The Indiana Insider Blog

Guide to Free Beaches in Northwest Indiana


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.

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Written by : Jonathan Thomas is a blogger based in Northwest Indiana. He's passionate about the Indiana Dunes and Lake Michigan and wants to share all the fun possible in the area with the rest of the world. When not blogging for Travel Indiana, he hangs his hat at his Anglophile blog - Anglotopia and Niche Blogger Today. If you want to connect with him, you can contact him on Twitter @jonathanwthomas Jonathan receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development in exchange for blogging. For more information, please see our FTC Disclosure page.