Best Things to do in Harbor Country

April 28, 2021

As a city-person (Chicago) recently landing in a less than urban environment, walking is something I do a lot of. So, what a joy it is to be walking (under 1 mile) distance from some pretty amazing places!

Seedz Brewery (16 minute walk) – This agricultural-driven brewery uses locally-sourced ingredients from the Midwest to brew beautiful and delicate lager/ales and mix-fermentation. Enjoy their outdoor space surrounded by tall trees or grab a beer to bring back to Garden Grove.

Round Barn Tasting Room (9 minute walk) – While the must-visit Round Barn Winery is just a 20 minute drive away, the tasting room which offers their award-winning wines, delicious beers and spirits crafted from local fruits is just a short walk away. 

St. Julian Tasting Room (10 minute walk) – Right next door, you can continue your wine tour with a stop at St. Julian Wine Tasting Room. On Sundays this summer and fall, they will be hosting live music and food trucks! 

Milda’s Corner Market (9 minute walk) – Milda’s features Lithuanian, European and Asian Specialties with products from over 40 Countries. Grab some lunch here for a bike ride or a picnic at the beach!

Izzy’s Bean & Gelato Shoppe (9 minute walk) – Just up the street, Izzy’s is the perfect place to grab some dessert!

Townline Beach (20 minute walk) – Union Pier Road dead ends into beautiful Lake Michigan! An easy walk, and an even easier bike ride or drive (there is parking), and the lake can be accessed just down the stairs, or enjoy the vista from above. Once on the beach, walk north for miles marveling at the magnificent beach houses and the evening sunsets. Garden Grove has bikes and beach gear available if you forgot to bring your own.

 

The Village of Three Oaks is a scenic 10 minute drive from Garden Grove. Its downtown is delightful and full of so many great places to shop and dine. Just a few of my favorites include…

Shopping

Poppy Hill Vintage – this beautifully curated antique store is bound to have a treasure you cannot live without! The proprietress, Kendra is vibrant and ready to help you find that perfect item.

Alapash – This on-trend plant and home store has relocated from Chicago’s Ravenswood to Three Oaks, MI and is even bigger and more beautiful than their urban location. 

Randolph Street Market – Starting May 29, America’s world-renowned antique flea market takes a road-trip to Three Oaks Michigan on select weekends throughout the summer. Could Three Oaks be Chicago’s Hottest New Neighborhood?

Eat & Drink

Journeyman Distillery – After walking through this quaint town, stop for a drink at Journeyman! EK Warren, a staunch prohibitionist, founded the historic building as a Buggy Whip and Corsets factory. Now home to Journeyman Distillery and Staymaker restaurant, you can get amazing spirits, great food and a truly original atmosphere. Take a bottle of Not A King Rye (my favorite) home to remember it!

Froelich’s – Colleen Froelich has created the most amazing culinary destination in an old, once empty building in Three Oaks. Not only do they serve amazing food, but they also have a full-service bakery that makes you feel like a kid in a candy shop. They are committed to using ingredients from local growers and producers, so everything is fresh! And, for the items they can’t use what’s harvested, you’ll  find an amazing array of jams, preserves and pickled items you can take home!

Warren Woods State Park (not to be confused with Warren Dunes State Park – another amazing nearby destination) is just a 6 minute drive from Garden Grove. This peaceful preserve is hidden gem amongst the vast fields you’ll pass on your way. You’ll walk above and beside the Galien river through old growth trees and a rare stand of virgin hardwoods. Many birds call this area home, and it is one of the best places in Michigan to see a yellow-throated warbler, a small, gray bird with a distinct yellow bib. The trail is just over 2 miles – about 1 mile out and back. The terrain is mostly smooth with a few hills up and down and fallen trees to navigate around or over. It’s a great walk for anyone looking for a peaceful moment among the whistling birds and rustling leaves!

Can’t decide if you want to spend some time in the forest or at the beach? Warren Dunes State Park is just a 15 minute drive from Garden Grove and offers both! This extensive (1,952 acre) state park has three miles of shoreline and 6 miles of hiking trails.  A rugged dune formation rises 260 feet above the lake and offers spectacular views.