Benton Harbor-Saint Joseph
By car, they can be reached from US-31/I-196 or I-94.
St. Joseph is about an hour and 45 minutes drive from Chicago.
Benton Harbor-St. Joseph is very easy to get around by car. Though be cautious of downtown St. Joseph's one-way streets.
Things to see in St. Joseph:
A Venetian Festival was held every July, but was shut down in 2011.
Use extreme caution traveling in the economically depressed areas of Benton Harbor. The area has a history of violent crime, and has experienced an increase in evening crimes. If you get into trouble, the local emergency number is the same as the nation-wide one (911).
While walking down the rather thin pier (south of the pier containing the 2 lighthouses), be vigilant of your step as the surface of the pier can be icy, wet and uneven due to both crevaces in the cement or bumps. One has to be extremely careful, especially watching kids, near the edges of the pier as some portions have no guard rails. It's best to hold little ones' hands and stay on the center, more elevated part of the pier when walking, which is further away from the unguarded edges. Huge gusts of wind and large waves wash upon the pier: at the very least you and your camera get soaked; at worst, the unsuspecting person too close to the edge could get blown right into the deep, frigid waters of Lake Michigan. Tall, tall waves smashing atop the pier, getting people wet even when they were on the highest part of the pier can be seen at times. The choppy waves and their turbulent crashing can make for an interesting sight, but must be handled carefully.