It can be rather difficult to find a beach to go to in Northwest Indiana. There are many communities that don’t allow you to park near the beach and will have you ticketed or towed.
Fear not, intrepid beach bum, as there are plenty of free beaches in Northwest Indiana where it’s perfectly OK for you to park your car for the day. Most of these beaches are National Park beaches and most of them are free except for West Beach in Miller (which is not on this list). The Indiana State Park in Chesterton is NOT free but is surrounded by National Park beaches with easy access to the facilities there. Many of the National Park beaches have pavilions with bathrooms and water fountains.
So, here’s a quick selection of free Beaches in Northern Indiana. It is not an exhaustive list – but you should be able to find somewhere to laze on the beach for free on this list.
Free Northwest Indiana Beaches
Portage Lakefront Park – Map
Porter Beach – Map
Note – Do not park in the area reserved for Porter Beach only parking, you will be ticketed or towed. Also, there is someone who charges for parking near the beach, avoid this place.
Kimmel Beach – Map
Note – Near the Beverly Shores World’s Fair Homes.
Central Beach – Map
Dunbar Beach – Map
Lakeview Beach – Map
Mt. Baldy – Map
One tip to keep in mind – since they are free these are obviously the most popular beaches so the parking lots fill up fast. So, plan an early start or just drive around in circles and wait for someone to leave. Usually you can easily spot the people heading to their cars to leave (they’ll be carrying chairs, coolers, etc). Also, some of these lots are a bit of a trek from the beach – but worth the walk.