Harbor Country and Michigan City Weekend Getaway Guides
Whether you take to the water or enjoy shopping and dining local, look no further than Michigan City and Harbor Country for a weekend getaway — two of our favorite destinations along the shores of Lake Michigan. If you are planning a trip this summer or joining us for our annual Home for the Summer tour, kicking off this Saturday, June 13th, check out some of our tried-and-true recommendations.
Start the weekend by grabbing your vacation home essentials at Barney’s Market. Barney’s has been family owned and operated for 75 years, offering a hometown shopping experience with local flair.
Once you’ve settled in, head to Third Coast Surf Shop to rent your paddleboarding equipment before you embark on a Galien River excursion. Paddle boarders of all skill levels can practice their balance beneath a lush canopy of trees while kayakers and canoers enjoy a leisurely journey on the river.
We know you’ll be hungry after your river adventure, so satisfy your palate with Loaded Tater Tots from Mesa Luna in Sawyer. The screened-in porch is the perfect setting for a tasty meal on a warm summer night.
Close out the day at Vickers Theatre, a classic art house and cinema in Three Oaks. The intimate theatre features independent films, documentaries, and foreign language films that are sure to entertain.
Swing by Black Currant Bakehouse, a Union Pier staple that has some of Michigan’s best pastries, fresh sandwiches, and baked goods. The Beach Bum Breakfast Sandwich is an absolute favorite and is made on a house made buttermilk biscuit.
Harbor Country is known for its stunning vineyards and regional wines. Find your favorite during a daylong trip with Harbor Country Adventures’ “Stem & Stein Adventure” tour, which includes a visit to three local wineries and a delicious lunch.
After a long day of wine tasting, head to Terrace Room in New Buffalo for an authentic Italian meal. Dine on the patio overlooking the water and order one of their cozy dishes such as the Linguine with Clams or Beef Tenderloin.
Spend the morning shopping local. Frolic in New Buffalo is full of unique clothing items and home decor to remind you of the weekend. We also recommend taking advantage of the numerous antique shops in the area including Lakeside Antiques, home to some of the most unique and funky items.
Next, tap into your artistic side with a visit to Elsie Earl Studios, a local art gallery and hands-on art center featuring local, regional, and national artists. Art classes and 3D painting are also offered for those feeling creative.
Make the most of your last evening in Harbor Country with an upscale dining experience at Timothy’s Restaurant. Owner and Chef Tim’s signature dishes are fish with Asian flare, and you can get a taste when you order the Miso-Glazed Atlantic Salmon or Sesame-Crusted Ahi Tuna.
Don’t forget to save room for Beachside Scoops, a full-service ice cream parlor specializing in premium ice cream, frozen yogurt, and espresso-based coffee drinks. Their seasonal line is a regional favorite, Sallie’s by the Shore.
When you arrive, check into the Duneland Beach Inn, a relaxing inn that’s centrally located within the South Shore beach communities. With a restaurant and cozy neighborhood bar, this hidden gem is a great place to settle in for a weekend in Michigan City.
For a bit of history, check out the Barker Mansion, a home owned by one of the most formative families in the trade and commerce industries. Tours highlight the mansion’s architecture, collections, and social history.
After your tour, dine with a view at Bridges Waterside Grille, a casual, family-owned restaurant in the heart of Michigan City. Offering an array of sandwiches, wraps, salad, and seafood, the restaurant is known for the Coconut Shrimp and Thai Chicken Peanut Wrap.
Blind Pig Tavern & Grill is another popular spot with a relaxed ambiance. Their expansive patio and outside bar are great for enjoying menu favorites like the pulled pork sandwich or burger.
Start your morning at Memo’s House Of Pancakes and be sure to try their iconic Crunchy French Toast. If you prefer a more savory breakfast, the Denver Omelette is always a good choice.
After breakfast, take on a physical challenge when you visit the Indiana Dunes State Park. The 1.5-mile trail includes the three tallest sand dunes and is the toughest in the park with 552 vertical feet to climb. You can also enjoy the views of towering sand dunes and miles of sandy beaches when you rent a bicycle from Pedal Power at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center.
End the day at Swingbelly’s, a family-owned restaurant specializing in burgers, yellow lake perch, sandwiches, specialty cocktails, and craft beer. Menu favorites include the Belly Buster, a unique burger topped with mushrooms, green olives, bacon and American cheese.
If you’re more in the mood for Italian, head to Trattoria Tonelli. Order one of the many familiar Italian dishes or try the Linguine Frutti Di Mare or the Fettucine Mediterraneo for a bit of seafood.
Stop by Al’s Supermarket to pick up items for a simple picnic. Al’s always has fresh, locally-sourced options that are perfect for a light lunch under one of Washington Park’s picnic shelters. Be sure to explore some of the 140-acre park, which has two miles of beach, the Washington Park Zoo, the Oasis Splash Park, and public art.
Peruse local shops like Beach Bum Jewels, which specializes in authentic jewelry made from Lake Michigan beach glass. Walk up Franklin Street to visit Patina Vintage Goods for unique finds or stop by local favorite Darling Boutique.
End the weekend at Bartlett’s Fish Camp, the region’s only raw bar with Michigan City’s closest waterfront dining. The restaurant overlooks the mouth of Lake Michigan Harbor and boasts the sounds of live music. Eat like a local and try the East Coast Maine Lobster Roll.
If you’re craving steak, go to Galveston Steakhouse, which serves mesquite-wood fire-grilled steaks. Before you try one of their mouth-watering steaks, order the Bloomin’ Onion as an appetizer.