Southwest Michigan, USA

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Vacation Rentals in Southwest Michigan: Houses, Cottages & More

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Stay at Houses in Southwest Michigan

Southwestern Michigan is known for its ample outdoor recreational opportunities due to its proximity to the southern portion of Lake Michigan. The area is home to many annual festivals and has a thriving agricultural area, which produces fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers that are offered for sale at farmer's markets in the summer and autumn. The most popular properties to stay at in southwestern Michigan include houses, cottages near the lake and apartments in the medium and large sized cities. The houses for rent in southwestern Michigan offer amenities including swimming pools, private backyards, full-size kitchens and central air conditioning.

Outdoor Activities

While visiting southwestern Michigan, you can enjoy many outdoor activities. If you are an avid athlete, consider participating in the annual Maytag Ironman 70.3 Steelhead triathlon, which takes place each year in August and includes a swim in Lake Michigan. Ice fishing is a popular wintertime sport, as is hockey. If you like watching sports, drive to Pontiac, Detroit or Ann Arbor and stay at apartments in Detroit while catching a professional football game of the Lions, college football at the University of Michigan or a basketball game of the Pistons.

Museums

Southwestern Michigan is home to many hands-on museums for children and families. If you enjoy the arts, visit the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, which has many examples of 20th century art among its collection of more than 3,600 pieces. The Kalamazoo Air Zoo is home to a significant collection of historic and contemporary aircraft and offers daily guided tours. You might also want to stay overnight at houses in Southeastern Michigan so that you can visit some other museums, such as the Henry Ford Museum of automobile history in Detroit or the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is home to many famous paintings depicting the industrial revolution and the history of the automobile. Some of the other interactive museums in southwestern Michigan include:

  • Morton House: This historic residence is now a museum offering a glimpse at southwestern Michigan's history.
  • Gilmore Car Museum: Located in Kalamazoo, this museum houses cars that were featured in Disney movies.
  • Kalamazoo Valley Museum: This museum features science exhibits for children and also has a planetarium.

Family Attractions

Couples and families who enjoy live music might consider seeing a performance of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in downtown Kalamazoo. Another great family attraction is the Sprague's Family Fun Farm, which includes a farmer's market, petting zoo, orchard and berry patch. The whole family could also visit the Silver Beach Carousel, which offers old-fashioned rides on beautifully hand painted horses. You might also enjoy some of these other great family attractions:

  • Blossomtime Festival: This annual event takes place in May in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph and includes a youth parade, demonstrations by expert gardeners, food, games and live music.
  • Echo Valley: This outdoor sports center has a 43,000 square foot ice skating rink.
  • Windmill Island Gardens: Check out a real working windmill in Holland, Michigan.

Weather

Southwest Michigan experiences winters that are cold and snowy, with usual January high temperatures around 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The area receives lake effect snowfall from Lake Michigan. The best time to visit southwestern Michigan is in September and October, as the weather is mild, the skies offer abundant sunshine and the foliage is beginning to turn colors.

How to Get There

You may drive a private car or rental car into and around southwest Michigan by taking I-94, which will also connect you to Chicago and Detroit. I-196, U.S. 31, M-63 and M-139 also pass through this area. For regional air service into southwestern Michigan, use Southwest Michigan Regional Airport (BEH) in Benton Harbor. Amtrak offers a passenger rail station in St. Joseph.