Shop the look: J.Crew Swimsuit (a few sizes left, wearing a 4 – also here in black + white), BAGGU Drawstring Backpack, Daisy Sunglasses Chain
For the past few summers we have rented a home in Michigan for a week long vacation to visit Dave’s side of the family and enjoy the charming towns that run along Lake Michigan. Two years ago we went to Sutton’s Bay, last year we were in Frankfort (seen here) and this year we rented a house in South Haven. There are so many amazing towns that are a quick trip from Chicago and South Haven was an easy drive just over 2 hours from home.
Shop the look: Faithfull the Brand Bikini (wearing a medium – similar here, here and here)
We rented this darling home that was perfect for our family and a few family visitors throughout the week. It was a short walk from the beach and downtown South Haven but also set back enough to feel private and separate from the hustle of these small towns. We took advantage of having everything we needed to cook at home and stayed in most nights but felt completely comfortable venturing into town with our masks and dining outside. It had an amazing yard and was in a quiet neighborhood which was so nice for the boys to ride their bikes around. When we got to the house I was prepared with Clorox wipes and Lysol spray but there was a note on the door that the home had been completely sanitized by a company and everything was safe and ready to use. The home itself hadn’t been rented very much and everything was extremely clean and safe by our standards/CDC standards.
Shop the look:
On Liz: Target Puff Sleeve Sweatshirt (wearing a small), Xirena Pants (wearing a small)
On Boys: Janie + Jack Blue Flag Cap, Janie + Jack Striped Polo, J Sport Tee, Zara Palm Shorts
We spent every day at the beach! The beaches closer to town looked pretty crowded from what we could see so we stayed about a mile down on the beach (closer to our house which was inland a few blocks) and were able to safely social distance a good 6-10 feet from other beach goers. I think with this you have to maintain your own level of safety and evaluate the situation as you go, if we were ever in a position to be too close to people or felt too exposed we would relocate or leave. We always had masks with us and were prepared with lots of hand sanitizer.
A few fun activities we did while we were there:
Riverbend Farms U-Pick Raspberries – super cute and small u-pick raspberry farm! The boys loved this (despite their faces, ha) and we felt very safe. It was actually only us and one other couple picking so we were very very distanced. We went right when they opened at 9am!
Shop the look: Xirena Pants, Michael Stars Tank (wearing a small), Silver Narrow Birkenstock (true size)
The Fields of Michigan – this is actually a luxury glamping experience located in South Haven! We didn’t stay here but the owners are our good family friends so we made a pit stop for some blueberry picking! The entire glamping grounds are so incredibly beautiful and the tents are incredible. Seriously luxurious and decorated so well. No details goes unnoticed! I made a comment on my IG that I can’t wait to go back with Dave or a group of friends and a lot of people asked if you could go with children – personally, I wouldn’t take Charlie and Jack there for a stay. I wouldn’t trust them in their own tent and we would be in close quarters with 4 of us to a tent. They do phenomenal dinners/meals, yoga classes and more and I just feel like it would be better to experience it with other adults instead of chasing my children around. We did see a family there with older children (maybe middle school age?) and I could totally see that working! I just don’t trust my children to behave at ages 2 and 4, ha.
Shop the look: Target Puff Sleeve Sweatshirt (wearing a small), AGOLDE Parker Jeans (sized up one size), Janessa Leone Hat (old), BAGGU Backpack
Saugatuck, MI – in my personal opinion, I like the town of Saugatuck more than South Haven. It’s bigger, has more restaurant and shop options and overall I think it is a prettier setting. Seemed to be more family oriented (a lot of the restaurants in South Haven have more of a bar feel) and more centered as a town. I wish we had more time to explore but we did venture in for dinner and ice cream two nights! Our favorite restaurant experience of the trip was at The Southerner – the most DELICIOUS food, drinks and the prettiest setting (we sat on the back deck outside). It’s a little outside of the actual downtown area but only by a few blocks. Followed by ice cream at Charlie’s Round the Corner for ice cream and other obvious reasons.
Shop my look: Ulla Johnson Tie Dye Dress (wearing a 2), Tory Burch Sandals (old), Woven Headband (sold out, similar here)
Traveling during a pandemic is sort of a wild card. We went into it very prepared, knowing that activities would be limited and our focus was to remain outdoors + at home as much as possible (we aren’t comfortable dining indoors yet). If walks, beach days and slow evenings are your type of vacay and you do your research to make sure the house you’re staying in is kept up, cleaned thoroughly and disinfected, then go for it! The more questions you ask in the booking process the better! I will say, I am very comfortable at home in our bubble, in our routine and knowing I’m doing the best that I can everyday to protect myself and my family. Stepping into a new environment made my uncomfortable at first but as long as you carry the same precautions with you then I think you’ll be fine! I felt very prepared with masks, hand sanitizer, wipes and spray everywhere we went and if it was needed, it was used. At some point we have to maintain some sort of living, especially when your days revolve around keeping two little boys entertained. We are all following the guidelines provided to us, no matter where we live. Just keep moving forward knowing you are doing everything you can to follow the rules, protect yourself and others and wear a mask.
I’m always asked about the best places to visit in Michigan and in all honesty, I’m not super knowledgeable. If you’re looking for something farther north then check out last year’s post! Dave’s dad lives on Crystal Lake near Traverse City and that entire area is so incredibly beautiful with so many amazing towns to visit around the peninsula. BUT, if you’re looking for a shorter trip from Chicago then New Buffalo, South Haven and Saugatuck are great options! If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments so this can serve as a resource for all!