Over the Indiana state line on the west coast of Michigan, you’ll find Grand Beach, a small resort town just over an hour from Chicago. Grand Beach is part of Harbor Country – a small string of towns in Southwest Michigan used as a prime vacation spot for city dwellers. “What the Hamptons are to New York and Cape Cod is to Boston, Harbor Country is to Chicago,” says one article from The New York Times.
Reachable by railroad, Grand Beach was founded in 1903. The Daley family (a group of politicians from Chicago) made Grand Beach their second home in the 1930s when the town featured a large entertainment pier on its lakeshore. The town reached a state of disrepair in the 1980s after decades of tourism, but soon afterwards the harbor expanded and the realty market boomed as wealthy Chicagoans began purchasing summer cottages.
Today, Grand Beach is thriving with summer fun and winter sports. With many options for arts, dining, shopping and outdoor fun throughout Grand Beach and the rest of Harbor Country, you won’t feel a need to head back to the city any time soon.
The main attraction in Grand Beach is in its name – the lakeshore! You could spend your whole vacation winding down on the beaches of Lake Michigan. Arts and culture also reign throughout the town. Harbor Country is said to have more art per capita than Chicago– see if that rings true in Grand Beach!
Golf courses abound along the lakeshore. Adults can golf nine holes for $13 or 18 for $23 at the Grand Beach Golf Course. If you’re more interested in architecture, visit three Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Grand Beach, including the 1916 Ernest Vosburgh Summer House, which still features most of its original design.
Millions of visitors come to Indiana Dunes each year for the shoreline and the views. About 25 miles southwest of Grand Beach, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a popular spot for swimming, camping, fishing, boating and of course… dune climbing. A popular activity at the park is the 3 Dune Challenge, where visitors climb the three highest sand dunes in the park, a total of 552 feet in elevation and 1.5 miles of sandy trail.
A 15-mile drive north of Grand Beach, you can find Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, MI. Open all year, the park features three miles of shoreline and six miles of hiking, including a 260-foot dune formation. The views from the top are unbeatable!
If you’re not already seeking respite from the city, take a trip into Chicago, a little over an hour west on I-90 or I-94. Even on a short day trip, you’d still have time to visit The Art Institute, take a walk along Navy Pier and dig into a deep dish slice at Lou Malnati’s, Pequod’s or Giordano’s.
Harbor Country Adventures offers a variety of activities in New Buffalo, from high-speed boat and jet ski rentals, or Michigan wine tours across regional vineyards, cellars and wineries. Tours include luxury transportation, farm to table lunch and a souvenir glass.
Search from nearly 700 rentals in Grand Beach and surrounding areas on Tripping.com. Bringing a pet along on your beach excursion? Skip the kennel and find over 100 rentals allowing pets.
For a spot close to the beach, look for Tripping.com’s rentals west of Route 12. But don’t catch a chill after a day in Lake Michigan! About 100 rentals offer a hot tub or spa, while over 350 feature a fireplace for a cozy vacation.
Travelling by car is most common in Grand Beach. The town is accessible by U.S. Route 12, a state trunkline. The major highway in the region is I-94, which intersects with I-90 south of Grand Beach in Indiana.
The Amtrak Wolverine line (which runs daily between Chicago and Detroit) stops in New Buffalo, which borders Grand Beach to the North. You can also take bikes on the Amtrak, so those without cars can still enjoy a vacation to Lake Michigan.
If you do bring a bike, don’t miss the Backroads Bikeway, with 20 self-guided tours ranging in length from five to 60 miles, all on asphalt trails. From beginners to experts, most bicyclists can find the right trail on the Backroads.
Looking for a vacation rental in Grand Beach? Tripping.com has 68 vacation rental homes available in Grand Beach. You'll find 0 studios, 3 1-bedroom, 10 2-bedroom and 55 rentals with 3 or more bedrooms ranging from $150 a night. For extra convenience, many of these vacation homes can be booked directly online.
The average price of a nightly rental in Grand Beach is $933 while the average price of a weekly rental is $25. For those looking for more than a short term rental such as corporate rentals, extended stays or long term rentals, the average monthly price of a Grand Beach home is $25.
Wondering if you can bring your dog or cat along with you? There are 17 pet-friendly vacation rentals available in Grand Beach. In addition to accommodating pets, Grand Beach rentals offer a variety of amenities. In particular, 62 rentals have Internet and WiFi, 66 have TV and/or cable and 26 have a pool or hot tub.Search properties from 4 vacation rental sites in Grand Beach where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and Expedia. There are 60 HomeAway rentals, 5 TripAdvisor short term rentals and 2 Expedia vacation rentals.