The Indiana Insider Blog

Fall in the Dunelands

The fall is by far my favorite time of the year. I love the cool weather, the changing leaves and the general feeling of the season. I also happened to have gotten married in October so it has that extra bit of special meaning. As we prepare to bundle up for the winter, what are some fun things you can do one last time before it gets too cold to get out of bed?

Well, in the Indiana Dunes there is plenty to do in the fall. So, here’s my Guide to Indiana Dunes in the Fall.

Leaf Peeping

We are blessed with beautiful forests in Northwest Indiana. One of the best things (and cheapest) is to climb in the car and go for a drive up US Route 12 to see the changing leaves. I recommend going off 12 onto some of the side roads to see some incredible scenery. Leaves start to peak in mid-October. It’s been a relatively warm year, so that should mean the leaves will be particularly vibrant this year.

Michigan City Beachwalk

Do you remember the movie “The Truman Show?” It took place in an idyllic planned community by the seaside that was just beautiful. Well, the planners of that community also developed Beachwalk in Michigan City. Many of the houses look the same and it’s laid out in a similar fashion. The place is mostly second homes for rich people in Illinois and it’s swamped in the summer. Once the fall approaches though, the place becomes a ghost town so it’s a perfect to visit. My wife and I love driving through and looking at all the really nicely designed houses. You can also rent out the villas for a couple nights, they’re pretty affordable and you’re guaranteed to have the place to yourself.

Michigan City Beachwalk Website

World’s Fair Home Tour

I’ve written extensively about the Beverly Shores World’s Fair Homes before and I’m looking forward to taking the tour this year. It’s costs $15 and you can take a tour of all the houses, including the one that has been fully restored. You’ll get to peek around the house and see the progress of the restoration works and hear about the latest plans. Tickets go on sale September 22nd and they’ll probably go fast. Tours are October 10th and 11 this year.

To buy tickets, you’ll need to register here:

Beverly Shores World’s Fair Homes Tour Tickets

Apple Orchards

There is nothing like an Apple fresh off the tree. There are many orchards in the area that will let you pick the apples yourself. My wife and I have gone to the County Line Orchard in Hobart for the last few years, even though they’ve been bought out. You get a bit of sticker shock when you go to pay, but the deliciousness of the Apple is worth it. Don’t forget the classic Apple Donuts which are treated as crack in my house.

County Line Orchard Website – Be sure to check out the list of what apples are ripe and at what time.

I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a Red Delicious Apple.

Enjoying the Empty Beaches

The beaches are by far what makes Northwest Indiana a jewel on Lake Michigan’s shores. After Labor Day and when the weather cools, the beaches become empty. They’re a great place to go for a walk and take in a cool breeze. Great place to have a bonfire and snuggle close with someone special. I recommend the beaches around Ogden Dunes. They’re surrounded by National Parkland and the parking restrictions are lifted in the off season so you can park near the beach. Ogden Dunes has great beaches and it’s great to walk through the dunes nearby in the fall. Some of my happiest days were spent walking through the Dunes with my Irish Setter, Cutter (since passed away).

If you have anything that you do in the fall everywhere, please feel free to share in the comments. I’d love to hear suggestions!

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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.