St Joe Michigan

Ah, St Joe Michigan, my hometown!  St. Joseph will always have my heart.  Summer evenings are always my favorite time to be at the beach.  I prefer walking in the sand, along the edge of the water after the throngs of people have left the beach.  It makes me feel like I have reclaimed "my beach," that it's pristine and sparkling just for me.  

As a note, we have never been paid to review or list any of the businesses listed on this page.  They are simply our favorite places to visit and we wanted to share them with you.

“And You, Seas” by sculptor, Richard Hunt was commissioned in 2002 by the Krasl Art Center of Art of St. Joe, Michigan and the Berrien County Department of Parks and Recreation.  The stainless steel sculpture stands 55 feet tall and has weathered winds over 100 miles per hour!!

Whirlpool Compass Fountain

My Favorite Things to Do in St Joe Michigan

  • Walk along the bluff overlooking the lake.  If you're lucky, a swing (big enough for two) will be free.  The breezes are fantastic on a summer day as you watch the sailboats drift down the river. 
  • Wander through the shops in downtown St Joe Michigan and of course, sip a cup of hot chocolate at the Chocolate Cafe.  Ask if it can be served with a chocolate spoon...ooohhhh (Homer Simpson style)
  • Walk along the pier to watch boats of all kinds drifting down the river and out to the lake.  We love to watch the jet skiers showing off their best jumps.
  • Play in the free water cannons and fountains at the Whirlpool Compass Fountain!  It's right across from the Silver Beach Carousel near the beach.
  • Ride the Silver Beach Carousel!  If it's a hot day, cool off in the air conditioning and pick your favorite animal!  Be sure to check their website to verify their hours.  It changes with the seasons.
Awesome Day on the Pier in St. Joe, Michigan

My Favorite Places to Eat in St Joe Michigan

  • The Buck-I am OBSESSED with eating outside in the summer. Drives Chris nuts.  But he puts up with me because he loves me. ;)  ANYWAY, they have a great deck on the back with nice breezes and of course, good food.  I love the salmon salad and Chris always orders the burger.
  • Silver Beach Pizza-Yep, you can eat outside.  I love this place.  BUT it is SWAMPED during the summer so, get there early.  You can also be placed on a waiting list and they will text you when your table is ready.  As a note, they have an upper deck that is adults only, 21 and over.  It's reservation only, so reserve your table early!  Enjoy a beverage and pizzas with a view of the water cannons and the gorgeous lake.
  • Clementine's Too-Again, you can eat outside, overlooking the river.  This restaurant is on Broad Street, away from the busy beach area. You must try their house-made onion rings served on a wooden peg...yum!  And I love their steak salad.

Tips From A St. Joe Native!

By Featured Contributor-Larry Collin

St Joe Michigan is a great little Lake Michigan town in the Southwest part of the state.  Silver beach and the light house are the main reasons why people love this visit this area.  It is also very family friendly.  There are so many things to do with your family, like the Curious Kids museum where kids engage in hands-on science things to do. 

The interactive Whirlpool Compass Fountain is a great place for kids to play and even the adults have fun; if one doesn’t mind getting WET! Plus it's free!!

Boating, kayaking (rent from the St. Joseph River area), stand-up paddle boarding (rent them on the beach area), swimming, building a sand castle, playing on the playground equipment like slides, swings, jungle gym and other activities (on the beach) are great summer activities.

Another family fun activity is renting a Surrey Tram built for three to nine adults plus two kids (all pedaling around the downtown area).  

Walking out on both piers (north and south), seeing the lighthouse and enjoying the boats are enjoyable. Near the interactive fountain is the Silver Beach Carousel that is indoors taking one back-in time.  You can ride all different kinds of animals and there is a spinner that up to four can spin around as the carousel goes around.

The downtown area is great for shopping and restaurants.  Schu’s Bar and Grill has great potato soup, salads and fish. When the weather is nice, you can eat outdoors with a view of Silver Beach and Lake Michigan.  You can't beat watching the sunset while enjoying a glass a wine on their patio! 

The Buck for beer and great burgers with roof top dinning overlooking the Silver Beach area. 

Broad Street Cafe offers a variety of sandwiches including fresh bagels with smoked turkey breast with lots of topping choices.  I enjoy the feta and spinach bagels.  The fun part is choosing your bagel!  Oh and don't forget to get a coooooookie!  

Away from the lake area located on Hightop road by the fast food restaurants is Papa Vino’s Italian restaurant (pastas, steak and shrimp) and it is one of my favorite places to eat. 

On the bluff area there is an old cannon pointed out towards the Lake that once protected the area from invading ships.  Kids can sit on it and take pictures pretending to be pirates!  ARRR!  In all, St Joe Michigan is a great place to visit in the summertime for the entire family!

St. Joseph Today Welcome Center located at 301 State Street (on the bluff) can help you plan your day.

St. Joe Sculpture at Sunset

Public Restrooms on the beach are scarce.  There is one main bathroom on the beach but be prepared to wait in long lines.  If you are up for a walk, just past Silver Beach Pizza are stairs heading to the top of the bluff. There are restrooms near the top of the stairs.  St. Joseph Today Welcome Center located at 301 State Street (on the bluff) also has a restroom. 

Beach Parking-If you want to park in the beach lot in the prime summer months (for a fee), get there well before noon.  

  1. Travel Michigan Home Page
  2.  ›
  3. St-Joseph

We are Chris and Sherry, your travel guides!  As Michigan born travel junkies, we fully embrace getting dirty, falling into a creek to capture that great photograph or eating somewhere slightly questionable in pursuit of unearthing the very best experiences our stunningly diverse state has to offer.  Read More About Us!


Newsletter Opt-In

Free Itineraries! WHATTT?! 

Sign up for our FREE newsletter for super secret Travel Michigan tips, news and advice. 

Planning a road trip?  Need Ideas?  We can help!

Register Now to hit the road with us!    

Join our other travelers following our adventures!

START EXPLORING