Michigan city is a picturesque, charming city in La Porte County, Indiana.
It is one of the top vacation spots and cities in the United States.
One thing you’ll find really intriguing about this tranquil little city is the aura it carries.
Entertainment centers, music, and even the food is something you’d always look forward to.
Whether it is sightseeing at the Michigan City Lighthouse and Pier or a shopping spree at the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlet, you’ll enjoy it.
Use our list of the best and most fun things to do in Michigan City and enjoy your vacation.
Things to do in Michigan City, Indiana
1. Michigan City Lighthouse & Pier
Sightseeing at one of Michigan City’s most appalling structures is a great thing to do on a vacation.
There’s been this very remarkable structure and yet not many residents and locals know it is there.
So, to expand your fun moment, go for a timeout and see the Michigan City Lighthouse and Pier.
Erected in 1904, this lighthouse is one of the most popular emblems of Michigan City, and surprisingly, it is the only public working lighthouse in Indiana.
You’ll find this lighthouse and pier on Michigan City’s harbor.
Take steps and climb your way through the elevated walkway, popularly known as the “catwalk”.
The catwalk was popular in the past since lighthouse keepers used it for 29 years to access the light tower.
To make it more flexible and beautiful, in 1933, this lighthouse on the eastern pier was electrified.
Presently, the pier is accessible to locals and tourists alike and is a great place to do certain things.
Since this pier is a great spot for fishing and watching sunsets, you can grab a fishing rod and try fishing in the calm waters.
Stay by the pier side after picking a great spot and watch the sunset.
Better still, grab a paintbrush and paint images by the pier.
Bring a camera along, you may want to take pictures and more.
Address: City Hall & 100 E. Michigan, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
2. Barker Mansion
Several individuals played a part in the development of Michigan City and a lot have legacies left behind.
Take a trip to the Barker Mansion while on your tour.
Built in 1905, the Barker Mansion is a thirty-eight-room house, which is presently a museum.
It is an edifice displaying actual furnishings and art objects belonging to John H. Barker.
John, as he is fondly called, is one of the founding fathers of Michigan City’s Railcar Industry.
The Museum presently serves to define the chronology of Barker’s legacy and his role in Michigan City.
Visitors to this museum can take interpretive tours, expositions, lectures, and musical performances, explore specialty tours, and even go on city walking tours.
Galas, craft exhibitions, and other special events regularly take place and visitors can see them up close.
The sights and art you’ll see will convince you of Barker’s relevance to Michigan City’s society and teach you a great deal about the city.
Spend some time wandering through the rooms and looking at several points of interest.
Address: 631 Washington St, Michigan City, IN 463602, United States
3. Heron Rookery
You won’t find Herons in all cities, so while touring Michigan City, go check out some.
Herons are quite popular in the city and their way of life is a unique perspective you can capture on a trip.
At the Heron Rookery, you’ll be able to experience and learn what the ideal life of Heron is and what it looks like.
The Heron Rookery Trail is the wonderful location of the Great Blue Heron.
It has been a nesting ground for them for more than 60 years.
Here, visitors can take the liberty of watching Great Blue Herons come back to their “rookery.”
Usually, Great Blue Herons go back to make their nests in mid-March.
You’ll still be able to see these herons until early May when the fresh leaves on the trees bar the view.
Throughout the rest of the summer and a little into the fall, you’ll find them feeding in shallow waters at the Dunes Region.
Even though this area is popular for the herons that inhabit it, heron watching is not the only thing that is fun about this place.
From late March till early June, wildflowers blossom and show forth their best colors.
Go for a walk viewing the spring’s wildflowers, listening to birds as they chirp, and catching butterflies.
For something more straining, go fishing or watch fish swim in the Little Calumet River.
There’s also an enormous deal of wildlife to see and it’s just as great as birdwatching.
Try hiking down the 3.3 miles of trails.
Since it’s pet friendly, come with your furry friends, dogs, parrots, or cats, so long as you place them on a leash.
4. Patriot Park
There is no wrong in wanting to explore some outdoor recreational activities or sports while touring Michigan City.
If outdoor recreation and activism are a priority, then you must explore Patriot Park.
The Patriot Park was inaugurated in 2000 and since then has grown to a familiar kind of fame.
This 120 acres sporting complex is one of the best sports complexes in Northern Indiana.
Every year, this fun park draws a great number of tourists and vacationers who come to watch high-quality tournaments.
Its magnificence and serene environment is more than adequate for sightseeing and sheer pleasure.
For vacationers, there are a ton of activities to try out in this park.
You’ll find 4 professionally lit baseball or softball diamonds in its vicinity, so you can indulge in a game of baseball or softball.
