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Travel Guide: St. Joseph, MI

St. Joseph is a little town in the West side of Michigan about 30 miles North of the Indiana border. It feels only natural that after 4 years of living…

Travel Guide: St. Joseph, MI

St. Joseph, MI

St. Joseph is a little town in the West side of Michigan about 30 miles North of the Indiana border. It feels only natural that after 4 years of living in this beautiful city that I write a travel guide for it.

This place is actually considered a tourist town, believe it or not, and has some amazing beaches, restaurants, and things to do for the kiddos. There are also a ton of wineries and local breweries in the county so this travel guide isn’t just focusing on St. Joseph itself but also surrounding areas to get great food, beer, and wine.

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Where to Stay

The Inn at Harbor Shores

800 Whitwam Dr

Since I actually live here and don’t need a hotel, I haven’t stayed here. However, I have had friends family stay here and say it’s pretty nice. I’ve also visited here to go to residency and fellowship graduation and the spa they have.

The Boulevard Inn & Bistro

521 Lake Blvd

So with what I said above, I haven’t actually stayed here either but I have had brunch here with friends. Those same friends have done a stay-cation here and highly recommend it.

What to Eat

221 Main - Restaurant & Cocktail House

221 Main St, St Joseph

Just across the street from downtown St. Joseph is 221 Main. The hubby and I went to dinner here recently on the upper deck and loved it. They have a little more upscale feel but still casual at the same time.

Azul Tequila

105 Main St, St Joseph

Delicious little Mexican food place across the street from downtown. They have great margarita specials, beer, and cocktails for a quick bite to eat between activities.

Bistro On The Boulevard

521 Lake Blvd, St Joseph

Located inside The Boulevard Inn Hotel they serve traditional america cuisine and have an outside terrace. We went to a Santa Brunch here on year and it was delicious.

Buck Burgers & Brew

412 State St, St Joseph

This was the first place we ever visited even before we moved here. We just looked for a place with great beer and this is what we found in downtown. They have over 70 tap handles with an ever-rotating list of beers and, of course, great burgers – the Farmhouse Burger is my favorite with sweet potato fries.

It’s on two different floors so there’s plenty of seating and they also have a terrace out back on the second level so you can sit outside in the summer and enjoy the view over the bluff.


645 Riverview Dr, Benton Harbor

This is a cute little bistro over in Benton Harbor, MI. They have a great menu with sandwiches and salads to steak and seafood.

If you’re here in the summer, you can choose to sit outside on the terrace with view of the St. Joseph river.

Caffè Tosi

516 Pleasant St, St Joseph

My absolute favorite little place in downtown to grab a quick bite to eat and some amazing baked goods for the kiddos. I actually wrote a whole post and did my best to recreate their pasta salad they have from time-to-time.

If you’re doing a little shopping in downtown and want a great place to grab some lunch… this is the place.

Chocolate Cafe

300 State St, St Joseph

This is my go-to place for a great cup of coffee in downtown. They also have some amazing desserts and cheesecakes. I had a friend take me here for the first time for my 30th birthday and have been coming back ever since.

Grand Mere Inn

5800 Red Arrow Hwy, Stevensville

The hubby and I’s favorite place to head for date night. We love all their food and they have a great selection of craft cocktails. We even head here just for a quick couple of appetizers sometimes before heading to our favorite brewery.

Greenbush Brewing Co.

5885 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer MI

Greenbush Brewery is just about a 15 minute drive down the road in Sawyer but I definitely consider it a top place for dinner over any of the other restaurants the opposite way in downtown St. Joseph.

The hubby and I discovered this brewery way back 4 years ago when we first moved hereand we have been here no less than 2-3 dozen times since. Whenever we don’t feel like cooking and are just looking for a place to grab a quick lunch or dinner with great food and great beer, this is usually the place we head to.

When we first discovered Greenbush, they only had the one little restaurant/brewery. In the 4 years since, they have grown quite a bit and opened an Annex across the street that sells all their beer and a huge craft cheese selection.

The Annex is also a great place to head over to and while you wait for your table because no matter what time you come, you might just have to wait anywhere from 5 minutes up to an hour or more. They are always busy and there is usually always a line out the door for people waiting to get in.

Since Greenbush is a local craft brewery they have a rotating beer menu that changes with the seasons. Their food menu is the same way. They have a smoker out back where they smoke chicken, brisket, and pork – which is what the hubby always gets when we go – and then they have a small menu of some rotating sandwich selections and entrees.

Oh! And they have a little Lego table for the kids to play at while the parents drink beer, chat, and wait for their food. How sweet is that?!?

Haymarket Brewery & Taproom

9301 Red Arrow Hwy, Bridgman MI

This brewery is newer to the area and is originally a Chicago based brewery but they opened a brand new taphouse & restaurant in Brigeman – which is only a few minutes from St. Joseph.

The brewery is a wide open room that has a bar to the left and large picnic tables lining a windowed garage door wall to the right. The picnic tables run the length of the room all the way to the back and ended at a large window where they made the food. Inside the window were two huge brick fire pizza ovens and the kitchen.

The place is set up kind of like a luncheon where you order your food and beer from the bar area and they call your name to come and get your beer when it’s ready. If you order food, they’ll give you a table number and someone will bring the food to you.

Also, when you pay for the food and drinks, everything is included. Meaning that all taxes and tip are included in the price of whatever it is you are buying and I thought that was really nice. You can, of course tip, and all the tip money they collect is donated to a different local charity each month.

