If you’ve never stopped in New Buffalo, you’re missing out on one of Michigan’s best small towns! Not only is the location pristine being right on the shores of Lake Michigan, but this beach town offers something to enjoy during all Michigan seasons. I was lucky enough to experience this small town in college as it was the hometown of my roommate at the time. I am so glad I did because it is a must-visit place each time I drive down to Chicago now! Whether you are planning a weekend getaway with the girls or you are taking a romantic trip with your other half, New Buffalo has something to offer everyone. Let’s get started exploring the many different options of things to do, restaurants, and places to stay during your trip here.
Where to Stay
There are a wide variety of hotels, rentals, and beach houses to stay at in New Buffalo. Where you stay depends on what you plan on doing while you’re there. If you plan on going to the beach a lot, a beach rental or hotel near the beach would be recommended, but if you’re just out to explore the town, any hotel in the area is a great option. I will highlight a few of the more popular places to stay that will accommodate you regardless of what you plan on doing in New Buffalo.
Marina Grand Resort
600 W Water St, New Buffalo, MI | WEBSITE
This upscale hotel is located in the center of New Buffalo’s downtown area putting you minutes away from the beach and a short walk from the city’s many boutique shops. This hotel offers different accommodations including individual rooms and spacious suites. Getaway and relax here with top-notch customer service and lovely views of Lake Michigan’s shore out your room window.
New Buffalo Inn & Spa
231 E Buffalo St, New Buffalo, MI | WEBSITE
Another hotel option near New Buffalo’s beach, you will enjoy the amenities and “home” feel of New Buffalo Inn & Spa. While not as upscale as the Marina Grand Resort, guests can still enjoy the great location and amenities offered here such as unique spa packages. There are also two cottages on the property if you are traveling with a larger party and allow your furry friends to join as well!
Four Winds Hotel
11111 Wilson Rd, New Buffalo, MI | WEBSITE
If you are planning to visit the Four Winds Casino, staying at the hotel on the property may be a good option for you. This hotel offers more than 400 rooms and suites that all come with great amenities to help you unwind and relax. Enjoy nightly live entertainment and nightlife that will keep you entertained throughout your entire stay!
Where to Eat
You won’t be short on options of places to eat in New Buffalo. Actually, you might feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes to picking the best place to grab food at. Whether you’re in the mood for remarkable American cuisine or you are craving a really good burger, there is something for you. The places below, in my opinion, are must-visit restaurants in New Buffalo and the surrounding area.
The Stray Dog Bar & Grill
245 N Whittaker St, New Buffalo, MI | WEBSITE
This is the best dining experience in New Buffalo with a fantastic rooftop bar creating the perfect sunset dinner spot. This family-friendly restaurant serves up awesome food and great cocktails that will have you ordering another! From pizzas to sandwiches to Angus burgers, there is a food option for everyone to love here. This is a must-visit restaurant every time I’m in the area whether I just grab a drink or get dinner with friends.
136 N Whittaker St, New Buffalo, MI | WEBSITE
For a casual dining experience that offers great food and cocktails, Casey’s is the place to go. Inspired from a Chicago style bar and grill, you will find unique decorations along with a picture-worthy patio to enjoy in the warmer months. You won’t leave here hungry with a wide variety of American and seafood inspired options from handcrafted sandwiches to oysters.
12868 Red Arrow Hwy, Sawyer, MI
If you’re looking to try food that may be a little out of your comfort zone, Mesa Luna is the perfect place to go. The head chef, Sam Luna, loves to create unique, globally inspired dishes that appeal to a wide variety of tastes. From perfectly roasted duck to a cauliflower and quinoa burger, there is something great for everyone to try! Be aware, the menu continuously changes so each time you visit, there will be a completely different menu for you to try.
Craft beer, anyone?
Yes, an entire section of breweries is absolutely needed for this area. You’d be surprised to find out how many craft breweries and Michigan wineries there are in the New Buffalo area. There are many to list, but I will highlight a few of the mentionable breweries that are worth your time to visit, each of them being incredibly unique.
Beer Church Brewing Co.
24 S Whittaker St, New Buffalo, MI | WEBSITE
There is no brewery quite like Beer Church Brewing! Hence the name, this brewery operates in an old Civil War-era church. Pretty cool, right? Some of the seats here are even refurbished church pews to add to the ambiance. The beer is nothing short of unique as well offering seasonal rotations and some specialty brews that are never made again once they are gone. Small Italian inspired bites to eat are offered here as well including authentic wood-fired pizzas.
Ghost Isle Brewery
17684 US-12, New Buffalo, MI | WEBSITE
This family-owned brewpub goes beyond the typical brewery and brews their own beer along with serving up a killer line up of cocktails! There is always a new and exciting beer on tap or a refreshing cocktail waiting to be tried. If you’re hungry, the kitchen here serves some good eats! From ribs to tacos, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
5885 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer, MI | WEBSITE
This microbrewery located just outside of New Buffalo in Sawyer, Michigan offers a wide range of tasty craft brews. From the award-winning “Star Chicken Shotgun” IPA to the “Distorter” Porter, there’s always a new beer for guests to try. If you enjoy any of the beers so much that you want to bring some home with you, Greenbush offers beer to go for you!
Things to do
Okay, so now that we’ve covered where to stay and where the good eats and drinks are, let’s explore some of the great things to do in New Buffalo. Obviously, some activities will be dependent on the season you decide to visit during. Here are some of the best things to do when visiting the New Buffalo area:
- Visit the New Buffalo beach on the Lake Michigan shore
- Test your luck at Four Winds Casino
- Taste a variety of different spirits at Journeyman Distillery
- Relax and be pampered at a local spa
- Shop at the many boutiques and local stores downtown