#CoupleGoals: Get Away Close To Home With These Romantic SWMI Staycation Ideas

“Getting away” doesn’t always have to mean going very far. By exploring an area of the region that you don’t spend as much time in, you’ll get to feel like a tourist on a romantic getaway – without putting miles on your car. We’ve created three 24-hour trip itineraries in different areas of Berrien County. So grab your sweetie and get away – close to home!

Bridgman/Sawyer /Baroda area

1) Hunt for treasures. The stretch of Red Arrow Highway between Bridgman and New Buffalo is dotted with unique antiques markets including the Sawyer Antique Mall, Lakeside Antiques, and more.

2) Stroll specialty shops. Downtown Bridgman, you’ll find The Sandpiper, offering high-quality yarns for fiber arts enthusiasts, plus a selection of tea, chocolate, and unique gifts for their companion. Or stop by Sojourn on Red Arrow Highway in Sawyer to browse artfully-curated home decor, clothing, accessories, and more.

3) Taste local libations. On a couple’s getaway you may need to please a very different duo of palates. Luckily, Local Pour, a tasting room just off Red Arrow Highway in Sawyer, offers something for everyone: beer, cider, wine, and spirits, all small-batch crafted and made in Michigan.

4) Enjoy dinner for two at Susan’s in Sawyer. The inventive menu in this newer loft-style establishment offers an elevated eating experience, and the restaurant’s vibe is reminiscent of eating out in a bigger city, adding to that ‘getaway’ feeling.

4) Stay in style. The boutique Monogram Inn and Suites, downtown Bridgman, is within a stone’s throw of Tapistry and Transient breweries, Emma’s Hearth & Market, and Lazy Ballerina Tasting Room – plus it’s an easy walk to Weko Beach to catch the sunset.

Three Oaks/Buchanan/Niles area

1) Treat yourselves at Gabrizio in Niles. This Italian bakery and cafe offers a wide selection of coffees and teas, delectable desserts, yummy breakfast sandwiches, and more – and there are even some Keto options for the carb-shunning couple.

2) Enjoy a signature cocktail at Iron Shoe Distillery, also in Niles. This small-batch distillery, cocktail bar and restaurant offers an array of spirits in a bright, open space. If you like your drinks spicy, try the Wild Josephine, an unexpected blend of vodka, pineapple, lime, jalapeño, and ginger beer.

3) Browse the shops in downtown Buchanan. From gifts and antiques to other kinds of provisions, there is truly something for everyone in this charming town. Be sure to stop into Lehman’s Farm Market Store to browse their selection of merchandise: jams and syrups, to-go adult beverages by the bottle, and more. And stay to taste their wine, spirits, cider, or beer!

4) Take in a show at the Acorn Theatre. This one-of-a-kind venue offers a variety of live performances and media presentations. After the show, it’s just a few steps to Staymaker, the beautifully-renovated on-site restaurant at Journeyman Distillery.

5) Take your pick of lodging types. You’ve got options: drive a little ways north for a country inn experience at Among the Vineyards Bed & Breakfast, or head back to Niles for a night at the ultra-romantic, historic Morris Estate.

St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area

1) Browse The Market, at 301 Main St. in downtown St Joseph. This newly-opened establishment features a diverse selection of shops in an airy open market, including the St. Joe Wine Shoppe, The Cheese Lady, The Tea Annex, St. Joe Community Taproom, Wild Ginger Flowers & Gifts, Infusco Coffee, and Dad’s Farm!

2) Enjoy a romantic dinner. Some of our favorite choices for couples, featuring a cozy ambiance + artfully share-able dishes, include Bistro on the Boulevard, Bread+Bar, and Houndstooth (be sure to call ahead for a reservation!)

3) See a show at The Livery. With a busy events schedule including multiple live shows each week, you’re sure to find something you’ll both love.

4) Spend the evening in style at The Inn at Harbor Shores. With its luxe lobby, upscale rooms overlooking the harbor, on-site day spa, pool, hot tub, and more, The Inn will help you meet all your romantic #couplegoals.

5) Before you return to “real life”, visit the Mason Jar Cafe for a fresh, seasonal breakfast or brunch – mimosas recommended.

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