Friday, August 5, 2016

Beaching it in New Buffalo, Michigan!


\View of New Buffalo beach in Michigan from atop the dunes.
View from one of the dunes.
Every summer we make a day trip to New Buffalo, Michigan for a little escape. The drive is about 2 hours from our home in the Chicago suburbs. So, we pick a Sunday to get up early for our special day on Lake Michigan. We have been doing this for years, so New Buffalo feels almost like home.


Lighthouse at the beach in New Buffalo, Michigan

During the height of the summer, the beach does tend to get crowded. So, arriving early is important if you are picky about your spot. We pack a picnic and spend about 3-4 hours there. Although we arrived before the lifeguards were on duty, you will see them during the heart of the day.

Dune walk at New Buffalo Beach in Michigan
Walking up the dune will reward you with magnificent views.
The beach park includes a nice nature walk along the dune line. The stairs up are quite manageable and the dunes aren't too high but yield a nice view of the surrounding area.

Marina view from the dune walk at New Buffalo, Michigan
View of the marina from atop the dunes.
After a little time at the beach, we walked up to the town. On the way, we peeked at the emerging sculpture park. There are only a few sculptures now but I am sure that it will expand in the future. I am excited that towns and cities have been adding large scale art. The addition of thoughtful pieces really inspire you to get out and explore! Each sculpture crafted by a local artist captures the imagination even if for a brief moment walking by. I am looking forward to additions to this park!

The sculpture park that is emerging near the beach in New Buffalo, MI.
Emerging sculpture park featuring Michigan artists.
We also enjoyed watching the birds along the river and viewing the activity of the marina. Of course, you will observe the "usual suspect" birds such as mallard ducks, gulls and Canadian geese. We also saw sandpipers, a tern and swallows.

Ducks resting along the shore in New Buffalo, Michigan.
Ducks resting along the shore in New Buffalo, Michigan.
In town, we usually stop at Nancy's for ice cream. Nancy's serves Hudsonville Ice Cream which is made in Michigan and definitely worth the calories! The Peanut Butter Mackinac Island Fudge and Peanut Butter Chocolate are phenomenal!

Hudsonville Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream at Nancys New Buffalo, MI
Yum! Peanut butter chocolate!
After, we strolled through town and perused the shops. New Buffalo has a small downtown so ease to explore. Be sure to look down alley ways. There are shops tucked away as well. There are also quite a few restaurants. Our current favorite is Brewster's, an Italian street cafe with a great meal for two deal.
Charming alley in New Buffalo, MI
Charming alley with stores at the end.
Downtown adult visitors may be happy to find a Warner Vineyard Tasting Room. Warner Vineyards was founded in 1938 and is one of the oldest Michigan vineyards. Really worth a stop to try some Michigan wine! We felt a bit dehydrated on this trip, so we did skip a stop this time. But, it is first on our list next time!

Warner Vineyard Tasting Room in New Buffalo, MI
Warner Vineyard Tasting Room 
A day in New Buffalo always leaves us recharged! Our summer visits are treats that we look forward to every year!

To know:
  • Kayak and paddleboard rentals are available at the beach for both the river and lake.
  • Parking in the designated beach lot is $10. Exact amount or credit cards needed; there isn't an attendant.
  • There is a playground at the beach. There also are restrooms and a snack shop.
  • There are U-Pick areas nearby so we often couple that with our beach trip.
  • Bring lots of water and sunscreen!
  • If you are looking to stay for a weekend, one of our favorite hotels for families is the Marina Grand.
**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.



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