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Wandering & Exploring Activities

Why hurry? Take the time to wander and let your senses take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Indiana Dunes. Listen to the waves on the shore. Feel the gentle breeze on your cheeks. Watch the sunlight dancing through the leaves in the forest. The Indiana Dunes area offers plenty of places where you can leisurely stroll, explore or simply sit and relax in nature.

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Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

Want to create a personalized tour of the Indiana Dunes area? Stop by the Visitor Center where our front desk destination concierges will help you…

1215 N. State Road 49, Porter

Alyea Park

Playground equipment, tennis courts, basketball courts, and picnic shelters available.

Church St. and Adams St., Hebron

Ambler Flatwoods Nature Preserve

Search these large woods for small things. More than 40 rare Indiana plants are contained within the dense trees—salamanders hide under logs,…

8364 Meer Rd., Michigan City

Aukiki Wetland Conservation Area

This 650-acre parcel conserves a mix of wetlands, black oak barrens, and sand prairie, offering wildlife viewing, hiking, and hunting. Aukiki is part…

State Rd. 49, Wheatfield

Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm

These two historic sites sit nearly side-by-side. Bailly Homestead is named for Joseph Bailly, the first known non-native region resident, who set up…

618 N. Mineral Springs Rd., Porter

Barker Woods

Tucked away in Michigan City, in plain sight, is a 30-acre nature preserve. Barker Woods, a Shirley Heinze Land Trust property, is a rare gem in an…

444 Barker Rd., Michigan City

Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park is tucked-away park with two unlit Babe Ruth softball fields, bleachers, parking, restrooms, recreational tennis court, playground,…

175 Burlington Beach Rd., Valparaiso

Brincka Cross Gardens

Once a private residence, this architecturally unique home and garden includes a wide variety of trees and plants—including 400 different types of…

427 E. Furness Rd., Michigan City

Brookdale Park

This small developing park has mowed pathways circling an agricultural field that lead back to a large catch-and-release fishing pond. The pond is…

919 N. 50 West, Chesterton

Butterfly Meadows & Caterpillar Crossing

This butterfly-themed playground with a unique music station is nestled among a small prairie and is a designated Monarch waystation. Restrooms are…

3210 Campbell St., Valparaiso

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More Outdoor Adventures

Beaches

With 15 miles of award-winning shoreline to explore, nine oh-so-swimmable beaches, and many towering dunes, you’ll be enchanted by the magic of the Indiana Dunes.

Bicycling

Some things stick with us forever, just like riding a bike. Unforgettable vacation memories spent cruising miles of paved trail, off-road adventures, and rails to trails journeys are just to name a few.

Birding

We’ve been described as “for the birds,” and no, that isn’t an insult. The Indiana Dunes is a birders paradise. After all, where else can you see more than 350 native and migratory bird species in one place?

Fishing

Fishing season? Try fishing seasons. With this many inland lakes, creeks, miles of shoreline, and deep waters, we’re hooked on the sport all year round.

Hiking

Need a reason to get outside? We’ve got 15,000 of ‘em. That’s 15,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness to walk, climb, and hike through along old-growth forest floors, centuries-old paths, and starkly beautiful wetlands.

Paddling

Our recipe for the perfect day? Just add water. Luckily, around here there’s no shortage of lakes, creeks, and waterways to satisfy your inner aquaphile. Take it from us, it’s the best way to get to know the area.

Share your adventures with us by tagging #beachesandbeyond

Featured Accommodations

Vacation Homes

Riley’s Railhouse Bed & Breakfast

Housed in a former New York Central style freight station, this railroad-themed bed & breakfast underwent extensive renovations and opened its doors…

Vacation Homes

Waterbird Lakeside Inn

Waterbird Lakeside Inn is the perfect setting for relaxation. Offering guest rooms with private balconies, enjoy the scenery of their 60 acres of…

Vacation Homes

Fairbridge Inn Express

Within 3 miles of the Chesterton Fairbridge Inn Express, you'll find Indiana Dunes National Park, Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy Preserve,…