Pure Michigan destinations

Here are some outdoor / eating attractions by mileage marker which gives you an idea of travel time since most are not far off the highway.

I-94 Exit 4 New Buffalo / Three Oaks

New Buffalo

  • Oink’s Ice Cream – old syle parlor
  • New Buffalo has quaint downtown which includes a great surf shop: 3d coast surf shop, cool surf clothes etc.
  • Galien River County Park – just north of New Buffalo, elevated viewing platform and boardwalk that goes to river’s edge
  • Third Coast Surf Shop kayak rental on the Galien River, no large boat traffic (mid-May -> end-Sept)
  • Warren Woods – fairly unique “old growth” forest, dark and mossy, easy hiking trails

Three Oaks

I-94 Exit 6 Union Pier

  • Timothy’s restaurant – owned by a high school classmate – very good seafood, good drink menu, moderate-$$, outdoor seating

Exit 12 Sawyer

  • Greenbush Brewing – every beer I’ve had here has been excellent, they have about 15 on tap. They have the brewpub (usually busy weekends), annex (to buy bottles-to-go or sit outside in the grill area, play bocci ball), and a cafe
  • Sawyer home and garden center – great place to buy regional wine, apparently they have a Saturday wine tasting
  • Beach Bucket ice cream- 52 flavors, large servings, and an excellent Blue Moon variety, “Cookie Monster”, with cookie dough

Exit 16 Bridgman

  • Tabor hill winery and restaurant (this is also on some of the apple cider century bike routes)
  • Warren Dunes –well known “tower hill” huge steep sand dune to hike up and run down, good beach, many hiking trails
  • Weko beach – a separate beach from Warren Dunes, has concessions including snow cones
  • Artisan Ales microbrewery – one of the newer ones in the area, some very good limited release BA stouts
  • Tapistry Brewing – brewpub, excellent comfort food menu

I-94 Exit 22 Stevensville

I-94 Exit 23 Saint Joseph

  • Silver beach on S. side of river
  • Tiscornia beach on N. side of river
  • Walking out on either pier is cool esp. at sunset
  • Quaint downtown which includes a great surf shop: 3d coast surf shop, cool surf clothes etc., SUP / kayak rentals on the beach, , two ice cream places: Kilwins (also has fudge), Cabana’s (Sherman’s brand), Silver Beach Pizza by the amtrak station near Silver Beach
  • To take the scenic route north to South Haven , continue on Lakeshore Drive which turns into Blue Star Highway
  • Tosi’s Restaurant and Bit O’Swiss bakery, W on Glenlord Road (granola cluster recommended) – there is also a Tosi’s Cafe in downtown SJ which has the clusters
  • The Buck burger / onion rings / microbrew bar
  • 221 Main Restaurant and Cocktail House – whiskey bar (300 varieties), rooftop
  • Silver Harbor Brewing Good microbrewery near downtown, and excellent comfort food including huge fish & chips
  • Community Tap – regional microbeers (opening May 2021)
  • Dairy Korner – Walk-up ice cream place, check out the Blue Goo, fish tacos
  • Fisherman’s Wharf kayak & canoe rentals on Saint Joseph river, some boat traffic, but a lot of variety of routes (mid-May -> end-Sep)
  • Third Coast Surf Shop kayak & SUP rentals on Paw Paw river, no large boat traffic (mid-May -> end-Sep)

Exit 28 Benton Harbor

  • Art district – includes Water Street Glassworks, 210 Water Street studios, Anna Russo-Sieber Gallery, Morton House museum
  • The Livery brewpub, good place for food, drink, live music, tie die t-shirts, and the best “craft” ice cream selection I’ve seen in any bar
  • North Shore Inn brewpub, burgers
  • Chatterbox Bar & Grill, elaborate burgers
  • Mason Jar Cafe: Breakfast and Lunch, outdoor option
  • Houndstooth – farm to table

Exit 34 South Haven, I-196-North to Holland / Grand Rapids

  • Shermans Dairy Bar – Blue Cow on roof, Blue Moon, Pigs Dinner, Licorice flavor, etc., open Mar->Oct
  • DeGrand Champ Farms – Fresh Blueberries (5 / 10lb boxes) store, but typically open only in Aug. / Sep. timeframe

I-196 Exit 1

  • Sarett Nature Center – boardwalks through the marsh, butterfly tent (not sure it’s up this time of year), some indoor exhibits, it is an awesome place – in winter a good place learn to x-country ski or snowshoe, they do rentals