Michigan City, IN

On The Shores Of Lake Michigan

Main roads lead to the North End of Michigan City
which will take you directly into "WASHINGTON PARK".
Soldiers War Monument at entrance to Washington Park beach

Visitors crossing the drawbridge spanning Trail Creek are greeted by the Soldiers War Monument, Naval Armory, and the new Millenium Park. Turn past the large grassy area, studded with shade trees and unique floral arrangements. Signs will lead to several parking areas, depending on where you want to go. One area is by the Old Lighthouse Museum and Coast Guard Station, where parking is allowed for shore fishing in Trail Creek. The main parking lot is right along the beach, and gives access to the boat launch. The other is across from the Zoo, and leads to "Fedders Alley", and several picnic and playground areas. There is a daily parking fee, and season passes are available.

PARK HOURS: 6am to 10pm


Unpack your gear and enjoy some fun in the sun. Remnants of the Glacial Era, the golden sand of Lake Michigan beaches is unique to the area and not found in other parts of the world. When walking on the sand under proper conditions, one will experience the unusual effect known as the "SINGING SANDS". Soft underfoot, the beach is a meca for sunbathers and swimmers. Many others come to sit and rest, people watch, read, or enjoy a lunch snack along the concrete walkway leading to the pier.

Beach and Lighthouse, Michigan City Indiana

Part of the Michigan City Public Beach and Lighthouse

Summer Fest Beach, Sand Castle Contest

1st Place winner in the 2003 Summer Festival Sand Castle contest. The happy young lad was visiting here from Germany.

Kids in Sand

The fun of digging a hole is to put someone in the hole.

Surf n Turf, swim, sit, dig, play, sun

Choose your method of relaxation.

Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day through Labor Day in designated swimming areas. Swimming is allowed all along the beach, but some areas are unguarded. The Life Guard Station and park personnel post open or closed swimming conditions. And there are signs to help people understand Lake Michigan's most common danger .... the "Rip Current", or undertow .... a condition prevalent during North winds and high waves. For those who understand and respect the lake, it can provide a lifetime of enjoyment.

Being from Michigan City, I would like to pose questions, see opinions, or hear discussions regarding Lake Michigan Beach Sand. This would be for the more Southern regions of Lake Michigan, where there is fine sandy beach in Michigan and Indiana, formed by the glaciers. The farther North one goes, the shoreline has much coarser sand, and even pebbles. The reason being is to question the description of the sand. A nice beach shoreline stretches from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, through Michigan City, IN, and up past St. Joseph, MI. All of these areas are popular, and draw an abundance of visitors to the beachfronts each year.

Simple Google searches will help anyone determine which location may be best suited for their needs. But one statement in the search results seems to stand out ...... come visit, come enjoy, come play ..... on the "White Sand beach". Lake Michigan beaches are not White, they are a Golden color. While having fine granules and a high Quartz content, other minerals are what contribute to the Golden color. Not White, this sand absorbs and retains heat from the sun, and can be very HOT on bare feet, with temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. Your dancing experiences crossing the beach barefoot in the hot mid-day sun tell the story.

Contrast this to the well known White sand of the Caribbean, some as fine as powdered sugar. In the USA, I am familiar with the soft White sands on Siesta Beach in Sarasota, FL. This is 100% Quartz (unlike some beaches that have a high composition of shells). No matter the sun, temp, or time of day, this pure White sand reflects the heat, and it is cool underfoot.

From observation, I would have to disagree that you will find White Sand along Lake Michigan beaches. But our beaches do have the proper composition and size of minerals that, under proper conditions, produce the effect known as "Singing Sands" as you walk on them, creating the "squeaking" sound. So while not the pure quartz white sand, we do have the singing feature that is not found in many other parts of the world.

An additional comment is to be careful of what you see. Even on this website, some pictures show the Golden sand, while others depict the sand as being White. I will try to improve my photography skills for the sake of displaying photos that show more of the true Golden colors of the beach sand. Enjoy your visit to Lake Michigan beaches soon.

