We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

elmhurst, IL
Level Contributor
105 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

Hi - just wondering if anyone had an opinion about which is the best beach to go to at the Indiana Dunes. I was trying to decide between West or Central. Any thoughts? Thanks. Kathy

13 replies to this topic
Indiana
Level Contributor
7 posts
155 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

We just got back from a recent trip up there. We first visited the Indiana Dunes State Park beach first. The plus was that lifeguards were on duty, but it was super crowded. We visited Central Park later that day. It was much nicer! The walk was short and serene, and several dunes were nearby to climb and see the view. While leaving, we drove down Lakeshore Drive through Beverly Shores, which was also a great area! All the beaches we passed were wonderful.

Rensselaer, Indiana
Level Contributor
7,598 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

I don't know why the above poster responded on this thread which is over a year old. However, since this was brought up...

It all depends on what you plan on doing. Are you going swimming? Or just laying on the beach?

If the latter, then you need to carefully review the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park websites for the Safety Information sections. You will find advice to only swim where there are lifeguards on duty because of the dangerous conditions which arise on Lake Michigan (sometimes quickly and without warning).

Here is a map from the Indiana Dunes State Park website. Please note the warning written in bold script across the Lake Michigan area: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/dunes_trail.pdf And the one for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: nps.gov/indu/…INDU_parkmap_west.jpg

I hope that the above poster wasn't talking about swimming at Central Beach, as it is only allowed at Marquette Park, West Beach, and the Indiana Dunes State Park.

These provide information about the amenities at each of the beaches: www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/maps.htm

1 post
Save Reply
3. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

Relax. You can swim anywhere. I see people swimming all the time at all the other beaches.

Rensselaer, Indiana
Level Contributor
7,598 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

OK...it's really suspicious when an unknown new user posts on a thread which has been inactive for five years.

Remember when Mom asked you "Would you jump off a roof if your friends did?" Mom knew her stuff.

For another consecutive year, of many in a row, Lake Michigan was the most dangerous of the Great Lakes. Many more times than all the others combined. Just do a little online search and you will see the facts.

Please *only* swim at a beach when and where there is a lifeguard on duty. You don't want to end up being a statistic. Do you?

However, for the present, all beaches at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore are closed due to a toxic chemical spill over by US Steel. These may not be the only beaches affected.

Saint Louis...
Level Contributor
1 post
13 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

Lol how do you use this thing for 5 years!!! Crazy

1 post
Save Reply
6. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

Which one is your favorite and is there a price to swim or free

Rensselaer, Indiana
Level Contributor
7,598 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

The URLs for each the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park are above in #2.

Valparaiso, Indiana
Level Contributor
24 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

I swim at the Indiana Dunes all the time. Outside the lifeguard area ! Why outside the area.. because it is near impossible to enjoy your time with the constant whistles and so I can let my dog run off the leash. If you know how to swim and have common sense and avoid rip tides there is nothing to worry about. There are many calm days during the summer and the water is very shallow allowing you to be able to walk out quite far before being over your head.

I live close by and go there a few times a week.

The poster warning about the swimming probably wears a helmet riding their bike so to each their own.

Rensselaer, Indiana
Level Contributor
7,598 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

Apparently, this poster thinks that's it's super easy to spot rip currents. 7th paragraph down: …dodlive.mil/2013/05/rip-currents-what-they-…

Perhaps the above poster hasn't read the rules - re: dogs: www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/pets.htm You will note they only are allowed on certain beaches and *always* must be leashed.

Read the "Swimming Safety Tips" and see what they say: www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/swimming.htm

Finally, for the really sobering facts: www.glsrp.org

Since this poster lives in Valparaiso, where I used to live for many years (as well as in Chesterton and Michigan City), they should be more than familiar with the dangers of swimming in Lake Michigan. It is broadcast over all types of media - TV, newspapers, radio, www. If you were to check the websites of every one of the beach communities all along the lakeshore, you will find the same warnings to this effect.

If you wish to state to the contrary, #8, please post the URLs from reputable sources.

Edited: 15 July 2017, 15:28
Rensselaer, Indiana
Level Contributor
7,598 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes

I apologize if my response appeared brusque above, but...

Many people who are just visiting or who don't live in the area believe that the Great Lakes (in this instance, Lake Michigan) are safer in certain respects than swimming in one of the oceans. Apparently because they are inland and called "lake". If you have lived in the area any length of time, it is very unlikely you do not know about the issue of rip currents - because every year there are multiple drowning fatalities and many more "near misses".

When you read/hear about these sad instances, it is normally accompanied by a request that the general public in the area alert others to this dangerous situation.

The lake is getting to just about the right temperature now where swimming occurs most.

There was an article in the Detroit Free Press published June 25, 2017 entitled "How Even Good Swimmers are Drowning in Lake Michigan". Because it isn't only the Indiana beaches that are involved - but all along the Lake Michigan shoreline. WI, IL, IN and MI.

Now - with respect to lifeguards at the Indiana Dunes beaches, there was an article in the Northwest Indiana Times entitled "Few Area Beaches Will Be Guarded This Summer" by Bob Kasarda, published on May 30, 2017. Those interested might want to read this article.

Reply to: Best Beach at Indiana Dunes
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Chesterton