The village of Three Oaks is located in the southwest corner of Michigan, just 5 miles from the shores of Lake Michigan and within 2 miles of the Indiana border along U.S. 12. It was settled by Henry Chamberlain in 1850 and became a village in 1867. The namesake oak trees were a guide point for train engineers, but they no longer remain. Today, the community with a historic downtown is the arts and cultural center of Harbor Country, with a live performance theater, fine-arts cinema, art galleries, eclectic shops and one of Michigan's largest organic distilleries.
Housed in a turn-of-the-century former corset stay factory, the Acorn Center is a performing arts venue presenting high-quality, professional live entertainment, including rock, folk, indie, jazz, opera, open mics, drama and comedy. The nonprofit performing arts organization is known as “The One and Only Acorn” for its year-round mix of live entertainment and community events.
Drier's Meat Market in Three Oaks, which opened in 1875, is not only a beloved butcher shop but a national historic site. Memorabilia from through the years covers the walls from top to bottom, giving visitors a history lesson while they wait in line. The shop sells smoked meats, cured in its own century-old smokehouse.
A jewel of the historic downtown of Three Oaks, the Vickers Theatre was built in the 1890s as a livery which serviced the nearby train station. In 1911, the building was transformed into a movie theater. It was restored and reopened in the 1990s. Now, the classic art-house cinema shows a variety of foreign and independent films, as well as hosts poetry readings, live theater, music and forums. The gallery area showcases area artists' work that can be viewed before and after movies. The 126-seat theater includes cafe seating and limited private balcony seating.
Located in downtown Three Oaks, the Dewey Cannon Trading Company is the place for tourist and cycling information, bicycle rentals and T-shirts. Operated by the Three Oaks Spokes Bicycle Club, it includes the Three Oaks Bicycle Museum, which has a collection of bicycles reaching back to bicycling’s beginnings. The Bicycle Museum was founded in 1986 in downtown and later moved to the village’s historic train depot at One Oak Street. The museum is a popular stop for people who come to Apple Cider weekend in September.
This 311-acre nature preserve and hidden gem is just seven minutes from Warren Dunes State Park. The park features a towering beech and majestic maple forest and the meandering Galien River. There is a quiet half-mile trail that follows the scenic river and a bridge crossing the river. The woods are named for Edward Kirk Warren, who made his fortune as the inventor of the featherbone corset, Starting in 1879, Warren bought 150 acres of the woods and 250 acres of the dunes, setting them aside for preservation. The park is home to the last climax beech-maple forest in Michigan, which occupies 200 acres. Because of the size and age of the trees and the rarity of the ecosystem, the area has been designated as a National Natural Landmark since 1967.
There’s lots to see and do in Three Oaks in the fall. Check out the highlights in this video.