Do you like to peruse treasures from the past? Do you like to surround yourself with things by a bygone era? If so, Southwest Michigan is where you should set your course.
The area is saturated with antique shops, filled to the brim with anything and everything you can think of.
For this road trip, you’ll travel on the historic Red Arrow Highway. No highway driving allowed! You may find a hidden gem for your RV or primary home in the nooks and crannies of the antique shops you step into – the perfect little reminder of your visit to the area. So get lost, lost in time.
Distance: 72 miles
Driving Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Stop 1: Lakeside: The perfect town in which to begin is less than two hours away from Chicago and within eyesight of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The small town of Lakeside, located between Union Pier and Sawyer on Red Arrow Highway, is home to Lakeside Antiques. There are three large buildings to explore, which means there is quite the selection! It’ll be hard to tear yourself away.
While you’re there… You’ll have to backtrack a few miles, but The Whistle Stop deli in Union Pier is worth it. Pick up some snacks to nibble on for the remainder of the day or for a picnic lunch at one of Lake Michigan’s beaches.
Stop 2: Baroda: Head north and a little east, across 94, to reach the town of Baroda. There you’ll find Shawnee Road Antiques. You haven’t been to Southwest Michigan until you’ve visited this place. It’s one of the oldest and largest, private shops around. There are three buildings, including its striking blue barn.
While you’re there… Visit one of the local wineries. There are four in the near vicinity: Dablon, Fruitful Vine, Gravity, and Round Barn.
Stop 3: South Haven: The most well-known stop is Murphy’s Antique Mall, which has two floors with items from more than 100 dealers. You can also visit The Farmhouse Glenn Antiques, which specializes in garden and cottage décor and mid-1800s antiques… all housed in a beautiful Greek revival farmhouse.
While you’re there… Take a stroll down the iconic pier with its equally impressive red and black lighthouse. The beaches on either side of the pier are ideal for enjoying a picnic lunch, getting your feet wet, and catching some rays.
Stop 4: Saugatuck: Voted a “Best Coastal Small Town” by USA Today, Saugatuck is one of the most picturesque, quaint villages in the state. Known for its art galleries as much as its antique shops, Saugatuck has something for every collector. Visit the Antique Pavilion in nearby Douglas and the Blue Star Antique Pavilion.
While you’re there… Let someone else drive for a while, get some fresh air, and laugh a bit. Go on a dune ride, complete with a guide who will be happy to share a little history and a little adventure with you during the course of the ride.
For more ideas on what to do on your drive in Southwest Michigan, read Travel + Leisure’s article “Great Summer Drives: Chicago to Harbor Country, Michigan.”