West Beach, located just one hour by car or train from downtown Chicago or South Bend, Indiana, offers a variety of attributes that make it ideal for families, according
to the magazine. "We're honored but not surprised, because the beaches of the national lakeshore are treasures of the region and the nation," said Park Superintendent Constantine Dillon.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's West Beach was ranked as the #5 beach for families in the United States out of more than 1,000 candidates evaluated. West Beach is the only Great Lakes beach included in this prestigious annual ranking and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is the only one of 394 national parks to make the list.
Parent's Magazine cited the clean water, the usually calm surf, Junior Ranger activities, and the presence of lifeguards as reasons to put West Beach on the list. Miles of nearby stroller friendly trails were also listed as reasons to visit this national park site. West Beach is open 365 days a year. Most of the year West Beach is free. From Memorial Day to Labor there is a $6.00 per car fee.
The promise of hot summer days means there will be families looking for places to swim, and part of your West Beach fee goes to ensure there are lifeguards on duty daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. While the lifeguards are watching over the activities on the beach, please keep an eye on your own party. Know the strengths of the members of your party and if you are not sure about your strength: when in doubt, don't go out.
The top 10 list includes beaches in Florida, Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Wisconsin and South Carolina. The article is posted online at Parents.com/beaches.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 394 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year.