Interior shot of the chapel at Valpo University. Rows of pews lead up to a large stained glass window A floor-to-ceiling stain glass window stands at the head of a chapel. Pews line the sides of the chapel, framing the stained glass window.

Must See & Do in the Indiana Dunes

The Indiana Dunes has more plants and animal species than Yellowstone, and it attracts more than six million visitors annually, which puts it on par with Mount Rushmore in terms of visitation. The Indiana Dunes is more than beaches, towering dunes, and majestic views of the Chicago skyline. It’s a premier family-friendly vacation getaway with outdoor experiences, fine dining, local attractions, and affordable accommodations. So how do you choose when there is so much to see and do? We’ve put together this list of some of the top attractions in the Indiana Dunes area to help you get started on your vacation planning!

Must See & Do

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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

49’er Drive-In Theatre

Experience a blast from the past at a place that has been chosen as one of the top drive-ins in the nation. Open weekends in April, May, and…

675 N. Calumet Ave., Valparaiso

Bass Pro Shops

This 130,000 square-foot store has everything for outdoor enthusiasts, including boats, fishing gear, and hunting equipment. There is also a giant…

6425 Daniel Burnham Dr., Portage

Broken Wagon Bison

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 a herd of more…

563 W. 450 North, Hobart

Chesterton’s European Market

Chesterton’s European Market is a French-inspired artisans and farmers market located in historic downtown Chesterton. Vendors create a…

220 Broadway, Chesterton

Diana of the Dunes Dare

Embrace the Dunes. Take the dare! In honor of the daring and free spirit of Alice Mabel Gray, also known as Diana, a nearby sand hill has been named…

W. Beach Trail Loop, Gary

Emagine Portage

Emagine is a Midwest-based chain operating 17 luxury theatres. They strive to create a movie-going experience like no other, complete with advanced…

6550 American Way, Portage

Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest

Gabis is a popular location for birding enthusiasts and offers more than 300 acres of dog-friendly walking trails, gardens, woodlands, and wetlands.…

450 W. 100 North, Valparaiso

Indiana Dunes National Park

On February 15, 2019, Indiana was given its first national park! After 53 years as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the area was renamed the…

1100 N. Mineral Springs Rd. (N. 100 W.), Porter

Indiana Dunes State Park

A state park surrounded by a national park, the Indiana Dunes State Park is 2,182 acres of dunes, marshes, swamps, hardwood forests, and white pine…

1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton

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Tales from the Dunes

The Indiana Dunes Blog

Did you know the Indiana Dunes has a 15-mile coastline with sandy beaches, more than 70 miles of hiking trails and more than 350 species of birds? Explore the latest and greatest tales from the dunes.

Plants and Wildlife

American Bittern: Thunder-pumper of the Wetlands

When it wants to vanish, the American bittern stretches out its stout, boldly striped neck and points its long, straight bill up to the sky. Despite…

Plants and Wildlife

Indiana’s Springtime Wetlands

There’s something about having your feet in water that is a thrill. As a kid, I jumped and splashed in puddles and ponds just to see how big an…

Communities

Main Streets TV visits the Indiana Dunes

John McGivern's Main Streets visited the Indiana Dunes to film an episode of their travel show about the main streets of Midwestern communities.…

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More Things to See & Do

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Book a Place to Stay

Bed & Breakfasts

Feel like family with intimate accommodations that range from nature-inspired retreats in the woods to award-winning romantic getaways surrounded by gardens.

Hotels & Inns

A convenient stay located near downtown? What about a country retreat heaped in Old World charm? Or a place you can bring your four-legged friend? Your unique getaway deserves a distinct accommodation.