23 Top Things to Do in Michigan City

Things to Do in Michigan City

If you’re looking for things to do in Michigan City, Indiana, you’re in for a treat! This charming city located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan has plenty of attractions and activities to keep visitors busy. From beautiful beaches to stunning natural landscapes, there’s something for everyone in Michigan City.

One of the top attractions in Michigan City is Washington Park. This 99-acre park offers miles of soft sandy beaches where you can soak up the sun and enjoy water activities. Take a stroll along the elevated walkway to the picturesque East Pierhead Lighthouse and enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan. The park also features historic gardens, hiking and biking trails, a marina, and the Washington Park Zoo. It’s a perfect place for families and nature lovers to explore and relax.

Another must-visit attraction in Michigan City is the Indiana Dunes National Park. This national park boasts miles of pristine beaches, towering dunes, and diverse ecosystems. Explore over 50 miles of hiking trails that wind through dense forests, wetlands, and prairies. Enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking, camping, fishing, or even horseback riding. The park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.

1. Embrace the Tranquility at Friendship Botanic Gardens

Tranquility at Friendship Botanic Gardens
Tranquility at Friendship Botanic Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of Friendship Botanic Gardens. This 100-acre botanical park is a hidden gem located just a mile from Lake Michigan’s beaches.

Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, including the ArcelorMittal Children’s Garden, where kids can play and learn about nature.

Discover hand-carved sculptures, displays of lilies, and a rose garden. The gardens are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna and provide a peaceful retreat for visitors. With paved walking paths, serene lake views, and stunning natural beauty, Friendship Botanic Gardens is a must-visit attraction in Michigan City.

2. Traverse the Trails of Indiana Dunes National Park

Trails of Indiana Dunes National Park
Trails of Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With over 50 miles of trails, the park offers endless opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring. Traverse the diverse landscapes of the dunes, including intricate dune systems, oak savannahs, wetlands, prairies, and river systems.

Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls the park home, and don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views of Lake Michigan. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, the trails of Indiana Dunes National Park have something for everyone to enjoy.

3. Admire Art at the Lubeznik Center for The Arts

Lubeznik Center for The Arts
Lubeznik Center for The Arts

Art enthusiasts won’t want to miss a visit to the Lubeznik Center for The Arts. Located within walking distance of Lake Michigan, this art center has become a top destination for art lovers. Explore the four galleries showcasing works by both local and international talents.

The center also hosts a variety of special events and programs throughout the year, including concerts, films, lectures, and workshops. Don’t forget to stop by the gallery shop, where you can find artisan-made fashion accessories and home decor. A visit to the Lubeznik Center for The Arts is a must-do for anyone interested in the vibrant art scene in Michigan City.

4. Wander Around Washington Park

Wander Around Washington Park
Wander Around Washington Park

Washington Park is a must-visit attraction in Michigan City. This 99-acre park offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages. Spend a day at the beach, relax on the soft sandy shores, or take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Lake Michigan. Visit the Washington Park Zoo, home to 90 species of animals from around the world.

Explore the historic gardens and enjoy a picnic in one of the park’s picturesque picnic areas. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the East Pierhead Lighthouse, a city icon that offers panoramic views of the lake. Washington Park is the perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities and create lasting memories with family and friends.

5. Delve into History at Barker Mansion

History at Barker Mansion
History at Barker Mansion

History buffs won’t want to miss a visit to Barker Mansion in Michigan City. Built in 1857 by John H. Barker, the founding father of the railcar industry, this Gothic Revival mansion offers a fascinating glimpse into Michigan City’s past. Take a guided tour of the lavish main floor, as well as the servants’ quarters and wine cellar.

Marvel at the beautiful architecture, including Indiana limestone trim, mullioned windows, and patterned maroon brickwork. The mansion is now a museum that showcases the city’s extensive maritime history. You can also rent the mansion for special occasions and events. A visit to Barker Mansion is a journey back in time and a must-do for history enthusiasts.

6. Enjoy a Cruise to See the Dunes from The Water

Cruise to See the Dunes from The Water in Michigan City
Cruise to See the Dunes from The Water in Michigan City

Experience the beauty of the Indiana Dunes from a different perspective with a cruise on Lake Michigan. Harbor Country Adventures offers a range of cruises that take you along the coastline and offer stunning views of the dunes. Take a classic lake tour aboard the Emita II and see Washington Park, the lighthouse, and Lake Michigan.

