Every summer we go to Michigan at least twice to relax and spend some time on the white, sandy beaches. We changed things up a bit this year and went to St. Joseph, Michigan instead of New Buffalo. I'm telling you now so you can book your trip for next summer - it was that great! It took us about 3.5 hours to get there (there was some major traffic on I-80, otherwise you could probably make it in 3 hours).
We stayed at The Boulevard Inn & Bistro in a King suite. At first glance I was worried it wouldn't be kid friendly because it looks "fancy" (as my kids called it). We stayed during the week and it was only $200 a night, parking was free, we were right downtown overlooking the lake and they had a FREE breakfast (with belgian waffles - my oldest's favorite!). The room was perfect because there was a King bed in one room and then the sofa pulled out for the kids to sleep on. And there was a refrigerator and microwave in the room (always handy when you have little ones that have bottomless pits for stomachs!)
Silver Beach is an amazing place for kids... not only is there the beach and Lake Michigan, but there's a full concession stand and a playground. Then about 50 yards away (definitely walkable) there's a splash park, a carousel, a Children's Discovery Zone and Silver Beach Pizza. We spent 3 days here and never once did the kids get bored or ask to go somewhere else.
Spend your day at the beach (it does cost $8 to park down by the beach) and then have dinner at any of the downtown restaurants (all walkable from the hotel we stayed in) and there are plenty of places for a nice cold treat (ICE CREAM!) I highly recommend a family vacation to this spot!!
P.S. I was not paid, nor did I receive a discount on any of the locations mentioned in this write up. I'm sharing because I think more families in Central Illinois need to experience Michigan summers - they are priceless!!
Melissa Ash - mom of 2 energetic boys, wife, and business woman. Just trying to "do it all".