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Sea and the City: From the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to Chicago

Sea and the City: From the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to Chicago
Starts from



3 Days


By Car


565 km






History and CultureSights in NatureUnique Locations
For Detroiters, Chicago is one of the most accessible nearby big cities that also makes for a gorgeous road trip, offering the perfect balance of nature and culture on its route. On this trip, you'll pass through the small Lake Michigan town of St. Joseph, known for its century-old double lighthouses and freshwater beaches. You'll make your way to Michigan City and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which offers sights of stunning towering sand dunes and sandy shores. Stay the night near the shore and explore the maritime museums in the morning. Then you are just an hour away from Chicago, where you will end your route exploring some of the best views, food, and culture that the Windy City has to offer.
Alana Valko
Alana Valko
Travel Expert
  • Explore the dunes and shoreline on Lake Michigan.
  • Visit museums containing renowned collections and history.
  • Learn about Chicago's architecture on a riverboat tour.

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Travel Itinerary

Road to Southern Lake Michigan’s Beaches and Dunes
Day 1460 km

Road to Southern Lake Michigan’s Beaches and Dunes

Venture across iconic beach towns on the southern Lake Michigan shoreline, explore or hike at Indiana Dunes National Park, and end the day watching the sunset that captures a not-too-distant skyline.
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Drive the Coast Into Chicago
Day 2104 km4 km9 km

Drive the Coast Into Chicago

Spend the morning finishing up exploring the history of Michigan City, then make your way toward Chicago where you'll spend the afternoon cruising the river and catching the best sights around Millennium Park.
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Exploring Chicago's Culture
Day 32 km80 m24 km

Exploring Chicago's Culture

Spend your last day appreciating one of Chicago's famed museums, attending a world-famous Cubs game, and catching the spectacular views of the Chicago skyline before making your way back home.
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