Top Ten Things Not to Miss in Harbor Country

  1. Sunsets. The colors over Lake Michigan can be stunning, and on a clear day you can see Chicago.  If you don’t want to sink your toes into the sand, the Stray Dog and The Marina Grand have rooftop seating—perfect for watching the sunset over the harbor while enjoying a drink or a bite to eat.
  2. Beer & wine.  We are known for our award-winning wine, but you may not know that Michigan ranks #5 in the U.S. for the most amount of breweries, micropubs and brew pubs. Greenbush Brewery in Sawyer is well known stop for local craft beer, and even visitors can join their lifetime “Friends with Benefits” mug club membership.  Kick off your stay with a brewery or wine tour.
  3. The Lake. The beach is a no-brainer, but the lake is it’s own fun. You can boat, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, surf (yes, you can surf on Lake Michigan), go on a charter fishing trip, rent jet skis, and or even take a professional sandcastle lesson.  Check out Harbor Country Adventures and Third Coast Surf Shop to plan your adventure. 
  4. The food. Don’t leave your appetite at home. Harbor Country has some of the best food outside of Chicago. With kid-friendly cafes, premiere farm-to-fork restaurants and fine waterfront dining, there is something for everyone. Chicago Magazine called it a Midwest Foodie Destination, and, after eating here, you will understand why.
  5. Your dog. Harbor Country is very dog friendly. You can find unique dog treats at local farmers markets, or stop at Froehlich’s in Three Oaks for organic homemade biscuits. From dog parks to dog beaches at Warren Dunes, Fido will have as much fun as you will!
  6. One-of-a-kind shopping. Spend a day driving on Red Arrow Highway, stopping at unique boutiques, artisan shops and antique stores. For unbeatable bargains, look to Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets.
  7. The arts. A quiet haven for the arts culture, the art scene here is significant. Peruse local art galleries, go to concert or play at the Acorn Theater, watch an indie film at the historic Vickers Theater. Experience Art Attack, a weekend of special exhibitions and activities showcasing all that is art in Harbor Country.
  8. The seasons. Yes, our beaches are beautiful. But our fall colors are downright breathtaking.  Autumn in Harbor Country means apple picking, trail walks, pumpkin farms, bike rides and the annual Harvest Fest traditionally held on Columbus Day weekend.  Winter activities give the area a whole new life. Cross country ski in pristine woods, sled down Warren dunes or ice skate in the park. Unplug, take a walk on the beach and prepare to be awed by the ice formations. 
  9. Kids.  Family fun is easy in Harbor Country. The beach. The dunes. Sand castle lessons. Nature parks. Trail rides. Kid’s beach camp. The Galien River Park and the splash pad at New Buffalo Township Park. Take a trip to St. Joseph to play at the Whirlpool Compass Fountain, Silver Beach Carousel and the Curious Kids Museum.  Ride steam trains at Hesston Steam Museum. The hardest part is getting everyone to agree on what to do first.
  10. Vacation rentals. From luxurious beachfront homes to quaint and quiet cottages, you can to .Especially when shared with friends and family, vacation rentals can be as affordable as a hotel—with more space, private beach access and better amenities. Only 90 minutes from Chicago, Harbor Country is perfect for weekend getaways and frequent visits. Homes tend to fill up quickly, so book your vacation rental now to start making Michigan memories.