Many of us are used to living in the hustle and bustle of the city — drowning ourselves in the sound of cars in the street and the loud voices of our neighbors down the hallway. Although these breathe character to the town you live in, it’s always a good idea to take some time off from the busyness of the city to give your mind and body a break.
A great way to unwind from the concrete jungle you live in is to head over to a place where nature’s magnificence will put you in awe. For 53 years, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore park does exactly that — impress tourists with their dunes, wetlands, sugar trees, wildflower fields, and more.
Seeing that Indiana Dunes National Park’s biodiversity ranks seventh out of all 400-plus national parks, you must stop by and breathe in what this national park has to offer.
If you’re planning a trip to Indiana soon, our team has cooked up an itinerary that will help you make the most out of your trip to Indiana Dunes National Park. From restaurants in Chesterton, Indiana, to historical landmarks, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look!
Head to the Dunes
When you look at a map, you’ll find that Indiana Dunes National Park envelopes Indiana Dunes State Park, and here, you’ll find three of the area’s tallest dunes. Mount Jackson (176 ft), Mount Holden (184 ft), and Mount Tom (192 ft) will definitely make your jaw drop when you come face to face with their beauty.
To get to the different dunes, there are some trails that you can follow. However, trails 8, 9, and 10 are the definitive trails of the area that showcase dune blowouts, tree graveyards, and white pining towering over Lake Michigan.
You should note that the national park actually lays claim to the most dynamic dune: Mount Baldy. Mount Baldy is slowly eroding and moving roughly four feet every year. However, the trail to the dune can sometimes be closed, but don’t fret because an equally impressive dune is close by — Dune Ridge Trail.
Go With the Flow and Head to the Water
After heading out to see the dunes, ensure that you make a trip to the lovely bodies of water Indiana has to offer. Lake View, Kemil, Porter, and Dunbar are all swim at your own risk areas that fill up during the summer.
On your beach day, consider heading to Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk; you’ll find an impressive, environmental-friendly pavilion with fun amenities and water access. And if you’re into paddling, Lake Michigan Water Trail can give you the water adventure you need.
So don’t forget to bring your kayak, flow with the water’s edges, and camp close to the lake. This is the ultimate way to let go of urban chaos and immerse yourself in nature.
Learn About the Place’s History
It’s always a good idea to know the story of the place you’re visiting. Most tourist trips will always have a historical stop or two to ensure they absorb the place’s culture more. And for that reason, we’ve added a few historical stops into this mix.
Seeing that the Port of Indiana rises on the horizon, it’s a solid reminder that the city barely escaped industrialization. Truthfully, one of the largest dunes, the Hoosier Slide, was actually carried off in boxcars in 1916. Because of that, activists fought to preserve the dunes and their eventual success in what we see today.
If you’re interested in taking a trip back in time and knowing what it was like during the pre-industrial past, Chellburg Farmhouse and Bailly Homestead are awesome starting points for your trip. Here, you’ll get to follow the Little Calumet River, pass through a forested ravine, spot these two remnants, and bask into the oak savanna.
Another blast to the past spot is the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair. Here, you’ll find five homes close to modernity but still have a truckload of historical ques.
Stroll in the Afternoon
If you haven’t noticed, most of our suggested activities involve walking and physical activity, and rightfully so, given that Indiana is a perfect place to stroll and breathe in nature.
If you’re thinking of a great way to wind down during the afternoon but keep your feet moving, consider strolling around the different trails in the state park division.
Trail 7 is a 1.1-mile route that combines duke hikes and beach access, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds of what Indiana Dunes National Park has to offer. And if you have more time, you can cross the trail to Trail 8, which takes you to the top of the tallest dune in the park.
Eat Delicious Food
A trip isn’t complete without squeezing in a food trip, don’t you think? If you want to enjoy a meal and get industrial vibes, head over to Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille. In this restaurant, life-size outdoor sculptures of ironworkers will greet you into the hangout. And if you’re craving for a hefty meal, like pot roasts and creamy garlic mashed potatoes, this spot is perfect for you.
If you want corn dogs, burgers, and grilled delicacies, George’s Gyro Spot is one of the best restaurants in Chesterton, Indiana. Here, they serve mouth watering corn dogs, gyros, burgers, and other meaty dishes. So whether you want to dine in or take some food for the road, make sure to drop by this restaurant.
The Bottom Line: There’s a Bunch of Things to Do Near Indiana Dunes National Park
Now that you’ve reached the end of our article, we’re pretty sure you can’t wait to cross out a few days and head over to Indiana Dunes National Park. Take our travel guide with you, so you don’t miss out on all the good things around the area.
From restaurants in Chesterton, Indiana, to jaw-droppingly high dunes, Indiana National Park is definitely a go-to destination for tourists and locals alike.
Are You Looking for Restaurants in Chesterton, Indiana?
A trip to Chesterton, Indiana, isn’t complete without a fantastic meal at George’s Gyro Spot. We serve amazing Chicago dogs, high-quality Italian beef, mouthwatering gyros, cheeseburgers, polish dogs, and more.
Dine-in or take-out — whichever you choose — we can accommodate you, just give us a call!