Union Pier boasts a smattering of walking distance small-town groceries as well as shops featuring organic, premium quality fare. Our experiences in these local treasures truly spoke to the warm nature of this delightful town - when we strolled into a shop after finding ourselves caught in a rainstorm, a local immediately offered us a ride.The teens & children in our group enjoyed the independent shops & the ice cream parlor in nearby New Buffalo where we caught an Amtrak to and from Chicago.
I've utilized a great range of accommodations, from quaint B&B's, to a majestic castle in Ireland.Of all the venues where I've rested my head, this gem is my absolute favorite thus far. Visitors need only meander onto a balcony to take in the breathtaking Lake Michigan landscape, or tread a few yards to experience the private beach.As much as our family enjoyed our beach time, the Brandon cottage was so peaceful, comfortable, & tastefully furnished & decorated that it was tempting to just stay indoors.Our children never thought to raise a complaint when we experienced a rainy day - with plenty of lounging space, basement ping pong, & televisions to spare, there was no shortage of entertainment options, & the open design of the first floor kitchen/dining/living room space kept us "vacationing" together even as we took a break & pursued leisure tasks on our own.The highly accessible, accommodating staff at Freshwater Vacation truly anticipated our every need, which is no small order considering that the guests in our group ranged from an infant to a senior.The cottage was stocked with everything from basic cooking necessities and board games to the makings of an upscale, toast-worthy soiree with classic dishware & wine goblets, & I was relieved to have a grill, dishwasher, & other small kitchen appliances at my disposal. Our children barely resisted bedtime, so much did they love "the cousin room" - a versatile space with large closets, ample dresser space, & 5 twin beds that could be converted to kings..All of the accommodations far exceeded the "white glove test" for cleanliness, yet nothing about this exceptional hideaway felt sterile or commercial. It felt like coming home - in our case, it was like coming home to a home that is worlds nicer than our own home! While certainly not misleading, I felt that the listing couldn't do this endearing space justice, and I was overwhelmed by the proximity of the lake & pleasantly surprised by the added amenities. Encore!