For thrill-seekers, the Sea Rocket offers a high-speed boat ride on Lake Michigan, limited to a dozen people per ride. Whether you’re looking for a romantic sunset cruise or a fun party cruise, Harbor Country Adventures has something for everyone. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the majestic beauty of the dunes from the water.

7. Attend a Play at Dunes Summer Theatre

Play at Dunes Summer Theatre
Play at Dunes Summer Theatre

For a dose of entertainment and culture, head to Dunes Summer Theatre in Michigan City. This community theater presents a variety of musicals, seasonal stage plays, and performances on its 20-acre wooded site in Michiana Shores.

In addition to performances, Dunes Summer Theatre also offers workshops and acting classes for both children and adults. They host summer camps and classes to develop the creative talents of young performers and teach them theatrical skills. Whether you’re a theater enthusiast or simply looking for a fun and educational experience, Dunes Summer Theatre is a must-visit in Michigan City.

8. Take a Bike Ride on the Heron Rookery Trail

Bike Ride on the Heron Rookery Trail
Bike Ride on the Heron Rookery Trail

Explore the natural beauty of Indiana Dunes on a bike ride along the Heron Rookery Trail. Located within Indiana Dunes National Park, this trail follows the Little Calumet River for 3.3 miles. It’s a popular spot for family bike rides, offering scenic views of the surrounding area.

While biking, keep an eye out for the diverse birdlife that inhabits the area, including herons and warblers. Spring is a particularly beautiful time to visit when wildflowers are in bloom. Enjoy the fresh air, stunning scenery, and the opportunity to spot unique wildlife on a bike ride along the Heron Rookery Trail.

9. Visit the Old Lighthouse Museum

 Old Lighthouse Museum
Old Lighthouse Museum

Step back in time and learn about Michigan City’s maritime history at the Old Lighthouse Museum. Located at the end of the pier in the harbor, next to Trail Creek, this historic lighthouse offers a glimpse into the city’s past. Explore the museum’s eight galleries, which depict the extensive maritime history of the area.

Climb the narrow spiral staircase to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of the beach and Millennium Park. The Old Lighthouse Museum is a fascinating attraction in Michigan City and offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the role of lighthouses in guiding ships and ensuring safe navigation.

10. Engage in Rock Hunting Adventure

Rock Hunting Adventure
Rock Hunting Adventure

Embark on a unique adventure and try your hand at rock hunting in Michigan City. The city’s beaches are known for their abundant supply of colorful rocks and stones, making it a popular destination for rock collectors. Spend a day combing the shores of Lake Michigan, searching for beautiful and unique stones to add to your collection.

From smooth pebbles to vibrant agates, you never know what treasures you’ll find. It’s a fun and relaxing activity for all ages and a great way to connect with nature and the beauty of the lake. So grab your bucket and start rock hunting in Michigan City!

11. Experience Shopping at Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets

Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets
Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets

Shopaholics will love a visit to Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets in Michigan City. This outdoor shopping center features over 100 stores offering discounted prices on designer brands. From fashion and accessories to home decor and electronics, you’ll find a wide range of products to suit every taste and budget.

Browse through stores like Coach, Nike, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and many more. Take advantage of the great deals and enjoy a day of shopping in a picturesque setting. After a successful shopping spree, recharge at one of the center’s restaurants or cafes. Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets is a must-visit destination for all shopaholics visiting Michigan City.

12. Play Golf at Michigan City Municipal Golf Course

Michigan City Municipal Golf Course
Michigan City Municipal Golf Course

Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to tee off at Michigan City Municipal Golf Course. This 18-hole public golf course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels. Set amidst rolling terrain, the course features well-maintained fairways, scenic views, and strategically placed bunkers.

Practice your swing at the driving range or perfect your putting skills on the practice greens. The course also offers golf lessons for beginners and those looking to improve their game. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, Michigan City Municipal Golf Course is a great place to enjoy a round of golf in a beautiful setting.

13. Visit a Public Park

Public Park in Michigan City
Public Park in Michigan City

Michigan City is home to several public parks that offer a range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or a place to play sports and have a picnic, these parks have something for everyone. Check out Pullman Park, which features playgrounds, walking paths, and sports fields.

Experience the natural beauty of Tryon Farm, a nature preserve with hiking trails and scenic views. Marquette Park, located along the shores of Lake Michigan, offers a sandy beach, picnic areas, and a fishing pier. Explore these parks and enjoy a day in the great outdoors in Michigan City.

