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Take Me There Tuesday: Benton Harbor, MI



Located in Southwest Michigan is my

family's hometown of Benton Harbor.

Located just 90 minutes from Chicago,

with a population of 9,000 residents.

Located within Berrien County, travelers

will find everything from fresh fruit and

vegetables at local stands or u pick

orchards to beautiful beaches.

For the golf lover we also have one of the

premier golf courses right in the heart of

the city, Harbor Shores. If you like the

outdoors, visit one of the area

walking/hiking trails or rent a kayak, or

canoe at Watertrail Ventures. Stop by the

Arts District to look at local art and grab a

bite to eat from area restaurants, don't

forget we have great wineries and

breweries too.



Benton Harbor has been the home for Whirlpool headquarters since 1911. Its continuing

investment into the community is one of the reasons for the revitalization of Benton Harbor. A

new waterfront plaza is in the works to give the public more areas to enjoy nature.


History:

Benton Harbor was founded in 1836 by Henry Morton, Steve Brunson and Charles Hull, who all

have had schools named after them. Morton House built in 1849, now houses a museum.

Benton Harbor was the home to the House of David, a religious group founded in 1903.

The House of David operated a world-famous zoo and amusement park in Benton Harbor.

” Their Eden Springs Park became the premiere tourist attraction in the mid-west for over half of

the 20th century. Although you are unable to visit or photograph the grounds, you can still drive

by and look at the buildings and architecture. Eden Springs has been reopened offering mini

train rides through the park during summer months. (pictures are from Israelite House of David website)

One building you can still see, and photograph is the “Mary’s City of David Hotel” located downtown. The exterior was cast in "Hematite," a special form of concrete made of 17 different minerals that sparkled in the sun, a distinctive feature of the House of David's architecture. It was marketed as Fireproof and remarkably modern because there were 2 windows for each room and two thirds of the rooms had private baths.

Local events:

Blossomtime Festival-Spanning two days & evenings, 20+ community queens vie for the title of Miss Blossomtime. They are judged on poise, interviewing skills, community service, & communications as well as stage presence & personality. They participate in a week of events from “an old-time baseball game” with the House of David, tour of the cities and Blessing of the Blossoms. The week ends with a Grand Floral Parade through St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. Spanning over 2 hours and 125 + entries, the parade is the must-see event in

the spring. This year is May 11th at 1p.m.

Harbor Shores, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course- Starting May 20ththe Senior PGA Championship sponsored by KitchenAid kicks off. If golf isn’t for you, explore their walking.

trails. The Harbor Shores area features 12 miles of hiking and fitness trails showcasing the best local nature and urban scenery. The trails offer some of the most breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the Paw Paw River while connecting to the Harbor Shores Golf Course. The Harbor Shore hiking trails also wind through the Ox Creek and the St. Joseph River areas, across local

wetlands, and up the dunes for more breathtaking views of the lake. Benton Harbor's Art District has several events throughout the year, from Spring Art Hop to Artoberfest. They also have Arts in the Park events throughout the summer featuring local artists booths, music and food.

The Livery is a great spot to get a craft beer or pizza. They offer trivia nights, music and other entertainment throughout the week.


From a photography outlook, Benton Harbor has it all. Whether you like nature or urban, sunsets or architecture, you can find it here.


Point of Interests:

Jean Klock Park: Enjoy Lake Michigan swimming, an observation trail up the

dunes, a playground, marsh and interdunal wetlands when you visit. Nice

clean beach, less crowded than Silver Beach.


Rocky Gap County Park: Overlooking Lake Michigan from a bluff, Rocky Gap

County Park provides a wonderful place to enjoy the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The lower park provides easy access to the sandy be

aches, and the upper park presents spectacular panoramic views from the Lake Michigan Overlook Deck. Parking can be limited.


Sarrett Nature Center: We focus on environmental education, but our nature

center is open to the public to enjoy our trails. We also offer live animal

displays, a butterfly house during the warm months, a nature play area for kids,

cross-country ski rentals, snowshoe rentals, informational displays,

naturalist-led natural history trips around the world, and interactive naturalist

programs for the whole family throughout the year. With over 1000 acres and 8

miles of trails, a treetop walkway and live native animals (Various turtle species

and screech owls). There is something for everyone to enjoy.


Hidden Gem:

Inn at Harbor Shores:

You can follow the Facebook group “St. Joseph and Benton Harbor Shipping

news” to get the latest reports from the local Harbor Master on incoming

freighters making deliveries to the harbor. The Inn at Harbor Shores offers up

close views of the ships in the turning basin near Marina island.


Other places to get a great view of these ships is in nearby St. Joseph at Silver

Beach County Park and Tiscornia Beach or the Margret B. Upton Arboretum

where you can watch them dock at either LaFarge North American or Marina

Island. Below are a few photos of the Manitowoc making its way up the channel and

waiting for a passing Amtrak. Shot from Silver Beach County Park.


I hope you enjoy the pictures of Benton Harbor, and it inspires you to visit.


Jean Klock Park-stairs to lookout

Links:

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