works of art actually pay homage to the history of the buildings they are on or the towns they are in!
22. Sculpture tour (Pet Friendly)
Southwest Michigan is home to many sculptures by famous artists who have left their mark on the area. Follow along this blog for some starting points.
23. SMSO (Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra)
Catch one of the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s shows! SMSO is a professional orchestra with highly-trained musicians who travel from cities as far away as Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Louisville, and Nashville to perform.
24. The GhostLight Theatre
This state-of-the-art venue is home to a slate of thought-provoking and innovative theatrical productions, featuring talented performers from the community and beyond.
25. Art hop
Quarterly, local businesses, restaurants, and galleries invite the public to celebrate art and local artists in this walkable downtown setting. Art Hops are free, family-friendly, and open to everyone. Many of the participating organizations provide light refreshments for guests. Additionally, throughout the summer, visitors can enjoy Arts in the Park events which feature local artist’s booths, music, and food.
26. Benton Harbor Arts District
Whether you want to shop around a record store, learn glass-blowing techniques, visit galleries, see a play, enjoy farm-to-table food, drink craft beer, or simply read in the park, this is the place to be!
27. Culinary Cottage
The Culinary Cottage offers hands-on themed cooking classes. You’ll learn from someone who has been in the business for years and makes prepping a full meal seem easy and fun!
28. Berrien County Historical Association
Visit Courthouse Square to see Michigan’s oldest existing county courthouse, built in 1839. Then, explore Berrien County’s storied past through exhibits and other historic buildings on site. Look for family-friendly events happening here, too, like Croonin’ at the Courthouse concerts.
29. Echoes Baseball Game (Pet Friendly)
Back in the day, visitors were enthralled by the House of David’s semi-pro home baseball team with its long-bearded players. Today, you can watch a game on the grounds and see volunteers dawn uniforms similar to the ones that players wore decades ago!
30. Eden Springs Train
While you’re there, hop over to the miniature train for a ride around Eden Springs! This train and other amusement park attractions brought visitors here from all over the country back in the House of David heyday.
31. Sail on the Friends Good Will
The Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven is the home port to five on-the-water exhibits made up of both replicas and historic vessels. You can view the museum fleet from the docks or on the water. Sailing on the 1810 tall ship replica Friends Good Will is something you will talk about for years.
32. Benton Harbor African American History & Literature Gallery
Learn how our local history is essential to America’s history. This gallery engages our communities in fostering unity in differences and developing an appreciation for the African American experience through the arts, history, and culture.
33. Kal-Haven Trail Sesquicentennial State Park Pet Friendly
Looking for a day of activity? This 33-mile trail linking the cities of South Haven and Kalamazoo is the perfect opportunity for biking, hiking, running, horseback riding, and more!
34. Stargazing at TK Lawless (Pet Friendly)
Are you looking for an amazing tourism experience? Go stargazing at one of Michigan’s three International Dark Sky Parks and an official Michigan Dark Sky Preserve. With no light pollution, you will see a spellbinding vista of our universe and its stars, planets, moons, and nebulae.
35. Disc Golf
Visit Madeline Bertrand County Park for an 18-hole disc golf course, designed by the world’s leading course architect, is contained within Bertrand’s pine and hardwood forests. Each hole features a cement tee-off area, a pole target, and a tee sign that indicates hole number, distance from tee to hole, and par. Bring your plastic flying discs and enjoy the fun!
36. Learn to surf
Great Lakes surfing is an exciting hobby, especially in the summer! Third Coast Surf Shop has the professional experience to teach beginners how to master our waves. They even have summer surfing camps for your little ones.
37. Paddle the Paw Paw River (Pet Friendly)
Rent a kayak or paddle board and paddle down the Paw Paw River. Third Coast Surf Shop offers rentals in Benton Harbor, but there are several spots to launch and exit from, including near North Pier Brewing Company in Benton Harbor, where you can enjoy a beer and burger before continuing on.
38. Walk the towering canopy at Galien River County Park (Pet Friendly)
Composed of upland & wetland habitats, this nature park features a 300′ Canopy Walkway that leads to a 60′-high Marsh Overlook Tower and a 600′-long Marsh Boardwalk that leads to a river viewing and fishing Platform.
39. Fish off the pier
Don’t have a boat? The pier in St. Joseph is very popular among fishermen. The types of fish most frequently caught include perch, trout, salmon, whitefish and catfish. Public use of the North and South Pier is allowed at your own risk. Please use caution and keep off the pier during storms or high waters.
