I absolutely adore Southwest Michigan and always try to visit as much as we can especially during the summer. One town that we’ve always passed by on our Southwest Michigan vacays and have always wanted to visit was New Buffalo. This time around the stars aligned and we finally made it happen. I’m so glad we did – we loved exploring the town. Read all about our summer escape to New Buffalo with ideas for things to do, places to eat, and where to stay.
Where to Play in New Buffalo Michigan
Hike at Galien River County Park
Did you know that the Lake Michigan area was home to marsh? You can see that firsthand when you go to Galien River County Park. If you’re looking for an easy hike, this is it! We started at the lower level boardwalk and viewed the marsh. For another point of view make sure to go up the many stairs to the Canopy Tree Walk. The views here were incredible!
Play time at New Buffalo Township Playground
Located right across the street from Galien County Park, the New Buffalo Township Playground is a great one for the kids. It’s gated, has rubber ground, plenty of equipment to climb, there’s even a splash pad attached. Besides the playground, there is a nature trail, fitness area (which they deemed so much fun), bocce, chess tables, and more.
Walk down Whittaker Street
Whittaker Street is the main street through town. Although we visited on a rainy day, that didn’t stop us from walking. Armed with umbrellas, we parked on Whittaker, grabbed some coffee and food at David’s Deli (yummy!), then walked down the street to the beach. There are lots of cute shops, a new Starbucks (the mural is soooo cool!), lots of places to eat, sculptures, shops, and Nancy’s Ice Cream. The popular Stray Dog is also located here.
Hit up New Buffalo Beach
Although we visited on a rainy day, it didn’t stop us from at least scoping out the beach. There is a neat playground on the beach with a cute mini lighthouse. Although we had the beach to ourselves on a rainy day, I can imagine how busy the beach could be on a regular summer day. We’ll definitely need to come here again to visit.
*Note: There is a parking fee and I can see it filling up.
Where to Eat in New Buffalo Michigan
Located on Whittaker Street, David’s Deli is definitely busy but in a good way. We grabbed our coffees, bagels (asiago and onion), and blueberry muffin to go. All quite delicious! We heard great things about their Reubens so will have to try that next time.
Great brews, good food, cool vibe, and kid-friendly? Beer Church Brewery was all that and then some! I have to say the pizzas were absolutely delicious. They are 12” and pretty filling. You can even watch them bake the pizzas in their huge oven. My husband tried the Italian sandwich and claimed it was one of the best he’s ever had. And the beer here is pretty fantastic.
Tip: Save a few bucks and get the kids’ cheese pizzas – they are $9 and are also 12”.
As you may know, family-friendly breweries are our jam! A quick search brought us to Ghost Isle Brewery. We had gumbo, a philly cheese steak, and a chicken schwarma. The kids cheeseburger was surprisingly pretty large ($9). Everything was good, nothing special though especially for the price. Definitely opt for an outdoor seat where you’ll be right by the wetlands (and the train tracks.)
Is it even a vacation without ice cream? Oinks is a New Buffalo institution so you can’t miss it. Inside it’s all decked out with pig paraphernalia and of course lots of flavors of yummy Ashby’s Ice Cream. Since it was a rainy day, we had no lines at all!
Where to Stay in New Buffalo, Michigan
I honestly cannot say enough good things about The Neighborhood Hotel. The apartment-like suites gave us a little peace and quiet in a residential neighborhood. (Grand Beach was initially made as a resort community!) The amenities are plentiful – a cowboy cauldron for bonfires, a real popcorn machine, an amazing and warm pool with toys, axe throwing, ping pong, board games, books, and more! We absolutely love it here! Here is the full review.