We are in the final countdown until we meet our baby girl in October and were in search of one last adventure before she arrived. A staycation in St. Joseph, Michigan was exactly what we needed and provided the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation with lots of great restaurants and activities to choose from.
Keep reading for our 3-day itinerary in Southwest Michigan which is perfect for whether you're visiting with your significant other, family, or on a girl's trip.
Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Southwestern MIchigan Tourist Council. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Day 1: The Inn at Harbor Shores
Our first evening in St. Joseph we checked into our hotel - The Inn at Harbor Shores. I can't recommend this lodging option enough if you are planning a trip to the area. Not only is the location ideal for exploring - including access to a free hotel shuttle and water taxi - you'll can also enjoy several amazing amenities without ever having to leave the property.
We started the evening with dinner at Plank's Tavern located on the main floor lobby. We enjoyed our meal by the fireplace listening to live music or you can sit on the outdoor patio overlooking the water. You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu here but I loved the tempura cauliflower and Nate had the surf and turf special. We ended with a strawberry cake that I am still craving to this day.
After dinner we headed outside to the dockside bar for more live music while sitting by the pool. There is also an indoor pool and hot tub on site which make for a great way to relax in the evening. To end the night we took advantage of the complimentary s'mores (available at the front deck) and enjoyed them by the outdoor fire pits.
DAy 2 Morning: Brunch, Farmer's Market, The Market
We started Saturday morning the best way possible - with a delicious brunch at Mason Jar Cafe located in the Benton Harbor Arts District and just a short drive from The Inn at Harbor Shores. They have both indoor and patio seating and it does get busy on the weekends so go early or join the waitlist online. I love how unique and fresh their menu is - definitely try their famous stuffed French toast if you have a sweet tooth.
Next, we stopped by Clifford's Coffee Canal to grab an iced coffee. They also offer a breakfast menu including insanely delicious homemade muffins if you're in search of another great place to eat. Stepping inside feels like you're entering a tropical oasis as there are beautiful plants and flowers everywhere you look. Enjoy your coffee on the patio overlooking the river or head up to the rooftop for even better views.
If you're visiting Southwest Michigan on the weekend, be sure to head to downtown St. Joe to check out the farmer's market. Tons of unique vendors line the bluff including fresh picked flowers, meats, produce, and so much more. From here, you can walk down the stairs and enjoy a stroll along Lake Michigan or head across the street to one of the many shops. Since we were in full baby prep mode, a few of my favorite stores for children's clothing and toys were Pink Lemonade, Oh My Darlings, and the Toy Shop. Or get your fur baby a special treat at Fuzzy Butz.
The Market was next on our itinerary and is such a great one-stop-shop featuring everything from wine, produce, speciality gifts, coffee, cheese and so much more! You could spend time just wandering around or grab drink or a bite to eat and enjoy it in the open food hall area. Located next door is Silver Harbor Brewing Company which is where we decided to head for lunch. I absolutely love their Mac n' cheese egg rolls so I'm going to blame this choice on the pregnancy cravings. For those looking to enjoy a local brew, this is a great stop and you can enjoy a tasting flight on their Michigan shaped boards or be a bit more daring and sip on one of their signature smoked beers.
Day 2 AFternoon/Evening - Swan Paddle Boat, Kingfisher, Kilwin's, Silver Beach
We headed back to the hotel for the afternoon to relax by the outdoor pool and try out the swan paddle boats. These can be booked online and hotel guests get 50% off an hour ride. It's a leisurely way to explore the marina and get a workout in at the same time.
For dinner, we went back to downtown St. Joseph and stopped by Kingfisher. This restaurant has a fun, beachy vibe serving up Mexican style eats including street tacos and empanadas. They also have great cocktails and the best Shirley Temple mocktail I've had this entire pregnancy. Across the street we checked off another craving with ice cream at Kilwin's. There are so many amazing flavors of hard dipped ice cream it was difficult to make a decision. They also have a variety of other sweet treats including chocolates and giant caramel apples.
The end the day we walked down to Silver Beach and spent some time sitting in the sand watching the waves roll in. This is also a great spot to catch a famous Lake Michigan sunset. If you're looking to walk along the pier or get up close to the lighthouse, head over to Tiscornia Park. Paid parking lots are also available at both beaches if you don't want to do a lot of walking.
Day 3 Morning - Plank's Tavern and Rise and Vise
Our last morning of the trip we enjoyed breakfast at Plank's Tavern overlooking the water - such a peaceful way to start to the day! I love how fresh all of their dishes are and they offer some non-traditional brunch options on the menu like a Nashville hot chicken sandwich. Also located on the hotel property is Rise and Vine which serves coffee and baked goods. If you want to try a few different varieties (or a coffee cocktail), order their signature coffee flight.
Overall, it was an amazing weekend in Southwest Michigan. If you're looking for more amazing ideas to explore this area, visit swmichigan.org
I love creating detailed travel guides to ensure you get the most out of your time. On this blog I'll be sharing some of my past trips in hopes that it helps you plan your next adventure. Pack your suitcase you never know where I'll be heading next!
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