Chicago Escape: One Weekend in the Indiana Dunes
Pristine Beaches Just an Hour AwayJust an hour drive from Chicago, the Indiana Dunes is the perfect spot to escape the busy city and unwind, surrounded by stunning beaches and forest. And don't worry about a crowded beach town with tons of traffic. The dunes are protected inside the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and state park. 960 1280
Stay on the DunesMost beaches have tons of signs warning you to stay off the dunes. Here, runners and hikers can climb the dunes in the state park's "3 Dunes Challenge." The 1.5 mile trail features the three tallest dunes with 552 vertical feet to climb. If you make it, the view is incredible. And you get to call yourself a "dune conqueror." 960 1280
Where to Stay
Short of camping in the park, the closest hotel to the dunes is DunesWalk Inn, a historic mansion turned B&B.
The summer season, Memorial Day to Labor Day, is the most popular but, if you don't care to sun bathe, late spring is great for hiking, too, and you can find lower rates at hotels.960 1280