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St. Joseph Michigan: Best Things to Do

St. Joes lighthouse

Find Lake Michigan Beach Town Fun In St. Joe MI

When it comes to Lake Michigan beach towns, St. Joseph, also known as the “Riviera of the Midwest,” is one that needs to be at the top of your Michigan travel bucket list.

For generations, visitors have been heading to St. Joseph (not Saint Joseph), for family vacations, spring break, summer getaways or just a day trip.

And we know why.

St. Joseph Michigan is magical: you’ll feel it the minute you see the iconic Silver Beach sign welcoming you; you’ll feel is when you gaze at Lake Michigan from Lake Bluff park; you’ll feel it from just about any spot in the town.

Read onto discover WHY we love St. Joe Michigan.

st. joseph lighthouse

St. Joseph Michigan Explored

Travel Michigan and you’d be hard-pressed to find a beach town offering so much to do and see in one spot.

Quick road trip, romantic getaway or long vacation, you’ll find everything you’re looking for here.

Whether you’re headed for famed Silver Beach and the Silver Beach Carousel; the St. Joseph pier lighthouses on north pier or the cute downtown shopping area, there’s something to do for all ages in and interests in St. Joes, one of our favorite Michigan beach towns.


About St. Joe’s MI

Located just about an hour from Grand Rapids, the beach in St Joseph is on of southwest Michigan’s most-visited, renowned for its picturesque shoreline featuring a wide, sandy beach just steps from downtown shops and restaurants.

While similar other popular Lake Michigan beach towns like Traverse City and South Haven (near St. Joseph Michigan) in that if offers great proximity from the downtown shopping area, you’ll find a distinct family-friendly vibe here that sets it apart.

You can read more about St. Joseph and how to plan your vacation here, or read on to get straight to our favorite things to do in St. Joseph, MI.

st joseph lighthouse

Things to Do in St. Joseph MI

Silver Beach County Park
Located at the mouth of the St. Joseph river, this pleasant park features a wide silver-sand beach, and just about everything you need for a most-perfect beach day, from splash pads to stand up paddleboard rentals.

You’ll find concessions and restrooms; picnic pavilions and comfortable benches lining a wide, paved path; perfect for ADA and wheelchair accessibility.

This Berrien County beach even offers beach wheelchairs for added accessibility to the water.

There are lifeguards for the more than 1600 feet of swimming beach, and volleyball courts that are busy all season long.

Don’t miss the whirlpool compass fountain, which keeps the fun going with water spraying from the jets.

Silver Beach Carousel
Just yards from the beach at the Silver Beach Center is the Carousel, a classic merry-go-round featuring 44 hand-carved horses and music from a vintage band organ.

Even if you don’t take a ride, you must see this beautiful piece of St. Joe’s history that’s been delighting visitors for more than 100 years.

Also located at the Silver Beach Center is the Curious KIds Discovery Zone, a branch of the Curious Kids Museum, where curious kids from ages 2-100 can explore water activities, a climbing wall, virtual reality fun and traveling hands-on educational exhibits.

Find the BEST Beaches in St. Joseph MI

With so many beautiful beaches lining the Lake Michigan shoreline in the fun west Michigan beach town, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right beach for YOU!

Curious Kids Museum
This hands-on kids museum in downtown St. Joseph offers interactive exhibits for kids ages 1-10.

This fun spot is a great place to visit on a rainy day, a sunny day or any day in between.

An added bonus? It’s just across the street from silver beach Pizza, a must-visit spot for any visitor to St. Joes.

The Krasl Art Center
As public arts centers go, this one had checked all the boxes; offering not only opportunities for arts education but also high-quality public displays that are easily accessible.

Look for the contemporary outdoor sculptures.

It’s a very comfortable and inviting space for all ages. The nearby Box Factory for the Arts also offers excellent opportunities for viewing art, with more than 50000 square feet of gallery space.

Tiscornia Park
You’ll find sandy hiking trails leading to the north pier, as well as stunning views of St. Joseph lighthouses.

Enjoy the beautiful beach for swimming or sunbathing, complete with restrooms and a picnic area.

Michigan’s Wine Trails
St. Joseph is located on the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, which you can read more about here.

Some of our favorite spots Michigan wine in this area include the Baroda Founders Wine Cellar.

For more than 40 years this winery along the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail has been producing a wide range of award-winning wines, including our favorite “Oh Hell Yeah” Red. White Pine Winery is another favorite.

Owned and operated by an award-winning wine-maker; this winery focuses on producing classic wines.

The charming downtown St. Joe’s tasting room is fun: lots of wine-themed gifts to shop while you taste.

Try the white sangria- it’s one of the best we’ve had.

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