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Review Highlights
I'm glad someone had the foresight to save this area.

The National Lakeshore is bracketed by a steel mill to the west and Michigan City to the east... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Frank D
Surprising gem

We were traveling back from Chicago and stopped here on a whim in the late evening. It was lovely... read more

Reviewed November 6, 2018
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  • Excellent56%
  • Very good35%
  • Average6%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
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“visitor center”(27 reviews)
“state park”(37 reviews)
“indiana dunes”(30 reviews)
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1215 N State Road 49, Porter, IN 46304-1369
+1 219-395-1882
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All reviews visitor center state park indiana dunes west beach national lakeshore beautiful beach admittance fee per vehicle michigan city large parking lot hiking trails power plant short hike sandy beaches holiday weekend beach front beach goers
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1 - 10 of 288 reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The National Lakeshore is bracketed by a steel mill to the west and Michigan City to the east. Look one way and you see what looks like a giant wreck of a steel mill and look the other and see a power plant. While it's...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Frank D
Reviewed November 6, 2018

We were traveling back from Chicago and stopped here on a whim in the late evening. It was lovely and scenic and peaceful. Seems quite well-suited for families and couples - but also for folks looking for a little bit of windswept scenery and solitude.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank SyndiChesser
Reviewed October 22, 2018

We visited with friends who had never swam in a large body of water that didn't have salt or sharks! It was quite a treat to see them swimming and having fun!

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank suzy s
Reviewed September 5, 2018

My husband and I stopped here for about an hour on our way back to Chicago. We took a short hike at West Beach called Dunes Succession Trail. You get a great view of the area and lake. You'll have to climb a bit but...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank BJ C
Reviewed August 27, 2018 via mobile

Together, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (operates like a national park) and the state park (Indiana Dunes State Park) offer unique opportunities to hike on trails which meander through lush green forest, desert-like sand dunes, and to walk along the beach and Lake Michigan. Each...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Ellen S
Reviewed August 27, 2018

Our family enjoyed a Sunday afternoon here. Beautiful beach, wonderful sand, water was refreshing. A nice place on Lake Michigan. Water levels are high in August 2018, which means the beach is not real wide – but it strectches out a great distance. Large parking...More

Date of experience: August 2018
2  Thank Jeffrey D
Reviewed August 27, 2018

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has a great campground that is open April 1 - October 31. The sites are large and private. There is a walking path to the beach. It is about a 1 mile walk. There are bathrooms with flush toilets and free...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Mary K
Reviewed August 17, 2018

Located on the Southern Tip of Lake Michigan this NPS Gem shouldn't be overlooked. Are the Dunes as impressive as the ones on Cape Cod or Sleeping Bear maybe not. But, their own beauty shouldn't be overlooked or rated poorly. They have their own unique...More

Date of experience: August 2018
2  Thank cubanbucky
Reviewed August 16, 2018

This beach as part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore covered by the National Park Service. This review is specifically for the West Beach. There is a admittance fee of $6 per car that allows you multiple access during the day. There is a very...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank DiAlJo
Reviewed August 11, 2018

Well, now, I've been going to Indiana Dunes State Park for close to 15 years. The park has so much to offer that I've seldom strayed. But, I find myself both broke and curious. And I'm happy to pay the $12 out of state entrance...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank rose813
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
June 21, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from jzpurdue | Reviewed this property |
With boys that age, I would go to Warren Dunes, just across the Michigan border, it has huge dunes you can climb and run down. The great thing about Lake Michigan is, there are plenty of beaches big and small from gary all... More
Ricky S
September 20, 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from RobertW2h483MD | Reviewed this property |
The beach is open everyday of the year. It is without charge and parking is free too.
Travel Forum Posts
Chicago, Illinois
Fall Color MI Road Trip (8 Replies)
Hello! We are three friends planning to drive from Chicago - WI - MI - Chicago. I'm listing down the places we are thinking of visiting. I would be grateful if you could suggest any other places or feedback. Also any ideas on places to stay, ideally budget friendly, will be much appreciated :) 3rd Week of Sept (4 Days). // Start in Chicago Door County, WI Pictured Rocks National LakeShore, MI (Day 1 Night) Sault Ste. Marie, MI (Day 2) Traverse City, MI (Day 2 Night) Sleep Bear...More
September 06, 2012|
Response fromTravDreamer|
The third week of Sept will probably be too early for any fall colors . Lower Michigan is usually at it's peak about Oct 15. Going north it would be a gradual few days earlier, depending on how far north. That said -- I think you are cramming too much into your days -- unless all you really want to do is sit in a car and watch the world go by. I suggest just Door County and Pictured rocks -- then home. Or skip Door County and head straight to Pictured Rocks. Sault Ste Marie is the most...More
Louisville, KY
snowshoeing at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (3 Replies)
I was thinking of taking my husband & dog to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore this winter to do some snowshoeing for a long weekend, but have never been there before. Has anyone ever snowshoed here? I am looking for recommedations as far as trails & places to stay nearby ... thanks!
January 11, 2010|
Response fromrogueit|
Thanks so much for the info... a few more questions, if you don't mind... Is there anything marking ski trails from snowshoe trails, or are the ski trails groomed? And would Chesterton be the closest town (we would only be staying for a few days & don't want to spend much time driving back & forth. Thanks again!
Canada, Kentucky
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (1 Replies)
We are road tripping with 2 dogs from Winnipeg, MB to Hamilton, ON. With overnight stays in Fargo, ND and Madison, WI. We were looking at rest stops, dog parks for all of us to stretch our legs. We will be travelling the I-94. I was looking for a rest stop near Burns Harbour, IN when I noticed the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was nearby. Couple Questions: Would this be a good place to stop? Is there any good Pet friendly hikes? Thank you!
June 24, 2015|
Response fromhoosierref|
The Dunes are only 2 miles off I94. Dogs aren't allowed on the beach, but are welcome on the trails, which are beautiful. Trail#9 was voted a top ten in US by usatoday.com. Get a trail map at the gate, head to nature center, and pick a trail. #8 is the 3 Dunes Challenge, which is tough. But #2 and #10 are nice and flat. The views of the lake from 9 are stunning though. Definitely worth the stop.