20. Lakeside, Michigan

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Drive south from downtown Chicago and around the lake, and you’ll wind up where many Chicagoans often do–in Michiana, staring across from the other side. New Buffalo (and the surrounding area) is a popular spot for beach homes, and I’m lucky enough to have a great friend with an awesome one.

Here’s what it looks like in the summer, along with the nearby view:

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This trip, however, had almost no beach involved, considering it was Presidents’ Day weekend. In fact, thanks to pretty much constant snowfall, we barely left the house at all, with the exception being a couple grocery/liquor store runs and one dinner at the Harbor Grand’s Terrace Room (that came with free s’mores kits for use at the fire pit, mind you).

But with the travel month I’d had already–remember how I said I bookended the weekend with trips to New York, just a few days after logging thousands of miles in Texas and beyond?–that was all I wanted to do. It was a great few days of board games, cooking and music with some of my favorite people.

Oh, and about that “almost” no beach–

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