There’s a soccer field by the corner if you prefer football.
Then you can go hiking on the asphalt walking trail right at the park.
Picnic shelters and tables are also present, so you can host a birthday party, get-together, or family outdoor picnicking within the park.
You should test it out. It’s one of the best free things to do in Michigan City.
Address: 2224 North 950 W, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
5. Shady Creek Winery
Wine lovers will enjoy a trip to one of Michigan City’s wine-producing areas.
The Shady Creek Winery is a large 20-acre wine-producing facility with patios, porches, fireplaces, and a tasting room.
Since its inception in 2009, the Shady Creek Winery and Vineyard has been producing quality wine in and beyond Michigan City.
Here, you’ll find over 28 different wines ranging from dry white wines, sparkling, sweet wines to dry red wines.
They have been working quite hard to enhance their wines, and it is quite evident in its taste and quality.
Visitors can purchase custom-crafted wines, foods, and a welcoming hub.
Vacationers can also explore the winery and get answers to any wine production questions.
In the same light, tourists can go for wine tasting and try out most wines and even seek wine pairing advice.
Additionally, they offer several snacks and food options.
You’ll find pizza, salads, paninis, and grilled flatbreads.
Linger around the patio staring into the beauty of the night and surrounding areas.
Try a game around the cozy fireplace, or just sit on the covered porches.
On Sunday afternoons, you get to enjoy concerts by local musicians in the restaurant as they shop and sip.
There are also paintings and beautiful artworks decorating the restaurant.
Address: 2030 Tryon Rd, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
6. Washington Park Zoo
Founded in 1928, the Washington Park Zoo is one of the must-see places in Michigan City.
The zoo, which is quite popular amongst tourists and locals, is on 15 acres of a hilly sand dune.
You’ll easily be able to detect it since it is just a few walks from the southern shore of the glamorous Lake Michigan.
This museum is on a mission to stimulate an appreciation, esteem, and camaraderie for the natural world using conservation, education, and recreation.
Holding more than 90 originating species, it offers visitors an animal-filled environment.
Animals on exhibit here all have a natural setting and enclosure with botanical plants surrounding them.
There are grizzly bears, river otters, lemurs, bald eagles, American alligators, cotton-top tamarins, and Bengal tigers.
Each animal exhibit has a good number of active animals running around their enclosure.
A great number of them are feeding while the rest are basically giving welcoming states to tourists.
Grab a camera and take a shot of some of them.
However, you cannot risk getting too close since most are unsafe.
Don’t stick your hands into it, attempt to feed any, and if exploring with children, be sure to watch out for them.
After exploring the animal enclosures, you can check out some of the museum’s other highlights.
At the discovery center, you’ll be able to see exhibits of several cold-blooded creatures.
Lizards, frogs, and snakes make up most of them.
Thereafter, check out the Australian Adventure, a walk through an aviary showing more than 250 colorful free-flying parakeets.
There’s also the Red Barn Exhibit where you’ll see domestic horses, donkeys, pigs, and goats.
See the education Rotary Castle and tall observation tower before you leave.
Address: 115 Lake Shores Dr, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
7. Friendship Botanic Gardens
For a quiet moment and some time out amidst flowers, visit the Friendship Botanical Gardens.
Just like most botanic gardens, you’ll find in Michigan City, this garden provides visitors with flower sightseeing.
However, it does more than provide vacationers with flowers to see.
It’s quite unusual to see a botanical garden holding and offering tons of exciting outdoor activities.
Naturally, visitors are bound to be wowed by its nature-designed environment.
Thus, it is one of the premier locations to hold get-togethers, weddings, and live events, especially to avoid the regular city noise.
The Friendship Botanic Garden is also quite popular since it hosts a couple of festivals and performances.
Some of these shows are the Johnny V Harvest Show and Sparkle & Joy Holiday Light Show.
Apart from these, there is the Haunted Trail and Family Fall Fest where you get to dress up in costumes, play trick-or-treat, get temporary tattoos, play games and enjoy friendly scares.
There’s never been a time you could find countless nature activities.
Bring children to the Children’s Garden to help exercise their minds and body.
You’ll also find more than 3 miles of walking trails which you can hike on or go biking.
You can also choose to go fishing on its water body. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch snag trout or salmon.
Try cross-country skiing on its miles of snowy trails.
Go birdwatching too since there is an abundance of birds hopping and chirping around.
Address: 2055 Est, US-12, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
8. Central Avenue Beach
Hiking along Central Avenue Beach is one of the top things to do in Michigan City on a sunny day.
