At the turn of the 20th century, successful Chicagoans flocked to the less crowded, southwestern side of Lake Michigan to spend the summer in private vacation cottages along the shore. The main house at Pine Garth was built on a lakeside bluff by one such urban industrialist. The guesthouses are located across the street from a 100-foot stretch of private beach.
The property's five guesthouses vary in size and style. Some have the rustic trappings of a farmhouse, and others have subtly elegant touches such as a Queen Anne table. Each cottage includes a large, wood-burning fireplace and an enclosed deck with a hot tub. Tesi's Folly, the largest guesthouse, features a separate dining area and plenty of space for spreading out. Niece's Nest, Lil Ray's Hideaway, and JJ's Last Resort have their own screened-in porches.
In his 2001 book Recommended Country Inns, travel writer Bob Puhala praised Pine Garth for its "breathtaking vistas" of Lake Michigan.
Union Pier, Michigan: Charming Hamlet on the Shores of Lake Michigan
Union Pier belongs to the cluster of southwestern Michigan communities known as Harbor Country, which hugs the coast for 15 miles just north of the Michigan-Indiana border. In the 1870s, cargo boats docked at Union Pier before shipping loads of timber and hot-dog relish across Lake Michigan to Chicago. Tourism has long since surpassed the timber trade in Harbor Country's charming beach towns such as New Buffalo, where the quaint streets are lined with antique shops and galleries.
At Warren Dunes State Park, fewer than 10 miles north of the inn, hiking trails become paths for cross-country skiing in the winter.