A Day Trip to Michigan City, IN

lighthouse outlets
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Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets should sue Disney for the slogan “Happiest Place on Earth,” because that’s what it is, especially for a poor twenty-something like yours truly. At first, I was a bit skeptical about whether or not I would be to able to write about my “summer excursion” to Michigan City. I didn’t know how to sell a trip to the outlet mall when I really couldn’t afford to shop. I had planned on just window shopping, but as I wandered from store to store, I began to realize that with the reduced outlet prices, plus in-store promotions, I was well on my way to an affordable new wardrobe.

I convinced my mom, sister, and niece to join me on this excursion by planning an all-day event. We left Chicago’s Southside at 9am and pulled into the outlet mall in record time: one hour and five minutes. The thing I love about outlet malls is that there is such a variety of places to check out, so you aren’t obligated to stick together. With over 120 outlets, there are stores that fit everyone’s needs. My mom wandered from Coach to Nike to Le Gourmet Chef. I spent most of my time in Gap, J. Crew, Old Navy, and Nine West. Even my 10-month-old niece crawled away with some pretty great deals at Carter’s, Stride Rite, and Gap Kids & Baby.  

By 2:00 we were quite content with the damage we had done, and so we moved on to lunch. The outlet mall itself doesn’t have the best variety for dining, but if you have time to spare, here are some personal favorites close to the outlets.  

Resides in an old train depot station looking out at the Marina.
Location: 100 Washington Street, Michigan City, IN
Phone: 219.874.5718

Looks out at the marina and has three different bars: a sports bar, cocktail lounge, and a tiki deck.
Location: 110 Franklin Street Michigan City IN
Phone: 219.872.9471

Try the burger that made New Buffalo famous.
Location: 616 East Buffalo Street, New Buffalo, Michigan
Phone: 269.469.4522

Oink’s Ice Cream and Yogurt
With over 58 flavors of the best ice cream ever (personal statement), Oink’s is a must if you make it to New Buffalo.
Location: 227 West Buffalo Street, New Buffalo Michigan
Phone: 269.469.3535

The day certainly does not have to end with shopping.  Walk along the lakefront, check out the Michigan City Zoo, and depending on how much you have left in your pockets, hit up the Casino.

Blue Chip Casino
Location: 777 Blue Chip Drive, Michigan City, IN
Phone: 219.879.7711

The Essentials:
Location: Lighthouse Outlets — 601 Wabash Street, Michigan City IN
Driving: Take I-90E to I-94E to US 421. 421 becomes Franklin. Take a left on 6th and then a left on Wabash.

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