We are on the verge of summer here is Southwest Michigan and with that come the tourists. Now don't get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful for the tourist and the revenue they bring to small businesses in Michigan. But I would be lying if I said I went to all the tourist places in the summer, maybe in the off season.
I remember going out to dinner in June of 2019 in Douglas, MI, which I love but couldn't figure out for the life on me why it was so busy. Duh, it was in season.
I'm going to tell you five places I like to go in Southwest Michigan during the summer.
1. I love antiques and anything old get my imagination flowing. My hands down favorite antique store is Sunset Junque Shop located at 856 Blue Star Memorial Hwy, South Haven, MI 49090. I'm not a big shopper, but I can't leave this place without something. They have everything from old circus signs to cryptic confessionals to deer heads that have seen a thing or two. It is definitely on of my happy places. Open May-October 11-5 daily.
2. In the summer, my husband and I sometimes head out to Lake Michigan to go perch fishing. Last summer, we were late getting bait and had to wait for the bait guy to show up, so we thought we would try The Lodge. It is said that's where locals go and it was delicious! I had The Shakedown, which if you like smoked salmon you are going love, my mouth is watering just typing about it! It was such a beautiful day to sit outside and enjoy lunch, plus there is plenty of parking. I would highly recommend!
3. Another place I really enjoy eating at for the experience of it is The Root Beer Barrel is located at 501 W Center St, Douglas, MI 49406. Now you may be saying to yourself what's the big deal? The big deal is you order your food and your meal is prepared in a wooden root beer barrel that is two stories tall first built in the 1950s! It is so much fun! And the chilis dogs and root beer are delicious to boot.
4. Now it's summer and you are hot and want a cool treat. Well there are lots of famous ice cream places in Southwest, MI like Sherman's, Kilwin's, and Plainwell Ice Cream, but have you ever heard of Dean's Ice Cream? Well probably not, because it is off of the main road M-89 and is located at 307 N Sherwood Ave., Plainwell, MI 49080. Dean's was started in 1916 and is still going strong. All their ice cream is homemade and it is fun, because their menu is so extensive! You could try a different items everyday for a year and not have tried everything. Situated near the Kalamazoo River you can sit and watch the water pass by or go for a little walk on a nearby path.
5. Where I spend a lot of my time in the summer and well, in the winter is at my pottery studio, Bella Joy Pottery located at 11933 Doster Rd. New this summer, the showroom is open on Saturdays 11-5 and Sundays 12-4 through Labor Day. Come visit to see colorful modern stoneware and even purchase a piece to take home. Not only is each piece handmade by Heidi Fahrenbacher, but the clay and glaze is also handmade is house! You are sure to find something for everyone!