Fall colors, lighthouses, beautiful beaches minus the humidity, and quaint water front towns… need I say more? Who knew Michigan would become a favorite destination of mine!
My girlfriends and I decided to take a quick weekend trip to Michigan over this past weekend. It was my first time to visit This state and it did not disappoint. It was chilly, but after being in the mid 90s a week ago in Texas, it was almost welcome. And to FINALLY see real fall foliage, I mean I never wanted to leave.
What began as a surprise birthday trip to visit our dear friend Roz in Chicago, ended up being a little road trip from Illinois, through Indiana, and into western Michigan. We found amazingly cheap nonstop/roundtrip flights to Chicago on google flights ($51). So on impulse, Carrie and I purchased tickets and of course, two days later Texas was on the travel ban for Chicago. We weren’t sure if we should cancel, risk getting caught, or reschedule, so we had to tell Roz about our surprise and then did a little research and decided to travel into Michigan and stay on the lake for a couple of nights. Texas was removed and added back to the travel ban in Chicago a few times, but we had no issues flying into O’Hare International or renting a car. We just quickly left the city as soon as we could!
Our first stop was to visit the Home Alone house while still in Illinois. Carrie and I took the kids to see this house a few years ago over the summer. The neighborhood is adorable and I loved it even more in the fall. And to see it decorated for Halloween was an awesome bonus! Maybe one day I’ll get to see it over Christmas!
We also headed to a small beach in Illinois to check out the water and the lighthouse nearby. It was so cold, but the view was stunning. Then it was off to get Roz!
From the city, we drove about an hour and 15 minutes to New Buffalo, MI. Here we stayed two nights in the lovely Marina Grand Resort. The rooms were cozy with a fireplace, patio, and views of the marina. We ordered breakfast one morning from the restaurant and it was great! The homemade jam that came with my order was to die for and Carrie had an excellent breakfast pizza, which was big enough to share with all of us! We also enjoyed a very nice dinner and drinks in the hotel restaurant one evening. I had the steak and it was cooked to perfection.
We ate dinner in New Buffalo our first night there. We had some recommendations to try The Stray Dog, so we did! I’m a big fan of holiday decor, so I enjoyed the spooky Halloween vibe inside and the fall inspiration outside. We all got small entrees the first night, we had a late lunch since it was our travel day, but we liked everything we ordered!
The next morning we headed out to St. Joseph which was about a 30 minute drive from New Buffalo. There are many wineries along the route. We were wanting to see beaches, lighthouses, and fall leaves. It was SO cold this day, but we still had fun exploring outdoors.
From here we headed to Saugatuck. The drive was stunning, being from Texas I’ve never seen such bright fall colors in real life. Everything was gorgeous! We hiked up Mt. Baldhead, which was around 302 painstakingly hard stairs that led to sand dunes down to the beach. I think the views were worth it. We opted to drive down to Oval Beach rather than climb down the dunes in dress boots haha.
We loved this town so much, we decided to spend the rest of the day here. We ate lunch down by the water at the coziest restaurant that had outdoor blankets at the tables and the most divine soup that warmed me to the bone! The staff was so kind and our waitress even offered to take photos of us. I also chatted with a couple that lived in the area, everyone was so friendly and made this town even more perfect! Be sure to check out Wicks Park Bar and Grille if you’re in the area.
We shopped in all the shops around town, the fall foliage and water making the most gorgeous backdrop. I bought a lighthouse ornament for my Christmas tree, which is kinda my thing. I always get ornaments from everywhere we visit as souvenirs. I can’t wait to hang it on the tree next month!
If you’re looking for a fall getaway, a destination for a girls trip, or a fun family vacation, I highly recommend looking along the lake in Michigan. Life just seems to move a little slower here and the views are to die for. My photos don’t do them justice. Stay safe and healthy out there!