New Buffalo is a summertime destination in Southeast Michigan, attracting visitors from the region and from Illinois and Indiana. With a beautiful public beach, public marina, and several private marinas, the city is a great spot for those who want to swim, play or relax at Lake Michigan.
Just a short walk from downtown, New Buffalo's City Beach is a very nice swimming beach on Lake Michigan. It's a great spot to splash in the water, play beach volleyball, catch some rays, and watch the sunset. Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Colored flags are used to indicate lake conditions.
The park's swings and playground equipment are favorites for younger visitors. The stairs and elevated boardwalk system at the back of the park provide unique views of the harbor and beach, and you can walk back to the beach using one of several sand hiking paths that connect to the boardwalk.
A concession stand at the beach sells hot dogs, ice cream, beverages and snacks. Restrooms are located at the sides of the concession stand.
Parking at the beach costs a fee, and it's more expensive Friday through Monday than it is the rest of the week. New Buffalo city and township residents can buy parking lot season passes at a reduced rate; others are not eligible to buy season passes.
For the current parking fees, visit the City Beach web page.
New Buffalo Parks
is a large recreation area between Clay Street and Indiana Street. The park has several ball diamonds for
baseball and softball. A small playground is located on the northwest corner of the park, and there is a picnic area and restrooms located near the center of the park. New Buffalo's high school football field is located on the north side of East Clay Street at the park. Parking is available in the lots along Indiana Street and Bronson Street.
On the south side of Clay Street, a skate park and tennis courts
are available. The skate park has a few ramps of different sizes, and rules for the skate park are posted near the entrance. Parking is available on near the tennis courts and the skate park.
Lions Pavilion Park
is across the street from City Beach. The park has a large picnic pavilion that is used for gatherings. Several picnic tables are available to relax, eat lunch, and watch the boats using the Galien River. There is also green space to play frisbee.
Sari Asher Memorial Park
is a play space for furry friends. The dog park has lots of room for dogs to run, with a few shade trees nearby. A limited number of chairs are available for dog owners to use while their dogs play. A small parking lot is located near the park entrance.
Turtle Pond Nature Preserve
is an undeveloped space on Washington Street that has shade trees, wild flowers, and low-lying plants. A nature trail can be accessed from the parking area. You may want to use insect spray if you venture into the woods at the park during the summer since you can encounter mosquitos.
Boating & Marinas
City Transient Marina
is located along the Federal Channel and is open from April 15 to October 15. The municipal marina features 30 transient boat slips. Pump out, ice, water, electricity, long-term parking, showers, and a dog run are available at City Transient Marina. Docking is allowed by permit only, and permits are issued to pleasure boats at the marina office while space is available. Reservations are available by calling 800-447-2757.
City Transient Marina is located at 100 West Water Street, and parking is by permit only.
Powerboats, sailboats and watercraft enjoy using New Buffalo's boat launching facilities
on the Galien River to reach the blue water of Lake Michigan. Located at 201 Marquette Drive, the boat launch is across the street from City Beach. Day passes and season passes are available for purchase. See the
City Boat Launch web site
for fees and rules.
New Buffalo's large harbor also many private boat facilities. Private marinas in New Buffalo include the
and Pleasure Island Marina. Condominium Associations at the harbor also offer marina facilities, including
Marina Grand Resort
South Cove Condominiums
Yacht clubs in New Buffalo include
New Buffalo Yacht Club
Lake Michigan Yacht Club
Kayaks can be launched from the shore of Federal Channel at New Buffalo's City Beach.
Cement ramps lead to the water's edge, and Lake Michigan is not too far away. Parking at
City Beach requires a day use fee or a season pass.
There are several spots to fish from land in New Buffalo. Fishermen cast their lines for bass, crappie, walleye, steelhead, and bluegill. Along the green space east of the Federal Channel, near City Beach, is a favorite spot for some. Fishing near the marina and
Whittaker Street bridge is an option for some. You can also fish along the Galien River.
A valid fishing license is required to fish on Michigan lakes and waterways. You can get a Michigan fishing license at Captain Cook's Sports (400 S Whittaker Street) and at other bait shops and sporting good stores. A license can also be purchased online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site
New Buffalo's lighthouse at City Beach is not a traditional lighthouse, used for harbor navigation. It's a recognizable landmark that adds to the beautiful scenery at the beach. The New Buffalo Lighthouse has a red and white striped cement base with a louver-style siding on the tower.
On the south side of Whittaker Street near City Beach, there is a green Michigan historical marker that remembers the West Michigan Pike, a paved highway that was completed in 1922. The road brought tourists to Michigan from Chicago, who enjoyed the the cities along Lake Michigan. In 1926, the road became US-31, and several years later it was widened to become a "superhighway."
In New Buffalo Township at the Welcome Center along I-94, an historical marker remembers the nation's first highway travel information center, which opened in 1935 off US-12 in New Buffalo. Built by the Michigan State Highway Department, the travel information center set an example that other states followed. In 1972, the center was relocated to the newly built I-94 freeway.
Bike Route to the Beach
Cyclists can ride to City Beach using a bike route along Whittaker Street. There is a paved shoulder along South Whittaker Street to
the edge of downtown. You'll need to ride on the outside edge of the road the rest of the way to the beach. Obey traffic laws and stay alert when riding along the road.
Using sidewalks along Clay Street and Whittaker Street, you can walk from Oselka Park to City Beach. The route is around 1.75 miles one way. From the downtown to the beach, you need to be on the south side of the road to use the sidewalk. The route provides scenic views of New Buffalo's harbor, Galien River, and Lake Michigan.
There are several restaurants and neat shops along the walking route.
More About New Buffalo
The annual New Buffalo Ship & Shore Festival in August brings live music, local artists,
entertainment, games, and more to downtown. The event offers plenty of family fun, plus a lighted boat paraded and fireworks add even more excitement after dark.
If you enjoy visiting wineries, New Buffalo is close to wine country in Southwest Michigan. Four miles to the north in Union Pier,
Free Run Cellars Tasting Room
Round Barn Winery's Tasting Room
St. Julian Wine Company Tasting Room
offer tastes of their special varieties and have full bottles of wine for sale.
If you like gaming and slot machines, Four Winds Casino Resort
is a gambling resort
in New Buffalo. The casino has a luxurious hotel, with several gourmet and casual restaurants.
There are many tasty restaurants in downtown New Buffalo. Stray Dog Bar & Grill, Nancy's, Rosie's Restaurant, Casey's Bar & Grill, David's Delicatessen, and Brewster's Italian Cafe are all on Whittaker Street, located within walking distance of City Beach.
There are other restaurants along Buffalo Street/US-12. Since 1975, Redamak's on E Buffalo Street/US-12 has been serving its famous burgers. Oink's is known for its ice cream.
Downtown New Buffalo also has several unique shops and retailers.
For lodging, large hotels, small inns and exclusive resorts are options for overnight or weekly stays. Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Fairfield Inn & Suites are located near I-94. Resort accommodations near the marina are offered by
The Harbor Grand
Marina Grand Resort