14. Participate in the Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival

Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival
Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival

If you’re visiting Michigan City in June, don’t miss the Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival. This annual event takes place at Washington Park Beach and celebrates the art of sand sculpting. Watch as talented artists create breathtaking sand sculptures and compete for top honors.

Enjoy live music, food vendors, and a variety of family-friendly activities. The festival attracts participants and spectators from all over the region and is a unique and fun experience for all ages. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a unique event to attend, the Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival is a must-visit in Michigan City.

15. Explore the Local Farmers Market

Local Farmers Market
Local Farmers Market

Immerse yourself in the local culture and flavors by exploring the farmers market in Michigan City. The Michigan City Farmers Market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, locally sourced products, and handmade crafts. Browse through the stalls and discover a range of fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, baked goods, flowers, and much more.

Interact with local farmers, artisans, and vendors as you shop for high-quality and sustainable products. The market is not only a great place to stock up on delicious and healthy foods but also an opportunity to support local businesses and farmers. Don’t miss the chance to experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Michigan City Farmers Market.

16. Taste Delicacies at Dune Billies Beach Cafe

Dune Billies Beach Cafe
Dune Billies Beach Cafe

For a taste of the local culinary scene, make sure to visit Dune Billies Beach Cafe. This charming cafe offers a menu of delicious delicacies, showcasing the flavors of Michigan City. From mouthwatering sandwiches and salads to freshly baked pastries and artisanal coffee, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The cafe prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients, ensuring that every dish is packed with flavor and quality. Sit back, relax, and savor the delectable dishes in a cozy and inviting atmosphere. A visit to Dune Billies Beach Cafe is a must for food enthusiasts looking to experience the unique flavors of Michigan City.

17. Enjoy a Meal at Fiddlehead Restaurant

Fiddlehead Restaurant
Fiddlehead Restaurant

When it comes to a memorable dining experience, look no further than Fiddlehead Restaurant. This popular eatery in Michigan City offers a menu of creative and delicious dishes made with high-quality ingredients. From farm-to-table cuisine to classic comfort food with a twist, every bite at Fiddlehead is a culinary delight.

The restaurant’s warm and inviting atmosphere makes it the perfect place for a leisurely meal with family and friends. Whether you’re craving a hearty breakfast, a flavorful lunch, or a gourmet dinner, Fiddlehead Restaurant is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

18. Try Pizza at Miller Pizza By The Beach

Miller Pizza By The Beach
Miller Pizza By The Beach

No trip to Michigan City is complete without trying the famous pizza at Miller Pizza By The Beach. This local favorite has been serving up delicious pizzas for years and is known for its thin-crust pies loaded with fresh toppings.

Whether you prefer traditional flavors or unique combinations, Miller Pizza By The Beach has something for everyone. Pair your pizza with a cold beverage and enjoy the casual and friendly atmosphere of this beloved pizza joint. It’s the perfect spot to satisfy your pizza cravings while enjoying the scenic beauty of Michigan City.

19. Experience Fine Dining at Scartozzi’s Trattoria

Scartozzi’s Trattoria
Scartozzi’s Trattoria

For an elegant and upscale dining experience, look no further than Scartozzi’s Trattoria. This fine dining restaurant in Michigan City offers a menu of exquisite Italian dishes crafted with the finest ingredients. From homemade pasta and seafood delicacies to tender meats and flavorful sauces, every dish at Scartozzi’s is a culinary masterpiece.

Pair your meal with a glass of wine from their extensive selection and indulge in a truly unforgettable dining experience. The restaurant’s cozy and intimate atmosphere adds to the overall charm, making it the perfect place for a special occasion or a romantic evening out.

20. Explore Craft Beers at Shoreline Brewery

Shoreline Brewery
Shoreline Brewery

Beer enthusiasts won’t want to miss a visit to Shoreline Brewery in Michigan City. This award-winning brewery specializes in brewing specialty craft beers using only the finest ingredients. With 12 beers on tap, including their World Beer Cup Silver Award-winning Beltaine Scottish Ale, Shoreline Brewery offers a wide range of flavors and styles to suit every beer lover’s taste.

Pair your beer with a delicious meal from their menu, which features a variety of sandwiches, main entrées, salads, and snacks. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff as you savor the unique flavors of Shoreline Brewery’s craft beers.

21. Experience Luxury at Beachfront Home Steps from Beach

Beachfront Home Steps from Beach
Beachfront Home Steps from Beach

Indulge in luxury and stay at the Beachfront Home Steps from Beach in Michigan City. This stunning beachfront property offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and direct access to the soft sandy shores. With spacious interiors, modern amenities, and luxurious furnishings, you’ll feel pampered and relaxed during your stay.