Central Avenue Beach is one of the most explored spots in the city and a regular tourist vacation spot.
In fact, its picturesque nature has earned a large number of visitors who come to witness the wonders and beauty it holds.
For one, this beach is encompassed by a covered-up forest forged when wind-blown sands flooded the trees.
One can only visualize how much of these sands covered the space up. However, don’t get too curious and just explore its options.
Visitors can try hiking on its trails since it is a great place to trudge around flower-filled fields, marshes, and woodlands.
Furthermore, you can take it to a greater extent by biking.
Go biking on the Calumet Bike Trail or better still, just keep an eye on bank swallows, shorebirds, and waterfowls.
Watching them do their thing on the beach can get really exciting at some point.
Especially during the spring, when the Swallows visit their nests and around the dune.
You can even see dragonflies flying overhead if you sit on the benches.
Try picnicking on the benches or on the ground.
Explore your fishing options and wildflower watching.
However, do not explore further and climb up the dune, as it can get dangerous at some point.
Don’t fret over it, life itself is dangerous, so we just keep to rules.
Definitely can’t miss out on this, bring a camera too.
9. Lubeznik Center for the Arts
Visits to the Lubeznik Center for the Arts can never go wrong.
If you’re a lover of artworks or general paintings and you yearn to take a step closer to unique arts, then make a stop at this little Michigan City treasure.
Formerly established as the John G. Blank Art Center in 1978, the Lubeznik Art City is Michigan City’s first art classes center.
It was later renamed The Jack & Shirley Lubeznik Center for the Arts in 2003, after Jack and Shirley Lubeznik took over.
The now-growing art center is a tranquil facility offering visitors a gallery shop, third-world-class gallery spaces, and two classrooms.
Presently, the gallery offers artists a space to create and sell off their unique works.
You’ll be able to sell off even the slightest of artworks and be sure they’ll get to a wide audience.
Vacationers can explore the galleries and check out elegant artworks at all corners of the building.
Most of the artworks and exhibits on display are handmade in the United States.
Stop by the art center and check out some unique works of art. Who knows, you may be able to draw inspiration from one.
Address: 101 West 2nd St # 100, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
10. Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets
Pick up the shopping frenzy and stock your baskets while exploring Michigan City.
The Lighthouse Place Premium Outlet is the ideal place for you to do a little shopping.
Huddled in an outdoor village-like setting, the Lighthouse Plate Premium Outlets is home to over 100 stores.
Yes, over a hundred retail shops with almost anything you’ll need on a vacation and to understand the city more.
Pick out sports outfits for a game of tennis or baseball at Columbia Sportswear.
There are outlets like Michael Kors, Under Armour, The North Face, and Vera Bradley, to mention a few.
Whether it’s designer fashion, home materials, gifts, or even memoirs, you’ll find them in their abundance.
Grab a bag and make your way downtown and explore your options.
You can even pick up views of Lake Michigan while en route since it’s close by.
11. Lake Michigan
Did you know Michigan City is home to the largest Great Lakes in North America?
Probably you didn’t, but now you do and in fact, it is one of the best vacation options there is in the city.
Lake Michigan is one-third largest of the five Great Lakes of North America.
In fact, it is the only one lying solely within the United States.
Visitors can not really do anything in the lake, but there are a ton of things you can try outside or beside the lake.
Since the lake is quite vast, it is a great site to pick seashells and go crab hunting.
You’ll find a couple of shiny rocks and large rocks. If you look properly, you’ll be able to find a crab or two by the lakeside.
Also, you can try building sand castles.
If you haven’t built one before, this is probably a great time to experience the fun of castle building.
After that, you can take turns throwing rocks into the lake.
12. Michigan City Public Library
For tourists looking for more educational activities to do in Michigan City, visits to the city’s library can never go wrong.
Libraries have a way of immersing you in a lot of knowledge, coupled with the fact that they are very quiet, you’ll be sure of a wholesome educational moment.
The Michigan City Public Library is just the place to go if you want to grab a bit of that knowledge.
Established in 1977, the Michigan City Public Library is an edifice of over 35,000 square feet.
It is an educational facility offering visitors a book collection of over 147 thousand volumes.
Since it is a very fast space, it also offers seating for 208 readers and a vast meeting room with seats for over 200 people.
Its exteriors are made from translucent fiberglass, making room for sunlight to enter the building during the day and a softer glow at night.
You’ll be able to access thousands of informative services and programs.
There’s also a provision for you to access CDs, audiobooks, and magazines.
Address: 100 East 4th St, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
13. Michigan City Trail Creek
The Trail Creek Watershed is one large creek you’ll find in northern Indiana’s LaPorte County.
