The gateway to the Dunes. From its humble beginnings as the home of a local fur tradesman to its current status as a natural wonder, Porter has always been known as a place to stop, visit, and stay awhile. Its most influential historical citizens—Joseph Bailly and the Chellberg family—were so captivated by the area’s beauty that they were amongst the first Europeans to settle here. You can visit the Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm sites in the heart of the Indiana Dunes National Park and experience life as they did in the early days of Porter.
A great place to live and raise a family, Porter boasts beautiful parks, beachfront property, small-town charm, and a big-city love of food with the most restaurants per capita of any town in the Indiana Dunes region. Think of it as a casual place to catch some rays, ride bikes, and enjoy some great locally-inspired Midwest cuisine.
The South might be known for its barbeque, but have you tried the smoky flavors of the Midwest? Sink your teeth into a feast of saucy, award-winning ribs at Wagner’s Ribs. Not a grill fan? That’s alright, Porter has a surprising number of authentic Mexican restaurants, like Santiago’s downtown or Leroy’s Hot Stuff on U.S. 20.
Stop by the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, located on State Road 49, on your way into Porter for a friendly chat about the Indiana Dunes and the surrounding area. With a personalized guide in hand, head to Porter Beach to splash in Lake Michigan, play beach volleyball, and soak up the sun’s rays. Hawthorne Park offers another spread of outdoor activities, including a disc golf course and sports fields. Walk around downtown and poke around unique local shops like the Biggs Violin Shop, where Richard Biggs, one of only 200 master luthiers in the world, makes and restores these fine instruments and their bows.