Ranked as one of St. Joseph’s top attractions by TripAdvisor, the Silver Beach Carousel features 50 hand-carved, hand-painted animal figures and chariots; while kiddos are entertained by 1,000 twinkling lights and organ music for just $3 a ride, adults can admire historic photographs along the carousel border. Open year-round, Silver Beach also offers swimming, hiking and camping (with running water and electricity) on Lake Michigan. Across the street from the popular carousel is the Curious Kids’ Museum, with imaginative exhibitions like a simulated apple orchard, a play veterinary clinic and even a machine that will encase children in a gigantic bubble. Admission is $6.
Refill hungry bellies at Silver Beach Pizza, a pizzeria in a historic Amtrak depot that routinely appears on “best of” lists. Kids will love the playful atmosphere that includes a Superman phone booth perfect for pictures. Adults can unwind with the super-frosty beer known as an “ice-cold schooner,” whose popularity helped launch the restaurant.
To reach St. Joseph, drive about:
More Michigan Lake Beaches
Want to explore beyond the beaches of Lake Michigan? Consider these three lake spots for your family vacation in Michigan.
Tawas Point State Park
Nicknamed the “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” this park offers travelers excellent bird-watching opportunities and shallow, family-friendly beaches on the shores of Lake Huron.
Revered for its Caribbean-like turquoise waters, Torch Lake is also known as Michigan’s longest inland lake, which makes it an excellent destination for water skiers. Enjoy 48 points of access along the lake’s 41 miles of shoreline.
Fans of Ernest Hemingway might enjoy fishing in Walloon’s clear blue waters as much as the American author did during summers at his family’s cottage on the lake’s shore. Cast your reel, boat or swim in the lake’s 100-foot-deep waters while vacationing in this northwestern part of Michigan.
Can you swim in Lake Michigan?
The answer varies drastically depending on the weather. Check the Recreational Beach Forecast before diving in to ensure you are not in any danger.