A beautiful lakefront community
inspiring exploration with eclectic locals

New Buffalo is a small lakefront town, serving as the gateway to the Harbor Country region of Michigan. Known for its large Lake Michigan beach and full-service pleasure harbor, New Buffalo primarily attracts summer visitors. Often referred to as the Hamptons of Chicago, the area features picturesque landscape, booming agritourism, craft breweries, small-batch food and wine producers, next-level antique shopping, active live music scene, and unique hotel accommodations. Of course, there’s also miles of beaches and boating.

NBX is the collective is the result of New Buffalo’s dedicated business owners banding together to position Harbor Country as a year round destination.

The Challenge

New Buffalo did not have a brand, nor a unified presence on the web. It was already a summer destination with nearby visitors, but it has blossomed into a major hub with breweries, distillers, antique/craft shops, eateries, hotels, and an art scene. Our challenge was to position Harbor Country area as a viable tourist destination that offers an abundance of recreational opportunities for a broad range of visitors. We wanted to build a platform that showcased the most compelling features of New Buffalo, allowed visitors to be inspired, and provided a way for them to plan their trip to New Buffalo. As we were starting from scratch, we had a lot of creative freedom to build a solid foundation that would strongly position the destination for years to come.

The Approach

We decided to make film the centrepiece of the website and leveraged a trove of recently developed photography to create a highly visual platform. Shoot days were long, but the people of the Harbor County community were incredibly friendly and eager to be involved.

We wanted to build a digital experience that felt inviting and simple to use, while sparking some inspiration for potential visitors. We needed to showcase New Buffalo as a dynamic place with a range of recreational opportunities. The website was built to scale and will accommodate the Harbor Country communities as they continue to grow. If you look closely at the video and photography, you may even see some cameos from the Wallop and Wallop Film team.

New Buffalo Explored

Our film team spent a few days in Harbor County exploring the area, taking in as much as we could, and even losing our drone in the lake. Nature provided a dramatic backdrop, while the people and towns provided the layers that give the region its inviting character. It's a hidden gem, and the film is one small piece of a larger push by the local DMO to position New Buffalo as a premier destination in Harbor Country.

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