New Buffalo, Michigan Travel Guide

Is it a beach? A beach at the lake? Just the lake? Well, this became a hot debate in my stories.  I don’t know the correct “technical” answer, but I’ll tell you, it absolutely feels like the beach! 

New Buffalo, Michigan is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Indianapolis, and we are so happy we found out about it as the town has become one of our favorite drivable destinations!  The Marina Grand Resort, the charm of the town, and all of the amazing activities for kids are just a few of the many reasons that we will keep going back towards southwest Michigan! All of this and of course, the star of the show: the beach! 

Where We Stayed:

Marina Grand ResortThe rooms are huge, clean, and have tons of amenities, the price is right, and it’s so close to tons of fun shops, restaurants, and fun things to do.  It’s also about a 5 minute drive to the beach.  You could walk, but with all of the gear that comes with our crew for a day at the beach, driving was our preferred method of transportation!


The hotel has rooms for couples, all the way up to 3 bedroom suites.  All of the rooms have a view of the boats in the marina, which our kids thought was so cool.  There’s indoor and outdoor pools, an onsite restaurant that is very good, and coffee and pastries each morning above their lobby.  You can order pints of Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream for room service, there’s a gameroom, a fitness center, and a cocktail hour up on the roof!  I could go on, but I’ll just say this, it’s absolutely one of our favorite hotels anywhere in the US and we’ve already booked nights there later this year for one of our “first family of 5 getaways”.


They are undergoing some renovation in their main lobby and restaurant, so we will look forward to seeing how it all turns out on our next visit.  It appears to be not far off from completion and the design/layout is going to be awesome!

Where We Ate:

Tip: New Buffalo is not a big place, and while we’ve never had trouble getting in anywhere to eat, we’d definitely recommend planning ahead.  Make reservations where you can using Resy or Open Table, call ahead and check wait times, etc.  Some of these places do not take reservations and are first come first serve, so you may need to go a little early.


The Stray Dog Bar and Grill – There is something for everyone on this menu and everything we’ve tried has been amazing!  Super fun, loud atmosphere, perfect for kids.  There is a rooftop that is for 21 and over only as well as an awesome bar in the front of the restaurant.  They have fun cocktails and a great menu, one of our favorite stops!


Redamak’s – It’s the best burger in town, and they’ve been doing it for almost 50 years! Very popular spot and for good reason, the food is delicious!  The burgers are big and made with really fresh ingredients.  There’s a fun drink menu and great food options for kids! 


Bentwood Tavern – Located at the Marina Grand, they have recently done a full renovation inside, so they’re only open for patio dining at the moment. If you’re going, call ahead to confirm what seating options they have open. The food is very good, slightly expensive, but worth it especially if you’re staying at the hotel and don’t want to go far for dinner.  I had one of the best lobster rolls I’ve ever eaten here!


Villa Nova Pizzeria – We ate here for the first time this past trip and were impressed at how good the pizza was! If you want to sit outside on a nice day, get there early! We sat inside, still had a great time, and the food was awesome!


Beer Church Brewing Co – I missed the beer this time around, but they have a great list!  They also have a pizza oven and some delicious thin crust pizza!  The patio outside is heated and if you need a good spot to hang out after a day at the beach, this is it!


Oink’s Dutch Treat – Best ice cream in town!  It is so, so good! Our kids love the ice cream and the gift shop filled with “all things” pigs is one of Henry’s favorite places in the world!


Brewsters Italian – Delicious Italian food that is perfect for date night or to take the whole family to.  They have a great wine list and all of the food we had was great!


We also took a little morning trip up to St. Joseph’s one day (took about an hour) and explored. It was a super cute little town with great coffee shops, ice cream parlors and tons of shopping. Definitely stop into the Pink Lemonade store if you are there – cutest women & kid’s boutique. We did some damage!


All items seen above linked HERE




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