Nestled on the southern shore of Lake Michigan in Indiana, Michigan City is a charming lakeside city that offers a wealth of exciting and interesting things to do from arts and culture to shopping, dining out, and enjoying outdoor recreational activities. Soak up some art at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts offers or catch a show at the Uptown Center for the Performing Arts. Sample local craft beers and fabulous regional wines at the Shady Creek Winery, Burn'Em Brewing, or the Shoreline Brewery, or head into the great outdoors at one of the many beautiful beaches, nature parks, and hiking trails. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Michigan City East Lighthouse
© Kenneth Keifer/stock.adobe.com
Built in 1904, the Michigan City East Lighthouse is the only public operating lighthouse in Indiana and an iconic symbol of Michigan City. Located at the end of a newly extended pier in the harbor of Michigan City, the Michigan City East Lighthouse was built in 1858, replacing the Old Michigan City Light, which was built at the water’s edge in 1837. The original pier, which was known as the ‘catwalk,’ was used by keepers of the lighthouse to access the light tower for over 30 years, and after almost being demolished, was renovated and extended and still retains the original iron walkway atop the newly extended pier. The pier is a popular spot for fishing and watching sunsets.
City Hall & 100 E. Michigan, Michigan City, IN 46360
2.Washington Park Zoo, Michigan City, Indiana
The Washington Park Zoo is an animal sanctuary along the shores of Lake Michigan in Washington Park that is home to than 90 species from all over the world that live in natural habitats with lush tropical flora. The 15-acre zoo has a large otter enclosure with a walk-through tunnel where visitors can watch the otters swimming and playing; a walk-through aviary which is home to 250 brightly colored parakeets that fly around freely; and a petting barn with pigs, donkeys, goats, and domestic horses. A Discovery Center features enclosures with an array of cold-blooded creatures such as lizards, snakes, and frogs, a Safari Train ride is available for kids.
115 Lake Shore Dr, Michigan City, IN 46360, Phone: 219-873-1510
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3.Barker Mansion, Michigan City, Indiana
© Barker Mansion
The Barker Mansion is a historic English Manor–style house-turned-museum that was built in 1857 by John H. Barker, one of the founding fathers of the railcar industry. The distinct and historic house was expanded in 1905 and features 38 rooms with period furnishings, art objects, and paintings, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can explore the house on guided, docent-led tours and the mansion can be rented for special occasions like weddings.
631 Washington St, Michigan City, IN 46360, Phone: 219-873-1520
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4.Trail Creek, Michigan City, Indiana
Trail Creek is a 7.3-mile-long tributary of Lake Michigan that flows into the lake and offers excellent salmon fishing. The creek features several natural habitats, such as bogs and wetlands that attract an array of bird species like the endangered bald eagle, the Indiana bat, the Eastern, and Mitchell’s satyr butterfly. Trail Creek also provides a cold water habitat that supports trout and salmon spawning.
700 E Michigan Blvd, Michigan City, IN 46360, Phone: 219-879-4300
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5.Friendship Botanic Gardens, Michigan City, IN
© Friendship Botanic Gardens
The Friendship Botanic Gardens are beautifully preserved botanical gardens at the eastern edge of Michigan City that spans 106 acres and features a wide range of flora from around the world. Located just a mile from the beaches of Lake Michigan, the gardens were founded over 80 years ago as the International Friendship Gardens and Music Festivals and still feature some of the original ethnic gardens. Other attractions in the preserve include spectacular rose gardens, displays of lilies, hand-carved sculptures, a dedicated children’s garden which encourages learning through touch, sight, and smell, and a Symphony Garden in which musical events are held. The gardens are open to the public from May through October.
2055 East, US-12, Michigan City, IN 46360, Phone: 219-878-9885
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6.Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, Indiana
© Lubeznik Center for the Arts
The Lubeznik Center for the Arts is a center devoted to showcasing the talents of regional, national, and international artists. Housed in an organically designed building with a striking curving wall on the edge of Lake Michigan, the center features four spacious galleries in which a rotating schedule of exhibitions are hosted, along with a permanent collection of outdoor artworks. The Hyndman Gallery also hosts other forms of art exhibitions such as music and dance performances, while the Susan Block Gallery has large windows that frame nature’s beauty as artworks. The Lubeznik Center has a Gallery Shop where visitors can purchase handcrafted works of local, regional and national artisans such as ceramics, pottery, handblown glass, and jewelry.
101 W 2nd St # 100, Michigan City, IN 46360, Phone: 219-874-4900
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7.Michigan City Public Library, Michigan City, Indiana
© Michigan City Public Library
The Michigan City Public Library is a 35,000-square-foot facility housed in an architecturally significant building designed by the world-renowned architect Helmut Jahn. The library has a large collection of materials, including fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, newspapers, reference, and research materials. Members also have access to a range of downloadable audiobooks, eBooks, music, videos, CDs, and DVDs, and the library offers a variety of services, including children's storytimes, public computers with Internet access, and interlibrary loans.
100 E 4th St, Michigan City, IN 46360, Phone: 219-873-3044
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8.Dunes Summer Theatre, Michigan City, Indiana
© Dunes Summer Theatre
The Dunes Summer Theatre is a community theater that presents seasonal stages plays, musicals, and other performances, as well as offers acting classes and workshops for adults and children. The theater was founded by art and literature teacher, Nora Tully MacAlvay, who trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and Goodman Theatre School. Set on a beautiful 20-acre wooded site in Michiana Shores, the theater hosts summer camps and classes and has eight basic cabins for summer actors and interns. Summer camps help young actors develop their creative abilities and teach them a wealth of dramatic and theatrical skills to enhance their careers.
288 Shady Oak Dr, Michigan City, IN 46360, Phone: 219-879-7509
9.Hammer's Restaurant, Michigan City, Indiana
© Hammer's Restaurant
Hammer's Restaurant is a relaxed, family-friendly restaurant and bar that serves casual American fare such as steaks, burgers, pasta dishes, and specialty wood-fired pizzas in a laid-back setting. Located a short drive from Lake Michigan, the family-owned and operated restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily and offers house specialties such as fresh lake perch, barbecue ribs hot off the grill, and hand-tossed pizza. The restaurant has private banquet facilities for special events and functions and offers off-premise and carry-out catering services.
2134 US-20, Michigan City, IN 46360, Phone: 219-879-0760
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, Michigan beaches
9 Best Things to Do in Michigan City, Indiana
- Michigan City East Lighthouse, Photo: Kenneth Keifer/stock.adobe.com
- Washington Park Zoo, Michigan City, Indiana, Photo: CLIFTON/stock.adobe.com
- Barker Mansion, Michigan City, Indiana, Photo: Barker Mansion
- Trail Creek, Michigan City, Indiana, Photo: naka/stock.adobe.com
- Friendship Botanic Gardens, Michigan City, IN, Photo: Friendship Botanic Gardens
- Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, Indiana, Photo: Lubeznik Center for the Arts
- Michigan City Public Library, Michigan City, Indiana, Photo: Michigan City Public Library
- Dunes Summer Theatre, Michigan City, Indiana, Photo: Dunes Summer Theatre
- Hammer's Restaurant, Michigan City, Indiana, Photo: Hammer's Restaurant
- Cover Photo: Kenneth Keifer/stock.adobe.com
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