More than a Beach…
New Buffalo’s Lakefront Park and Beach are located on the North end of Whittaker Street, just across the Galien River Bridge.
Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day through Labor Day on the weekends (10am – 6pm) and weekdays, as funding allows. Additionally, there are ‘Warning’ flags to indicate lake conditions.
Helpful information for a day at the beach:
The National Weather Service Meteorologists now make warnings available for New Buffalo area beaches based on heights of waves and how they hit the shoreline. These warnings are an extension of those that have been in place on the country’s east and west coasts for several years.
Swimmers should be aware of how to react if caught in a rip current. If the caught in one of these currents (you will know it if it happens) you must react properly. Do not fight the current – swim parallel to the beach until out of the current, then swimming back to shore.
Although the New Buffalo Public Beach is staffed by life guards during peak swim times, all swimmers should be aware of how to react if caught in a rip current. If the caught in one of these currents (you will know it if it happens) you must react properly. Do not fight the current – swim parallel to the beach until out of the current, then swimming back to shore.
Those most vulnerable to rip currents are swimmers who like to body surf in high waves on Lake Michigan.
In addition to swimming, there are dunes, wooden walkways and kayak/paddleboard rentals/instruction. The Lakefront complex is often used as a scenic backdrop for professional photographers and a location for weddings and reunions.
Kayak & Paddleboard Rentals(lessons available)
Paddle the river and the BIG Lake (on calm days) for an unguided tour the Nature Preserve that is the Galien River basin. Third Coast Surf Shop operates the Beach Kayak & Paddleboard Rentals as a City-approved concession. The rental stand behind the swing sets.
- Beach Kayak & Paddleboard Rentals are available from 11:00 – 5:00 (Eastern Time,) 7-days a week, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, all summer long! All equipment is available on site and reservations are not necessary or accepted – show up any time they are open.
- Dress for the weather; come prepared to get a little wet from the drip of your paddle and be out in the sun. Lightweight, synthetic clothing is best. Sunglasses, sunblock and a hat. You can bring camera’s, but they do have the possibility of getting wet, so bring a water proof bag. No alcohol allowed!
- Pricing: (1) $20 per hour for a single kayak or paddleboard with paddle and life vest or $25 per hour for a double (tandem) kayak with paddles and life vests.
- First timer? No problem, Third Coast has people on site to teach you how to safely kayak or paddleboard.
The City Beach parking lot now has a flat fee of $12 for each day of the week. This fee is an entrance fee – it is not good for all day. If you leave the parking lot and and re-enter you will be assessed the fee again.
There is no attendant at the parking lot an kiosk accepts cash ($1, $5, and $10) – no change is given. Credit cards accepted.
The parking fees are in effect 7 days/week Memorial Day through Labor Day and then weekends only through the end of September.
Collection hours are between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Visitors using the parking lot before or after these collection hours do not have to pay to enter the City Beach.
A few seasonal passes are available to non-residents – contact the Parks & Recreation Department at (269) 469-3574 for availability.
Beach & Park amenities include:
- 800′ beach frontage on Lake Michigan with Lifeguards
- 18-acre recreation area
- Boardwalk nature trail along dune line
- Restrooms and foot showers
- Full service snack bar
- Handicap access – a flexible boardwalk in place which allows handicap access, albeit limited, to the beach area.
- Play structures and benches.
- Bicycle parking
- Paved auto parking (hourly/daily fees charged until 8pm)
- Fishing access to Galien River Nature Preserve and boating channel
- Eight boat launch ramps and trailer parking
- Dune can be used for sledding in Winter
- Swimming is only permitted the designated, signed areas.
- No pets, fires or glass containers.
- No alcoholic beverages
- Park closes at 11pm
- No overnight parking
Thinking about getting married on New Buffalo’s Public Beach? See our New Buffalo Beach Weddings.
Lions Pavilion Park
This pavilion is the home of the New Buffalo Lions Club. It is located just across the street from the Beach and is considered part of the Beach Park complex. There is a pavilion, several picnic tables, grills, playground and benches. The pavilion is often used as an entertainment venue (see our events calendar).
How to get there…
If traveling on I-94 use exit #1 or Exit # 4. Traffic flows into New Buffalo from US-12 or M-239. From the town’s center – the intersection of US-12 and Whittaker St. – go west, down Whittaker St, across the bridge (the Public Marina will be on the left, the Stray Dog Restaurant on the right)– proceed to where Whittaker St. ends. Turn left for the Beach Park. Turn right if you are towing a boat (public boat launch).
For additional information on the Beach Park, please call New Buffalo City Hall at
(269) 469-1522. For an interactive Map of New Buffalo, click here.