Southwest Michigan is a Top Spring Destination

April 11, 2024

by Southwestern Michigan Tourism Council


Ahhh, spring in Michigan. It is our vibrant, always-changing season when winds whoosh through our dunes, and then turn into gentle breezes wafting the sweet fragrance of pastel blossoms from our orchards and vineyards. Spring in Southwest Michigan is when ice formations slowly dissolve along the Lake Michigan shoreline and the waves roar to life, yet, moments later, the lake becomes a rippling mirror reflecting the crimson-gold of another glorious sunset. The days are longer and warmer. Songbirds return. And once again, we get a grip on our golf clubs, bike handles, fishing poles and kayak paddles, and we refresh.

Whether you are coming for a romantic getaway, to play with your children or grandchildren, meet up with your best friends or just enjoy a peaceful solo retreat, this is a top Michigan spring destination from March through May. Southwest Michigan is a quick car ride from Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis and Grand Rapids, and the Amtrak also makes daily stops at a depot that’s within minutes of most of our spring activities and hotels.

Spend your spring break in Michigan! If you need spring break ideas in Southwest Michigan, it costs very little to make memories at the Silver Beach Carousel, the Curious Kids’ Museum and Discovery Zone, soaring kites on our beaches and playing Marco Polo in our lodgings’ indoor pools.

Then come back to witness an explosion of flowers in April and May. The Blossomtime Festival in Benton Harbor/St. Joseph celebrates this colorful time with The Grand Floral parade. In May there is the Compass Music Festival in Whirlpool Centennial Park followed by the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. You’ll find fresh-snapped asparagus in our roadside farm markets and crinoids and beach glass peeking up through the sand.

Blossomtime Parade

Spring Events and Festivals

As our events calendar shows, spending spring in Southwest Michigan is full of activity. It is always more fun if you can join us, though. Here are some favorite annual spring events:

  • March: March Mannequins brings storefront windows to life in downtown St. Joseph while community volunteers pose perfectly still, like mannequins.
  • May: The biannual Senior PGA brings professional golfers and fanatics to Harbor Shores Golf Club. Come watch the action for yourself!
  • May: Blossomtime Festival is Michigan’s oldest and largest multi-community festival. Celebrate our spring beauty with the Miss Blossomtime Pageant, The Grand Floral Parade and Run for the Buds.
  • May: The first Farmers Markets and Antiques on the Bluff events happen along Lake Bluff Park that will continue throughout the summer.

Fun-for-Everyone Outdoor Activities

Hop off the couch, and feel the exhilaration of spending time outside in Southwest Michigan’s refreshing spring air and beautiful settings. Here’s a sampling of the good times that await you:

  • Beach glass hunting: Collect treasures across the shoreline and make keepsakes or jewelry with it. Read the beach glass collecting blog for hints.
  • Biking: Southwest Michigan is a known destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and cyclists aren’t to be excluded. If you are looking for a fun but challenging ride with beautiful scenery, try the local mountain bike trails.
  • Birdwatching: The number and diversity of birds in Southwest Michigan make it a great birding destination. A wide range of habitats including dunes, forests, wetlands, meadows, agricultural lands and numerous bodies of water certainly help! Moreover, many migratory birds follow Lake Michigan’s shoreline making the area beaches a great location to view a larger variety of birds in the spring.
  • Dune climbing: Nothing is more fun than the rush of running down a dune after the long trek up one. Make sure to take in the view first!
  • Paddling: Spend spring days smelling the fresh, pastel blossoms while paddling our calm water trails as wildlife returns. The water trails are open to paddle boards, canoes and kayaks!
  • Rock and fossil collecting: Find unique pieces of our landscape and history along the shore. Read the rockhounding blog for tips.
  • Fishing: Cast a line and come home with sunfish, bluegill, crappie, steelhead or walleye.
  • Golf: Choose from several courses fit to your skill level. A popular pick is The Club at Harbor Shores, the biennial site of the KitchenAid® Senior PGA Championship.
  • Hiking: Get steps in, clear your head, be one with nature, see wildlife reawakening – really the reasons to hike are endless. Check out the trail guide to learn more and read the spring hiking blog for ideas!


Learn more about spring activities in Michigan’s Southwest corner at