40. Fly a kite
Grab a kite from one of our small town shops, and take it to the nearest beach! Watch your toy soar high in the sky over the waves of Lake Michigan. On a windy day, it will be joined by several kites.
41. Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve
Fernwood is a special place where people, plants, and nature come together. Beautiful gardens surrounded by forest are tucked into a landscape of 105 acres of cultivated and natural areas along the scenic St. Joseph River valley. Fernwood’s nature preserve, with its tall trees, tranquil ponds, abundant springs, and carpets of wildflowers, is a magical place that draws people back again and again.
42. Mountain Biking at Andrews University
Want a challenge? Head down to Andrews University Trails in Berrien Springs. The thrill awaits on one of the most technical mountain biking trails in the area. This ten-mile, single-track trail system has a variety of features and with more than 1,000 feet of elevation per lap, it will get your heart pumping.
43. Intermediate biking
Southwest Michigan is home to intermediate trails, too, including the new Lakeview Trail on Whirlpool Corporation’s Benton Harbor campus and the 10-mile single track at Dr. T.K. Lawless County Park in Vandalia.
44. Beach volleyball
It wouldn’t be summer without a round of beach volleyball! Bring your friends and family together for a fun game in the sand. Several beaches have nets already set up, you just need to bring a ball.
45. Ironman Steelhead Triathlon
For extreme athletes, taking part in the Ironman Steelhead Triathlon is a great way to challenge yourself and see a lot of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor area. Athletes start their day on a scenic journey through Southwest Michigan, traversing through the wine country and beaches to the finish line.
46. Makers Trail tour
Several of Southwest Michigan’s makers offer a chance to see their behind-the-scenes production. Sample their craft beverages and see how local grapes and grain make some of the most popular drinks in our region.
47. Journeyman’s Welters Folly
This is one of the largest putting greens in the world! At 30,000 square feet, this is a one-of-a-kind way to enjoy a handcrafted cocktail.
48. Bowl at Peat’s Cider
Housed within a 1960s bowling alley, Peat’s Cider Social is a place to open your palate to new hard cider and seltzer waters. And you can still bowl, too! There are also old arcade games to play, and food trucks out back occasionally.
Most of the 73 ideas on this list can be enjoyed by all ages, but here are some that babies to college-aged travelers would add to their bucket lists, too.
49. Silver Beach Carousel
Your children’s grins will spread from ear to ear the moment they walk through the Silver Beach Carousel House doors in St. Joseph. The toughest part is choosing which of the 48 magnificent, hand-carved menagerie figures and two chariots to ride first. Before you leave, ask for a passport and set a goal to ride all 50 over time.
50. Whirlpool Compass Fountain
Bring a beach ball or Frisbee, a towel, and clothes that can get wet to the Whirlpool Compass Fountain in St. Joseph. Then dance, splash, twirl, laugh and feel the refreshing water cascade over your head and down to your toes. The area’s biggest splash pad is free from late May to early September.
51. Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone
When you need a place to get out of the sun or rain, this is it! Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone will easily fill a couple of hours of your day. Toddlers to pre-teens love the Lake Michigan water table, lighthouse climbing tower, and pin wall, plus dancing and being silly by the interactive Recollections exhibit.
52. Great Lakes freighter watching (Pet Friendly)
These massive ships do not come into St. Joseph Harbor every day, but when they do, they are breathtaking. The best places to be awed are the piers by Silver Beach County Park and Tiscornia Park, Margaret B. Upton Arboretum, and the turning basin by the Inn at Harbor Shores. Have your camera ready!
53. Movies in the Park
Pack snacks and a blanket or chairs to watch a free outdoor movie with your family and friends at several parks in St. Joseph. The films start at 7:30 p.m. Check the July and August calendars for each Saturday’s film title and park location.
54. Toy shopping
Treat your child to a new toy, game, puzzle, or book from a downtown St. Joseph store. The Toy Company staff does a fantastic job recommending right-age choices. Plus, G&M, Forever Books, Oh My Darlings, and State Street Stuff are stuffed with selections you won’t find in big box stores.
55. Scooter Joe’s Wheel & Water Rentals (Pet Friendly)
Include Scooter Joe’s in St. Joseph on your kid-friendly activities bucket list. The Surrey bikes are a must, but you can also rent an individual beach cruiser, fat tire, tandem, and electric bikes. There are also Lily Pads, kayaks, canoes, and pontoon boats for the water. You won’t hear “I’m bored” from your teens.
56. Warren Dunes dog beach (Pet Friendly)
Romp at the Warren Dunes State Park dog beach in Sawyer. Leash up your dog and walk down to the designated pet area at the north end of this renowned park. It’s a great place to splash in the waves, chase balls and sticks, or walk six miles on hiking trails.
