New Buffalo Beach & Lakefront Park | Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council

New Buffalo Beach & Lakefront Park

New Buffalo Beach in the summer.

The First Lake Michigan Beach After Crossing the Border

Welcome to New Buffalo Beach and Lakefront Park — Michigan’s first public Lake Michigan beach after you cross the Indiana border. Visit this soft-sand beach and get a taste of the natural beauty that awaits along this magnificent lake’s shoreline. A great thing about this beach is that you can easily walk to New Buffalo’s vibrant downtown.

New Buffalo Beach is just minutes west of I-94. Drive into the City of New Buffalo, cross the Galien River Bridge and park at the end of Whittaker Street. The view of the 800 feet of sandy shoreline, the gorgeous freshwater as far as you can see and colorful sunsets will leave you speechless. 

Generous Gift 

New Buffalo Beach and Lakefront Park was an enduring gift to the city from the Warren Featherbone Company and its founder, Edward K. Warren, in June 1924. The former Three Oaks factory was once renowned for making corsets and is now a tourist destination housing the Journeyman Distillery. Because of their generosity, locals and visitors worldwide treasure this beach year-round.  



Swimming, wading, building sandcastles, relaxing or playing beach games are reasons to pack your sunscreen, swimsuits and towels and spend a few hours on this stretch of sand. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, lifeguards are on duty Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Honor the lifeguard requests and the warning flags. A new Michigan law prohibits you from entering the water when double red flags are flying — your safety in this Great Lake is our number one priority.


The paved parking lot, seven handicap-designated spots and a boardwalk that extends from the lot to the snack bar and restroom area and then toward the beachfront make it easy for everyone to enjoy the beach. In summer, a free-to-borrow beach wheelchair is available — ask for it from a lifeguard when you arrive.  


Launch your kayak or paddleboard from the beach or on the scenic Galien River. Or rent one from Third Coast Paddling across from the beach parking lot or Uncle Jib’s Outpost on West Buffalo Street.

Boaters can get in the water from the public boat launch next to the beach off Marquette Drive on the Galien River. Boats have direct access to Lake Michigan from the Galien River.

The launch is open 24 hours per day during boating season from May 1 to ice cover on the Galien River. It has multiple ramps and piers for easy loading and unloading and ample trailer parking. Anglers can also use the boat launch to access the Galien River Nature Preserve and channel.


Walk the nature trail boardwalk along the dune line or on the beach and enjoy how the views change with each season. The playground structure at the Lions Lakefront Park is irresistible for children, and in winter, bring sleds and fly down the dune. 


The Lions Lakefront Park across from the beach has a pavilion, picnic tables, grills and benches for watching the water and sunsets. Watch the New Buffalo events calendar for summer music concerts and entertainment in the park.

On the beach, a snack bar operates during seasonal hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Stop by for refreshing Kona Ice cones, ice cream, pretzels, nachos and cheese and beverages. They also carry things that may not be in your beach bag such as sunscreen, pain reliever medication, beach umbrellas and sand toys. It also houses the public restrooms and foot showers. 


In 2022, Travel + Leisure magazine named New Buffalo one of the 50 Best Places to Travel. Walk from the beach to downtown and you will quickly see why. There’s a delightful array of cozy cafes, pubs, fine-dining restaurants, boutiques and art stores. From June to September, visit the farmers’ market on Thursdays for locally grown fruits and vegetables, baked goods, artisan cheeses, meats and seafood, clothing, crafts and more. 


The beach is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The least crowded time to come in the summer is on Mondays through Wednesdays. Throughout the week,  most people start arriving at 11 a.m., then take a break at dinner time and return around 7:30 p.m. and stay for the show-stopping sunsets. 

With 200+ parking spaces available, accessing New Buffalo Beach is easy. Visitors enter the parking lot, pay at one of the convenient kiosks or via the Passport mobile app, and enjoy a day of fun in the sun. Parking fees are in effect from spring through summer. Racks are also available to secure your bikes. 


You can easily reach New Buffalo by car using I-94 Exit 1 or Exit 4 or taking US-12 into New Buffalo. At the intersection of US-12 and Whittaker Street, go west on Whittaker to the beach at the end of the road. Another option is to arrive by Amtrak or your watercraft. 

Start planning one of your best vacations ever. See you at New Buffalo Beach soon!

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