Indiana’s Best Waterfront Parks and Beaches

Indiana boasts a rich history and diverse topography, making it an excellent vacation destination. One of its biggest draws is its collection of stunning waterfront parks and beaches. Whether you’re looking for a quick swimming session or a peaceful weekend getaway, Indiana has plenty of options to choose from.

Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park is located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan and covers an area of over 2,200 acres. It features several idyllic beaches where visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and jog along the sandy shores. Indiana Dunes also offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, birdwatching, and camping. If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, the park has several fantastic four-season cabins and camping sites to choose from.

Turkey Run State Park

Turkey Run is one of the most scenic parks in Indiana, with its hidden trails, rocky gorges, and serene waterfalls. Visitors can go rock climbing, explore the gorges, or take a guided canoe trip down Sugar Creek. The park has several picnic spots, cabins, and campgrounds, making it a great weekend getaway option.

Pokagon State Park

Pokagon State Park showcases a stunning lakefront beach on Lake James and also features an expansive inland lake called Lake Lonidaw. The beach is an ideal spot for families with many amenities such as a water slide, concession stand, and beach store. You can choose to go fishing, paddle boating, hiking, or explore the park’s nine miles of bike trails, making it a desirable destination for day trips or camping trips.

Raccoon Lake State Recreation Area

Raccoon Lake State Recreation Area is spread out over 2,000 acres of rolling hills with a 2,060-acre lake in the middle. It features several sandy beaches and picnic spots, and visitors can rent boats and spend time on the lake. The park is also recognized as one of Indiana’s top spots for fishing, with many different fish species available that are perfect for anglers.

Hardy Lake Recreation Area

Hardy Lake Recreation Area is open year-round, with 741 acres of water and more than 2,400 acres of surrounding land. It features hiking trails, swimming, boating, and fishing. The beach boasts a fantastic view of the lake and is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Visitors can also rent kayaks, canoes, and other watercraft at the marina. Hardy Lake Recreation Area also has an outstanding campground and a picnic area, making it a perfect weekend getaway spot for families.


Indiana’s waterfront parks and beaches are diverse and exciting, making them excellent summer holiday destinations. Each of these parks offers unique outdoor activities and experiences, from swimming and sunbathing to fishing and canoeing. The parks also provide plenty of opportunities to camp, picnic or enjoy nature’s beauty. So, if you’re looking for a break from the city and want to spend some time outdoors, plan a visit to one of Indiana’s waterfront parks and beaches!

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