Why we love it here:Â One word: Dunes! Sawyer is the home to Warren Dunes, one of the largest parks in Michigan, featuring hundreds of acres of dunes, campgrounds and beaches. Wanna try your hand at glamping? This could be the place to do it. Harbert, on the other hand, is a good getaway for writers. Proof: This is the town where Carl Sandburg wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Abraham Lincoln.
RABBIT RUN INN
This charming four-unit bed and breakfast features modern, romantic roomsâ€”and gets bonus points for being eco-friendly!
6227 Elm Dr, Sawyer;Â 269-405-1050,Â rabbitruninn.com
EAT + DRINK
GREENBUSH BREWING COMPANY
Not a good day for the beach? Spend the afternoon at this local brewery that features 12 beers on tap. Join the Mug Club, youâ€™ll have your own special mug waiting for you on your next visit.Â WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW WITH CO-FOUNDER JILL SITES.
5885 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer;Â 269-405-1076,Â greenbushbrewing.com
This lunch and dinner spot features classics such as steak frites and fish & chips. Fun facts: The restaurant features a new taco tent in its garden this summer. And since the owners are also the guys behind Chicago dance club Berlin, Fitzgeraldâ€™s morphs into an after-hours dance mecca on Saturday nights.
5875 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer;Â 269-426-3489,Â fitzsawyer.com
Looking for yummy, seasonal entrees using locally sourced fresh ingredients? Thatâ€™s what youâ€™ll find at SOE. Standouts from the lunch menu include a crispy whitefish sandwich and the chicken meatballs. And trust us, you HAVE to order the house made pickles.
12868 Red Arrow Highway, Sawyer;Â 269-426-4878,Â soe-cafÃ©.com
Youâ€™d never guess that the building that houses this vintage shop with a Midcentury Mod twist used to be a rundown grocery store. Look at that awesome exterior! It was destined to be a cool store carrying hip vintage goods and items by local designers. WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW WITH OWNER STACIA GARRIOT.
12908 Red Arrow Highway;Â 269-426-4247,Â sojournastore.com
No antique shopping trip in Harbor Country is complete without a vist to Marco Polo. The shopâ€”housed in a barn!â€”features a ton of interesting objects, from Midecentury chairs to decorative wall art.
13565 Red Arrow Highway, Harbert;Â 269-469-6272,Â marcopoloantiques.com
CATHERINE DOLL CLOTHING
No, this isnâ€™t a shop that sells clothing for dolls; designer Catherine Doll creates one-of-a-kind jackets, tops and skirts for women. Doll used to be a mural artist, and her clothes definitely have a collage feel to them.
5844 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer;Â 269-426-3958, catherinedoll.com
CAN’T MISS EVENTS:
Weekend wine tastings at Sawyer Home and Garden Center. FridaysÂ 4â€“7pm; Saturdays, SundaysÂ noonâ€“6pm. ThroughÂ Sept 6.
5865 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer;Â 269-426-8810,Â sawyergardencenter.com
One of our favorite festivals of the year features quirky art and great personalities at the 19th Annual Outside Art Fair . August 30 through September 1. $10.
Adjacent to: 13707 Prairie Rd, Harbert;Â 269-469-1080,Â judithrachtgallery.net
Why we love it here:Â Many beaches in the area are private, but New Buffalo features a large, sprawling public beach. The town offers a nice variety of dining and shopping, too. Nearby Grand Beach is a good spot of architecture buffs. Youâ€™ll find three homes built by Frank Lloyd Wright in the areaâ€”the Ernest Vosburgh Summer House still has much of its original design. Renting a cottage in Michiana? Donâ€™t forget to stargazeâ€”and weâ€™re not talking about celebrities here. The sleepy town has very few streetlights (and little traffic), so youâ€™ll get a great view of the night sky.
Itâ€™s a sophisticated spin on pub fare at this restaurant within the Marina Grand Harbor Resort. Think pizzas from a wood-burning oven, fresh seafood and Amish roasted chicken. WATCH OUR VIDEO WITH CHEF JENNY DRILON.
