New Buffalo is a charming lakeside town located in southwest Michigan. It is right on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Situated just 90 miles from Chicago, this small country town makes for a perfect weekend getaway or day trip.
In this article, I’ll share some of my favorite things to do during a visit to this marvelous land.
Below are some interesting facts about New Buffalo.
This township is located in Berrien County, with a population of just nearly 2,000 residents (in 2021).
The town encompasses 2.5 square miles of land area, centered around the beautiful Lake Michigan coastline.
From Chicago, it’s just a 90 minute drive to reach New Buffalo. Not bad for a day trip! The most convenient way to arrive is by car. You have all the freedom to explore at your own pace.
New Buffalo is best known for its stunning beaches, coastal parks, wineries, breweries, boutique shops and art galleries.
The charming, small-town vibe makes it a popular spot for weekend travelers from Chicago and South Bend seeking a break from city life.
Beautiful Beaches and Parks
With over 2 miles of sandy shoreline, New Buffalo’s beaches is a must-visit place once you are here.
The City Beach
The City Beach offers the expansive public beach and park facilities. Here you’ll find volleyball courts, picnic areas with tables and grills, playgrounds for kids and restroom facilities. If you want to have BBQ by the beach, this is where you should go.
While you are grilling your favorited chicken wings, your kids can go off and build sandcastles.
The beach is staffed with lifeguards during peak summer months. Entry to the beach is free. It’s the perfect spot to relax on the sand and go swimming in Lake Michigan.
The beach is located off Lake Street in New Buffalo.
The Township Beach
If you drive further north, you can visit the Township Beach.
The golden sand beach sits alongside the Galien River outlet, providing calmer river water that’s great for younger kids.
The township beach offers picnic tables, restrooms, and free parking off Hanson Road. However, there is something to keep in mind.
No lifeguards are on duty at this location. That means you need to take caution when swimming with kids in this area.
The Riverview Park
In addition to the beaches, I also urge you to try nature trails and scenic river views at Riverview Park. Nothing can beat an afternoon walk in the nature!
The Riverview Park is located on Buffalo Street, which is easy to find.
Open grass areas are perfect for lunch picnic. Wild flower gardens and a wooden footbridge would make your trip much more pleasant.
Wineries and Breweries
The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail runs right through New Buffalo. Here you have chance to visit several wineries just a quick drive from town.
Free Run Cellars
Free Run Cellars is located just 5 minutes from downtown New Buffalo.
You would love to sample their award-winning wines and ciders served on an outdoor patio. Live music performs every weekends there.
Cultivate Brewing Company
Beer lovers can also get their fill in this lovely town.
Cultivate Brewing Company is a nano-brewery serving 15 house brewed beers in a laid-back taproom. The brewery frequently features live music at nights and on weekends.
Just down the road is Beer Church Brewing. You will certainly enjoy the pouring brews in a converted church building with stained glass windows overlooking the brew house.
Coming to New Buffalo, you can’t miss its downtown district along Whittaker Street. It makes for an enjoyable stroll, with art galleries, trendy boutiques and cafes. Trust me, you won’t regret!
New Buffalo Design
Some of the most popular stops include New Buffalo Design. It is famous for one-of-a-kind jewelry like handcrafted sterling silver and beach glass pieces.
The boutique is located at 102 N. Whittaker Street.
New Buffalo Shoreline Apparel Co.
New Buffalo Shoreline Apparel Co. offers trendy logo wear and souvenirs, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and beach gear.
Find them at 224 N Whittaker Street.
Dick’s Creamy Custard
Those with a sweet tooth will want to stop by at Dick’s Creamy Custard for frozen custard treats. You don’t want to miss their creamy frozen custard cones, sundaes, and specialty shakes.
Dick’s has been a New Buffalo staple since 1986. The shop is located at 144 N Whittaker Street.
Ice Cream Social
Ice Cream Social serves up homemade small batch ice cream. They offer fun and classic flavors like salted caramel and mint chip. The shop is open seasonally at 112 N. Whittaker Street.
The main street also features antique stores, a bookshop, coffee roasters and several casual eateries.
New Buffalo offers an array of delicious dining choices, from lakefront fine dining to cozy cafes. It can accommodate any hungry souls with great food options and fresh ingredients.
If you are fond of waterfront views, you must check out The Stray Dog Bar & Grill. The restaurant offers a private deck patio that overlooks the water.
There, you can enjoy their best seller burgers, fish tacos and salads with stunning water view. Who wouldn’t love that?
If you are interested in locally sourced ingredients, visit the non-profit Harbour Country Eatery. Simple yet delicious food options.
Most importantly, all their fresh ingredients come from local farmers. Conscious dinners would love to support this beautiful community restaurants.
In town, don’t miss the legendary blueberry pancakes at The New Buffalo Diner on Mechanic Street.
Other than pancakes, the restaurant also provides an impressive lunch and dinner options at affordable price.
For gourmet farm-to-table cuisine, Reserve Wine Bar offers an excellent atmosphere and seasonal menu. This would be a romantic option for couple who wants to do something special together.
With its small town charm, natural beauty and variety of attractions, New Buffalo provides the perfect Michigan lake getaway.
Soak up the sun on the beaches, sample local wines, shop ’til you drop and dine well during your upcoming visit.
With this guide of the top things to do, I am sure you will have a memorable time in New Buffalo.