This place is also highly recommended for kiddos during the warmer months because they have a huge outdoor grassy area with picnic tables and a couple fire pits (for spring and fall) and you can just let the kiddos run around playing while you drink beer and wait for the food.

The Livery

190 5th St, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

This is a fun little spot in an old building just north of St. Joseph in Benton Harbor. I have not actually eaten here but I have gone here to have some of their brews. The beer is amazing and the pizza looks delish!

Mason Jar Café

210 Water St, Benton Harbor

This is my favorite place to grab breakfast in Benton Harbor, right down the road from St. Joseph. They have a local, farm fresh menu and a cute little patio outside you can sit at in the summer.

Their menu also changes regularly with the local and seasonal offerings which makes it a great place to stop again and again.

North Pier Brewing Company

670 N Shore Dr, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

While this place doesn’t have a full menu, it was worth the mention because they have some great beers and light snacks. If you’re just looking to go brewery hopping, this place is definitely worth a visit and should be on your list. They have a great little outdoor patio and the beers are perfect!

Round Barn Brewery & Public House

9151 1st St, Baroda, MI

On the nights I don’t feel like cooking dinner this is where we come. They have an ever-changing menu with local, seasonal ingredients and their own beer, wine, sangria, and spirits.

RyeBelles Restaurant & Bar

518 Broad St, St Joseph

This is the place to go if you want a great meal with a great view. They are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor right in downtown St. Joesph. The patio out back overlooks the bluff and Lake Michigan so you can watch the gorgeous sunset while enjoying your meal.

Schu's Grill & Bar

501 Pleasant St, St Joseph

Super casual American food restaurant with an outdoor patio that overlooks the bluff. It’s on street level so you can people watch and have a sunset view while enjoying your meal. Highly recommend the salmon BLT – amazing!

Silver Beach Pizza

410 Vine St, St Joseph, MI

This is our absolute favorite pizza place in town. We go here often… even my mom loves it and has to make a trip here every time she comes to visit.

They are located at the bottom of the bluff across from the carousel and right next to the Amtrak station and are always busy. In the summer expect a 1-2 hour or more wait or you can order you pizza from their pizza window and take it to go – which is what a ton of people do and then they head back to the beach.

Silver Harbor Brewing Company

721 Pleasant St, St. Joseph MI

I’ve been here about a handful of times and every time I visit there is always something new to try. They change the menu occasionally to always feature fresh, seasonal dishes so there is really something to enjoy year-round here.

The restaurant itself is small in comparison to a lot of other places but I think it just adds to the character of a brewpub. On one side of the restaurant is a huge wall of windows and out a door, around the corner is a sweet outdoor patio that you can sit and enjoy the gorgeous Michigan spring and summers.

Recently, they announced that they were building a brand beer garden addition that is supposed to be completed this spring. So, I cannot wait to go back and check it out once it’s finished!

Things to Do

Curious Kids' Museum & Discovery Zone

415 Lake Blvd, St Joseph, MI 49085

Interactive museum for children 1 to 10 with a play vet clinic, apple orchard, TV news desk & more. My kids loved heading here on rainy or snowy days to get out of the house and have a little fun.

Downtown Shopping

St. Joseph is a quaint little town with fun shops and eats along the bluff. You won’t find the typical chain stores, but there are a variety of shops that sell souvenirs and other knick-knacks to remember your trip. There’s also a bunch of restaurants, ice cream shops, and a few wineries for you to try!

Head to the Beach

Two of my favorite beaches, Silver Beach and Lions Beach, are right in downtown St. Joseph and are the perfect way to spend the day. They both also have playgrounds and picnic areas for you to have lunch and let the kiddos play in something other than the water. I used to go down here on random days just to let the kids play on the playground and so we could get out of the house.

Round Barn Estate

10983 Hills Rd, Baroda, MI 49101

One of my favorite places! I love visiting the winery in the spring and summer. They have a food truck and live music in the vineyard on the weekends. They brewery and winery are open and you can grab pre-made drinks, brews, or growlers of your favorite things and spread out a blanket on the lawn and listen to live music while the kiddos run around and play.

Sawyer Home & Garden Center

5865 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer MI

Right around the corner from Greenbush Brewery, Sawyer Home & Garden center is a plants & gardening supplies plus a market selling produce, gourmet foods, wine, gifts & housewares.

Silver Beach Carousel

333 Broad St, St Joseph, MI

Right next to Silver Beach is a classic restored merry-go-round with painted animals & music from a vintage band organ.

St. Joseph Farmers Market (Seasonally)

520-598 Lake Blvd, St. Joseph MI

Beautiful seasonal farmer’s market set up each weekend (during season) right on the bluff overlooking Silver Beach and Lake Michigan.

Whirlpool Compass Fountain

200 Broad St, St Joseph, MI

Tired of the sand? Walk a little out of the beach and you’ll find a fountain that you can play in and wash all that sand away! Located in a county park, this large splash pad with water jets operates during spring & summer.

Visit the Lighthouse

Don’t miss the sunset from Tiscornia Park. You can walk out to the lighthouse at the end of the pier and catch a relaxing sunset over the waters of Lake Michigan!

Take the Amtrak to Chicago for the Day

Done everything there is to do in St. Joseph? Take the Amtrak, located right in downtown, to Chicago for the day and explore Chicago! The hubby and I have done this many times and it’s the perfect getaway for the day. The train usually leaves at around 8am and comes back about 6-7ish.

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There you have it… my giant guide of all our favorite places to stay, things to do, and places to eat! Have you ever been to St. Joseph? What are some of your favorite places?

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