Southwest Michigan is a real gem in the Midwest. Great food, wineries, beaches, art, golf, fishing, and friendly locals are part of the region’s authentic charm.
There’s so much to see and explore in this part of the Great Lakes State. Fancy a trip to the beach? The sandy beaches of the Lake Michigan shoreline have you covered. Do you want to go on a wine tasting tour and sample the best local cuisine? The region has over 100 wineries and 150 wine tasting rooms, so take your pick!
Southwest Michigan has lovely little beach towns, a thriving local art scene, museums, and zoos for the kids to enjoy. You can also spend a day on a local farm where you can pick fresh peaches, apples, and blueberries.
When to Visit Southwest Michigan
You can visit the region anytime because there’s plenty to do here for every season. All you need to do is prepare your gear and clothing for the appropriate weather. The busiest tourist month is February, followed by August and March. Like most locations, transportation and lodging will be more expensive during these months.
From an “ideal weather” standpoint, the best time to visit Southwest Michigan is from May 21st to September 30th. Ideal weather is based on average humidity and temperature figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Travel Safety Tips
There are plenty of ways to get to Southwest Michigan. You can take a road trip and drive, hop on a plane, or take the scenic route by train. The region is generally a safe place to visit, and you should exercise standard security precautions. If there’s a location you want to visit and you’re having doubts, you can always ask a local for advice.
Getting Here by Train
If you have time to spare, taking the Amtrak train is one of the most comfortable and most hassle-free ways to get here. You won’t need to fuss over directions, stress over parking, or get stuck in endless traffic. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery passing by. There aren’t any special travel safety considerations when taking the train.
Other than the super convenient benefits, taking the train also takes you to St. Joseph Station. The station is a stone’s throw away from the beach and more than a dozen other fun things to do in the region. If you want to experience spectacular beaches, boating, kayaking, wine, craft brew, and year-round family fun, you can’t go wrong with St. Joseph.
Flying to Southwest Michigan
There are no special travel safety considerations when flying to Southwest Michigan. The weather is usually great all-year unless the region gets pummeled with snow. Of course, you need to monitor the weather situation and check for severe weather warnings from the National Weather Service. You can also check airport websites and your airline for any canceled flights or delayed flights.
Going on a Road Trip
Take standard safety precautions when preparing to drive to Southwest Michigan. Do what you usually do before a road trip – have your vehicle checked for safety issues and fix what you need to so you can drive safely. However, driving dynamics change during inclement weather. State authorities advise motorists to drive slowly during snow and bad weather. General advice would always be to follow Michigan’s speed limit and state driving laws. If you are renting a car first of all you need to check vin number to see if there are any defects or recalls that need to be repaired before a road trip.
For more information on driving safety in Michigan, please go to:
- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) road bulletin.
- The Michigan State Police travel information for motorists.
Pedestrian Safety in Southwest Michigan
According to the Michigan State Police, more than 100 pedestrians die in the state each year. Most of the fatalities happen between 6 PM and midnight. A majority of the victims die because they didn’t use the proper intersection when crossing the street.
And when a pedestrian gets hit by a vehicle, there’s an 80% chance that he or she dies or suffers severe injuries.
Please don’t be a statistic when visiting Southwest Michigan. Although pedestrian safety rules are universal, it’s a good idea to brush up on the information before your visit. The Michigan State Police website is an excellent resource if you’re going to do a lot of driving in the region or if you’re walking everywhere.
Safety tips for pedestrians include:
- Using sidewalks when available.
- Following traffic signs, markings, and signals.
- Crossing streets at a corner, using crosswalks and traffic signals when possible.
- Never allow kids under ten years old to cross the street unsupervised.
Safety tips for drivers:
- Obey all traffic signs, markings, and signals.
- Always yield to pedestrians.
- Stop a few meters away from a crosswalk to let other drivers see the crossing pedestrians too.
- Never pass vehicles that stopped at a crosswalk because there may be pedestrians crossing that aren’t visible.
Ben is a Web Operations Executive at InfoTracer who takes a wide view from the whole system. He authors guides on entire security posture, both physical and cyber. Enjoys sharing the best practices and does it the right way!