Beaches

Find the westernmost national park beaches here, including the Closest Indiana Dunes Beaches to Chicago and Indianapolis.

Miller Woods Beach  is the starting point of approximately 5 continuous miles of scenic walkable Lake Michigan beaches. It is also the westernmost beach of the Indiana Dunes National Park.  Lake Michigan beaches form the north border of our neighborhood for its entirety, while the national park lands wrap around us on the west, south and east.

The Indiana Dunes has 15 miles of beach, and 5 miles of it are directly on the north end of Gary’s Miller Beach neighborhood, with Miller Woods Beach to the west and West Beach flanking us on the east.

The Southernmost Point of Lake Michigan helps our Beaches keep their Volume and Walkability

Our location at the southernmost point of Lake Michigan means the sand  replenishes from the east via the currents of Lake Michigan. Wind patterns from the north keep our dunes and beaches strong and wide.  Shallow walk in waters lead off of our sugar sand beaches with the entire shore lined by  visible sand bars running parallel to it, making it great for off shore wading or swimming, or other water sports. To the north, it’s a vast and endless view with well over 300 miles of water before the next point of land. To the northwest, there’s an amazing view of the downtown Chicago skyline, a little over 20 miles away over the lake.

Deep setbacks in residential areas protect the homes from fluctuating lake levels.   A beautiful natural buffer of hundreds of feet of dunes stretch along our entire shoreline. This buffer is a beautiful wild sweep of dunes that protects our shoreline, and helps preserve several layers of foredunes and dunes behind them.

Boat-In  and Dog Friendly Beaches:  Over two and half miles of boat in is permitted here, where you can anchor your boat or paddle into shore and enjoy the beach or join friends. These areas have no-wake zones marked by buoys every summer season.  Walk your (leashed) dog too, on trails between the beaches along the shore, or use the trails systems they are connected to (see Trails page).

Lots of Parking at 3 Lakefront Locations: Lake Street Beach and Marquette Beach in Marquette Park have year round parking access,  plus expanded parking access in the summer months to accommodate a swell of beach goers.  Well Street Beach (privately run) is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  There is NO beach parking is available in residential areas.

Water Safety: Please practice water safety at all times. Never swim alone; swim with lifeguards and/or water watchers present. Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size and the water activity. Always wear a life jacket while boating, regardless of swimming skill.  Stay safe and have fun!

More Information on our beaches:

Lake Street Beach
Address: 860 N Lake St, Gary, IN 46403
Lake Michigan beach. Plenty of parking, jet ski and small craft launch. Directly adjacent to Miller Woods Beach, the westernmost beach in the national park. Paved Chanute Trail through dunes to Marquette Park. Free beach shuttle on summer weekends. On the Miller/Aetna trail.
(219) 938-7362
Marquette Beach and Park
Address: 1 North Grand Blvd., Gary, IN 46403
Sweeping and unbelievably scenic beachfront park with playgrounds, and nature preserve areas. Miles of walkable Lake Michigan beaches connecting two sections of the Indiana Dunes National Park, a concession stand, hiking trails, picnic areas, and captivating lagoons. Statue commemorating the famous missionary Jacques Marquette, ADA Kayak Lagoon Launch, and two historic events venues (Marquette Pavilion and Gary Aquatorium). Expansive free and paid parking spaces available.
(219) 938-7362
Miller Woods Beach
Address: Gary, IN 46403
This the westernmost Lake Michigan beach in the Indiana Dunes National Park. Natural wind swept sand dunes and walk in waters. Hike the Paul H Douglas Trail there, or park at Lake Street Beach and walk 200 feet to the west. A great spot for swimming, or walking along the water. Peaceful spot. Closest Indiana Dunes beach to Illinois and Indianapolis areas.
(219) 395-1824
Wells Street Beach
Address: 9501 Lake Shore Dr., Gary, Indiana 46403
Beach front parking and concession. Fresh cooked menu of great food, known for delicious burgers. Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
(219) 938-8275