Part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Named one of the 10 Best Beaches for Families in 2011 by Parents Magazine. Swim in the cool waters of Lake Michigan and hike through the dunes at West Beach.
Hours: 7am to dusk, daily (Memorial Day to Labor Day - 9am to dusk).
Fees: $6 per vehicle, $1 for cyclists or walk-ins, $30 for buses.
Amenities: Concessions, restrooms, showers, picnic area, first aid, wheelchair access, fishing at nearby Long Lake, bird watching.
Lot capacity: About 300 cars. There is a 0.3 mile walk from the parking lot to the beach.
Notes: West Beach is the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan and serves as a research area for universities. Also offering a variety of trails to explore the scenery.
Directions: Take U.S. 20 to County Line Road, head north and follow signs.