Difference between revisions of "Harbor Country"
Revision as of 04:18, 28 July 2008
Harbor Country  is a region in southwest Western Michigan, on Lake Michigan just north of Indiana and a short distance northeast of Chicagoland. This small region features quaint towns, U-Pick apple/berry/pumpkin farms, wineries, and miles of beautiful Lake Michigan beaches.
Once a predominately rural area, in the past few decades Harbor Country has experienced significant tourist growth as travellers from nearby Chicago visit the area. The main highways of Harbor Country are lined with art galleries, farm stands, and trendy restaurants catering to this crowd. Many new cottages are also being built in the region due to the strong vacation home market. In addition to being a destination in its own right, Harbor Country is also a popular stopping point for vacationers heading to St. Joseph, Holland, or Grand Rapids.
Take US 12 (Red Arrow Highway)East from the South Side of Chicago. This route will take you very close to the Lake Michigan coast for most of the drive, and passes through the communities of New Buffalo, Union Pier, and Lakeside. An alternative is to take I-90 to where it intersects with I-94 in Indiana, and then taking I-94 up into Michigan. This is a more inland route, but it is easier to connect to I-94 from other parts of Chicagoland.
From Other Parts of Michigan
Follow I-94 west to approach Harbor Country from the Northeast(Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor). From Grand Rapids, take I-96 south to I-94, and then continue south from there.
Automobile is definitely the easiest way to transverse the highways and rural routes of Harbor Country. If you must take Amtrak, you can purchase a ticket to nearby St. Joseph, but understand that there is little public transportation in the region. As in most parts of the United States, hitch-hiking is not recommended.
Indiana lies just over the border to the south, and the eastern fringes of Chicagoland aren't much farther away. In Michigan City, Indiana (the first town across the Indiana state line), the Lighthouse Place Outlet Mall offers discount shopping opportunities. Alternatively, to the north are a seemingly endless series of Lake Michigan Beachtowns. These include the much larger communities of Holland, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, and South Haven.