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.
I’m a water person, and particularly on a hot and humid Indiana summer day, I’m 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. It’s 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. There’s 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.
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 you’re 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. It’s 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.