YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDEBOOK TO HARBOR COUNTRY
Harbor Country is made up of 8 small towns along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan: Grand Beach, Michiana, New Buffalo, Union Pier, Lakeside, Harbert, Sawyer, and Three Oaks. Just north of the Harbor Country cluster is more to explore in Bridgman, St. Joseph and Benton Harbor! There’s much to see, eat and drink, and we can’t wait for you to soak it all in. To make the most of your stay, we’ve created a neighborhood guidebook of all that Harbor Country has to offer. Enjoy!
Tip: If you’re looking for a full service grocery store, we recommend Barney’s in New Buffalo, which includes a deli, produce, local Michigan fare, and beer, wine and spirits. Sawyer Home & Garden Center has a more boutique selection with a wonderful array of produce. For quick grab-and-go, Whistle Stop has wine and snacks, as well as a coffee and sandwich bar. Some restaurants are only open seasonally. We highly recommend calling ahead for store hours if you’re visiting between September – April.
OUR PERFECT DAY
If we only had one day in Harbor Country, we’d grab pastries and iced coffees at Black Currant, and we’d spend the morning at Berrien Street Beach. Whistle Stop has grab-n-go snacks for lunch fuel, and afterwards, we’d enjoy a beer at Watermark Brewing Co., where the kids can run free while we enjoy the lounge seating around the outdoor fire pits. We’d end the day by making a pot of chili at Tree House and watching the stars under a bonfire in the backyard.
EAT + DRINK
Beer Church Brewing Co. | A church-turned-brewery with a bright, eclectic vibe. Pizza, beer and a cute outdoor patio!
David’s Delicatessen | Ask for the cinnamon roll, heated, with a side of butter. You’re welcome.
Redamak’s | An institution! Redamak’s serves up diner style burgers, wraps, shakes and more. Tip: Cash only, but there is an ATM onsite.
Brewster’s | Classic Italian cuisine with a large wine list and the best dinner-for-two special in the area!
The Stray Dog Bar & Grill | Enjoy waterfront dining from the (adults only) rooftop, or cozy up inside near the fireplace while enjoying your meal.
Ghost Isle Brewing Co. | A family-owned brewery with a full menu, happy hour specials and perched atop acres of wetlands. “Ghost Island” itself sits to the left and west of the brewery, and takes its name from generations of residents who claim there is supernatural activity on the island!
Oink’s Ice Cream | A small institution in New Buffalo, offering up to 50 hand dipped flavors.
UNION PIER + LAKESIDE
Black Currant Bakehouse | We dream of these doughnuts, scones and breakfast sandwiches.
Whistle Stop | A small (and awfully cute) market, coffee and sandwich shop. Swing by for breakfast treats, iced coffee and a bottle of wine.
Seedz Brewing | The newest brewery in Harbor Country!
Milda’s Corner Market | A small deli and coffee shop, whipping up the yummiest fresh sandwiches! There are a few picnic tables outside and a mini market inside, but we like to grab our sandwiches and iced coffees to go and eat them on the beach.
HARBERT + SAWYER
Gather All Day | Cocktails, amazing food and gorgeous interior for a low-key date night or gathering with friends and family.
The Beach Bucket | Located directly across from the entrance to Warren Dunes, it’s a must-stop after a long day at the beach! We dare you to find a bigger ice cream cone.
Luisa’s Cafe + Swedish Bakery | For warm and cozy breakfast vibes, check out Luisa’s. It feels like dining at grandma’s, but there’s a bakery next door!
Infusco Coffee Roasters | A knowledgeable staff of coffee lovers, with ample seating to relax, catch up on work and get caffeinated. Our favorite place to grab a cup of joe!
Greenbush Brewing | Craft beer, hand cured meats, barbecue and great people watching from the outdoor patio.
Sideyard | Food truck and outdoor seating, foosball and cornhole at the ready! Located across the street from Greenbush Brewing!
Susan’s | Cocktails and new American cuisine make for a perfect date night. Seating indoors is cool yet casual, but the outdoor patio is beautiful on a warm summer night.
BRIDGMAN + STEVENSVILLE
Haymarket Brewing | A lively brewery with a cafe-lit outdoor patio. The kids will love watching pizza being made through the large window into the kitchen, and the parents will enjoy the 90s music on the speakers!
Peat’s Cider Social | Bowling + arcade + cider = guaranteed good time
Full Circle Cafe | This small cafe is full of friendly faces, and you’ll leave feeling happy + full. We love the vintage hardwood floors and marble tables – and kids 2 and under eat free!
Red Coach Donuts | How do you choose just one? Affordable donuts so good, you’ll want to grab a dozen for the road.
Watermark Brewing | Imagine live music, outdoor fire pits, a lush lawn, food trucks and an extensive beer menu, and you have Watermark! Ranging from sours to IPAs to creamy stouts, they have every taste covered!
Mikey’s Drive-In | A great classic drive-in spot (think: car-side service) for diner burgers, hot dogs, curly fries, and ‘dirty’ sodas!
ST. JOSEPH + BENTON HARBOR
Silver Beach Pizza | Watch the train go by while you enjoy a schooner of beer! This is, hands down, our favorite vacation pizza. You can also take it to go and walk down to Silver Beach to dine, where there are picnic tables and a playground!
Chocolate Cafe | Ice cream, hot chocolate, fudge and peanut butter melts? Yes, please!
Mason Jar Cafe | Fresh local food, with a focus on vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. Tip: This one is off the beaten path, but worth the drive (and wait).
Bread + Bar | A date night favorite – think: dim lighting, chilled wine and fresh appetizers – with views of the St. Joseph River.
