Indiana Dunes State Park


The state park is a 2100-acre, shoreside pocket within the national park; it’s located at the end of Hwy 49, near Chesterton. It has more amenities than the rest of the lakeshore, but also more regulation and crowds (plus the vehicle entry fee). Wintertime brings out the cross-country skiers; summertime brings out the hikers. Seven trails zigzag over the landscape; No 8 up Mt Tom rewards with Chicago skyline views.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Indiana attractions

1. Indiana Dunes National Park

0.47 MILES

The Dunes, which became the USA's 61st national park in 2019, stretch along 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Swimming is allowed anywhere along the…

2. West Beach

8.47 MILES

West Beach, nearest to Gary, draws fewer crowds than the other local beaches and features a number of nature hikes and trails. It’s also the only beach…

3. Mascot Hall of Fame


To the right, an oil refinery spewing fire and brimstone, to the left a beautiful lakefront park with views to Chicago – why not put the new Mascot Hall…

5. Stony Island Arts Bank

28.34 MILES

Artist-activist Theaster Gates bought a tumbledown bank building for $1 in Chicago's neglected South Shore neighborhood, and transformed it into a…

6. Promontory Point

28.4 MILES

Runners, cyclists, swimmers, dog walkers and Hyde Park residents of all stripes rub shoulders on the Point, a 12-acre artificial peninsula that juts into…

7. Pullman National Historical Park

28.44 MILES

Part of the National Park Service, Pullman offers a rare look at a capitalist's fallen utopia. The community's design and architecture make for a…

8. Jackson Park

28.45 MILES

This 550-acre, lakefront green space is a gem. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, renowned creator of New York City's Central Park, it comprises bird-rich…