Let’s be honest. There’s not much to do when staying at Bear Cave Resort in Buchanan MI. The campground sets along the banks of the winding St. Joseph River. We were happy to discover that directly across the river was a renowned botanical gardens. We decided to take a look.
The only direct way to get there from the campground is by boat. We didn’t have one. So we had to drive about 10 miles down river, cross a bridge, and then drive 10 miles back up river to get the gardens.
You could tell that the gardens would be something special in the right conditions. Unfortunately, the day before a severe storm had passed through the area and caused a lot of damage to the gardens.
The gardens are surrounded by forest and are tucked into a landscape of 105 acres of cultivated and natural areas along the scenic St. Joseph River valley. There are miles of outdoor trails, and indoors, visitors may enjoy an art gallery, fern conservatory, nature center, cafe, and gift shop.
If we ever return to Bear Cave, and the conditions were right, we’d revisit the gardens for sure. After all, what else is there to do?