South Shore Spring Getaway

Home of the Indiana Dunes

The spring is a beautiful time of year for a relaxing vacation with family and friends along the South Shore of Lake Michigan.

Make the most of your spring visit at places like the Indiana Dunes National Park and State Park, fish and wildlife areas and public gardens to see spring wildflowers, migrating birds and other wildlife. After a day outdoors, grab dinner at a local restaurant or try a new craft brew, wine, cider or mead.

Taking a spring break with the kids? You'll both love all the places to jump, climb, play and learn throughout the area.

Located in the northwest corner of Indiana - just 45 minutes from Chicago - the South Shore offers the perfect destination to get away! Check out the information below and start planning.

Cowles Bog Butterfly Spring

Spring Flowers - South Shore

Come Feel Refreshed

If you're in need of a reboot, spend some time hiking through the outdoor world as it comes to life this spring. The Indiana Dunes is home to more than 1,400 species of ferns and flowering plants, including 28 species of orchids. That's more native orchid species than the state of Hawaii! 

At Friendship Botanic Gardens, stroll down 105 acres of trails through the woods and open spaces with gardens, a meadow and Lake Lucerne. Explore their historic Heritage Gardens commemorating cultures around the world and enjoy nature-based play experiences in the children's garden. Gabis Arboretum offers dog-friendly hiking trails, gardens, a children's adventure area and a model train garden.

• Trails for Hiking and Biking

Charter Fishing Lake Michigan


Spring is a great time of year to fish in northwest Indiana. Whether you take a fishing charter out on Lake Michigan to catch coho salmon or prefer to fish from the shore, you'll find plenty of locations to choose from.

Lake View Beach - Indiana Dunes

Indiana Dunes

The Indiana Dunes is well-known for its beaches and trails, but there are even more activities to enjoy throughout the year. Start your bucket list with our page: 61 Things to Do at the Dunes!

Golfing in Northwest Indiana


Tee off at Lost Marsh's championship course or visit one that is part of Lake County Parks or Valparaiso Parks systems. Want to try something different the whole family can enjoy? How about disc golf or footgolf!

South Shore Winery Trail

For 21 and Over

If you enjoy finding new drinks to try, hop on the South Shore Brewery Trail or Winery Trail to experience the region’s local craft beers, wines, ciders and meads. Depending on what the temperature is, some of the locations may have outdoor dining options open already. Many of the breweries and wineries also serve delicious food to go with their drinks. You can find these and more on our restaurants' page. If you prefer other spirits, visit one of the region's distilleries.

Northwest Indiana is also home to four casinos.

Wineries in Northwest Indiana

Northwest Indiana Breweries

Northwest Indiana Casinos


Fair Oaks Farms Crop Adventure

Fun for the Kids

The South Shore is home to all kinds of places for families to visit to learn, play and explore. Go on a dairy or pig adventure at Fair Oaks Farms to learn about modern day farming practices. Watch the bison roam the prairie at Kankakee Sands. Taste the gummies straight from the factory at Albanese. Explore the gardens at Gabis Arboretum and Friendship Botanic Gardens. Release some energy at some unique play centers. 

Explore the gardens

Play - Up Your Alley

Educate - Bison at Kankakee Sands

Places to Stay along Lake Michigan

Where to Stay

Rent a vacation home for the entire family close to the Indiana Dunes at Beachwalk Vacation Rentals or Miller Beach Vacation Rentals.

If you are looking for a couple’s retreat, Serenity Springs is away from it all nestled on 85 private wooded acres. The Brewery Lodge is a perfect place to escape into the woods while still being close to many local breweries. Visit our blog post for more unique places to stay, here.

You can also stay in a contemporary barn-like setting at the Fairfield by Marriott Fair Oaks Farms or one of the many other hotels throughout the region.

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