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Old 07-27-2018, 10:39 AM
 
Location: USA
1,722 posts, read 601,298 times
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I live in Carmel & want to visit one of the northern beaches for 3-days next wk, before the summer ends & this is the time to do it. But, I don't know where to go.

I see there are beaches in IN, IL, MI... I'm looking for something that's not secluded (I'm a girl, going on my own) & whatever's closest. Not really looking to drive an extra 100-mi because the sand is a bit nicer... I'm tired, I need a rest... just want to safely rest on the beach or jump in the water a bit for a few hours and/or walk along the beach, visit a local place for lunch, then return to my hotel to blissfully do nothing. I spent a lot of time living in San Diego & Boston, so walking the beach was a daily pastime I dearly miss... it was simple, parking was free & plentiful, beaches were safe.

I don't know where to go where the beaches are easily accessible, where I can easily park & that are free to park or enter? Can anyone give a few suggestions, please? My worn out brain & body thank you dearly.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Englewood, Near Eastside Indy
8,341 posts, read 14,093,273 times
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Assuming you are referring to beaches along Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes is nice. There are other local beaches in Gary and Michigan City that are also nice. In Michigan, really you can't go wrong with any of the beach towns along Lake Michigan. In particular, I enjoy Warren Dunes, St. Joseph, Saugatuk, Grand Haven, and Petoskey.

If you are talking about beaches of any variety, Lake Monroe, Mississinewa Lake, and Brookville Lake are sufficient. They are not the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan, but they're fine for a fun day. They are all in state parks, so you will have to pay the gate fee.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:58 AM
 
Location: City of North Las Vegas, NV
11,290 posts, read 7,875,247 times
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Yes, I would head straight up to the Indiana Dunes!. Parking shouldn't be a problem. Also, you could check out the outlet mall in Michigan City and then have lunch at the nice downtown of Chesterton.

https://www.yelp.com/search?find_des...ton%2C+IN&ns=1
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Old 07-27-2018, 05:51 PM
 
Location: SoCal, but itching to relocate
288 posts, read 193,147 times
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If you end up going to the beach, please post-back on how your experience was. Like you, I'm familiar with
Southern California beaches, and I'd be interested to hear your impressions of a Lake Michigan beach.

Hope you have a fun, relaxing time!
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Fort Wayne
625 posts, read 1,510,988 times
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I would consider myself somewhat of an expert of beaches around here in Northern Indiana. I go about 8-10 times a year to various beaches along the Lake Michigan coastline. To get the best experience, here is my ranking:

1) St. Joseph, Michigan (Silver Beach)

Hands down, my favorite beach town in Southwest Michigan. And close to proximity to Indiana. The town is quaint, albeit a popular tourist destination. Great beach, located just down the bluff of the downtown area. Numerous local restaurants, you have to try Silver Beach Pizza, located just down the bluff along the railroad track and the gateway to the beach. Great atmosphere and a chill place to get a drink. The town speaks for itself.

2) South Haven, Michigan

Similar to St. Joseph, just not as large. Good beaches, not great. Quaint town though.

3) New Buffalo, Michigan

I enjoy this town, the smallest of them all. They just recently completed their streetscape downtown. Beach is located closeby as well. If you go here, a must to stop is The Stray Dog. Best atmosphere ever.

4) There are numerous towns along the Western Michigan coastline but luckily, these might some of the best and their located closest to Indiana!

Let me know if you want more information about these specific destinations. Personally, I'd stay away from the Indiana side of Lake Michigan. Been there plenty of times and just doesn't have the same feel I think you're wanting.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:09 PM
 
Location: The Pacific Northwest
6,015 posts, read 6,362,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdr18 View Post
I would consider myself somewhat of an expert of beaches around here in Northern Indiana. I go about 8-10 times a year to various beaches along the Lake Michigan coastline. To get the best experience, here is my ranking:

1) St. Joseph, Michigan (Silver Beach)

Hands down, my favorite beach town in Southwest Michigan. And close to proximity to Indiana. The town is quaint, albeit a popular tourist destination. Great beach, located just down the bluff of the downtown area. Numerous local restaurants, you have to try Silver Beach Pizza, located just down the bluff along the railroad track and the gateway to the beach. Great atmosphere and a chill place to get a drink. The town speaks for itself.

2) South Haven, Michigan

Similar to St. Joseph, just not as large. Good beaches, not great. Quaint town though.

3) New Buffalo, Michigan

I enjoy this town, the smallest of them all. They just recently completed their streetscape downtown. Beach is located closeby as well. If you go here, a must to stop is The Stray Dog. Best atmosphere ever.

4) There are numerous towns along the Western Michigan coastline but luckily, these might some of the best and their located closest to Indiana!

Let me know if you want more information about these specific destinations. Personally, I'd stay away from the Indiana side of Lake Michigan. Been there plenty of times and just doesn't have the same feel I think you're wanting.
Spot on. New Buffalo is right across the state line so you might as well go up there. Nice beachy vibe, and yes, Stray Dog is worth a visit.

The Indiana Dunes are nice but it’s a national lakeshore, so while there is plenty of nature and hiking, no beach “towns”. Michigan City’s Washington Park has a nice beach with plenty of good restaurants nearby, but I prefer the Michigan side beaches.

St. Joseph’s Silver Beach is the best in the area IMO, but it’s an additional 30 min from New Buffalo. Not really a huge difference if you’re already driving several hours.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:12 PM
 
Location: The Pacific Northwest
6,015 posts, read 6,362,170 times
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Also, if you like wine, you should check out some of the local wineries in Southwest Michigan. There are some excellent varietals on the Lake Michigan Shore.
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:32 AM
 
Location: South Austin, 78745
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Other than Lake Michigan, most of the lakes in Indiana are actually reservoirs. There may be a couple of natural lakes in Indiana but there are not very many.