600 W Water St, New Buffalo;Â 269-469-1699,Â marinagrandresort.com/bentwood
OINK’S ICE CREAM SHOP
Forget about 31 flavorsâ€¦ This ice cream shop features 58 flavors of Shermanâ€™s finest ice creams, including yogurts and sugar-free options.
227 W Buffalo St, New Buffalo;Â 269-469-3535
THIRD COAST SURF SHOP
Surfing on Lake Michigan IS possible, and this shop is all about that lifestyle. Look for surf and skate gear, clothing, accessories and everything else youâ€™ll need to catch a wave.
110-C N. Whittaker St, New Buffalo;Â 269-932-4575,Â thirdcoastsurfshop.com
MIX & MINGLE
The name sounds like a singles club, but this is actually a home furnishings shop featuring eclectic, yet tasteful accessories for the home.
19169 U.S. 12, New Buffalo; 269-469-1234, mixandmingledesign.com
DA BARN ANTIQUES
The antiques here are grouped by color, which makes it easier to shop. And if youâ€™re like us, youâ€™ll end up looking at each and every item!
510 E Buffalo St, 269-469-0333
DANCING FEET YOGA
Donâ€™t take a vacation from your fitness! This yoga studio offers hatha classes as well as a yoga class just for men.
19135 U.S. 12 #2, New Buffalo; 269-469-1966,Â dancingfeetyoga.com
GRAND BEACH MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE
Don your preppiest outfit and play a laidback round of golf at this 9-hole course.
48200 Perkins Blvd, New Buffalo
CAN’T MISS EVENTS:
Open-Air European Farmers Market (Corner of Red Arrow Highway and Lakeshore Rd, New Buffalo). Saturdays and Sundays,Â 9amâ€“3pm. ThroughÂ Oct 6.
Outdoor Movie Nights
St John United Church of Christ, 200 W Buffalo St, New Buffalo. Fridays,Â 7pm. ThroughÂ Aug 30.
Ship & Shore Festival (along the main street in New Buffalo).Â Aug 9â€“10.
Greek Fest (American Hellenic Center, 17760 Behner Rd, New Buffalo).Â Sept 6, 5â€“11pm;Â Sept 7, noonâ€“11pm;Â Sept 8, noonâ€“8pm.
Why we love it here:Â Lakeside and Union Pier are quieter, more low-key areas of Harbor County. They are perfect places for a chill vacation or a nice, romantic getaway. But that doesnâ€™t mean theyâ€™re not without a little glitz and glamour. Back in the day, movie stars wined and dined at the historic Lakeside Inn. The spot was also favorite of Al Caponeâ€™s during the Prohibition days.
This inn is a historical landmark that features 31 guest rooms, 100-foot porch facing Lake Michigan, a cafÃ© and its own private beach. Need we say more?
15251 Lakeshore Rd, Lakeside;Â 269-469-0600,Â lakesideinns.com
EAT + DRINK
Perfect for dinner, Timothyâ€™s offers fresh seafood (Think Australian sea bass and five-spice shrimp and scallops) in a cozy dining room accented with wooden fixtures and white table cloths.
16220 Lakeshore Rd, Union Pier;Â 269-469-0900,Â timothysrestaurant.com
WHISTLE STOP GROCERY
Need to pick up some fresh baked goods or some artisan coffee? This is your spot. Itâ€™s a also great place to grab some gourmet lunch to go and take it to the beach.
15700 Red Arrow Highway, Union Pier;Â 269-469-6700,Â whistlestopgrocery.com
ABIGAIL HECHE JEWELRY
Located next door to Lakeside Antiques, this small temporary shop (open Memorial Day through Labor Day) features Hecheâ€™s beautiful gold-accented jewelry.
14866 Red Arrow Highway, Lakeside;Â abigailheche.com
The merch is always changing at this new home dÃ©cor store, so itâ€™s a good idea to visit often. Expect furniture, art, candles, lamps and more.
14913 Lakeside Rd, Lakeside; 269-469-9772
LOVELL & WHYTE
This home design shop carries some of our favorite lines: Ralph Lauren, Gus, Simon Perace and more.
