Northwest Indiana is home to miles and miles of sandy beaches along Lake Michigan. There are 14 different beaches from Whiting to Michigan City. Below is a description for your enjoyment. If you go, remember to use sunscreen and have flip flops the sand is very hot. For A Complete List of Area Splash Pads and Pools, including Hours and Rates, click here.
Check for weather-related beach closures: Find daily updates on IDEM’s Web site, www.idem.IN.gov/beaches
- Central Ave. Beach, CLOSED DUE TO EROSION Michigan City, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Amenities include: restrooms, only open April – Nov.
A parking lot is available. Come early to ensure you get a spot. Central Beach is a nice and isolated, 2-mile stretch of pure sand and water. It is also a favorite spot for setting up a volleyball net and playing a game or two. To get to the beach, take U.S. 12 to Central Avenue and head north.
2a. Dunbar Beach, Open 6am – 11pm, Located at Dunbar Ave., and Lake Front Dr., Beverly Shores, open April – Nov only, walk past the 5 historic homes from the 1933 Progress World’s Fair. Restrooms and small parking lot.
2. Hammond Marina Beach/ Hammond Lake Front Beach, Hammond, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Amenities include: boat launch, concessions, restrooms, lifeguard, wheelchair accessible, and boat shop.
Though the two beaches have different names, they are attached to one another. For a nice walk away from the shore, try the one-mile bird sanctuary trail that overlooks the beach. This sanctuary is home to songbirds and butterflies and provides some welcome shade during those hot summer days. To get to the beach, take Cline Avenue north to the Indianapolis Boulevard exit, turn right then take a right onto the casino entrance ramp towards Horseshoe Casino. Curve around to the right to get to the marina gate.
3. Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., swimming from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., $5 for Indiana drivers, $7 for out-of-state drivers. Amenities include: concessions, hiking, restrooms, lifeguard, picnic areas, campgrounds, and wheelchair access.
There is plenty of parking available. Historic Indiana Dunes State Park offers 3 miles of beach, with a backdrop of forest and dunes. To see it up close, try one of the state park’s beautiful 16.5 miles of trails. Several of these trails traverse the largest dune, Mount Tom. To get to the beach, take Interstate 94 to Indiana 49, then head north.
4. Kemil Beach, Beverly Shores, Summer , 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Amenities include: restrooms
Minimal parking is available, so come early to reserve your spot. A walk along Dune Ridge Trail for half a mile allows you to see amazing views from the top of the ridge. There is quite a walk to the beach from the parking lot. To get to the beach, take U.S. 20 to Kemil Road and head north, parking lot is on the right. Also a ½ mile east are the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair homes. NOTE: Lake View parking lot and beach access is temporarily closed due to hazardous conditions resulting from erosion. This closure is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety. https://www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/kemil-beach.htm
5. Lakeland Park in Burns Harbor is one of the region’s best-kept secrets. A spacious man-made lake offering a guarded beach and picnic shelters, it’s a welcome reprieve from the overcrowded beaches that line Lake Michigan. The beach is located off Haglund Road, about a half-mile east of Indiana 149, just off Interstate 94 in Burns Harbor. For more information, call 787-8126. If you go, remember to use sunscreen and have flip flops the sand is very hot.
6. Lake Street Beach, Gary, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., $7 parking fee for Indiana residents; $10 for out of state. Amenities include: boat launch (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and wave-runner ramp, fishing access, restrooms, no swimming here, and it is wheelchair accessible. There is plenty of parking available. To get to the beach, take U.S. 20 to Lake Street in Miller and head north.
7. Lake View Beach, Beverly Shores, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Amenities include: restrooms, picnic area, picnic shelters with grills and wheelchair access. Minimal parking is available, so come early to reserve your spot. If you are not able to get a parking spot, don’t worry. A little farther west is Kemil Beach or you could head east to Mount Baldy, where more spots are available. 1/3 mi. West are the 1933 Century Progress World’s Fair homes. To get to the beach, from U.S. 12, take East State Park Road north. More info located here NOTE: Lake View parking lot and beach access is temporarily closed due to hazardous conditions resulting from erosion. This closure is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety.
8. Marquette Park, Gary, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Amenities include: Lifeguards, restrooms, aquatorium, fishing lagoon, wheelchair accessibility, shelters, playground, and Marquette Trail.
There are a variety of activities available at Marquette Park and Wells Street beaches in Gary. It’s a great place to play volleyball and bean bags. Next to the beach is Marquette Trail to provide time away from the sandy shores and into the gorgeous forests. To get to the beach, take U.S. 12/20 to Lake Street north. Turn right on Forest Avenue from Lake Street. At Grand Boulevard, make a left turn. Find more info here
9. Mount Baldy, Michigan City, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., A local quiet but majestic attraction is Mount Baldy, just off U.S. 12 in Michigan City, named for the lack of plant life on its dunes Mount Baldy is limited to guided tours only. To get to the beach, take U.S. 12 east (toward Michigan City). Entrance to Mount Baldy is just after sharp curve in the road. For you history buffs, just east of Mount Baldy is the former site of the famed Hoosier Slide, the once 194-foot sand dune and tourist attraction whose sand was used for the making of ball glass jars in Munie Indiana. Check our Indiana Dunes Category for dates and times.
