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Benton Harbor-Saint Joseph

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Benton Harbor and Saint Joseph [dead link] ("Benton Harbor-Saint Joe" for short) are two nearby towns in the Lake Michigan Beachtowns region of Michigan.

Get in[edit]

St. Joseph is a station on the Amtrak route Pere Marquette between Grand Rapids and Chicago. 1 St. Joseph station is located at 410½ Vine St, just a stone's throw from downtown and silver beach.

By car, they can be reached from US-31/I-196 or I-94. It's about 1 hour and 45 minutes' drive from Chicago.

Get around[edit]

Benton Harbor-St. Joseph is very easy to get around by car, though be cautious of downtown St. Joseph's one-way streets.

See[edit]

  • Krasl Art Center, 707 Lake Blvd, +1 269 983-0271. M-W,F-Sa 10AM-4PM, Th 10AM-9PM, Su 1PM-4PM. Small art museum with rotating exhibits. Free.
  • Curious Kids' Museum, 415 Lake Blvd, +1 269 983-2543. Summer: M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 10AM-4PM; rest of year: W-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 10AM-4PM. Children's museum with over 100 hands-on exhibits geared to kids ages 1 through 10. $6, or $10 joint admission with the Discovery Zone.
  • Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St, +1 269 983-3688. M-Sa 10AM-4PM. A repurposed paper box factory that now hosts art galleries, artist studios, and performances. Free.
  • Silver Beach
  • Lighthouse
  • Downtown shopping area
  • Sunset over the lake from the bluff
  • Tiscornia Beach

Do[edit]

  • Ice Festival (February)
  • Blossomtime Parade (May)
  • Krasl Art Fair (July)
  • Venetian Festival (July)
  • Chalk the Block (August)

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Tosi's Cafe, 516 Pleasant St, +1 269 983-3354. M-F 7AM-8PM, Sa 8AM-8PM, Su 8AM-4PM. Great place for breakfast, lunch or a light evening snack. Excellent food, pastries, and coffee.
  • 2 Kilwin's Ice Cream, 217 State St, +1 269 982-1330. M-F 10AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-10PM, Su noon-9PM.
  • 3 Silver Beach Pizza, 410 Vine St (attached to the Amtrak station), +1 269 983-4743. Summer: M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10PM; rest of year: M-Th 4PM-9PM, F-Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-9PM.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Try to avoid traveling alone in the economically depressed areas of Benton Harbor. The area has experienced an increase in evening crimes.

While walking down the rather thin pier (south of the pier containing the 2 lighthouses), be vigilant of your step as the surface of the pier can be icy, wet and uneven due to both crevaces in the cement or bumps. One has to be extremely careful, especially watching kids, near the edges of the pier as some portions have no guard rails. It's best to hold little ones' hands and stay on the center, more elevated part of the pier when walking, which is further away from the unguarded edges. Huge gusts of wind and large waves wash upon the pier: at the very least you and your camera get soaked; at worst, the unsuspecting person too close to the edge could get blown right into the deep, frigid waters of Lake Michigan. Tall, tall waves smashing atop the pier, getting people wet even when they were on the highest part of the pier can be seen at times. The choppy waves and their turbulent crashing can make for an interesting sight, but must be handled carefully.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Benton Harbor and St. Joseph
Grand RapidsHolland  N Amtrak Pere Marquette icon.png S  ChicagoEND
Michigan CityStevensville  W I-94.svg E  ColomaKalamazoo
Grand Rapids/MuskegonSouth Haven  N I-196.svgUS 31.svg S  I-196.svg ends → NilesSouth Bend


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