Visit: St. Joseph, Michigan

We just wrapped up our trip to St. Joseph, Michigan after booking a short getaway with our kids. My friends and co-workers had plenty of fanfare around this little town so we figured we’d give it a shot. It’s only about a 3 hour drive from Indianapolis, which is the best part. 

The second best part? It was 70-75 everyday. The sun keeps you warm, but the wind keeps it cool.

We had a 3 year old and an 8 month old, and it was a great place for kids and families. It would also be a great trip for adults only. (I mean is that ever gonna happen for me in the next 5 years??)

Where to Stay: 

We were looking for convenience because it seemed like parking was going to be an issue. We booked at the Silver Beach Hotel which was like a 5 minute walk to the beach. Looking back, I would have preferred one of the more mainstream hotels with a kitchenette or multiple rooms a few miles out of town. Free parking seemed plentiful with a short walk. If you don’t want to walk there is a parking lot right by the beach, but it’s $12 a day so depending on how much you save on your hotel or how little your kids are, it may be worth it. 

Our hotel was fine, but a little run down. It had free parking, wifi, breakfast, and an indoor pool, and it was a pretty decent price. Again, depending on what you want, I’d probably look at other options. 

My friend stayed at Staybridge Suites about 10 mins from the beach with a kitchenette and living space for the same price. I’m sure Airbnb has great options too, but I haven’t gone that route yet. 

Things to Do:

The beach is a no brainer. It is a great beach with soft and clean sand. There are two playgrounds on the beach with a little snack shack on the grounds as well. Lots of beach volleyball spots as well. *Beware: everything like parks, parking, and food trucks only took cash or check. (??? Who has either??) 

Just steps from the beach is an adorable carousel that is super charming. Across from that is a huge fountain like splash pad. 

There were jetskis and boat tours on the other side of the pier, as well as a light house tour on the weekends. We didn’t do either but it looked popular. 

We heard about the Curious Children’s Museum and I was skeptical because some online pictures didn’t do it justice, but for $30 all three of us and the (free) baby got admission to the main museum and the science one across the street. It was clean and very cute. I would say it’s mostly for kids probably 10 and under. Both of my little kids loved it. There is a 3 and under room that was really cute. We spent about 2 hours visiting both places. 

Sarrett Nature Center is about 20 miles away in the middle of nowhere. It’s got a cute little nature center with turtles, snakes, etc. It has some trails and a cute little playground. It also has a little Ninja like course in the woods. Past that is a wooden stroller accessible path that takes you to a huge lookout spot. It has a butterfly garden for additional cost, but we didn’t go to that.  Kids 12 and under are free and everyone else is $3 so it may be worth to make a little trip out there. 

South Haven is another big hot spot to stay. It’s about 30 mins away and has a very nice downtown area with lots of shops and food. It also has a nice pier area where the boats come in. It may be our next trip!

About 20 minutes away is Captain Mikes Fun Park. It’s a great little gem with games, bumper boats, mini golf, batting cages, etc. It closes at 5 during the week so dont to at 430 like we did. 

Lucas hit the jackpot! (He's been wearing his witch and crocodile hands ever since.)

My favorite place!! Right by Captain Mikes is Warren Dunes State Park. Its $9 to get in per car (cash or check). It totally something worth going all day or camping there if that’s your thing. We like to go to the beach after early dinner because it’s not too hot and less busy. 

The dunes have a beautiful beach, food trucks, and some sport rentals. We brought the camera and took some family pics as we let the kids play.

Here are some of my family pics we took...I mean so worth the $9!

Where to Eat 

Well, food is pretty much my hobby as a parent now. Here were our favorite spots:

1. Silver Beach Pizza 
This was highly recommended by pretty much everyone I know. It’s right by the beach so it’s an easy walk after a long day in the sand. I heard the waits were ridiculous, but we went at 5pm and got right in with 8 people. The also have an app you can download via their website to check in early. They have a rooftop bar for adults as well. Very yummy. 

2. Plank’s on the Water
This is part of a nice hotel across the bridge. We went their for breakfast and it was GOOD. The bloody Mary’s were great. They also have a nice outdoor bar that would be fun for date night. 

3. Reyebell’s Restaurant 
We had lunch on this rooftop restaurant with the kids. It’s like 3 flights of stairs, but apparently we are gluttons for punishment. The food was great, and there was an adults only bar across the hall. (Do I sound envious?) 

4. The Lakehouse Restaurant 
This place is quite beautiful. The lawn has lawn games and live music on the weekends. Their patio is super nice too. I got the bang bang shrimp tacos, and my daughter pretty much spilled it all on me. But... I eat for the atmosphere because Lord knows I have to inhale my food. 

5. The Chatterbox
This is a little dive, but kids are allowed. It’s got an amazing adult grilled cheese and super cheap prices!

6. Lake Street Eats
This is more toward Warren Dunes, but it’s a little restaurant with craft beer and food food. It wasn’t busy, and um.....they have a skillet cookie!

We also use YELP to help us fine places to eat, and it did not disappoint! I’m sure there are plenty of other great places out there!

I hope this gives you a little insight on what to do when you get there! It’s such a quick drive from Indy that it’s worth a short or long getaway!

 Just a few tips with kids: bring cash, drink fast, and bring extra shirts.


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