10. Porter Beach, Porter, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Amenities include: wheelchair access, restrooms, limited parking.
This is a small beach with minimal parking is available. No pets, alcohol, glass containers, or fires allowed. Porter Beach offers access to Cowles Bog, which has rare plants and varied wildlife. A 4.6-mile trail will lead you to the historic dunes and the beach. To get to the beach, from U.S. 20 take Wagner Road north.
11. Washington Park, Michigan City, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, $2 weekdays, $5 weekends. Amenities include: boat launch, fishing access, concessions, restrooms, lifeguard, picnic shelters, two playgrounds, six tennis courts, skateboarding, and wheelchair access.
There is plenty of parking available for all to come and enjoy this great family friendly beach. The Michigan City Lighthouse anchors the west side of the beach for a beautiful view of the lake. Strolling along (and fishing from) the boardwalk is a favorite activity of locals and tourists alike. If you want to get away from the sandy beaches, head across the street to the local seven acre Washington Park zoo for an enjoyable afternoon. To get to the beach, from U.S. 12, make a left at Pine Street. Cross Washington Park Bridge and follow the road into park.
12. Wells Street Beach, Gary, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., $8 parking fee, Amenities include: Lifeguards, restrooms, and concessions.
No dogs, glass containers or alcohol allowed. There is a small parking lot available, but come early to ensure you have a spot. To get to the beach, take U.S. 12/20 to Lake Street north. Turn right on Forest Avenue from Lake Street. At Grand Boulevard, make a left turn. Turn right at Oak Avenue, then take a left onto Wells Street.
13. West Beach, Portage, 9 a.m. to dusk, daily, $6 per vehicle, $1 for cyclists or walk-ins, $30 for busses, Amenities include: concessions, restrooms, showers, picnic area, first aid, wheelchair access, fishing at nearby Long Lake, and bird watching.
A large parking lot is available. There are beautiful views of the surrounding area when walking from your vehicle toward the shore, but make sure to pack light, there is a 0.3 mile walk to the beach. West Beach can be one of the busiest beaches in the summer, but it offers a wealth of trails to explore the scenery and to get away from the crowds. West Beach is at the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan and serves as a research area for universities who are attaining information to help in the safe-keeping of the dunes. To get to the beach, take U.S. 20 to County Line Road, head north and follow signs.
14. Whihala Beach County Park, Home of Whoa Zone Water park! Whiting, 7 a.m. to dusk, $4 per vehicle for Lake County residents, $7 per vehicle for out-of-county and out-of-state residents. Amenities include: concessions, lifeguard, restrooms, boat launch, fishing, bike trails, picnic tables, outdoor grills, Whoa zone Water park and bike trails. Nearby Bird sanctuary within walking distance. Also located close to downtown shops and restaurants, including Mascot Hall of Fame, Mindbenders puzzles and games, and the NEW Region Escape Room.
Whihala Beach is located within Whiting Park with ample parking available. This beach is rarely crowded with amazing views of the Chicago skyline. Whihala Beach is located at 1561 Park Road in Whiting. To get to the beach, take Indianapolis Boulevard to 119th Street east. Take a left onto Front Street.
15. RiverWalk | Lakefront Park, Portage, Indiana
Beach Is Currently Reduced in size Due to Erosion. Directions from U.S. Highway 20: Follow SR249 north and take the bridge over U.S. 12 towards the U.S. Steel and Precoat Metals businesses adjacent to the lakefront near Portage, IN. Turn left at the stop sign and cross over Burns Waterway. Once over the waterway, turn immediately right and head north, towards the lake, passing the entrance sign for Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk. Park only in public designated parking spots and help protect the fragile dune ecosystem along the roadside. Call 219-762-1675.
Northwest Indiana is home to many Family Fun Amusement Parks and Family Entertainment Centers with lots of things to do with kids that make the perfect the getaway for the weekend! Most of these venues have indoor arcades. You’ll want to visit the Mascot Hall of Fame, Deep River Waterpark in the middle of Northwest Indiana, Inman’s Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Zao Island Amusement Center in Valparaiso, Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Fun Park (Schererville); Jaks Warehouse (Indoor Theme Park – Highland); Washington Park Zoo (Michigan City); Barker Mansion Museum (Michigan City) and the Indiana Dunes Lakeshore Parks! Just to name a few! Every City has a Splash Pad or Public Pool too!
Discover More About the Indiana Dunes:
Chesterton European Market
Century of Progress Tour
Things to Do in Michigan City
Dunes Learning Center
Chesterton Art Center
Things To Do in Chesterton
Indiana Dunes Becomes a National Park
Hunter’s Brewing – Chesterton
Songbird Prairie Bed & Breakfast awarded “Best Romantic Getaway”
Chautauqua in the Dunes
Lake Michigan Beaches
Free Beach Shuttles at Indiana Dunes
Birding Festival (May)
Maple Sugar Time (Spring)
Visit Mount Baldy
Outdoor Adventure Festival (Fall)
Apples Festival (Fall)
Local Family Fun Amusement Parks