NEAREST CITY = Chesterton
These dunes are located on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michgan's beaches, northern Indiana. No sandboarding or sliding on the IDNL is allowed. The Indiana State Park itself is a very small area with IDNL land on both sides. The park has no dunes just beach, parking and a brick structure overlooking Lake Michigan. To the east of the park are very small slopes down to the beach but to the west are some decent runs with very good sand.
The view of the lake is excellent and so is the beach. Parking is ample as well. The state park is nice with picnic areas and shady spots here and there. National rangers are ample too so sandboarding is quickly halted should one attempt to get in a few runs. Fear of an unknown sport and it's potential impact is the driving motive behind the ban but hiking, running and jumping on the sand slopes is allowed.
The fee for the day pass is $8 at the gate run by the state park service. They neglect to tell you that the state only operates a couple hundred feet of the beach and the rest is national. The dunes are located in Porter county just off the 94 expressway. The South Bend airport is only about 45 min away and the drive is easy. There are many restored homes on the lakeshore that make a great tour should you take the drive along a narrow road along the beach. Great views and landscaping also. Along the way you may want to visit Kemil Beach which has a few sand trails. Unfortunately, the sand isn't very friendly so runs are sluggish. Just to the north east near Michigan City is Mt. Baldy which is probably the largest dune face on the Indiana National Lakeshore. Again, the sand isn't great and it's a bit of a hike but the view is the best.
If you fly into or stay in South Bend, Indiana be sure to tour historic Notre Dame University. The architecture is amazing and the history rich. Chicago is also not far from the dunes so your options include Chicago International airport and all that Chicago has to offer. There is an Italian restaurant about 1/2 mile from South Bend airport called "The Volcano" that has excellent food and plenty of it for the price. You won't be sorry.
To contact the Visitors Center
Click the links below for more information:
Indiana Dunes Visitors Info
South Bend Visitors Info