Today, we are going on a little road trip to Southwest Michigan, also know as Harbor Country...
This area has served as a getaway for Midwesterners for well over a hundred years,
a place to escape the heat and crowds of the city of Chicago-
both the former and current mayors of Chicago have homes in the area.
It's only about an hour away, but feels like a different planet, sometimes.
There are wonderful antique, gift, and home design shops,
inns, restaurants and beaches.
Can't forget the beaches...
Our tiny cottage is here, too,
and I hope you'll enjoy coming along on a little "off season" adventure with me.
I'll take you back again in the summer, when it's leafy and lush,
but these pictures will do for now...
We'll start out at the state line between Michigan and Indiana,
at The Antique Market of Michigan City.
Lots of treasures to be found here.
I have a thing for aqua and glass and compotes
and these three little ones below were mighty tempting.
As I snapped the picture, I caught a glimpse of the fabulous light fixture/columns in the background
and wished I had a place and the budget for them.
Aren't they amazing???
While I was there, I could not resist buying this blue bird covered dish-
aqua, blue, glass. Like a compote, only better.
Taking the scenic route north, check out the Duneland Beach Inn,
nestled near Lake Michigan in the wooded dunes of Michigan City.
They have a wonderful restaurant, too, and an enchanted setting.
It's a cherished area landmark.
Next stop is Mix and Mingle, a sophisticated, eclectic shop in New Buffalo, Michigan.
They have stunning, unusual and amusing finds here.
New Buffalo has the only area harbor in this part of Michigan,
so there is lots of boating as well as a nice a public beach with a dune top boardwalk
Great restaurants in New Buffalo, too...
The legendary Stray Dog Bar and Grill is open year round,
has great food and fun merchandise
all based on their locally famous slogan, which is: Come! Sit! Stay!
Summer finds crowds enjoying the open air rooftop dining area,
with live music and views of the sunset over the big lake.
You feel like you're worlds away up there...
Continuing north to Union Pier, there is room at the Inn-
at the vintage Gordon Beach Inn.
Gourmet food is served, year round at Timothy's, their cozy restaurant.
Farther north on the Red Arrow Highway, you will find Milda's Corner Market,
where lunch is always a treat.
"Adult" grilled cheese (three kinds of cheese plus pesto) is a family favorite....
Just down the road you will find On the Lounge, a fabric and slipcover shop
with a friendly owner and a delightful of collection of fabrics,
in stock as well as fabric to custom order.
Slipcovers are made on the premises in their open workroom at the back.
Farther north on Red Arrow Highway, you will find a true Union Pier landmark,
It's an easy walk from our cottage (below)
to the Red Arrow Roadhouse, and we make that little journey frequently,
no matter what the weather.
Then we EAT!
The food is great, the staff is friendly and the atmosphere is always lively.
Right next door is a wonderful shop called The Whistle Stop
where they sell gifts, fresh baked goods, deli sandwiches and gourmet items.
They make the most delicious, hot, juicy roasted Amish chickens to go -
perfect for a quick dinner or a picnic.
Grab a side salad, a bottle of wine and a fresh baguette-
perfect for lunch or dinner on the beach!
If you want a rustic room on the shores of Lake Michigan,
stay at the Lakeside Inn,
a big, charming, rambling old lakefront inn
with a genuine North Woods vibe.
A gorgeous, wide, sandy beach is down the stairs and across the street.
The Inn is within walking distance of our cottage
and Mr. Grand and I spent a few nights here while working on our renovations.
I absolutely love the atmosphere.
There are common rooms on the first floor
for guests and groups to gather around two hand built fireplaces.
Love the saying carved into the mantel-
"All passes Art alone endures"
In the summer, they host art classes in a studio behind the Inn.
Someday, I will take a class in something there.
The lobby takes you back in time....
Games and a family reunion here would be just perfect...
Keep going north on Red Arrow Highway until we get to the Harbert Antique Mall.
I have discovered many, many treasures here...
Check out this Louis Vuitton Steamer Trunk, Circa 1905...
Great with the Titanic tie in... Makes it seem so real.
And check out the price...It's on sale!
Last stop before dinner -
The Sawyer Garden Center in Sawyer, Michigan.
This is one of my favorite stores in all of Harbor Country.
They have something for everyone.
Fantastic annual and perennial plants and garden supplies,
gifts, groceries, a wine shop
and in the summer,
the best produce around, from local farms and producers.
They have an entire room devoted to bird feeders and bird food!
Plus lots of great home decor items -
there's both indoor and outdoor furniture
and lots and lots of accessories.
I rarely leave empty handed and in the summer, the back of the Jeep overflows...
Let's head back in time to catch the sunset on the beach.
Glorious even on a cloudy winter day!