14950 Lakeside Rd, Lakeside;Â 269-460-5900,Â lovellandwhyte.com
CAN’T MISS EVENTS
Moonlight Madness sale at Local Color Gallery (16187 Red Arrow Highway, Union Pier;Â 269-469-5332,localcolorgallery.com).Â July 20, 6pmâ€“midnight.
Huge Labor Weekend Tent sale at Lakeside Antiques (14876 Red Arrow Highway, Lakeside;Â 269-469-4467).Â Aug 30â€“Sept 2,Â 11amâ€“6pm.
THREE OAKS INN
This cozy bed and breakfast is just steps away from all the downtown attractions in Three Oaks.
204 Oak St, Three Oaks;Â 269-612-4083,Â threeoaksinn.com
EAT + DRINK
You know how to drink whiskey. But do you know how to make it? Take a 30â€“45 minute tour of this whiskey factory for an inside scoop. And, of course, it includes a tasting at the end.
109 Generation Dr, Three Oaks; 269-820-2050, journeymandistillery.com
HESTON SUPPER CLUB
Located off the beaten path in LaPorte, Indiana, this old school restaurant specializes in classics such as Prime Rib, BBQ ribs and more in a casual fine dining environment.
2003 E 1000 North, LaPorte IN; 219-778-2938, hestonsupperclub.com
This shop sells homemade artisan breads, jams and preserves; itâ€™s also a great lunch spot. Grab a fresh sandwich and tea, and enjoy them in the shopâ€™s tiny cafÃ© area.
26 N Elm St, Three Oaks; 269-756-6002, shopfroehlichs.com
The owner of this antique and vintage shop is a grad of the School of the Art Institute Chicago, so you know what that means: Expect the items here to be a little out-of-the-ordinary, yet refined at the same time.
1 W Ash, Three Oaks; 269-756-3404, ipsofactoantiques.com
This European-style boutique carries mostly French lines in classic styles. In addition to clothing, youâ€™ll find a nice selection of scarves, jewelry and other accessories.
6 S Elm St, Three Oaks;Â 269-756-3970
TRIOLOGY ANTIQUES & DESIGN
This space used to be a bowling alley, but now the 5,000 square foot building houses a co-op gallery featuring a wide variety of carefully edited vintage items from a select group of dealers, designers and curators.
19 S Elm St, Three Oaks; 269-756-3300, trilogyantiques.com
Just four miles from New Buffalo, this 28-acre horse farm offers riding lessons, horse shows, trail rides and more. Giddy up! WATCH THE VIDEO WITH OWNER SHANNON BARNES.
10411 N 200E, LaPorte, IN; 219-778-9020, statelinestables.com
DEWEY CANNON TRADING CO.
Donâ€™t worry about packing up your bike for the weekend because you can just rent one here. Dewey Cannon Trading Co. has Schwinn single speed cruisers, trail-a-bikes and child trailers for rent. Plus, you can stock up on cycling accessories and some bike ride refreshments.
Need a rainy activity? Check out a flick at this classic art house movie theater. Itâ€™s so charming that youâ€™ll never want to go to a multiplex again.
6 N Elm St, Three Oaks; 269-756-3522, vickerstheatre.com
ROUND BARN WINERY
In addition to being a winery, Round Barn is also a brewery and distillery that offers tours and tastings (in addition a variety of other events), soâ€¦pick your poison!
10983 Hills Rd, Baroda; 800-716-9463, roundbarnwinery.com
TABOR HILL RESTAURANT AND WINERY
In addition to wine tastings and tours, Tabor Hill aso features a chocolate salon featuring Norman Love Chocolates. Chocolate and wine? Yes, please!
185 Mount Tabor Rd, Buchanan; 800-283-3363, taborhill.com
CAN’T MISS EVENTS:
Art Walk (in many shops and studios in downtown Three Oaks). Third Saturday of each month.
Music in the Park at Dewey Cannon Park (13 Maple St, Three Oaks). Every Saturday at 6:30pm.