Spend your days lounging on the beach or enjoying water activities, and retreat to the comfort of your beachfront home in the evenings. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a peaceful retreat, the Beachfront Home Steps from Beach offers the perfect combination of luxury and relaxation.

22. Relax at “The Troll’s Den” Cottage in Beachwalk

“The Troll’s Den” Cottage in Beachwalk
“The Troll’s Den” Cottage in Beachwalk

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax at “The Troll’s Den” Cottage in Beachwalk. This charming cottage offers a cozy and comfortable retreat for visitors to Michigan City. With its rustic decor, cozy fireplace, and modern amenities, you’ll feel right at home in this peaceful setting.

Explore the nearby beach or take a stroll through the charming Beachwalk community. Enjoy outdoor activities like biking, hiking, or simply relaxing on the porch. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway or a family vacation, “The Troll’s Den” Cottage provides the perfect combination of comfort and tranquility.

23. Enjoy the Scenery at Dunetop Getaway with Lake Views

Scenery at Dunetop Getaway with Lake Views
Scenery at Dunetop Getaway with Lake Views

Experience stunning lake views and modern comfort at Dunetop Getaway in Michigan City. This beautiful property offers panoramic views of Lake Michigan from its elevated location. Relax on the outdoor deck and take in the breathtaking scenery or cozy up by the fireplace in the spacious living area. With its modern furnishings, fully equipped kitchen, and comfortable bedrooms, Dunetop Getaway provides all the amenities for a relaxing and enjoyable stay.

Explore the nearby beach, take a hike along the dunes, or simply unwind and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. With its prime location and stunning views, Dunetop Getaway is the perfect place to relax and recharge in Michigan City.

Conclusion

Michigan City offers a diverse range of activities for every interest. From exploring the natural beauty of Indiana Dunes National Park to immersing yourself in the local art scene at Lubeznik Center for The Arts, there is something for everyone. Indulge in outdoor adventures like rock hunting or take a relaxing cruise to admire the dunes from the water.

Don’t forget to treat your taste buds to the culinary delights of Michigan City, with options ranging from beachfront cafes to fine-dining restaurants and craft breweries. With comfortable and stylish accommodation options available, you can make the most of your visit. Share this comprehensive guide on social media to inspire others to explore all that Michigan City has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Michigan City a must-visit place?

Things to do in Michigan City, Michigan City is a must-visit destination due to its stunning location on the shores of Lake Michigan and its proximity to Indiana Dunes National Park. With beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, a rich history, and a vibrant culinary scene, it’s the perfect place to explore and discover the beauty of Northwest Indiana.

What is Michigan City best known for?

Things to do in Michigan City, Michigan City is best known for its beautiful beaches, including Washington Park Beach, and its proximity to Indiana Dunes National Park. The city is also a popular shopping destination, with Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets offering a wide range of designer brands at discounted prices.

Are there any annual events or festivals that take place in Michigan City?

Things to do in Michigan City, Michigan City hosts several annual events and festivals. One of the most popular is the Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival, which celebrates the art of sand sculpting. This family-friendly event features live music, food vendors, and talented artists creating stunning sand sculptures.

Are there any outdoor activities available in Michigan City?

Things to do in Michigan City, Michigan City offers a range of outdoor activities for nature lovers. Explore the trails of Indiana Dunes State Park, enjoy hiking and biking in the area’s natural landscapes, or spend a day at the beach swimming and sunbathing. The city is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

What are some recommended restaurants and bars in Michigan City?

Things to do in Michigan City, Some recommended restaurants and bars in Michigan City include Dune Billies Beach Cafe, Fiddlehead Restaurant, Miller Pizza By The Beach, Scartozzi’s Trattoria, and Shoreline Brewery. These establishments offer a variety of cuisines and craft beers, providing a diverse dining experience for visitors.

What are some popular tourist attractions in Michigan City?

Some popular tourist attractions in Michigan City include:

AttractionDescription
Old Lighthouse MuseumLearn about Michigan City’s maritime history and climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views
Barker MansionExplore a historic Gothic Revival mansion and learn about the city’s past
Washington Park ZooVisit a 15-acre zoo with 90 species of animals worldwide
Lighthouse Place Premium OutletsShop at over 100 stores offering discounted prices on designer brands

These attractions offer something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, wildlife, or shopping.

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