6 Day Trips From New Buffalo, MI

Choose Chad Team May 3, 2024

Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, New Buffalo, Michigan, offers more than just picturesque beaches and quaint downtown charm. For those looking to explore beyond the city’s boundaries, there are numerous day trips from New Buffalo, MI, that promise adventure, culture, and relaxation. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the surrounding areas provide a diverse range of experiences that cater to all ages and interests.

1. Chicago, Illinois

Just a short trip from New Buffalo, Chicago stands as a vibrant urban escape offering a plethora of activities and sights. The city is a hub for arts, culture, and gastronomy. Visitors can explore world-renowned museums like The Art Institute of Chicago, which houses a vast collection of Impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. Enjoy a scenic walk along the Chicago Riverwalk, a bustling waterfront with breathtaking views and ample dining options, or catch a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Willis Tower Skydeck. For families, Navy Pier offers year-round entertainment with rides, shops, and seasonal festivals, while Millennium Park provides a green oasis with the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture, affectionately known as “The Bean.” This cosmopolitan center offers an exciting contrast to the laid-back atmosphere of New Buffalo, making it a perfect day trip for those craving urban excitement.

2. Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer, Michigan

For nature lovers, Warren Dunes State Park offers an idyllic retreat. Located a mere 20 minutes from New Buffalo, this state park boasts over three miles of shoreline and towering sand dunes, some reaching up to 260 feet high. Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy the diverse trails that provide varying degrees of difficulty and scenic views, including the rugged dune formation trails that offer panoramic views of Lake Michigan. The park is also a popular bird-watching spot, with opportunities to see migrating birds in spring and fall. Hang gliding is a unique activity here, offering an exhilarating way to appreciate the landscape. The park’s expansive beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking, making it a great destination for a day of outdoor fun and relaxation.

3. Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, Michigan

If you’re seeking an active getaway, Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville is the destination for you. Approximately a three-hour drive from New Buffalo, this resort is known for its ski slopes in the winter and its championship golf courses in the summer. Crystal Mountain offers year-round recreational opportunities, including mountain biking, hiking, and an alpine slide. The resort also features a full-service spa and a range of dining options, from casual bites to fine dining, ensuring a well-rounded trip for those seeking adventure and relaxation. The Michigan Legacy Art Park, located on-site, provides a cultural dimension with its collection of sculptures integrated into natural settings, making Crystal Mountain not just a sports destination but also a place of artistic intrigue.

4. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Art and culture take center stage in Grand Rapids, a city renowned for its vibrant art scene and historic architecture. Located just over an hour’s drive from New Buffalo, the city hosts ArtPrize, one of the world's largest art competitions, which transforms the city into a canvas for international artists. Grand Rapids is also home to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, which blends nature and artistic expression seamlessly across a 158-acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park. Visitors can also delve into the history of the 38th President at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum or enjoy a performance at the Grand Rapids Symphony. With its rich cultural offerings and lively downtown filled with craft breweries and farm-to-table restaurants, Grand Rapids presents a fulfilling day trip from New Buffalo, MI.

5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Across the lake, Milwaukee offers a blend of cultural, historical, and recreational activities. Known for its brewing traditions, visitors can tour the famous Milwaukee breweries and enjoy local brews at establishments like the Milwaukee Ale House. The city’s lakefront area is a beautiful place to explore, with attractions like the Milwaukee Art Museum, which boasts a stunning architectural design and a rich collection of art. The historic Third Ward district offers boutique shopping, art galleries, and eateries, all housed in beautifully restored industrial buildings. This vibrant city provides a taste of urban life with a Midwestern twist, easily accessible from New Buffalo by a short ferry ride across Lake Michigan, offering a unique way to travel and explore the region.

6. Muskegon, Michigan

Muskegon, located north along the Lake Michigan shoreline, is another excellent option for a day trip. The city is home to several historical museums, such as the USS Silversides Submarine Museum, which offers a glimpse into naval history. Muskegon State Park provides pristine beaches and extensive trails for hiking and cycling during the summer, while winter months offer opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The park also features a winter sports complex, which includes one of the few luge tracks in the United States. Muskegon’s blend of natural beauty and historical sites makes it a worthwhile visit for those interested in a quiet but engaging getaway.

Discover New Buffalo Real Estate

Exploring the diverse day trips from New Buffalo, MI, is an excellent way to experience the beauty and variety of the Midwest. If you are considering moving to this wonderful area or just visiting, New Buffalo offers the perfect base for exploring these unique destinations. For more information on properties in and around New Buffalo, contact local real estate expert Chad Gradowski, who can provide you with all the guidance you need to find your perfect home or vacation spot in this beautiful region.

*Header image courtesy of Unsplash

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