This has been a popular beach destination for decades, but it's also one of the most biodiverse national parks in the United States. Exploring the sand dunes and relaxing on the beach are two of the best things to do in Indiana Dunes National Park, but hiking and birdwatching are also the best experiences in the park. In short, absolutely, but with some caveats. Indiana Dunes is a beautiful national park with wonderful beaches on Lake Michigan.
It offers an excellent recreation area, especially for people nearby. The lake and beach offer a pleasant landscape, and the dunes offer great views from above. It has a surprising number of habitats, from a lake to a beach, through swamps, wetlands and oak savannas. It even has some historic sites.
While the dunes aren't as rugged or big as the Great Sand Dunes or the White Sands National Parks, they're still interesting. The Indiana dune area is significantly influenced by Lake Michigan and has four seasons. If you're visiting Indiana Dunes to enjoy the beaches and water, you'll want to plan your visit during the months of May through September. If you like the outdoors, you won't be short of things to see and do at Indiana Dunes State and National Parks.
Another great thing to do at Indiana Dunes State Park, especially if you're visiting with children, is to visit the Nature Center. Five of these homes were moved to the Beverly Shores resort community and eventually became part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. If you want to fully enjoy the outdoor experience and go camping while visiting the Indiana Dunes State and National Parks, there are a number of great campsites you can stay at in the park area. Yes, there is a paved path here that leads to the dunes, but there is also a large public pavilion (which houses a café in summer), a small beach and a long fishing pier.
If you want to see a real dune park in Michigan, travel along the coast to the shore of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake. The Indiana dunes are made up of two parks, the Indiana Dunes National Park and the Indiana Dunes State Park. Basically, this was a forest trail with no sand dunes in sight, at least not the typical sand dunes you'd expect, so if you want sand, sand and more sand, this isn't it. Indiana Dunes is right on the shores of Lake Michigan, approximately one hour from Chicago, 1.5 from Holland and 3.5 from Detroit.
This trail crosses some wetlands and dunes, with an elevation change of more than 200 feet, around some lakes and ends at a beach that is relatively isolated, since it is not close to any parking area. The park is comprised of state and national parks, with beautiful beaches and concentrations of sand dunes in each of the park's areas. One of my favorite things to do at Indiana Dunes State and National Parks is walking among the gigantic sand dunes. Indiana is considered a Midwestern state, meaning it experiences all four seasons, with cold winters and hot summers.