Anchor the boat for a swim in Lake Michigan at Michigan City, Indiana

After some fishing, dropping anchor in the shallow water off the beach provides a refreshing splash. Jet Skiis, sailboats, windsurf, waterski and tubing are also popular. The boat launch is at the north end of the marina. (That "speck" near the top center of the photo is the Observation Tower atop the sand dune...now open)

NO GLASS containers/bottles on the beach please.
You could be the inconsiderate idiot responsible for some child slashing open their foot on a broken bottle. Maybe YOUR kid?
Snack bar and concessions available. Restroom facilities.
Another simple rule: No dogs. Leave "Poopsie" at home.
(Dogs can't read, and some owners don't do much better understanding the signs in English.)

Lighthouse, Lake Michigan, Michigan City, Indiana
Take a refreshing walk out on the pier for a closer look at the only operating Lighthouse in Indiana, the most photographed structure in LaPorte County. Clear days may offer a view of the Chicago Skyline, approximately 35 miles to the West. Evenings are host to spectacular and ever changing sunsets.


Lion           Tiger

LIONS and TIGERS and BEARS ... Oh my !!!
A short walk to the south side of the park is the Zoo, nestled among the trees of a sand dune. There is a variety of animals to delight all ages. Monkey Island and Children's Reptile Castle. One of the oldest zoos in Indiana. Admission fee. (219) 873-1510

TOWER NEWS The restoration project is complete, and the Observation Tower, high atop the sand dune in Washington Park, has re-opened to the public. From the Zoo, there is a winding uphill concrete path thru the dune to the Tower. (Eventually, all 3 original trails will be open). After resting at the base, climb the 70 inside steps, and the final spiral staircase to the Top Deck. Clear days allow views of 3 states. Constructed with Indiana Limestone. A WPA project of the 1930's.
A few new 2006 Tower pix are at PARK PHOTOS

MC Observation Tower         Observation Tower View

NOTE: Both these pictures were taken by me, at about age 12, with a Brownie B&W Camera. Observant viewers may notice the lack of boats in the Marina. The year is ___(a secret).

Angle of perfection, or lucky coincidence. After many many years, here is the
Observation Tower, photographed April 2004. Compare angle to above photo.

Tower 2004


Old Lighthouse Museum, Michigan City, Indiana, 1858By the park entrance on Trail Creek is the original lighthouse, built in 1858. A functional aid to navigation, it was also the home for the lightkeeper. Now a museum with nautical and local history. Hear about the first submarine to be launched in Lake Michigan. Guided tour of 2 levels. Admission fee. Michigan City Historical Society.
(219) 872-6133.

BandshellGrassy, tree shaded picnic areas.
New "Splash Pad", opening 2009.
Shelter rentals.
Outdoor Amphitheater for "Concerts in the Park".
Coast Guard Station and the MC Port Authority.

Washington Park is active with events throughout the season.

List of annual events: Salmon Derby, Tri-State Sailing Race, Tower Run, Summer Festival, Dances, Fireworks, Super Boat Grand Prix, Art festival, In-Water Boat Show, LaborDaze Festival, Oktoberfest

Call for exact time and dates:
MC Parks & Recreation (219) 873-1506 or LPVCB 1-800-634-2650

The waters of Lake Michigan are the final resting place for many a vessel. A local Scuba Charter is available. There is a map of principle shipwrecks located and identified in the Southern Basin, published by the Midwest Explorers League in Chicago. It identifies 77 various sinkings, 12 of them in the Michigan City area, some lying in as little as 35' of water off Mt. Baldy and the NIPSCO cooling tower. Good spots for Perch fishing. The map may be purchased at the Old Lighthouse Museum.






URL: http://ww2.netnitco.net/users/rbmc
E-Mail: rbmc@netnitco.net