19 Fun Things to Do in New Buffalo, Michigan

New Buffalo, Michigan, is a charming lakeside town just an hour’s drive from Chicago. With its beautiful beaches, charming downtown area, and abundant outdoor activities, it’s the perfect destination for a summer getaway.

One of the top things to do in New Buffalo is to spend a day at the beach. 

If you’re a fan of the outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking in the area. The Galien River County Park and the Galien River Trail offer beautiful trails through forests and wetlands and the Chikaming Conservancy.¬†

In the evening, enjoy a delicious meal at one of New Buffalo’s many excellent restaurants. The Stray Dog Bar and Grill is a popular spot for burgers and craft beer. 

No trip to New Buffalo would be complete without a visit to the Four Winds Casino, where you can try your luck at the slots or catch a live performance. With so much to see and do, New Buffalo is the perfect destination for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

Fun Things to Do in New Buffalo, Michigan

1. Visit the New Buffalo Beach and Swimming Area

New Buffalo Beach is a public beach located in the city of New Buffalo, Michigan. It is situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, which is known for its clear blue waters and sandy beaches.

The beach has a designated swimming area, as well as a playground and picnic tables. There are also several public restrooms and outdoor showers available. The beach is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and beach games such as frisbee and beach volleyball. It is also a popular spot for watching the sunset over Lake Michigan.

In the summer months, lifeguards are on duty to ensure the safety of beachgoers.

2. Go shopping at the many boutiques and stores in the downtown area

3. Visit the New Buffalo Railroad Museum

The New Buffalo Railroad Museum is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the railroad in the New Buffalo, Michigan area. It is located in a restored depot that was built in 1882 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum features exhibits on the history of the railroad in New Buffalo and the surrounding region, including model trains, photographs, and artifacts. There are also interactive exhibits where visitors can learn about the different jobs that were done on the railroad, such as being a conductor or engineer.

The museum is open to the public and is suitable for visitors of all ages. It is a popular destination for history buffs, model train enthusiasts, and anyone interested in learning more about the role that the railroad has played in the development of New Buffalo and the surrounding area.

4. Enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants or taverns

5. Spend a day at the Four Winds Casino Resort

Four Winds Casino
is a casino located in New Buffalo, Michigan. It is owned and operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and is part of the Four Winds Casino Resort, which also includes a hotel, restaurants, a spa, and an indoor pool.

The casino features a wide variety of games, including slot machines, table games, and a poker room. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is a popular destination for gaming in the New Buffalo area. In addition to the casino, the resort also offers live entertainment at various venues, as well as several bars and lounges.

6. Take a guided tour of the Chikaming Open Lands Nature Preserve

Chikaming Open Lands Nature Preserve is a nature reserve located in New Buffalo, Michigan. It covers over 1,200 acres and is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

The preserve features hiking trails, a nature center, and a variety of programs and events. Visitors can explore the preserve on their own or participate in guided tours and nature hikes led by trained naturalists. The preserve is open to the public and is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

It is a great place to learn about the local ecosystem, observe wildlife, and enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings.

7. Go wine tasting at one of the nearby wineries

A picture of two guys and five girls cheers'ing there wine glasses in a vineyard. Sitting around a wooden table.
  • Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant
  • St. Julian Winery
  • Domaine Berrien Cellars
  • Lemon Creek Winery
  • Round Barn Winery

8. Take a boat ride on Lake Michigan

9. Visit the Warren Dunes State Park and hike the dunes

A picture of the dunes in Warrend Dunes

Warren Dunes State Park is located in southwest Michigan, along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The park covers more than 1,500 acres and features a variety of recreational activities, including swimming, hiking, picnicking, and camping.

The park is known for its large, towering sand dunes, which rise up to 260 feet above the shoreline. Several hiking trails wind through the dunes and offer beautiful views of the lake and surrounding countryside.

In addition to the dunes, the park also has a mile-long beach along the lake, a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. There are also several picnic areas and a campground with more than 200 sites.

Other amenities at Warren Dunes State Park include a visitor center with exhibits on the park’s history and ecology, as well as a concession stand that sells food and beach supplies. Overall, Warren Dunes State Park is a beautiful and popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families looking to enjoy the natural beauty of Michigan.

10. Visit the New Buffalo Farmers Market

11. Go fishing in Lake Michigan or the Galien River

12. Take a horseback riding lesson or trail ride at a local stable

13. Take a yoga class at a local studio

14. Visit the New Buffalo Arts District and browse the galleries and studios

15. Go on a brewery tour at one of the local breweries

16. Go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Michigan

17. Visit the New Buffalo Lighthouse

A picture of the New Buffalo Lighthouse with sand and dune grass around it. Cloudy looking sky in the background.

The New Buffalo Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in New Buffalo, Michigan, on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The lighthouse was built in 1837 and is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It is a square, brick tower that stands 44 feet tall and is topped by a white, octagonal lantern room.

The lighthouse was originally built to guide ships through the sandbar that stretched across the mouth of the Galien River, which flows into Lake Michigan near New Buffalo. It has played an important role in the region’s maritime history and has been an iconic symbol of the community for over 180 years.

The New Buffalo Lighthouse is not open to the public, but it can be viewed from the outside and is a popular spot for photography. It is located near the New Buffalo harbor and is surrounded by a small park with benches and a gazebo. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a well-known landmark in the area.

18. Go birdwatching at the Galien River County Park

Galien River County Park is a county park located in Berrien County, Michigan, near the town of New Buffalo. The park is situated along the banks of the Galien River and covers approximately 104 acres. It is a popular destination for outdoor recreation and offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

The park has a number of amenities, including a large, sandy beach along the river, a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. Several hiking trails wind through the park and offer beautiful views of the river and surrounding countryside. In addition, the park has a playground and several picnic areas, and a campground with over 100 sites.

Other features of Galien River County Park include a boat launch, which provides access to the river for boating and fishing, and a nature center, which offers educational programs and exhibits on the park’s flora and fauna. Overall, Galien River County Park is a beautiful and popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families looking to enjoy the natural beauty of Michigan.

19. Visit the nearby Round Barn Winery and Distillery for a tour and tasting.

Round Barn Winery and Distillery is a winery and distillery located in Union Pier, Michigan. The winery produces a range of red, white, and sparkling wines made from grapes grown on the estate and sourced from nearby vineyards.

Round Barn Winery and Distillery is known for its beautiful setting, with a large round barn as the centerpiece of the property. The barn, which was built in the early 1900s, has been restored and now houses the tasting room, where visitors can sample the wines and spirits and learn about the production process. The winery and distillery also have a large outdoor patio and lawn area, which is popular for events and weddings.

In addition to wine and spirits tasting, Round Barn Winery and Distillery offers a range of events and activities throughout the year, including live music, cooking classes, and outdoor games. Whether you’re a wine or spirits enthusiast or just looking for a unique and relaxing outing, Round Barn Winery and Distillery is worth a visit.

Conclusion

In conclusion, New Buffalo is a charming and welcoming town with various activities for all ages. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, or relaxation, you can find something to suit your interests in New Buffalo. From hiking and biking trails to the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The town also has a rich history and culture, reflected in its quaint downtown area and numerous art galleries and studios.

With its diverse activities and stunning natural surroundings, New Buffalo is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation.

Related: Are short term rentals legal in New Buffalo?