57. Antiques on the Bluff May to October | St. Joseph | First Sundays of the month
This rain-or-shine event brings around 50 antique and vintage vendors to Lake Bluff Park.
58. Dockside Music Late May to early September | Plank’s Tavern, Inn at Harbor Shores, St. Joseph | Evenings, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
Pick an evening to let the live music waft over you like the breezes from the harbor basin.
59. The Acorn shows Late May to early September | Live music, tribute bands, entertainment, competitions, and festivals | Three Oaks | Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
This intimate theater is an arts and culture hub and one of our top must-go-at-least-once summer destinations. Attending just once will make you want to fit more shows on your calendar.
60. Makers Trail Festival Second Saturday of June | Weko Beach, Bridgman
Southwest Michigan craft beverage makers will pop corks, tap kegs and pour bottles all afternoon as you seek out your favorite Southwest Michigan craft wines, beers, ciders, and spirits. There’s also dancing and chilling to regional bands and savoring summer flavors from local food trucks. Year after year, this is one of our best beach parties.
61. Lest We Forget Third Saturday of June | St. Joseph River, St. Joseph
This festival is themed around one of the U.S. conflicts from World War I to now. This is your chance to ride an amphibious landing craft on the St. Joseph River — it’s FREE.
62. Juneteenth Parade & Celebration Third Saturday of June | Downtown Benton Harbor
Attend this culturally rich afternoon to mark the end of slavery in the U.S. and promote African-American history, art, culture, economic development, and community cooperation.
63. Lumberjack Weekend at the Square Fourth Weekend of June | Courthouse Square, Berrien Springs
See lumberjack demonstrations, participate in hands-on opportunities, and listen to experts share their love of Michigan’s logging history. It’s a tree-mendous time for the whole family!
64. Baroda Fourth of July Fireworks Early July | Baroda, St. Joseph, and South Haven | Dusk
64. Krasl Art Show The second weekend of July | Lake Bluff Park, St. Joseph
This juried event is one of the premier art shows in Michigan showcasing the talents of over 172 artists from across the United States. Bluff-top views of Lake Michigan and proximity to shops, restaurants, and hotels, bring visitors back year after year.
65. Lake Breeze Music Festival Second Saturday of July | Shadowland Pavillion, Silver Beach, St. Joseph
A diverse selection of music, food, and drink on the beautiful sunset shore of Lake Michigan.
A BBQ competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society plus music and dance, children’s interactive entertainment, games and rides, food trucks, and summer sales.
67. Mike Yore Memorial Car Show Friday, mid-July | Lake Boulevard, St. Joseph
Get a close look at over 150 eye-catching classic cars, talk with the owners, and enjoy listening to classic music hits.
68. Blues & Brews Festival Saturday, mid-July | Round Barn Winery & Estate, Baroda
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the smooth rhythms of live classic jazz and craft beers, wines, and spirits in the vineyards.
69. Chalk the Block
First weekend of August | Downtown St. Joseph
This annual favorite showcases the imaginations of amateur and professional chalk artists as they fill Broad Street with their creativity.
70. Coloma Glad-Peach Festival First weekend of August | Downtown Coloma
Come for the grand parade, baking contest, food vendors, arts and crafts show, gorgeous flowers, and the tastiest, juiciest peaches.
71. National Blueberry Festival Second weekend of August | South Haven
This lake resort town knows how to celebrate these delicious berries! Come for the parade, pie eating contest, 5K run/walk, craft show, live music, farm day, kids’ activities, and rides.
72. Berrien County Youth Fair Third week of August | Fairgrounds, Berrien Springs
Midway rides and games, grandstand entertainment, blue ribbon competitions, and lots of fair food favorites make this one of the best weeks of the summer.
73. Tri-State Regatta Labor Day Weekend | St. Joseph River & Harbor
Watch racing sailboats complete the first leg in St. Joseph on Friday, join the all-day party at the St. Joseph River Yacht Club on Saturday, and see the boats off on Sunday morning.
BOOK YOUR STAY NOW
Summer is a great time to take a day trip to Southwest Michigan, but it’s even more relaxing and fun-filled when you can stay for one or more nights.
This time of year, it’s never too early to reserve a room at one of our lodgings. To get your best pick of dates, amenities, and rates, you should put booking your stay at the top of your bucket list. Then see how many of these 73 ideas you can check off before Labor Day!
