It’s summertime and the living is easy, particularly in the Southern Lakeshore area. It’s the ideal season to pack a day or overnight bag, load the kids into the car and drive to one of the many nearby destinations. Here are five perfect places for a mini-getaway – and they’re all right in your backyard.
All your nostalgic yearnings for a good old-fashioned campground will be satisfied at Potato Creek in North Liberty, Indiana. Home to Native American tribes for thousands of years, this historical park is ready to play host to thousands of tourists and locals each year. It features several campgrounds as well as roomy cabins. You can also rent bikes, kayaks, canoes, paddleboats, and other crafts. Boat launch ramps make it easy to spend an afternoon on the water, and any fish you catch can be cleaned at the convenient fish cleaning station. With playgrounds for children, the whole family is sure to have a great time.
There are two major stops you’ll want to put on your South Bend itinerary: the Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum. A car enthusiast’s heaven, the Studebaker museum displays over 70 vehicles, including President Abraham Lincoln’s carriage, a Conestoga wagon, and the Studebaker used in The Muppet Movie. At the History Museum, you’ll see incredible exhibits depicting the history of South Bend from the early settlers onward. The Navarre Cabin was built by one of the first European settlers and offers a glimpse into pioneer life. The Copshaholm mansion, built by the Oliver family in the late 1800s, displays the original furnishings in its 38 spacious rooms and is also one of the museum’s must-sees.
St. Joseph, Michigan
Located on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan, St. Joseph offers leisure and laughs for the whole family. The inviting sands of Silver Beach beckon visitors to play volleyball, fish, and swim. Take a walk and explore the Silver Beach lighthouse, or watch the kids spin around and around on the Silver Beach Carousel. St. Joseph houses an array of entertainment options including the Krasl Art Center, the Curious Kids’ Museum, and Starbuck’s Blueberry Farm. Unwind after a long sun-filled day by going on a winery tour or enjoying one of the many fine dining establishments.
Warren Dunes State Park
Warren Dunes State Park provides a unique opportunity to climb among sand dunes, and there’s no better place to wash off that sand than Lake Michigan. The park is home to several large sand dunes, including the 240-foot Tower Hill. This topology makes it a great place to try out some new summer activities like sandboarding, metal detecting, and even hunting. The park is almost 2,000 acres, so there’s plenty of room for crowds and ample opportunities for wildlife watching. Campsites abound throughout the park, as do concession stands and playgrounds.
With so many great locations just a short jaunt away, there’s no reason to be bored in Michiana this summer.