Ten to try

From galleries to cafés, here’s a sampling of our seasonal favorites in southwest Michigan
Photo Courtesy of Kim Zahnow

1Pinots ’n’ Paintings: Located on Michigan’s Art Coast in Douglas, J. Petter Galleries invites patrons to sip and see. You can enjoy a glass of wine while checking out unique paintings, sculptures, and more. Boutique wines, artisan cheeses, and hand-poured chocolates in the wine bar and shop await. jpettergalleries.com

Photo Courtesy of Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council

Follow the Guide: There’s been an explosion of new wine, beer, spirits, and cider offerings in southwest Michigan. For a tasty look at what’s new, check out the Makers Trail Passport app, which lists Berrien County’s more than 40 popular stops, participating hotels, and maps. There are tours and even prizes for frequent visits. makerstrail.org

Saugatuck, Michigan
Photo Courtesy of Saugatuck Chamber of Commerce

Take a Hike: Saugatuck’s Mount Baldhead boasts unparalleled views of Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River valley. This is an adventure-lover’s destination, requiring climbing 302 stairs to reach the observation deck. Breathe and keep going up — the views are worth it. For a cool-down exercise, consider a nature walk on the park’s one-mile loop. saugatuck.com

USS Silversides Museum
Photo Courtesy of USS Silversides Museum

Climb Aboard: The USS Silversides submarine served 14 patrols in the Pacific during World War II. Now retired and docked in Muskegon, she can be toured; visitors will get a rare look at life in a submarine. A two-story museum on-site includes artifacts and tells the stories of those who served in the war. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter McLane also is available to explore. silversidesmuseum.org

Spring Lake Michigan Jamboree
Photo Courtesy of Steve Van Belkum

521st Jamboree: Spring Lake’s annual Heritage Festival, June 8-14, started as a community picnic in 1972 and has grown into a week-long fusion of fun activities for all ages, including an artisan market and boat show. slheritagefestival.com

L.A.’s Coffee Café
Photo Courtesy of L.A.’s Coffee Café

6Java Joy: L.A.’s Coffee Café, a quaint, family-run coffee shop with great coffee and amazing pastries, is situated on the Rocky and St. Joseph rivers in the middle of Three Rivers, near Kalamazoo. Which concoction to order? On any given day you might find a fresh chicken-salad croissant or a London Fog (steamed milk and Earl Grey tea with a splash of lavender and vanilla) on the menu. lacoffeecafe.weebly.com

Tulip Time Holland Michigan
Photo Courtesy of Ellen Creager

7Fields of Color: One of America’s most colorful events, Holland’s 95th Tulip Time Festival, runs May 4-12. Plan a visit this spring to take in the parades, millions of tulips, floral immersion experiences, Dutch dancers, entertainment, and photo opportunities galore. tuliptime.com

Photo Courtesy of Woodrows Duckpin

8Let it Rip: The lanes are shorter, the balls are smaller, and the pins are lighter than regular bowling, but duckpin bowling is a big-time blast. Reserve a lane and gather family, friends, or colleagues for some trash-talking and lots of laughs at Woodrows DuckPin bowling sports club in Grand Rapids’ Amway Grand Hotel. No special shoes, ball — or even skill — are required. You can even BYO food! woodrowsduckpin.com

Photo Courtesy of Judy Williams

9Tasty Treats: A tucked-away treasure on a wooded road in Fennville, Evergreen Lane Creamery is a scrumptious year-round favorite. Plan a visit to check out their artisan goat cheeses made on-site, crackers, and cold drinks, and say hello to the attention-loving goats that call the farm home, including Falyn, the retired resident goat. All the milk the creamery uses is locally sourced. evergreenlanefarm.com

Cove Lakeside Bistro
Photo Courtesy of Cove Lakeside Bistro

10Lake View, Please: Looking for an eatery on the water that satisfies everyone from vegans to seafood lovers to meat eaters? Head to Cove Lakeside Bistro, on West Lake in Portage. You might find vegan mushroom stew, gluten-free chicken confit, baked lasagna, or pineapple upside down cake on the menu. Quinoa burgers, French onion steak dip, and whitefish sandwiches are popular items. covewestlake.com 

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