Michigan City in Indiana is a great place to visit if you want to enjoy a fun city and enjoy nature as well. On one hand, you got the beaches in Michigan City to entertain, then you can climb the dunes of the state park, and end your day downtown with a few cocktails in hand.
We’ll explore the best beaches in Michigan City, Indiana today. The main beach of the town is Washington Park Beach which is the first choice of many travelers visiting. However, there are even more options around Michigan City that should be on your to-do list.
Do note that in order to visit some of these beaches near Michigan City you will need to drive a little. This means that if you are visiting without your own car or without a car rental, you might have some trouble exploring more destinations.
A taxi is always an option but make sure they’ll come and collect you outside of city limits.
Beaches in Michigan City, Indiana
First, on our list, we are going to explore the beaches in Michigan City. These are the easiest to visit whenever you are staying in Michigan City.
1. Washington Park Beach
The main beach of Michigan City. Whenever the locals or travelers speak of enjoying Lake Michigan in town, it’s most likely that they went to Washington Park Beach.
It’s a great sandy beach that covers a lot of area so even when there are a lot of tourists it doesn’t get crowded much. It’s actually so long that we can’t even tell where the border between the beach and the next town lies.
In fact, the next town down the beach is called Long Beach. We think you can guess the reason.
The beach itself is well equipped with restrooms and a small restaurant near the lighthouse. People come here to enjoy swimming and other water activities.
The water is pretty shallow for a long time so Washington Park Beach is also perfect for families looking for a day out.
Do note that there is a $15 charge for parking near the beach.
2. Central Beach
Central Beach is on the outskirts of Michigan City. In reality, it’s actually not part of it, rather it’s already part of Beverly Shores, but it’s closer to Michigan City than it is to Beverly Shores.
This is the secluded beach of Michigan City. Come here if you want to be away from other people and if you are looking for a little more nature.
You can park near Mt. Baldy and then take the trail all the way to the beach. It’s a trail through the dunes and forest so be prepared for a little walking. It can get a bit demanding due to the fine sand that makes walking hard.
Nevertheless, arriving at the beach and going for a swim is even more rewarding after a little walk down from the parking lot. Just make sure that you save energy for the walk back up!
The actual beach strip is not very wide here at Central Beach due to Mt. Baldy and the dunes behind. The scenery however is great due to these features. The only bad point in the scenery is the nearby power station.
Due to the natural and secluded nature of this beach don’t expect amenities. You will need to bring everything but make sure it’s not too much for the walk towards the beach.
The beach is a mix of sandy beach areas and pebbly beach areas with pebbles being more present than sand.
Beaches near Michigan City, Indiana
Now, it’s time to leave Michigan City, as there are no more beaches in Michigan City. Rather, we’ll explore the beaches around Michigan City in Indiana. There are even more options if you extend your horizons and do a little bit of driving.
Don’t worry we’ll try to keep it short and select destinations within 30 minutes of driving.
3. Long Beach, Indiana
First up is the beach town we’ve already mentioned: Long Beach, Indiana. It’s essentially the continuation of the Washington Park Beach shoreline (hence the name).
The long beach shore is a sandy shore with a true US oceanfront small-town vibe. It has houses facing Lake Michigan with direct access to the shore.
It’s a unique and very laid-back space just make sure to not disturb the residents when you decide to choose Long Beach as your next beach destination.
4. Lake View Beach
Lake View Beach is part of Beverly Shores near Michigan City. As the name suggests this place is more of a looker than a great beach destination.
You get some elevated platforms with nice picnic tables and seats as well as normal benches that overlook the water.
It’s an especially excellent place if you are looking to catch the sunset. We loved to watch the beautiful colors over the water from here.
Swimming is still possible but the shoreline is a bit rocky and not that beautiful. It’s also a popular spot for other water sports like standup paddle boarding.
5. Kemil Beach
Kemil Beach is actually just a stone throw’s away from Lake View Beach but it offers a different beach experience.
Instead of the elevated platforms that dot Lake View, it’s a normal sandy shore with plenty of space to lie down, set up a sunbed, and enjoy Lake Michigan.
Among the beaches near Michigan City, Kemil Beach is one of the most beautiful. The locals and visitors also know this so it attracts quite a crowd.
If you are traveling at the height of the tourism season we recommend that you arrive early at this beach. The space limitation is not on the beach itself but in the parking spaces available. It can fill up quickly!
If you are traveling with your furry companion you’ll be happy to learn that this beach is also dog friendly.
When the weather is windy this is also a good spot for some windsurfing.
6. Porter Beach
Last on our list of beaches in Michigan City is Porter Beach. Although it’s the furthest from Michigan City it’s still only a 21-minute drive.
It’s another beach in the area that gets very popular as the weather picks up. The scenery is provided by the beautiful dunes near the shore and the shore itself is very nice yellow sand.
Families, friends, and beachgoers love Porter Beach for the nature that surrounds you here. It’s a truly wonderful place to visit when you are at Lake Michigan.
Here, parking is not that much of a problem, but it’s paid parking for the most part. It can run up to $30 for a full day of parking in the busiest months.
Beaches in Michigan City FAQ
Yes, the local beach is called Washington Park Beach.
Yes. It’s a public beach so it’s always open, but lifeguards are only present during normal beachgoers’ hours.
The beach is free but you have to pay for parking which is $15 for cars and $30 for motorhomes.