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Please note: We recommend calling ahead to businesses and attractions you plan to visit for requirements and hours of operation.

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Central Avenue Beach

Central Avenue and Valley Avenue
Michigan City, IN 46360
Phone: (219) 926-7561

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National Park Service

Central Avenue Beach is currently closed due to erosion. 

Beginning at 9:00 a.m. on May 23, 2020, the public can call 219-395-1003 to get recorded information on available parking at Indiana Dunes National Park beaches and the nearby Indiana Dunes State Park. For the latest status of the National Park, click here.

Part of the Indiana Dunes National Park.

During the spring and summer, watch the Bank Swallows come and go from their nests in the dunes. Observe the dragonflies flying overhead as you walk to the beach. 

When visiting Central Avenue Beach, the public is urged to remain on the beach area and not climb up the dune slopes directly behind the beach. These slopes have been severely eroded leaving them very dangerous to climb. Trees and other objects can be dislodged by climbing on the dunes and can cause those objects to fall on the climber. Visitors should always remain on designated trails for their safety and to protect the fragile dune habitat.

Safety note - Central Avenue Beach does not have lifeguards. Swim at your own risk. Learn how to enjoy Lake Michigan safely here and always check for beach hazard warnings before you go. Do not swim in Lake Michigan 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. Even with calm water, non-swimmers and children should always be very closely monitored by an adult.

Hours: 6 am to 11 pm, daily

Amenities: 70-car parking lot. Seasonal restrooms mid-April through mid-October. Pets are permitted on a leash (6' or shorter). Alcohol permitted when used responsibly. Glass containers are prohibited on all beaches.

Directions:
1. Starting at I-94 and Indiana 49, go north about 3 miles to U.S. Highway 12.
2. Take the U.S. Highway 12 exit (exit is on the left). Go right (east) 7 miles on U.S. Highway 12 to Central Ave.
3. Turn left (north), go 1 mile to the parking area for Central Avenue Access Point that is on the left (west) side of the road.