15 miles of Lake Michigan Shoreline, camping, hiking, wildflower, wildlife, historic farm, early homestead and much more are offered within the National lakeshore.
My Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore page
Splash Down Dunes continues to expand every year. It started as just two water slides and a wave pool. Now there is a kiddie area, additional slides and a lazy river. Picnic areas are available for groups and the pirate boat will intrigue the kids.
Porter is renowned in the Train Watching world as the place to be. Every 6-10 minutes another train passes through what is known as Porter Junction. Four tracks from the east join with three tracks from the west. Transportation is pushed together in this area by length of Lake Michigan.
Obviously anywhere there is shoreline and sand there is a beach, but the ones I mentioned are beaches adminstered by the National Park Service. There are many other beaches along this stretch, some of them private. While the actual lakeshore is federally owned and open to the general public, accessing a few of these places can be almost impossible.
Marquette Park: For more about this free, public city park visit my Gary and Miller, Indiana pages.
Miller: Lake Street and Wells Street beaches book end the community of Miller. Lake Street levies a steep ($7) parking fee and Wells St. has parking restrictions so they are used mainly by local residents.
Ogden Dunes and Dune Acres: These two private communities sit on either side of the industrial swath of the once central dunes. Don't even think about getting in unless you know someone.
Indiana Dunes State Park: It is reached by Indiana State Highway 49, an entrance fee is charged from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Beverly Shores: This beach community east of the State Park is open, but there are parking restrictions.
Michigan City: Washington Park is a very nice beach that charges a $4 parking fee during summer months. It can get very crowded, and parking is strictly enforced. The park also features a small zoo, the Old Lighthouse Museum, a marina, some cafes and the huge, nasty NIPSCO plant and cooling tower.