Why do we love shopping small? Yes, of course to support the talented, visionary shopkeepers who put heart and soul into their business. But the beyond-retail benefit often gets lost in the messaging. What we get, while we give.

Independent shops curate discovery, personality, and delight. Moments we feel as well as objects we see. And because small businesses are essentially an expression of someone’s heart, whether we buy or not, we leave connected in some small, positive way. And that, to us, is what the holidays are all about!

We are incredibly blessed with a gifted community of shopkeepers along the South Michigan Shore. Here, we offer 14 (plus!) favorites listed in a handy loop beginning in downtown New Buffalo.

A sunny mural surrounds a round mirror at Eastern Standard Time in New Buffalo, Michigan.

Eastern Standard Time

The spot for graphic apparel fans, find tees, hoodies, sweats, and hats with fresh, bold, minimal art designed in-house and only available here. Complemented by a mix of accessories and gifts with the same playful, modern aesthetic, EST is all about positive beachtown vibes.

Thursday–Monday 10–6
110 N Whittaker Street
New Buffalo, Michigan
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Hand-milled soups displayed in colorful packing at Lakeside Goods in New Buffalo, Michigan.

Lakeside Goods

Need a little inspiration for those hard-to-buy-for folks? Lakeside Goods offers a colorful, clever collection of home decor, art, books, and apothecary, as well as gifts for kids (and pets!). Plus, a collectible-worthy line of beach accessories—umbrellas, chairs, towels, and bags—sure to bring a smile to the lakeshore lover on your list.

Thursday–Monday 10–6
100 N Whittaker Street
New Buffalo, Michigan
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Block print scarves and a wide straw sun hat at Shore in New Buffalo, Michigan.


A sophisticated little collection of men’s and women’s apparel, jewelry, and accessories with a distinct on-the-water attitude. Simultaneously classic and contemporary, come here for that beloved, regular-rotation wardrobe staple to wear for years.

Thursday–Monday 10–6
10 W Merchant Street
New Buffalo, Michigan
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Casual knits and leather goods at Frolic in New Buffalo, Michigan.


A true beach town boutique for sunny, easy-to-wear clothes, shoes, and accessories. Think of it as a ‘barely tried but totally put together’ aesthetic. Fun, casual fashion that never takes itself too seriously.

Thursday–Monday 11–3
20 N Whittaker Street
New Buffalo, Michigan
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Soft, neutral-colored knits at AP Shops in Lakeside, Michigan.

AP Shops

Former Barney’s Visual Director Ariane Prewitt curates a remarkable mix of emerging contemporary fashion and artisan home goods at her sweet pair of Lakeside shops. This year’s holiday pop-up features one-of-a-kind knits, gallerist Beverly Fisher’s handmade sterling jewelry, and ceramics by artists Mathilde Martin and Laura Letinsky.

Saturday–Sunday 12–6 (through December 18)
14931 & 14941 Lakeside Road
Lakeside, Michigan
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Colorful Scandinavian horses displayed in front of potted grasses at Stockholm Objects in Harbert, Michigan.

Stockholm Objects

Inspired by Scandinavian design and the lifestyle principle hygge, SO offers a modern, cozy collection of homewares, gifts, clothing, and furniture. From candles to blankets to the softest sweaters, this is the shop for snuggle season.

Thursday–Sunday 12–5
13630 Red Arrow Hwy
Harbert, Michigan
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Beautiful contemporary ceramics and books on white shelves at Sojourn in Sawyer, Michigan.


Named among Dwell magazine’s Best Independent Design Shops, Sojourn is designer Stacia Garriott Kass’ beautifully styled collection of handcrafts for the home. Find studio ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and apothecary punctuated by vintage objects, books, and original art. A whole lot of special in a sure-to-inspire space.

Friday & Sunday 12–5 | Saturday 12–6
12908 Red Arrow Hwy
Sawyer, Michigan
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White scented candles on a rustic wood shelf at Window Shopping in Sawyer, Michigan.

Window Shopping

An A+ selection of artisan pantry items, apothecary, and candles make Window Shopping a must-stop for host gifts. Among the eclectic collection of vintage and antique furnishings and contemporary handcrafts, there’s a clear passion for small, everyday indulgences everyone on your list can appreciate.

Friday–Saturday 12–5 (through December 17)
5857 Sawyer Road
Sawyer, Michigan
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A stylish trench, pants, and blouse displayed on a glass-paned wall at Goods & Heroes in Three Oaks, Michigan.

Goods & Heroes

Small-label men’s and women’s clothing and shoes designed with just the right amount of cool. Add handcrafted jewelry and apothecary, one-of-a-kind home goods and art, clever gifts, and thoughtful books, and you’ll be hard-pressed to leave empty-handed.

Monday–Sunday 11–5
8 Maple Street
Three Oaks, Michigan
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Shelves of wine bottles with handwritten descriptions at P&E Bottle Shop in Three Oaks, Michigan.

P&E Bottle Shop

Seasoned wine shoppers will be impressed by the exceptional selection of global wines—many natural and biodynamic—at our neighborhood bottle shop. Those less confident will adore owner Ellie Mullins’ approachable commitment to match patrons with the perfect bottle at any price. Complemented by an equally considered craft beer and cheese lineup, the party starts at P&E.

Thursday—Sunday 11–6
2 Maple Street
Three Oaks, Michigan
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Colorful handwoven blankets at Alapash New Home in Three Oaks, Michigan.

Alapash New Home

An eclectic collection of home decor and gifts featuring colorful global textiles, playful artwork, modern planters, and furniture. Presented with the idea that one new item (big or small) can transform a space, the mix here is a bold visual feast.

Thursday, Sunday & Monday 11—5 | Friday–Saturday 11–6
14 N Elm Street
Three Oaks, Michigan
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Rows of white shelves lined with colorful preserves at Froehlich's in Three Oaks, Michigan.


Restaurant and bakery aside, Froehlich’s preserves make a tasty addition to any pantry. Floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with Colleen Froehlich’s locally-grown and housemade jams, pickles, sauces, and spreads inspire creativity in the kitchen and around the table.

Monday 10–3 | Thursday 12–5 | Friday 12–8 | Saturday 10–8 |
Sunday 10–5
19 N Elm Street
Three Oaks, Michigan
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A happy fiddle leaf fig in a sunny window at Alapash Mercantile in Three Oaks, Michigan.

Alapash Mercantile

Primarily a shop for interior plants and planters—always the perfect gift in our world—visual artist Marco Chavarry styles his 19th-century greenhouse with an ever-changing collection of vintage furniture and art. Shop apothecary, textiles, and home goods in addition to the wonderful selection of tropicals and succulents.

Thursday–Sunday 11–5
111 N Elm Street
Three Oaks, MI 49128
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Five bottle of various spirits at Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan.

Journeyman Distillery

Crafted in a 19th-century factory in downtown Three Oaks, Journeyman spirits are award-winning, certified organic, and kosher. Warm up with a tasting at the bar, or take a deep dive with a tour before choosing the perfect bottle for the cocktail-lover on your list.

Monday-Thursday 11:30-10 | Friday-Saturday 11:30-11 | Sunday 10-10
109 Generations Drive
Three Oaks, Michigan
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Vintage furniture, art, and ceramics at Mazet in Three Oaks, Michigan.

Vintage & Antique Shops

And finally, for fans of one-of-a-kind, vintage, and antique, explore nine distinctive shops, each with a fascinating story and selection. Listed in an easy loop ideal for shopping in a single day, this design-minded guide makes the hunt easy.

Explore Vintage & Antique

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