Maps will also be available to download White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will have refreshments and donuts. There will also be pumpkins for the little ones throughout the month of October (while supplies last) Contest photo entries can be submitted through this link: https://bit.ly/SubmitD2DPhotosHere
At the end of October there will be drawing for for an overnight stay at the Shoreline Inn in Downtown Muskegon (standard room, blackout dates apply based on availability)
This event is FREE
Click HERE to Download Map of Suggested Scenic Routes
Instructions to Enter the Contest
Snap photos or selfie at your favorite scenic stops, businesses and attractions
Share the photo with a check-in on Facebook and/or Instagram. Include the hashtag #D2D22
Include location of photo and photo credit preference
Each entry should should include one photo attachment. If you would like to submit multiple photos entries, please enter each separately.
Winner will be drawn November 2, 2022
Prize must be claimed by November 9, 2022
2022 Depot to Depot Specials
Many local attractions and businesses are offering samples, specials and discounts throughout the month of October to those participating in the self-guided tour. Simply present your paper or downloaded 2022 Depot to Depot map to receive your offer.
Summertime in South Haven! During the summer, streets are filled with people of all ages, hands are filled with shopping bags, and bellies are full of good food and adult beverages. Nothing draws a crowd like the three, beautiful bars/restaurants that are located right on Black River.
The Idler, Admiral Jack’s, and Captain Lou’s are the perfect spots to truly experience the summertime South Haven vibes. With amazing views, the best company, and drinks on the river, some could say we are one of the best small beach getaways, even for a day. While walking around town be sure to add all these riverfront bars to the agenda, and feel right at peace with twinkling tiki lights and music that is reminiscent of Margaritaville. The Idler, Admiral Jack’s, and Captain Lou’s are some of the hottest spots in town, and are worth adding to the itinerary!
First stop, the Idler. Nothing gets your day going more than a South Haven Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.), one of their signature drinks. The Idler is located conveniently downtown, so if your thirst needs to be quenched stop by and have a S.H.I.T or a Foxy Rum Punch to take a break, rest your feet, and enjoy the views the Idler has to offer. The Idler overlooks the Black River Channel, and if you are lucky enough to get a seat in the outskirts, you may even see glimpses of Lake Michigan. Something unique the Idler offers is the “shot ski” where you and three other friends can take a shot from a ski! Just be sure to have people with similar heights, otherwise you might wear the shot instead of drinking it.
Within walking distance, and right next door is Admiral Jack’s, settled right on the river. Jack’s, as it is known by the locals, is that escape you’ve been looking for in that little chunk of paradise. They are known for their tropical drinks, so you’ll have to try a Rum Runner. It has two bars, and plenty of space to enjoy the views of the Black River, and maybe even catch the sunset. Jack’s is unique in that it serves both the people on land and in the water, as they have a dock to park your dinghy! Before cruising Lake Michigan for the day, be sure to stop by to get some food and drink. Jack’s is the middle stop of the riverfront bars, so be sure to have some water with your adult beverages, and gear up for the second half.
When it seems like the day is coming to an end and the sun goes down, be sure to check out Captain Lou’s for the nightlife scene, located right across the Dyckman Bridge. Lou’s serves ice cold drinks and food during the day, and becomes the hangout spot during the night. The two-bar set-up is the best place to watch all the boats come in for the evening. Lou’s is the best place to find yourself relaxing from the day in the sun, or the place to get the party started; accommodating both mindsets! The two bars include covered and uncovered seating, and plenty of space for dancing while live music echoes over the river. If the sun was a little too much for the day, relax in the shaded bar area and sip on something delicious! Or, if the night is just getting started, plan on dancing until your feet hurt. Lou’s might be your first or last stop of the day- either way Captain Lou’s is a must-visit while in South Haven.
So, when coming to South Haven on your next adventure, be sure to add these riverfront bars on the agenda. These small-town places have a lot to offer your vacation: drinks, food, memories, and maybe even some hangovers, but the stories will be told for years to come!
Support small businesses this year and check off your holiday shopping list with must-haves that don’t come from a mall. A host of specialty boutiques and independently-owned galleries and storefronts line the walkable streets of our downtowns, giving you the opportunity to find distinctive gifts in a more relaxed shopping experience.
