Great Lakes Trip – Day 3 – Michigan

2017-04-30 | Travel

Day 3

On Day 3 we travel to New Buffalo, Michigan. But first, we stop at the Indiana Dunes State Park, which is part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Indiana Dunes State Park was signed into legislation in 1923. One of the famed heroes of this area was an inventor and innovator Octave Chanute. He was obsessed with human flight and corresponded profusely with the Wright Brothers starting in 1900 as the brothers picked Octave’s brain. The high dunes in this area were ideal for testing his gliders. Below are pix of the Indiana Dunes State Park and Chanute’s glider.

Front view of Indiana Dunes State Park

Map of Indiana Dunes State Park and the Indiana Dunes national Lakeshore

Octave Chanute Flight Innovator

Octave Chanute short bio

A model of the glider that Octave Chanute built

The trip from the Chicago area to New Buffalo, MI is less than two hours. This is a vacation spot for many Chicagoans, and they keep their boat toys here. The boat industry must be thriving here.

Our new hotel is well named – Grand Harbor. The staff is super professional and the room is very nice.

Before proceeding to our hotel, we needed some lunch. We chose one of the few restaurants still open, Casey’s Bar and Grill. Casey’s is in a very old building that has been used for various purposes throughout its history. Here’s what Casey’s tells us about the founding of New Buffalo and the history of the building.

“In 1834, Capt. Wessel Whittaker’s schooner, Post Boy, out of Buffalo, New York, ran aground and broke up on the shore of present-day Grand Beach. That accident was the catalyst for the creation of New Buffalo. Whittaker saw promise in the area, and upon his return to Buffalo, N.Y., he convinced the Post Boy’s owners and some relatives to partner with him in creating New Buffalo. By the 1840s, New Buffalo was the terminus of a rail line that ran from Niles, Mich. Westbound train travellers got off in New Buffalo to take ship for Chicago. Over time, New Buffalo became a rail center.

The site where Casey’s now stands has spelled “hospitality” for nearly two centuries. In later years the building was home to a lunchroom, and later an ice cream parlor. After the depression, Andy Krycka ran a pub here until 1955, when Casey Jones opened Casey’s, which he operated until his death in 1993. Casey’s remained dark until 1995, when the present owners bought and renovated the restaurant. The new owners chose to keep the Casey’s name to honor New Buffalo’s past history as a rail center.”

The lunch was very good.

Casey's Bar and Grill New Buffalo Michigan

We also caught our first look at Lake Michigan (or was it really the Atlantic Ocean?). There’s seems no apparent difference except the water isn’t salty.

A view of Lake Michigan

That’s it for Day 3. We’ve been through a lot of weather, seen a lot of country, and look forward to the rest of our adventure. On Day 4 I’ll tell you more about what you can see and do while in New Buffalo, Michigan.