The Indiana Insider Blog

4 Summer Vacation Ideas

As the school year is winding down, I know many families are making plans for summer vacation.†Since gas is hitting $4 a gallon, spending a week or two closer to home is a great†option this year.

Iím a water person, and particularly on a hot and humid Indiana summer day, Iím always drawn to those areas where swimming, boating and fishing take center stage. Here are a few recommendations around Indiana to make great memories this summer.

  • Patoka Lake: This is the second largest reservoir in the state. Itís one of my favorite places in Indiana. Nestled in beautiful southern Indiana in Dubois County, you can rent house boats or pontoon boats, stay in a cabin, or camp. Thereís also a beach for swimming. Great day trip suggestions include French Lick, Evansville or Jasper.
  • Indiana Dunes: The large sand dunes at this breathtakingly beautiful state park along Lake Michigan not only provide a perfect backdrop for a day at the beach, but they make for a fun and challenging hike. A trek into Chicago would be an easy day-long adventure (consider taking the South Shore Rail Line), or visit nearby Michigan City and†LaPorte.

    Indiana Dunes State Park

  • Lake Wawasee: Located in northern Indiana, this lake features a free public boat ramp (other marinas charge a nominal fee). This wide lake is ideal for sailing. Or sunbathe in the shallow sandbar area. Consider planning your vacation around the 4th of July holiday, when many events and fireworks are scheduled. There are several bed and breakfasts in the area, along with a number of lakefront rental properties.
  • Monroe Lake: There are†many reasons I love visiting this beautiful lake. If youíre a tent camper, you can get sites right on the water. There’s nothing more peaceful†than waking up in the morning and staring at the†lake directly from your tent.†Itís also just minutes away from Bloomington, Indiana, with lots of fun nightlife, cultural activities and fantastic restaurants. There are many boat rental options at this lake. Or take a break from the water and spend an afternoon at the quaint shops in nearby Nashville, Indiana.

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Written by : Nicole is a stay-at-home mom and blogger living in Columbus, Indiana. She blogs about adventures at home and away with her husband and 2-year-old son at She grew up in Plainfield, Indiana and graduated from Butler University in 2002. She grew up in Plainfield, Indiana and graduated from Butler University in 2002. She spent seven years living and working in downtown Indianapolis following college. Nicole is always looking for fun, kid-friendly outing ideas. You can contact her via email or find her on Twitter at @arrowssentforth. Nicole receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.