Home to over 20 galleries and artist studios, there is no shortage of places here to shop for incredible artwork. Stop by the Jeff Blandford Gallery for unique and original plates, bowls, and vases to delight everyone on your list. Check out this artist’s intriguing glow glass pieces, made from phosphorescent glass and inspired by bioluminescent species, for a one-of-a-kind gift. Be sure to visit J. Petter Galleries, the largest fine art gallery in the area, which also offers extraordinary wine-themed gift and other items that make for the perfect host/hostess gift. Extraordinary ceramics, paintings, sculptures, and other handcrafted treasures can be found at Capizzo Studio, Fernwood 1891, Armstrong De Graaf International Fine Art, Button Gallery, Mixed Media Gallery, and the Water Street Gallery, just to name a few of our galleries. For a complete listing of all our galleries and studios, click here. With many galleries offering gift cards, like Amazwi Contemporary Art Gallery, you can be sure your recipient will get exactly what they want.
Smaller, but just as meaningful, art gifts can also be found throughout the area. James Brandess Studios & Gallery is offering beautiful 2022 Calendars and Hand-Deckled Cards that are suitable for framing. And don’t forget to stop by The Laffing Glass to treat yourself and everyone else to a handcrafted, whimsical glass ornament or nightlight.
If experiencing the arts in a myriad of ways is what you’re looking for, gift someone with an SCA Art Pass. Passes can be used for performances, classes, concerts, or camps hosted by the Saugatuck Center for the Arts.
Foodie & Entertainer
Please someone’s palate with Michigan-made edible gifts from Crane’s Pie Pantry, The Butler Pantry, and American Spoon. A seasonal favorite to share with friends is American Spoon’s Holiday Jam, a festive limited release made from a merry blend of figs, sour cherries, tart cranberries, and holiday spices. For the freshest, most aromatic herbs, spices, and teas available from around the globe, explore all the exotic offerings from Spice & Tea Merchants. Or, for a selection of small-batch and artisan extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from all over the world, stop by The Olive Mill. Your favorite gourmand is sure to appreciate a food gift basket from Isabel’s Market + Eatery or a gift card that can be applied to their specialty food items or demonstration cooking classes.
For unique Saugatuck apparel and a wide selection of men’s and women’s outerwear and activewear, be sure to stop by Landsharks. Stylish men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, all imported directly from France, are featured at My French Mart, a boutique dedicated to cultivating affordable French style. Carefully curated West Coast-inspired styles for both men and women can be found at Coastal Society, which also features a craft cocktail lounge on-site for the ultimate shopping experience.
For the fashionista in your life, Articles Boutique offers a selection of classic modern styles with an urban edge, while TOTU Boutique features European-inspired fashion and accessories. Other on-trend clothing and accessories can be found at Brass Anchor Co., Gina’s Boutique, and Glik’s, while more classic styles can be found at Saugatuck Traders. And for a unique accessory that also makes a sustainability statement, check out Sea Bags for a wide assortment of stylish bags made from used sails.
Make someone’s eyes sparkle with handcrafted fine jewelry from Koorey Creations for a blend of stunning originality and timeless design that’s sure to become a family heirloom. Find unique and beautiful artisan-made jewelry in precious metals and stones at Good Goods, along with a variety of other beautiful handmade items. Or, for Southwestern-inspired jewelry, stop by Santa Fe Trading Co.For inspiring and unique sterling silver necklaces, earrings and rings entwined with beautiful opals and semi-precious stones, explore the Blue Wildwood Jewelry Boutique. Handcrafted fair trade jewelry can be found at Lucia’s World Emporium, while other covet-worthy statement pieces await your discovery at Endora Bohemian, Art Glass Alcove, and Urban Found.
Plant lovers will love receiving a handcrafted traditional English-style terracotta pot or a beautiful pre-potted Kokedama moss ball garden from Puddingstone. Home décor enthusiasts will appreciate eye-catching finds, both vintage and new, from Upscale Mercantile. Stop by Brackett & Company to find urban contemporary, French country, and elegant estate quality home and garden accessories and furniture for the discerning decorator. While known for their stunning array of contemporary fine art, Roan & Black also offers beautiful home furnishings and accessories that are sure to spark delight.
For an eyeful of holiday inspiration, make Kindel & Company a must-visit on your shopping excursion. Dubbed as a “Lifestyle Mercantile,” this boutique is recognized for its creative decorating ideas, which are demonstrated on full display throughout the store. Looking for some holiday décor? Stop by It Is What It Is for festive and fun home accessories along with other handmade treasures and unique gifts. And don’t forget Tuck’s of Saugatuck, a year-round Christmas shop that features stunning collectible ornaments from Old World Christmas, Christopher Radko, Kurt S. Adler, and more.
Furry Members of Your Family
Spoil your beloved pet with a new collar, chew toy, or whimsical holiday hat from Lakeshore Pet Boutique, which also offers pet-themed items for humans and their homes. Or find a new bandana, food bowl, or specialty treat at LUXE of Saugatuck.