Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

The following pit stop is submitted by reader Erica Smith.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is located along the shores of Lake Michigan and is easily accessed from I-94. With 15 miles of beach, outdoor activities, and park programs, there’s plenty for families to do. Stop for a few hours en route on I-94, or make it an overnight!
Indiana dunes

Things to do: Hike the sand dune of Mt. Baldy, then reward yourself with a swim at the bottom of the trail, or spend the day at either Central Beach or Kemil Beach in Michigan City. For more area hikes, stop by the Indiana Dunes visitor’s center (directions below). Don’t forget to enroll kids to become Junior Rangers!

Date last visited: Summer 2011

Distance from the interstate: Several minutes from I-94.

Hours of operation: Most locations are open sunrise to sunset.

Admission cost: $6.00 per car, per day. Camping fees are $15.00 per night.

Dining options: There’s great picnicking at Lake View, located at the NW corner of Lake Front Drive and Broadway Street in Beverly Shores. Restaurant dining is available in all towns, as are convenience stores and grocery stores.

Overnight options: Dunewood Campground offers 75 sites (both tent and hook-up).

Directions: Families can access the national lakeshore via I-94, the Indiana Toll Road, I-80/90, U.S. Highway 20, Indiana State Highway 12, and various state roads. Check the official page for full driving directions. The visitor’s center is a good place to start: it’s located on Highway 49 between highways U.S. 20 and Interstate 94.