The best beach that can be fun for the entire family would be Indiana Beach, also known as Lake Shafer, about 5 miles from Monticello, about 30 miles from Lafayette, and about 90 miles from Carmel.

I don't remember anything in particular about the sandy beach if you want to sunbathe. It was like every other sandy beach in Indiana I was at. The sand was soft and a brownish tan color and there was plenty of room to stretch out.

If somebody doesn't want to sunbathe or swim, they can go on the rides or play the carnival type games. I use to like to play the Fascination game where you roll the ball and try to get it in the center hole and win a little prize. I assume it's still there. It was one of their most popular games. There use to be a very big slide that you would walk up to the top and then slide down the slide and into the water. There was something like a little sled and you lay on your stomach and then slide down and go real fast into the water. There are boats you can ride in I remember we would alway rent a pedal boat, and that was always a lot of fun. There's campgrounds and there are motels in the area. They use to have bands at night where you can dance and meet people. I assume they still do. There are also areas to fish, if that's what you wanna do.

In my opinion Indiana Beach is the best reservoir type beach in Indiana with something for everybody in the family to enjoy. When I was living in Muncie in the 70's, not too many people knew anything about Lake Shafer/Indiana Beach. Lake Shafer never use to get much publicity and I never understood why because there was no other beach in Indiana that was quite like it.

Www.indianabeach.com

Last edited by Ivory Lee Spurlock; 07-28-2018 at 09:54 AM..
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:56 AM
 
Location: USA
1,722 posts, read 601,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
In Michigan, really you can't go wrong with any of the beach towns along Lake Michigan.
After researching towns you've listed, MI sounds the best. I saw some Yelp reviews & visitor beach pics on the IN Dunes & wasn't impressed... plus, someone said they were surrounded by rather unsightly skyline scenery of refineries, etc to the left & right.

I get that I'm not going to find Malibu, Encinitas or La Jolla beaches here, but it seems from the majority of comments, MI is the way to drive. Thank you for your suggestions, TT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildWestDude View Post
Yes, I would head straight up to the Indiana Dunes!. Parking shouldn't be a problem. Also, you could check out the outlet mall in Michigan City and then have lunch at the nice downtown of Chesterton.
Thank you, WWD. Maybe another trip. I can shop here, if I want... just want to do nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmerLernen View Post
If you end up going to the beach, please post-back on how your experience was. Like you, I'm familiar with Southern California beaches, and I'd be interested to hear your impressions of a Lake Michigan beach.

Hope you have a fun, relaxing time!
Will do, IL. We're spoiled by SoCal beachline. In fact, because asthma & allergies are so severe here, meaning I can barely go outside for recreation, I realized I've got to leave IN... trees & greenery are lovely in pics... unfortunately, for those like me, it renders me housebound or only able to go into places with a/c. 2-yrs in Denver almost killed me... couldn't breathe ever & the daily nosebleeds weren't fun.

An aside, but my lease is up in Dec... I've got to return to sea level unless I find a great job here & that's not going well at all... going to figure out a way to return to SDiego at end of year. I'm a beach girl... I'm miserable when away from surf & sand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefox View Post
Also, if you like wine, you should check out some of the local wineries in Southwest Michigan. There are some excellent varietals on the Lake Michigan Shore.
Thx for the suggestion BF. Not a wine drinker... gives me a headache & I won't drink even 1 & drive... I'm a small girl. But, I was surprised there are wineries here... there are a few very close to me that I've passed on one of my many trips lost in a maze of rotaries.

Thank you everyone. (Getting to the other posts in a sec).
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Old 07-28-2018, 03:22 PM
 
Location: USA
1,722 posts, read 601,298 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdr18 View Post
I would consider myself somewhat of an expert of beaches around here in Northern Indiana. I go about 8-10 times a year to various beaches along the Lake Michigan coastline.
Thank you for replying, CDR.

Quote:
St. Joseph, Michigan (Silver Beach)... & New Buffalo, Michigan

Let me know if you want more information about these specific destinations. Personally, I'd stay away from the Indiana side of Lake Michigan. Been there plenty of times and just doesn't have the same feel I think you're wanting.
After researching them, I think I might try New Buffalo first, since it's closest. And, I agree, just from Yelp reviews & pics... I think MI beaches might appeal to me more... 2nd or 3rd trip I'll cruise the IN beaches... IN Dunes might be nice come fall for walking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefox View Post
Spot on. New Buffalo is right across the state line so you might as well go up there. Nice beachy vibe, and yes, Stray Dog is worth a visit.

The Indiana Dunes are nice but it’s a national lakeshore, so while there is plenty of nature and hiking, no beach “towns”. Michigan City’s Washington Park has a nice beach with plenty of good restaurants nearby, but I prefer the Michigan side beaches.

St. Joseph’s Silver Beach is the best in the area IMO, but it’s an additional 30 min from New Buffalo. Not really a huge difference if you’re already driving several hours.
Agreed, thank you Blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivory Lee Spurlock View Post
Other than Lake Michigan, most of the lakes in Indiana are actually reservoirs. There may be a couple of natural lakes in Indiana but there are not very many.

The best beach that can be fun for the entire family would be Indiana Beach, also known as Lake Shafer, about 5 miles from Monticello, about 30 miles from Lafayette, and about 90 miles from Carmel.
Thank you for the info Ivory... very interesting. It's just me, so I don't need or want to go to family locales.

Thank you again, Everyone. This has been very helpful.
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