Every year we go on a couples trip somewhere in Michigan – this year it was the St. Joseph area. One of my favorite parts of the state!
DAY 1: DOWNTOWN ST. JOSEPH + BENTON HARBOR
Mason Jar: We got lunch at my favorite restaurant in the area, The Mason Jar! It’s so cute and everything is very fresh and organic. Their lattes are super good and you can get them to go. It’s always super busy in there and they don’t take reservations, that’s the only downside.
The Livery: Next up we got some beers here and sat outside on their patio. They have live music at night, we wish we went back!
We explored the rest of Benton Harbor, there are some shops and art galleries to check out.
Next up, St. Joe proper! Lots of up north-y type shops, ice cream places, candy shops, you name it!
Silver Beach: We walked down to the beach. Yes, it’s walkable from downtown. I feel like that’s so rare! If you park at the top of the stairs, its free/cheaper. The beach itself charges for parking. We walked down and stopped at the carousel (must do) and then sat in the sun for a while. A great lunch/dinner option is Silver Beach Pizza that’s right on beach. It does get super crowded, but you can get it to go.
Silver Harbor Brewing Company: We grabbed some beers here. They have a great selection. We’ve eaten there in the past and the food is really good. Lots of healthy and vegetarian options.
The house that we rented was in New Buffalo so we headed that direction and stopped at Ghost Isle Brewery and Beer Church. Beer Church is one of my favorite breweries in the state, I think! We went there when it first opened and it was just one super small room up front. Now it’s a whole building and an entire outdoor patio! The building is an old church with a big steeple. It’s just so cute and their branding is on point. We ate dinner there and it was soooo good.
DAY 2: WARREN DUNES STATE PARK
We started the day off at The Peasant’s Pantry, which is a few minutes from the beach. They were SO cute and accommodating. Everything was so fresh and delicious. I called like a psycho and asked them to save a table for us (I get nervous traveling in a group of 10!!!) and they did it! The put reserved signs on a big table for us. They have a little shop connected to the restaurant with snacks and Michigan products.
We then went over to the beach! Warren Dunes State Park is my preferred beach in the area. We’ve camped at the campground and it’s very nice. There’s a smaller chunk of the beach on that side that’s really quiet and has a more isolated/nature vibe. We went to the main section of beach this time and it was a little bit crowded, but much less so than Silver Beach. There’s also a small beach in New Buffalo as another option.
After changing and napping, we went over to Bentwood Tavern. It was walkable from the house we rented. It’s a little bit away from downtown New Buffalo and you can make reservations. We got two tables outside – right on the water/in the marina! It’s a little bit fancier, which we enjoyed!
DAY 3: BREWERY TOUR
This area has so many breweries and wineries, we had to try them out! We rented a bus from Grape and Grain Tours to take us around for the day. Our driver WAS so nice! She took pictures for us and gave us the inside scoop on each place we went. Our schedule was:
- Greenbush – this place has a great outdoor space with games to play.
- Round Barn – one of my favorites! It’s literally a huge white round barn. That alone is cool for me. They’ve really expanded over the years and now have wine, beer and spirits. There’s a lot to do there so you could spend a whole afternoon just at this spot. They do charge you to get into the venue. And it looks like they have a bus policy – so check that out before going.
- Dablon Winery – this was our least favorite. They don’t allow buses and have other strict policies. The service wasn’t great and our driver told us some not so great stories about the place. I would skip next time!
- Transient – this was many people’s favorite stop. The inside is very woodsy and cute. They are known for their unique sour beers!
- Tapistry – Right across the street from Transient, this is a great standard brewery!
- WaterMark – my personal favorite! They have a huge outdoor area and just a chill vibe. That night they were having a luau with decorations, music and more!
After that long day, we just got pizza for dinner and Oink’s Dutch Treat for dessert! I would definitely recommend the St. Joseph area for a couples or group trip.
-Lunch at the Mason Jar
-Beers at The Livery
-Walk around downtown St. Joe
-Dinner at Silver Harbor Brewing Company
-Beers at Ghost Isle Brewery and Beer Church
-Breakfast at The Peasant’s Pantry
-Warren Dunes State Park
-Dinner at Bentwood Tavern
-Brewery tour with Grape and Grain Tours
1 – Greenbush
2 – Round Barn
3 – Dablon Winery
4 – Transient
5 – Tapistry
6 – WaterMark