Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore preserves more than 15,000 acres of diverse ecosystems along the Lake Michigan shore between Michigan City and Gary. The area's beaches, dunes and surrounding cities attract visitors year round.
Here hiking, biking and horseback riding trails throughout the park connect beaches, dunes, bogs, fens, savannas, prairies, marshes and forests. Picnicking, swimming, sunbathing, bird watching and hang gliding are popular activities. In winter the dunes turn into a snowy playground with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
There are two campgrounds, Dunewood Campground within the National Lakeshore, and another campground in Indiana Dunes State Park. Two historical sites, the Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm, are accessible by trail. Area marinas offer boat rentals, charter cruises and fishing trips on Lake Michigan. There are seven nearby golf courses.
Nearby towns, Michigan City, Chesterton, Portage, Valparaiso and Gary provide dining, antique shopping, art galleries, entertainment venues, spas, festivals and lodging. Michigan City offers outlet shopping at Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets and views of Lake Michigan from its downtown pier.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is 55 miles west of South Bend and 20 miles north east of Gary. The lakeshore is accessible via U.S. Highways 12 and 20. There are many lodging options in the towns around the park including national chain hotels and motels, local inns, resorts, bed and breakfasts, rental homes and cottages, and campgrounds.