Must See and Do in the Indiana Dunes

When you visit the Indiana Dunes, you want to make the most of your time. So what are the must-see and do activities to put on your itinerary? Check out our list here and photos from real visitors who shared their stories on Instagram. Share your own stories and must-see adventures with us using #BeachesAndBeyond.


3 Dune Challenge

Do you have what it takes to climb the three highest sand dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park?


E X P L O R E R S Today was the most AMAZING day with my family @claireothomas exploring the Indiana dunes on Lake Michigan! #3DuneChallenge

A post shared by Justin Thømas⚡️ (@cjustinthomas) on




Broken Wagon Bison Farm Get up close and personal with our country’s largest native land mammal at this family-owned bison farm. Take a wagon tour to see more than 70 bison. Afterward, purchase a variety of bison meat products and gifts.  


The great American Bison. Such magnificent creatures! ✌🏻️ . . . . #indiana #indianaskies #indianalife #bison #bisonation #buffalo #explore #exploreeverything #exploreeverywhere #mightymidwest #midwest #midwestisbest #midwestlife #midwestlove #livefolk #bedriftless #merica #photocaravan #adventuretime #midwestmoment #kinfolk #outdoors #liveoutdoors #takemeaway #livethelittlethings #neverstopexploring #thisismycommunity #liveunscripted #photodaily

A post shared by Matthew Stackowicz (@photocaravan) on



49er Drive-In

Experience a blast from the past at the 49er Drive-In Theatre in Valparaiso, a place that has been chosen one of the top drive-ins in the nation.


Sunday night spent at the drive in❤️

A post shared by Cassidy Staunton (@_casssadilla) on



Bass Pro Shop This 130,000-square-foot store has everything for outdoor enthusiasts. And if you get hungry, you can grab a bite to eat at the in-store Islamorada Fish Company.  


Made a quick trip to Bass Pro one day so the kids could see the fish #bassproshop #fish #aquarium #crazykids #redhairdontcare #redhair #funtimes

A post shared by Jacob Tauber (@jaketauber) on



Chesterton’s European Market

Chesterton’s European Market is a French-inspired artisans and farmers market located in historic downtown Chesterton. Vendors create a high quality, eclectic marketplace featuring handmade art, artisan pastries, freshly prepared food, farm-grown produce, jewelry, accessories, clothing, fresh soap and more.


• oh, farmers’ market, I’ve missed you •

A post shared by hannah (@hannahgutenstein) on



Hoosier Bat Company Call ahead and set up a tour. You’ll see baseball bats being made right in front of you. And don’t forget to get your very own personalized mini-bat in the gift shop.  


Disse håndlager 36 000 slike i året og selger hele verden rundt. Har også 3 køller i #baseballhalloffame #hoosierbatcompany #baseballbat #handmade. Fikk se de lage en. Tøft. Guttene fikk hver sin med sine navn gravert inn👍🏻 morsomt 🇺🇸⚾️⚾️ thank you 🤗

A post shared by Anne Aronsveen (@aronsvea) on



Valparaiso University

Home to the renowned Chapel of the Resurrection, an inspiring place to visit or experience an event. The chapel has been named one of the 30 most beautiful college cathedrals in the world. The university also welcomes visitors to the Brauer Museum of Art and has a full schedule of happenings such as Jazz Fest, dramatic productions and musical events.


A post shared by Will McGee (@williammcgee) on



Memorial Opera House

The Memorial Opera House presents live community theater performances, national musical acts and a monthly lunchtime cabaret.  


It’s such a bittersweet end to an amazing show! God, going into this show I was kind of skeptical on how its end result was going to turn out but the reviews were far behind what I had really hit above the spectrum! I had a fantastic time getting to know/working with these incredibly talented people and also working with some old friends! The Drowsy Chaperone is the literal definition of comedy and this show made me realize how much I adore theater…to see how a production comes to life right before your eyes opening is an experience I couldn’t even put in words! I love coming together with people you hardly know and creating something so unique and special that leaving it would be heartbroken….goodbye Drowsy gone but will never be forgotten 💕

A post shared by Deveon Williams 🌟 (@devwilliams_17) on



Taltree Arboretum

Be amazed by Taltree’s half-acre model railway garden. Its wonderful waterfalls, elaborate bridges, impressive 14-foot change in elevation and its more than 3,000 tiny trees and bushes are a hit with kids and adults. Taltree also has formal gardens and trails to explore, including fairy gardens.


A fairy house at the Taltree Arboretum and Garden. #hdrimage #hdrimaging #photography #nhdphoto #teamcanon #coolfind #resourcemag #photo #nature #fairies #fairy #fairyhouse #

A post shared by NHDPHOTO (@nhdphoto) on



Zao Island

It’s an adventure land for grown-ups and kids alike: two miniature golf courses, go-carts, bumper cars, a game room, batting cages, a giant slide, laser tag and even an on-site pizzeria and a fully stocked bar. Be sure to check out the Gator Glades while you’re there. It’s the only place around where you can feed live baby alligators.  


Had a blast with these guys tonight! Laughed so hard! #greatfriends #liveunited #unitedway @allisonlouiselloyd @jessicaolivia419 @jjpeller @zeeksfitfreaks

A post shared by Lauren Gephart (@lauren_gephart) on



Portage IMAX

Sit back, relax and get blown away at the only place in Northern Indiana offering the sheer coolness of IMAX on a four-and-a-half-stories-high screen. The other 15 non-IMAX screens in the complex show just about every current blockbuster


Crazy cool sunset tonight from the Portage 16 IMAX walking in to see The Martian for the 2nd time. In 3D!!!! 🚀 #TMahlmannSunsets

A post shared by Trevor Mahlmann (@tmahlmann) on



Valpo Velvet Ice Cream

Since 1947, Valpo Velvet Ice Cream shop in Valparaiso has made and served the rich, creamy ice cream that people come from all around to experience. Call ahead and you can take a guided tour.  


1st ice cream cone ever! All she could say was “num num nuuum!” #valpovelvet #strawberryicecream

A post shared by Leonard Ostrowski (@open_up_and_say_ahhhh) on


You can check out more activities to do in the Indiana Dunes and our surrounding communities in our Activities Guide. And while you’re at it, be sure to find a place to stay because you’re sure to be tired after all these adventures!

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