Journeyman Distillery | An old corset factory was transformed into a distillery known for its delicious gin! A full menu offers up the tastiest pretzels and Detroit-style pizza.
Patelli’s Pizza | High quality ingredients make this pizza a standout! You’ll want to order the meatballs and crackers – trust us.
Froehlich’s | A charming kitchen and bakery, with smiling faces and a pantry to shop for local goodies on your way out!
River Saint Joe Brewery + Winery | Farm to table food, cold beer, delicious wine and a generous outdoor area for the family (dogs, too!). Bocce ball, wildflower fields and comfortable seating throughout make this a great place to gather and stay a while. A favorite of ours!
SUN + SAND
HARBOR COUNTRY (SOUTH)
New Buffalo Beach, New Buffalo | A large and bustling beach, with a lot to offer! You’ll find a snack shack, playground and boardwalk hidden among the dunes. Nearby, stroll through downtown New Buffalo and grab a cone at Beachside Scoops!
Townline Beach, Union Pier | A smaller beach, but one of our favorites. It stretches wide, so you can (almost) always find a place to lay your beach blanket.
Berrien Street Beach, Union Pier | This is a local secret, one that’s off the beaten path. It’s one of the deeper beaches in the area, with enough sand to find your perfect ‘spot’ for an afternoon of sunshine.
McKinley Beach, Union Pier | This one is off the beaten path, a hidden gem at the end of a dirt trail. The beach is deep and wide, and chances are, you’ll have it (almost) to yourself! There is NO parking, so you’ll need to grab a bike or take a long walk along Lakeshore Road to find it. (Blink, and you’ll miss the sign!) Worth it.
HARBOR COUNTRY (NORTH)
Cherry Beach, Harbert | A mid-sized beach that feels like a secret treasure.
Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer | The largest – also the busiest – beach near Tree House. The sand dunes are a must see! Tip: There is a $10 admission fee per car, and they only accept cash or check.
Silver Beach County Park, St. Joseph | Grab pizza at Silver Beach Pizza (and a schooner while you wait!), then walk to the beach where you’ll find picnic tables, playgrounds, water features, a carousel, and a spacious beach! Tip: Daily parking is $15 for non-residents, and $8 for residents of Berrien County.
Grand Mere State Park, Stevensville | We love Grand Mere! From parking lot to lakefront is about 1 mile. For the first half, you’ll walk along a tree-lined path, and the second half will have you running up and down the dunes until you reach the lakeshore. Tip: The sand can get very hot in the summer, so make sure to wear shoes! This is not a stroller-friendly walk.
HARBOR COUNTRY (SOUTH)
Go antiquing! | Scoring secondhand finds could be considered a lifestyle in Harbor Country! If you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, you’ll find many antique shops dotted along Red Arrow Hwy. There are almost too many list – but you can’t miss them!
New Buffalo Township Library, New Buffalo | Yes, a library! With a large children’s section filled with board games, play tents, a boat(!) and scheduled Story Time, there’s a lot to keep little ones occupied and imaginative.
New Buffalo Township Playground and Splash Pad, New Buffalo | A clean, large park in the same lot as the township building! There’s plenty of parking, a splash pad that every child (and adult) loves, and a large green space. Behind the playground is a small nature trail.
Galien River County Park, New Buffalo | A 300′ canopy walkway leads to a 60′ high marsh overlook tower! Beautiful views of wetlands any time of year.
Red Arrow Ride, Union Pier | A rental hub for paddle boards, kayaks, golf carts, beach gear and more!
Robinson Woods Preserve, Lakeside | The Preserve features an extensive trail system throughout the woodland, appropriate for hikers of all fitness levels.
Lakeside Antiques, Lakeside | Walkable from Tree House! This is a treasure trove for the antique lover! Find high end items on the left and budget buys on the right.
Warren Woods State Park, Three Oaks | A 311-acre natural reserve and recreation area is a great spot for nature lovers.
Dinges Fall Harvest Farm, Three Oaks | Enjoy hay rides, pumpkin picking, a corn maze and hot cider. (September through October only.)
Chickaming Park & Preserve, Three Oaks | Wetlands, woodlands, prairie, river frontage, and a five-acre lake make this a dreamy walk in the park.
HARBOR COUNTRY (NORTH)
The Blueberry Patch, Sawyer | Take the whole family to go blueberry picking! Adults love this as much as the kids. Pay by the pail, and go! Tip: Call ahead, a typical blueberry season is July and August.
Sojourn, Sawyer | A carefully curated shop full of handmade gifts and vintage finds.
Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer | The sand dunes are breathtaking! They wind around through hidden trails, and you’ll leave feeling exhausted but exhilarated. Tip: There is a $10 admission fee per car, and they only accept cash or check.
Curious Kids’ Museum, St. Joseph | An adorable childrens’ museum in a vintage building. Whimsy, charm and adventure abound!
Silver Beach Carousel, St. Joseph | A year-round working vintage carousel for the whole family! Their Christmas display is especially sweet.
Silver Beach County Park, St. Joseph | A large beach with a playground, outdoor seating, snack bar. There’s a nearby/walkable splash pad that’s incredible, as well as an art walk along the edge of town.
The Market, St. Joseph | A large market with local cheese, wine, Infusco coffee, tea, a cafe, fresh produce and goods for sale! If you’re in the area, it’s a can’t miss.
State Street, St. Joseph | State Street has a small-town feel, with its cobblestone street and charming storefronts. There’s several options for shopping, food and drinks. Plentiful, easy free parking available along Lake Blvd.