Indiana Dunes State Park

Holiday Travel Guide

The southern shores of Lake Michigan consist of a stunning dune landscape, which is ideal for hiking, camping, bird-watching, picnicking and swimming.

Explore the ancient landscapes of Indiana Dunes State Park, bound on the northwest by pristine Lake Michigan. Formed after the lake’s water levels dropped at the end of the Ice Age, the region’s dunes have slowly shifted and grown over with lush vegetation. The nature reserve consists of 2,182 acres (883 hectares) of extraordinary sand dunes and unique geology, making it an unrivaled destination for recreation and nature experiences in the state.

A great way to start your exploration of Indiana Dunes State Park is with a visit to the reserve’s Nature Center. Look through the center’s wildlife observation windows and learn about the region’s vegetation with the help of interpretive displays. The dunes’ intriguing formation over thousands of years has meant that ancient vegetation is sometimes revealed when the dunes shift.

Check out the Beach House Blowout, the Furnessville Blowout or the Big Blowout, which shows the old tree stumps of primeval forests. Learn about the Potawatomi and Miami Native American people who traveled over the dunes as part of their traditional trade routes.

Birdwatchers will delight in the park’s observation towers. Spot wetland species from an observation tower overlooking marshland or climb the platform near the summit of Mount Tom. From here, you can see all the way to Chicago, as well as Gary, Indiana, on a clear day.

Explore 16 miles (26 kilometers) of hiking trails, which showcase the park’s different ecosystems and historic structures. Picnic shelters are available at several sites in the park.

If the weather is warm, enjoy a refreshing swim in Lake Michigan. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, lifeguards patrol this beach on weekends. Stop at the beachside concession stand for last-minute snacks and supplies. Fish for smelt along the lakeshore.

Indiana Dunes State Park is located on the state’s northwestern border. It is about 160 miles (260 kilometers) from Indianapolis and 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Chicago, Illinois. The park is open daily and charges a fee for entry and campsite reservations.

Top Trending Hotels Near Indiana Dunes State Park

Waterbird Lakeside Inn
Waterbird Lakeside Inn
2 out of 5
556 Indian Boundary Road, Chesterton, IN
The price is Rs5,988 per night from 1 Nov to 1 Nov
Situated on a lake, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy Preserve and Indiana Dunes National ...
4/5 Very Good! (446 reviews)
"The lake view from the balcony overhanging the water was very nice. Great air conditioning."

Reviewed on 5 Oct 2021

Waterbird Lakeside Inn
Spring House Inn
Spring House Inn
2.5 out of 5
303 N Mineral Springs Rd, Porter, IN
The price is Rs6,663 per night from 24 Oct to 24 Oct
Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Chellberg Farm, Indiana Dunes National Park and Bailly Homestead - American Indians and ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (440 reviews)
"It was cute and quaint. The night person who checked us in wasn't exactly cheery. She didnt seem to enthusiastic to do her job but maybe it was just her personality. The property was clean and good condition. The only thing about our room was the shower curtain smelled horrible. I didnt seem cleam ..."

Reviewed on 14 Oct 2021

Spring House Inn
Best Western Indian Oak
Best Western Indian Oak
2.5 out of 5
558 Indian Boundary Road, Chesterton, IN
The price is Rs6,363 per night from 16 Nov to 16 Nov
Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy Preserve and Indiana Dunes ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (617 reviews)
"Loved watching the geese on the lake! Close to Dune Park train station that can take you to Chicago."

Reviewed on 19 Oct 2021

Best Western Indian Oak
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park


Top Hotel Deals

Days Inn by Wyndham Portage
Days Inn by Wyndham Portage
2 out of 5
6161 Melton Road, Portage, IN
The price is Rs4,135 per night from 3 Nov to 3 Nov
Days Inn by Wyndham Portage
Spring House Inn
Spring House Inn
2.5 out of 5
303 N Mineral Springs Rd, Porter, IN
The price is Rs6,663 per night from 24 Oct to 24 Oct
Spring House Inn
Waterbird Lakeside Inn
Waterbird Lakeside Inn
2 out of 5
556 Indian Boundary Road, Chesterton, IN
The price is Rs5,988 per night from 1 Nov to 1 Nov
Waterbird Lakeside Inn
Best Western Indian Oak
Best Western Indian Oak
2.5 out of 5
558 Indian Boundary Road, Chesterton, IN
The price is Rs6,363 per night from 16 Nov to 16 Nov
Best Western Indian Oak
Fairbridge Inn Express Chesterton
Fairbridge Inn Express Chesterton
2 out of 5
713 Plaza Dr., Chesterton, IN
The price is Rs5,599 per night from 31 Oct to 31 Oct
Fairbridge Inn Express Chesterton
Quality Inn
Quality Inn
2.5 out of 5
418 Council Road, Chesterton, IN
The price is Rs4,920 per night from 22 Nov to 22 Nov
Quality Inn
Comfort Inn & Suites Near Indiana Dunes State Park
Comfort Inn & Suites Near Indiana Dunes State Park
2.5 out of 5
1800 West US Highway 20, Porter, IN
The price is Rs5,885 per night from 22 Nov to 22 Nov
Comfort Inn & Suites Near Indiana Dunes State Park
Hilton Garden Inn Chesterton
Hilton Garden Inn Chesterton
3 out of 5
501 Gateway Boulevard, Chesterton, IN
The price is Rs8,235 per night from 18 Nov to 18 Nov
Hilton Garden Inn Chesterton
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Portage, IN
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Portage, IN
3 out of 5
1630 Olmsted Dr, Portage, IN
The price is Rs7,844 per night from 10 Nov to 10 Nov
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Portage, IN
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.