Travel guide for St, Joseph a travel destination on Lake Michigan

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St. Joseph, Michigan Travel

On the shores of Lake Michigan, St. Joseph is a city in southwest Michigan.  It is situated on the tip of what has been called “The Riviera of the Midwest.”  This deepwater port city is an increasingly popular resort community.


The mouth of the St. Joseph Rivere is an important point of American travel and commerce as it lies along a key water route between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.  Both the Miami and Potawatomi tribes used this route and would camp in the area.

In 1780, a trading post was established at the mouth of the St. Joseph River and a village was built up around it.  The first lighthouse in St. Joseph is in contention with Chicago’s original lighthouse as the first on Lake Michigan.  Shipping and tourism became the most important parts of St. Joseph’s economy.

In 1891, the Silver Beach Amusement Park was opened in Silver Beach.  A carousel was added in 1916.  The park also built a roller coaster, a boxing ring, Shadowland Ballroom, concessions, games, a boardwalk and other rides.  The park closed its doors in 1970.

In 1997, the Silver Beach Carousel Society was formed with the goal of getting a new carousel.  In 2010, the new Silver Beach Carousel made its debut.  It has exhibits from the Silver Beach Amusement Park, a Kid’s Discovery Zone, and Shadowland Ballroom, which can be reserved for wedding receptions, parties, reunions, and more.  The Whirlpool Compass Fountain is a great splash pad for the young and the young at heart.

The 2 lighthouses, built in 1906 and 1907, at the North Pier sit on the mouth of the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan.  The two lighthouses are connected by a catwalk extending from the shore to the outer lighthouse.  They have been photographed millions of times and were featured on a U.S. postage stamp.


People have been coming to St. Joseph for their vacations since the 1800s.  The exquisite beaches are what has been attracting tourists for over 200 years.  These beautiful beaches include

Silver Beach

Silver Beach is in the Silver Beach County Park at the mouth of the St. Joseph River.  The park has 2,450 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline, 1,600 feet of which are given to a public swimming area.  The beach features access to SSouth Pier, volleyball courts, picnic tables, grills, playgrounds and barrier free walkways.

Grand Mere State Park

Grand Mere State Park has a beach on one mile of Lake Michigan shore with magnificent sand dunes.  This beach is pet friendly.

Lions Park Beach

Lions Park Beach has swimming, playground, picnic areas and sheltered pavilions.  It offers a great view of St. Joseph’s piers and lighthouse.

Weko Beach

Weko Beach has 900 feet of Lake Michigan beach, a bathhouse, restrooms, swimming, picnic area and playground.  There is also a boat launch directly into Lake Michigan and volley nets.

Jean Klock Park Beach

Jean Klock Park Beach is a hidden gem and one of the most beautiful beaches in Southwest Michigan.  Enjoy swimming, an observation trail up in the dunes, wetlands, marsh and a bath house.

Rocky Gap Park

Rocky Gap Park features 3 acres along 1,110 feet of shoreline.  Enjoy swimming, picnicking and scenic views.

Warren Dunes State Park

Warren Dunes State Park – The beach has 3 miles of shoreline, dune formations rise 260 feet above the lake offering spectacular views and hang gliding.

Outdoor Adventures

In addition to sunbathing and swimming, St. Joseph’s beaches and parks offer so many outdoor adventures.

Head out on a fishing charter.

Go hiking and explore hundreds of acres of rolling sand dunes, forests, hemlock swamp, deep woods, and more.

St. Joseph has numerous vineyards and wineries.  Many wineries offer tours and tastings.


Many visitors come to St. Joseph to enjoy the great outdoors and reconnect with nature by camping.  Warren Dunes State Park has two campgrounds with tent sites and RV sites with hookups.

If you’re interested in renting an RV, Green Vacation Deals recommends RVshare.

Green Vacation Deals can share ways to save money if you’re interested in buying a tent, a tipi, or camping cookware.

Hotel Deals

If your preference is for a hotel, please consider the following hotels.  They have discounted rates up to 58% and you can book them through to realize the savings.

  • Quality Inn & Suites       58% Discount
  • Best Wishes Benton Harbor – St. Joseph       57% Discount
  • Comfort Suites Benton Harbor – St. Joseph       53% Discount
  • Hampton Inn I-94 St. Joseph       46% Discount
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott St. Joseph       46% Discount
  • Staybridge Suites Benton Harbor – St. Joseph       45% Discount
  • Comfort Suites Stevensville – St. Joseph       42% Discount
  • Hilton Garden Inn Benton Harbor/St. Joseph       37% Discount
  • Courtyard by Marriott St. Joseph Benton Harbor       35% Discount
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott St. Joseph       35% Discount
  • The Inn at Harbor Shores       35% Discount
  • Econo Lodge       30% Discount
  • The Boulevard Inn & Bistro       30% Discount
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites St. Joseph       25% Discount
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Benton Harbor       18% Discount
  • Candlewood Suites St. Joseph       5% Discount