The hospital in St. Joseph was originally Lakeland Medical Center. It merged with Grand Rapids-based Spectrum to become Spectrum Health Lakeland, and when they merged with Detroit area hospitals, became Corewell Health. Lakeland was named multiple times in recent years as one of the nation’s 15 Top U.S. health systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson HealthTM business. Truven Health Analytics is a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. The original multi-hospital system, under the name Lakeland Health, was also recognized as a Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospital in 2013.
In 2016, Lakeland Health became one of only 29 hospitals in Michigan and 15 hospitals in Indiana to receive an “A” grade by The Leapfrog Group, ranking the organization among the safest hospitals in the United States.
Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data, such as hand washing, infection rates, and patient falls, to assign A, B, C, D, and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year, with only 844 hospitals receiving an A grade in the most recent report. Grades are calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent, and free to the public.
There’s something for everyone in Michigan’s Great Southwest. We enjoy all four seasons here. Here’s a snapshot of what awaits you.
- Niles-Benton Harbor MSA was named 9th best summer town by USA Today (August, 2013)
- Home of Whirlpool Corporation headquarters and Whirlpool North America
- Over 40 miles of Lake Michigan coastline including 7 public beaches
- 17 parks with hiking, fishing, cycling, running walking and kayaking
- Over 400 golf courses within a 100 mile-radius (including the annual Senior PGA Tour)
- 306 inland lakes and rivers
Silver Beach has been named to every top beach list in the country as a Top 100 or in Parents Magazine, a Top Ten beach, every year.
- Silver Beach has two sandbars, giving it a long stretch of shallow, warm water–great for children of all ages.
- Large playground for children.
- Kayak rentals available on the beach.
- Canopied picnic sites can be reserved in advance with a fee; they come with pavement, picnic tables and barbecue stands.
- Silver Beach has 19 volleyball courts in the summer
- The front area, near the parking lot, offers a refreshment stand, indoor restrooms, and foot washing fountains.
- Drinking fountains come in three levels each: one for adults, a middle one for children, and a ground level one for dogs.
- The perimeter sidewalk is usually filled with dog walkers.
Scenic Silver Beach is accompanied by piers that protect a shipping canal where Great Lakes freighters run nonstop in three seasons of the year. The north pier includes a walk to the landmark lighthouse. The south pier includes a smaller beacon that identifies St. Joseph (there are many other lighthouses up the coast of the lower peninsula).
The annual Fourth of July fireworks can be seen best from Silver Beach and at Tiscornia Beach. The attendance at this beachside spectacular grows every year, now reaching more than 100,000 attendees. It is a family friendly event. Hundreds of pleasure craft, frequently with lights, anchor in the bay.
Tiscornia Beach, on the north side of the shipping pier, offers unparalleled stretches of beach, indoor restrooms and bigger waves.
Nearby Lions Beach offers close parking and short shores, indoor restrooms, extensive playground equipment, volleyball courts, sidewalks with benches and canopied picnic areas. Like Silver Beach, the latter must be reserved in advance and there is a rental fee.
It is common in summer to see parasurfers, sailboats, fishing boats and pleasure craft all along the lake.
Fishing off the pier attracts numerous hopefuls nearly all year round. People have caught sturgeon, perch, Coho salmon and the only freshwater cod, burbots.
On Labor Day weekend an annual regatta leaves from St. Joseph early in the morning. The vibrant colors of the sails ignite the dawn.
We’ve Got Culture!
Whatever your taste, our area is full of arts and culture.
- Krasl Art Center offers visitors and members high quality art through domestic and international exhibits, classes and a nationally- acclaimed art fair each July on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.
- Sculpture St. Joseph offers sculpture outdoors throughout the good weather season, along the shipping canal park, outside and inside Silver Beach, and at the Krasl Art Center. Some of it is available for sale. There is a colony of artists in the area. World-famous sculptor Richard Hunt, who lives in Chicago and spends summers in Benton Harbor, has major pieces throughout the area. Look for them at the shipping pier, in front of the hospital in St. Joseph, and at the entrance to the outdoor sculpture park at the Krasl. For more than three decades Richard Hunt’s status as the foremost African-American abstract sculptor and artist of public sculpture has remained unchallenged. Executed in welded and cast steel, aluminum, copper, and bronze, Hunt’s abstract creations make frequent references to plant, human, and animal forms. More than thirty examples of Hunt’s sculptures are located in Chicago, elsewhere in the Midwest, the South, New York, and Washington, D.C.
- Box Factory for the Arts showcases local artists’ work in their public galleries, and these same talented individuals create their masterpieces in the studios, located in the building. You can enjoy the local musical talent performing at the Box Factory in special performances throughout the year.
- Benton Harbor Arts District boasts local art galleries and restaurants including a brewery where live entertainment and new craft beers can be enjoyed.
- The Southwest Michigan Symphony offers year-round concerts, indoors at the Mendel Center and outdoors at the Silver Beach Pavilion.
- Speaker Series The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan offers a vibrant mix of speakers throughout the year, with dinner and/or speaker only, and some options for zoom.
- Theatre Local audiences enjoy The Ghostlight Theatre, The Lake Michigan College theatre presentations and the Twin City Players, a nonprofit supported by sponsors and modest ticket prices. Local talent is a great asset. Offerings run year-round, with special holiday attractions.
Food & Restaurants
Southwest Michigan is home to orchards, berries, and every kind of fresh vegetable you can think of. You can find farmers’ stands everywhere in summer and fall. The local supermarkets buy from them, too. You can pick your own berries or apples at some farms; buy your own plants and flowers at local nurseries, who offer a wide variety of supplies for the home gardener; and buy fresh fish on weekends, flown in, at a downtown St. Joseph shop.
Local farmers grow grapes for juice and wine, which has led to an increase in wineries and tasting opportunities. When you see tall lines strung with vertical plants, those may be hops, a new and plentiful crop supporting the local microbreweries.
- 17 wineries are located throughout Michigan’s Great Southwest
- 8 breweries boasting craft beers, hard ciders
- 2 distilleries offering handcrafted artesian spirits
DOWNTOWN St. Joseph
Events, events, events: The annual Blossomtime Parade (featuring king and queen courts from many southwest Michigan cities, magnificent floats and special events); Light up the Bluff (November spectacular holiday lights begin); Ice Fest; 5K and longer runs; Lest We Forget (a tribute to wartime veterans); Beer Fest; The Fannie Mae Reindog Parade (be sure to costume both yourself and your dog); tastings, contests, and more. See stjoetoday.com/events
Shops: Clothing boutiques; summer casual wear; sportswear shops; souvenirs; a locally owned bookstore; a boutique bakery for dog cookies and all things dog and cat; winery tasting bars; a chocolate café; a chocolate shop for treats and ice cream; ice cream shop offering cones and special treats; coffee shops; a home goods store that offers cooking classes; antique stores; a five-and-dime-style store for those little things you forgot to bring or never expected to find; restaurants with rooftop seating; spa salons; yoga/pilates studios; and much more.