Looking for things to do in New Buffalo in the winter? You’re in the right place.
If you need a winter escape or quick getaway to reset, look no farther than New Buffalo in southwest Michigan’s Harbor Country.
Just a quick 90-minute ride from Chicago by car or train and three hours from Detroit, this charming town on the Lake Michigan shore is a perfect Michigan travel destination for winter fun.
Yes, the town hustles and bustles during the summer and fall seasons. Come wintertime, however, this popular Lake Michigan beach town slows down a bit but still offers plenty of opportunity for both indoor fun and outdoor adventure.
We’ve put together a southwest Michigan travel guide for a perfect New Buffalo winter, so read on and start making plans to visit New Buffalo soon.
Best Winter Activities in New Buffalo
Explore the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail
New Buffalo is set right in the middle of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, making it a perfect base for exploring the amazing Berrien County wineries.
As the largest of Michigan’s grape-growing regions, the southwest corner of the state is home to some of the best wineries in Michigan Start at Round Barn Estate Winery, Distillery and Brewery, 10983 Hills Rd, Baroda, MI 49101.
The Round Barn winery is set in a turn-of-the-century Amish round barn is the eclectic setting for this fun spot that even has its own hiking trails on the grounds. It’s a very enchanting spot in the winter, and there are accommodations on-site, too.
Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant, 185 Mt Tabor Rd, Buchanan, MI 49107, near New Buffalo, offers more than just award-winning wines. You’ll also find over 3.5 miles of stunning trails looping through the woods and vineyards to hike while you sip. In addition, they are more than 20 wineries and tasting rooms in the area, including some in downtown St. Joseph.
You can even take a Grape and Grain to explore the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail and the breweries and distilleries in the area, too.
Take a Winter Hike
Let’s face it: a beach hike in any season is good, if you’re dressed for it. So bundle up and head to Warren Dunes State Park, where you’ll find three miles of shoreline to trek and six miles of hiking trails.
The New Buffalo beaches, like all Great Lakes shoreline, can get pretty blustery, and there are many other great winter hiking options. Love Creek County Park, 9292 Huckleberry Road Berrien Center, MI 49102 is a rolling 200-acre natural area outside of Berrien Springs, Michigan.
You’ll find six miles of hiking trails and leashed dogs are allowed when no snow is present. Warren Woods State Park, Elm Valley Rd, Three Oaks, MI 49128, is a 311-acre nature preserve and public recreation area. The Galien River runs through it and is just pristine in the quiet winter months. Indiana Dunes also has miles of coastal hiking trails.
Head to Beer Church
You’ll find more than amazing craft beer and salvation at Beer Church Brewing Co., 24 S Whittaker St, New Buffalo, MI 49117. Set in a restored Civil War-era church, this top Michigan brewery is truly unique, offering a friendly, laid-back vibe.
In addition to tasty microbrews, you’ll also find one of the best pizzas in the state of Michigan. Their wood-fired Pizza Napoletana is epic and has earned rave reviews and recognition from multiple media sources including the Chicago Tribune.
You’ll also want to check out Greenbush Brewing Co., 5885 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer, MI 49125, in Sawyer, an award-winning microbrewery that is home to some amazing barbeque. You’ll find 12 taps of house-brewed beer, including experimental ales, too. The amazing tastes at Greenbush Brewing required the funders to open an Annex across the street: you’re good with either choice.
Ride a Fat Tire Bike
The first time I hopped on one of these bikes was in the winter, and I was immediately hooked. Sure, the large tires give you the ability to navigate through sand, but they’re even more powerful in the snow.
New Buffalo is a fun place to ride, surrounded by the coastal scenery and fresh lake air.
Love Creek County Park is your best bet if you don’t have your own bike: there are four fat tire bikes available for rent on-site and miles of trails. If you have your own bike, check out Chikaming Township Park and Preserve, Warren Woods Rd, Three Oaks, MI 49128.
This large natural area includes woods, prairies & a lake, plus trails for fat tire biking. If you’re up for a bit of a ride (pun intended), head east to the Dr. Lawless International Dark Sky Park, 15122 Monkey Run Street, Jones, MI 49061 for miles of wooded trails that are open year-round.
If you’re a sky-watcher, you’ll want to head over to the Dark Sky Park to catch a glimpse of some shooting stars and or night sky wonders.
Go Sledding and Snow Tubing
There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as flying down a hill on a sled or tube. Luckily, the rolling dunes and hilly terrain of the New Buffalo and Harbor Country area offer tons of spots perfect for sledding. Oselka Park, 601 E Indiana St, New Buffalo, MI 49117, has a man-made BYOS (Bring Your Own Sled) sledding hill, and Warren Dunes State Park offers sledding and tubing, too. Sliding down, the dunes with the amazing Lake Michigan vista spread in front of you is breathtaking.
PRO-TIP: Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are also great activities, and they’re also fun if you have a group. Both Love Creek County Park and Sarett Nature Center, 2300 N Benton Center Rd, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 offer nretals of both cross country sking and snowshoes.
Harbor Country is an antique-lovers paradise: you’ll find small shops like Poppy Hill Vintage, 22 N Elm St, Three Oaks, MI, where you’ll find re-purposed cottage décor; and the Sawyer Antique Mall, 12825 Red Arrow Hwy, Sawyer, MI 49125, where you’ll find housewares, collectibles, art, and more.
I found a beautiful oak chest in Alchemy Antiques, 13696 Red Arrow Hwy, Sawyer, MI 49125, a few years back, and so I always stop in to see what other treasures I can find. Blue Moon Vintage Market, 11193 W Division Rd, Westville, IN 46391 is also worth a visit.
Cozy Up in Downtown New Buffalo
Need more solitude? Try a quiet a relaxing week or a few days away here in a hotel or rental property.
Warm and friendly downtown New Buffalo is a perfect spot to get all your cozy winter feels. Bring a good book, pick up some hot cocoa and delicious Swedish pastries from the Harbert Swedish Bakery,13698 Red Arrow Hwy, Harbert, MI 49115, and watch the snow fall.
When you need some fresh air, walk up and down Whitaker Street and pop in the fun shops and boutiques along the way. You won’t go hungry here.
There are some top restaurants, here including one of my favorite Italian spots, Brewsters. You can find more detailed information on where to eat in New Buffalo in our Guide to the Top Restaurants in New Buffalo.
New Buffalo in the Winter For All
One of the best things about Buffalo is that no matter what season you choose to visit, it is a friendly spot for all. By that we mean, singles, families, and most importantly, dogs. Many places here are dog-friendly, so you can bring your pup along with you for your visit.
In addition, you’lll find that both New Buffalo City Beach and Warren Dunes State Park are ADA and handicap accessible for users of mobility devices.