South Shore Posters
The beautiful Indiana Dunes have been the inspiration for many of the paintings in the South Shore poster series, as well as for independent artists from around the country.
Bookmark and Share

What's Happening

South Shore Brewery Trail App

Download the app to find craft breweries & brew fests plus get alerts on the latest brewery news...more

eNews Signup

View All

Special Offers

$3 off Growlers at St. John Malt Brothers

Receive $3 off growler fills every Sunday at St. John Malt Brothers Craft Brewers.more

Indiana Dunes Beaches

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park offer 15 miles of beautiful sandy beaches. Whether you want to frolic in the waves, sculpt a sandcastle, admire the wildlife or simply soak up the sun, the beaches of the Indiana Dunes are sure to please.

Explore the Indiana Dunes’ beaches any time of year! In the summer, the sand is warm, the breeze is cool and Lake Michigan is sparkling and inviting. During the winter, the stark beauty of the lake and the shelf ice that forms on it will take your breath away. Spring breathes new life into the shoreline and the dunes, and in the fall, the stunning array of colors will astound you.

Safety note - Do not swim when Rip Current warnings are posted or in large crashing waves, which can cause rip currents. These strong currents rushing out into Lake Michigan can carry even the strongest swimmer with them. If you get caught in a rip current, do not try to swim against it. Instead, swim parallel to the shoreline until you are out of the current. In Lake Michigan, even with calm water, non-swimmers and children should always be very closely monitored by an adult.

Indiana Dunes State Park Beaches

The Indiana Dunes State Park provides three miles of enticing beaches. Open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., the park offers a swimming beach manned by lifeguards in the summer. A pavilion on the beach provides shelter, bathhouses and a concession stand. The rest of the beach area is available for wildlife watching, beachcombing, kite flying or strolling with your pets. A variety of hiking trails are available, several of which traverse Mount Tom and offer a spectacular view of Lake Michigan. A nominal fee is charged to enter the park, which offers plenty of parking.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Beaches

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore maintains an array of magnificent beaches, which are open year-round from 7:00 a.m. to 30 minutes past sunset, unless otherwise noted. Bicyclists and hikers may enter at 6:00 a.m. Parking and bathroom facilities are located near all of the beaches. Lifeguards are only available at West Beach.

The popular West Beach was named one of the 10 Best Beaches for Families by Parents Magazine in 2011. Covered picnic shelters and grills make this southernmost tip of Lake Michigan a great spot for a picnic. Fishing is available at nearby Long Lake and the 2.5 miles of easy to moderate trails entice hikers. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the beach opens at 9:00 a.m., lifeguards are on duty and a small fee is charged for parking.

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s newest beach is Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk. Opened in 2008, this 57-acre site is jointly managed by the National Park Service and the City of Portage. It features an enclosed pavilion with seasonal food service, restrooms, a handicapped-accessible trail and a fishing pier. It’s also a great place to launch a kayak.

Lake View is the only area in the national lakeshore with picnic shelters overlooking the lake, giving visitors a fantastic view of Lake Michigan. Located in Beverly Shores, this beach is open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Parking is limited.

Dunbar Beach is located near the historic Century of Progress homes, which were built for the 1933 World’s Fair to showcase modern architectural design and new technology. This beautiful beach has limited parking.

Traveling to Kemil Beach in Porter takes you on one of the most scenic drives in Porter County. Quiet and secluded, this little gem of a beach offers access to Dune Ridge Trail. Smelt fishing is allowed in the spring with a permit.

Porter Beach, which shares its eastern border with the Indiana Dunes State Park, is a favorite with the locals. It’s a great place to enjoy some water sports or simply sit and relax.

Central Beach is a unique beach that can be accessed by paved road or wooded trail. The 9.1-mile Calumet Bike Trail, which passes through marshes, woodlands and flower-filled meadows, is accessible nearby. Central Beach is a great place to watch bank swallows fly to and from their dune nests. At Central Beach the public is urged to remain on the beach area and not climb up the dune slopes directly behind the beach due to erosion making them dangerous to climb.The area is open from April 16 until November 14.

The beach is open at Mount Baldy, however the dune at Mount Baldy remains closed for public safety and dune protection. The trail to the beach is about 1/2 mile long and somewhat strenuous. This is a very popular beach area and the parking lot fills up quickly. 


Header image courtesy of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.


Hotels Near Indiana Dunes
With all the fun you can have year round at the Indiana Dunes, make your visit a getaway by staying at a nearby hotel… more

Indiana Dunes Featured Events

Family Day at the Douglas Center

Every Saturday: Join a ranger for an open house at the National Lakeshore's Douglas Center ...more

Beaches #alongthesouthshore on Instagram

Uniquely South Shore
Northwest Indiana’s very own candy factory boasts the world’s best gummies! Tour the factory and experience your favorites being made, see the world’s tallest chocolate waterfall and sample some of the best candies around!…more
What began as a local newspaper’s effort to tell the compelling stories of Northwest Indiana men and women who sacrificed during the Civil War has evolved into a large-scale historical preservation effort. The joint partnership of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority and the Calumet Region Civil War Preservation Project seeks to carry forward on hundreds of hours of community service that already have taken place. …more
Conveniently located between Chicago and Indianapolis, Fair Oaks Farms offers a fun family playground that everyone will enjoy! From the Dairy Adventure and Birthday Barn, to the Cheese Factory and Mooville, Fair Oaks Farms will keep the family entertained, and well-fed, for a full day of education and fun!…more
Experience the journey of the Passion of Christ as never before in this interactive trail featuring 40 life-sized bronze statues. Experience the various Stations of the Cross with audio descriptions as you walk the winding pathway.…more
With five different casinos, Northwest Indiana offers much excitement and action along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan! With decadent restaurants, world class entertainment and floors (and floors) of slots and table games, your night is just getting started when you test your luck at one of our casinos.…more
A breathtaking adventure awaits at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, home to a plethora of diverse natural resources. The National Park is comprised of more than 15,000 acres of sand dunes, bogs, marshes, swamps, fens, prairies, rivers, oak savannas, and woodland forests. It provides visitors with opportunities for bird watching, camping, 45 miles of hiking, fishing, swimming, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.…more
Pierogi Fest, the pride of Whiting, is an opportunity for the residents to celebrate their heritage while poking a little fun at themselves at the same time. The one of a kind parade and festival have received countrywide recognition having been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel.…more
This holiday season, The Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond will feature 6 animated displays featuring scenes from "A Christmas Story". The displays include: Higbee’s Department Store Window, Flick’s Tongue and the Triple Dog Dare, It’s a Major Award, Santa’s Mountain at Higbee’s, the Bumpus Hounds, and the Parker Living Room. The displays were first showcased in 2003 in the windows of the Herald Square Macy’s in New York City. …more
Heavy industry carried the South Shore economy for decades. Now, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority tells a story about a community: it’s been built by steel but changing from tourism. Northwest Indiana’s appeal is its devotion to ensure new & already existing businesses succeed. Area leaders have teamed together to revitalize the mill towns and make Northwest Indiana the place people want to live & work. …more
When a guest visits a hotel, restaurant, bank, or gas station, they rarely meet the manager or owner of the establishment. It's up to the front-line employee to make the customer's visit enjoyable.The R.O.S.E. Awards were created to recognize these "directors of first impression" who consistently work hard to make our lives easier. Guests & managers are able to nominate an employee who consistently "goes the extra mile."…more
Bookmark and Share
Powered by Simpleview