A change of pace and scenery is good for the soul and the Midwest presents numerous opportunities to change things up. Many aren’t able to take frequent vacations or weekends away. A daycation is an excellent alternative. There’s no shortage of cute towns surrounding Lake Michigan, and often they’re only a short drive or train ride away. I decided to try AMTRAK for the first time for a daycation in New Buffalo, MI. In only an hour and 15 minutes, I was in the beach town. The ride was quick and easy. I left Chicago from Union Station on a Friday morning train at 7:20 and arrived in New Buffalo, Michigan at 8:37 a.m., 9:37 Michigan (Eastern) time. Also, my ticket there was only $12!
New Buffalo, Michigan
New Buffalo is a small town located on the shores of Lake Michigan
at the mouth of the Galien River. It’s one of my favorites places for exploring. The area offers friendly locals, breweries, restaurants, wineries, beaches, and lots of shopping opportunities.
The AMTRAK drops you off right downtown within walking distance of plenty of shops and restaurants. There’s also UBER available for the places a bit outside of downtown.
My friends met me downtown, and our first stop was for breakfast at Luisa’s, a small family run cafe serving delicious food made with fresh, natural, and simple ingredients. Additionally, the family owns the attached Harbert Swedish Bakery. Our party was seated right away, and the service was excellent. During warmer months many have reported long waits as Luisa’s is a local favorite. We enjoyed an incredible meal of spinach quiche, eggs, Swedish pancakes, Southern Pecan pancakes, and great coffee. The no-frills cafe is charming with cute touches; a real gem!
We stopped in the Swedish bakery attached to the cafe on our way out to pick up some sweets for later. The blueberry coffee cake we enjoyed for breakfast the next morning did not disappoint.
After breakfast, we browsed some of the antique stores along Red Arrow Highway.
Harbert Antique Mall
Harbert Antique Mall is a 10-minute drive outside of town, therefore, you’d need to take an UBER or taxi. With Over 50 dealer displays you’ll want to set aside some time here. While there was a considerable selection, I felt things were laid out well and didn’t feel it was over cluttered. There is an abundance of hidden gems inside. I walked away with a stein!
Lakeside Antiques is 5 miles outside of downtown. My friends and I felt that their offerings were a bit more high end. There are three large buildings with an array of furniture styles and accessories, fine art, European and Americana antiques and more. I scored a cast iron griddle in excellent condition!
I don’t feel one has to be majorly into antiques to enjoy these stores. It’s just fun looking and discussing all of the memories that the pieces recall to mind. I was worn out from all of the visual stimulation and excitement.
Ghost Isle Brewery
Ghost Isle Brewery and restaurant opened spring of 2019. We popped in for a beer break. The New Buffalo microbrewery overlooks 156 acres of wetlands and focuses on a lighter less bitter style of beer. The Restaurant offers a full menu including, appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees. Also, there’s a covered patio which seats over 100 people with a firepit and lawn for games of cornhole — a fun place to chill once the temperature warms.
Lunch at David’s Delicatessen
David’s Delicatessen is open daily for breakfast and lunch. The menu continually changes depending on ingredients received from farms. They’re known for their Reuben sandwiches. Of course, that’s what I tried. There are three variations to choose from on the menu. I stuck with the traditional and devoured it!
After hours, the deli transforms into a pop-up bar The False Front serving specialty cocktails, wine, beer, and light snacks.
Downtown New Buffalo Shopping
The shops lining Whitaker and surrounding streets offer unique finds and deals.
Sweetwater Boating Supplies
A beach supply and gift shop with tons of selection.
The Hidden Gem
Owned by cousins Jessica and Lisa, the eclectic shop showcases many items from local artists.
Posh Upscale Consignment Boutique
Posh offer ladies apparel, jewelry, handbags, footwear, accessories, coats, and more from premium labels like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Armani, Prada, Ann Taylor, Lululemon, DKNY, etc.
Beer Church Brewery
Located inside of an old Methodist church, the recently renovated brewery now seats over 100 people inside and offers Neapolitan pizza, cocktails, and wine in addition to the beer. I love the new vibe!
We wrapped up the day at Oinks, a local favorite serving Sherman’s Ice Cream. Every summer the line to get into this place wraps the building. There’s so much nostalgia within these walls!
I’m already planning the next daycation! My friends and I felt like we were on vacation and while it was only for a day it refreshed my mind and spirit!
What do you like to do during your daycations? Tell me in the comments?