Plan a Visit to Michigan City, Indiana

When you mention the phrase “Road Trip” to a Chicagoan, they will most likely think of two places—either Michigan or Wisconsin. But what about our next door neighbor, Indiana? Now I know that Northwest Indiana might not be the place to be during winter (hello, lake effect snow!) but it is the perfect escape for busy families like mine during the summer and fall. Not convinced yet? Then check out these five reasons to visit Michigan City, Indiana.

Its Proximity to Chicago

As long as you time it right so you don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic, Michigan City is a short drive for us Chicagoans. So that means there are less opportunities for sibling squabbles, emergency bathroom breaks, and the incessant “Are we there yet?” questions.

The Beautiful Lake Michigan

They aren’t called the Great Lakes for no reason. Seriously. And to enjoy Lake Michigan from the OTHER side of the lake gives you an entirely new perspective on it. I also love that Michigan City beaches are less crowded (especially after Labor Day) and a lot cleaner than the Chicago based ones.

The Family Friendly Fun

While Michigan City might not be as popular as South Haven or Door County, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t family friendly fun to be had.

The Michigan City Zoo is always a hit with kids of all ages, as well as the unique Lake Michigan boat tours and nearby Acorn Theatre in Three Oaks, Michigan. Have explorers on your hands? Then hop over to the Indiana Dunes or Friendship Botanic Gardens to explore or spend an hour at the Gailen Park River Walk, a cozy area for kids to explore.

Lastly, be sure to bring your bikes since Michigan City is so bike friendly and has tons of different trails to blaze.

The Food & Drinks

Eating and drinking local is always a top priority for us when we are traveling, and there are TONS of delicious options in Michigan City for when you simply don’t feel like cooking.

You can’t go wrong with the Duneland Beach Inn or Bare Bones Gastropub, which are all trendy enough for a date night or welcoming enough for a family meal.

There are also ample breweries in the area, such as Shoreline Brewery & RestaurantZorn Brew Works, and Burn Em Brewing. My personal favorite are the wineries, especially Shade Creek Winery which specializes in sweet wines.

The Lake House Rentals

There are so many unique lodging options available in Michigan City since it is less popular as some Michigan and Wisconsin beach towns can be. Whether you are making a quick trip with your immediate family or planning a longer stay with extended family, be sure to book your stay at least three months in advance so that you have the best pick of the home rentals. You can check out my tips for Lake House trips here.

Finally, don’t finalize your travel plans without reading ALL of my travel related tips!

Have fun!


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