Embracing a Healthy Family: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Park is Next Best Thing to Florida for the Midwest

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Park is Next Best Thing to Florida for the Midwest





As the summer days swiftly departed, fall fought with summer to take hold. We enjoyed a few more late summer days at the beach a few days ago. I kept telling my children that we had to partake in the beautiful weather as the days were numbered until next year. As sure as I spoke, fall is upon us with cloudy skies and cooler temperatures. We were able to take one more bathing suit day at West Beach located at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Park and it was fun! The beautify about the Dunes is year round, there are activities and it's great outdoor adventure especially for the homeschooled family.



My kids are Florida lovers so even though we have not been able to relocate there yet, the trips to the sandy beaches affords them something to look forward to year round. On a clear day, the Chicago skyline is quite visible as well as the steel mill plants that once led the way to prosperity to many while allowing families a good income raising their families in yesteryear. Lake Michigan is truly a natural beauty to the sometimes ugly in appearance of northwest Indiana.  




Even though the weather is no longer hot, we will take advantage of what the park has to offer and have some fall and winter fun!

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History & Heritage

The Potawatomi people were among the first to call Porter County home. In fact, a local archaeological dig has unearthed native artifacts from up to 9,000 years ago. The first non-native visitors to the area arrived in 1650: French fur traders who founded an industry that flourished for a couple hundred years and included trader Joseph Bailly. Bailly’s homestead is now part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. What began with the fur traders continued as pioneering spirit and then the railroads brought immigrants from across Europe. Many of their stories and traditions continue to color our way of life. You’ll discover Swedish farms and churches, Victorian homes, Irish pubs, German choirs and more.

It happened here…

Did you know that entrepreneur Orville Redenbacher launched his first gourmet popcorn product from a farm near Valparaiso in 1971? Or that the Underground Railroad, a secret network of escape routes for 19th century fugitive slaves, is thought to have included a stop on the lakeshore of Porter County? How about the fact that The Indiana Dunes was the intended site of a macabre plan by Chicago counterfeiters to hide the remains of President Lincoln until they received a ransom of $200,000 and the release of their star engraver from prison? Have you heard that the historic Civil War-era Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso was said to be a favorite venue of “The March King,” conductor John Philip Sousa, who led a concert there in 1898? The Opera House also hosted the famous Marx Brothers vaudeville comedy trio in 1919.

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