Indiana Dunes

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July 11th 2018
Published: July 12th 2018
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We arrived in Chesterton yesterday, and our first stop was the National Park Service's visitor center. We stamped our National Parks passports and picked up Junior Ranger books for the kids. It was too late to swim at the beach, much to the disappointment of the kids. Still, we decided to scope it out. We headed to Lake View Beach, part of the national lake shore. It had free entry and parking. We apparently lucked out finding a spot, as we were later told parking is hard to come by there. We hiked the area a bit and enjoyed the views of the beach before heading to our bed & breakfast, Riley's Railhouse.

We've stayed at this bed and breakfast before and loved it. It's an old freight station next to train tracks, and the whole place is themed for trains. The kids get to sleep in their own little "upper berth" in our room. This time, there are a number of other kids staying here. They've enjoyed playing with the toy train sets together.

We got dinner at a little pizza place called Val's. It was OK. It reminded me of the food you might get at a water park or roller rink. Back at our b&b, the kids wanted dessert, and so we walked to Dog Days Ice Cream for some cones.

Today was our beach day! After breakfast, we set out for the state park. It costs $12 to park there, but there are lifeguards on duty there, as well as access to bathrooms and concessions. This is where we used to go as kids, and so I had a lot of nostalgia hiking to the shore when we arrived.

The kids played in the water for over four hours. Honestly, they would have been happy to keep playing there, those beach bums! We finally packed up our things and decided to explore more of the shore. We wanted to find the wetlands and set out for West Beach. We had to pay $6 to the National Park Service to enter that area. We hiked around for a bit. It was beautiful but hot. After having spent so much time in the sun already, we didn't last long. We never did find the wetlands. We piled back into the car and made one more stop. The kids turned their books into the visitor's center to become Junior Rangers!

Tomorrow, we're heading back on the road. The kids will get the chance to have more beach fun at Sleeping Bear Dunes!

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