Like most channels, it drains into Michigan Lake at the city’s historic lighthouse and marina.
It is a 37,000+ acre watershed with over 90 miles of remarkable cold-water fishery pelts and tributaries.
You’ll find this creek covering almost entirely Michigan, Center, Coolspring, and Springfield Township.
Address: 700 E Michigan Blvd, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
14. Michigan City Footlight Players
While in Michigan City, watching performances and shows is a must-explore.
The city itself offers an abundance of entertainment and as a unique way to let time pass, you can see a concert.
When you’re ready to explore your entertainment options, make a stop by the Footlight Players.
These actors are an innovative group with a crew from across the country and Michigan City.
They offer a vast range of services, especially entertainment-inclined.
Musicals, concerts, plays, and special events are their specialty.
Most evenings, they host concerts in parks around the city and tourists can come to watch.
It’s easily one of the best common things you can do in the city and you can be sure it is absolutely a fun experience.
Drop by and see one of their performances or musicals, you’d want to make a return.
Address: 1705 Franklin St, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
15. Museum of Contemporary Photography
Photographers and general lovers of visual arts will find a trip to a photography museum creative.
Although there are few museums dedicated to contemporary photography, Michigan City has one right in a highly scenic area.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography is one of the city’s best storytelling spots.
Here, visitors will find pictures, photography, and art that tell true life stories.
They’ll be able to explore Beyond the Frame, which offers a permanent collection of more than 16,500 photographs.
You’ll be able to explore thousands of picture mediums which range from portraiture and the Human Subject, Staged and Constructed Images, and even Landscape and Place.
Roam around the museum while checking out Kristen Taylor’s wonderful exhibit organization.
There are countless images you’ll be able to fast your eyes on or, better still, take photos of.
Moreover, if you’re looking for really quiet but amazing things to do in the city, this is just one of them.
Slowly move along and check each exhibit piece by source. They all tell stories you may relate to.
Address: 600 Southern Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605, United States
16. Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa
Right in the center of Michigan City is where you’ll find the Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa.
This gorgeous hotel provides the nicest background for a vacation or a relaxing moment.
Additionally, this hotel spa is the commanding regional entertainment destination in the city.
It offers visitors the greatest venue for delectable dining options, hospitality, and casino.
Since the edifice is a combination of a hotel, casino, and spa, there are a lot of services you can enjoy.
For a game in the casino, head over to the 65-thousand-square-foot casino center.
You’ll find a range of games ranging from slots to table games which you can choose from and play with friends.
After that, head on to the dining center and grab a sumptuous meal to feast on.
There are a number of restaurants to select from and you can get about anything.
Then, move on to the spa and grab the best body treatment you require.
As long as you’re seeking a relaxing experience, you’re sure to find it here.
Address: 777 Blue Chip Drive, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
17. Krueger Memorial Hall
Stop at the Krueger Memorial Hall on your visit to Michigan City.
The Krueger Memorial Hall is a gorgeous two-story log layout constructed from trees that were cut from the site during the Great Depression.
In this facility, you’ll find a bar, a cozy kitchen, restrooms, and two fireplaces.
Moreover, the facility also offers a room fully air-conditioned and provides a perfect audio-visual experience.
You can rent this hall for reunions, get-togethers, weddings, and receptions.
It is just the perfect place and sure houses a lot of people.
Address: 801 Liberty Trl, 46360, Michigan City, Indiana, United States
18. Hammer’s Restaurant
The Hammers Restaurant is a peaceful, family-run tavern and grill-serving eatery offering specialty pizzas, pasta dishes, and American cuisine.
Founded in 1947, the restaurant is a full definition of taste and quality.
Visitors will be able to grab a bite of hand-made pizza, hand-cut steaks, lake perch, and BBQ ribs.
All are crunchy and soft, besides they offer these snacks at very cheap rates and prices.
If you want to be alone or explore the goodness alone, you can rent a private banquet room.
Get a private banquet room for your family or partners and enjoy a wholesome, quiet dining experience.
You can also get take-outs while leaving to relax at home.
Address: 2134 US-20, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
19. Dunes Summer Theatre
See movies at the Dunes Summer Theatre as a better option of entertainment.
Established in 1951, the Dunes Summer Theatre is a seasonal theatre in Michigan City staging plays, musicals, and other shows.
You’ll find this theatre on the highly picturesque Michiana Shores, right on the scenic 20-acre wooded site.
This theatre holds 8 cabins that summer actors and interns use, then a clay cabin for summer art classes.
The theater, which was built solely to bring a taste of Hollywood to Michigan City, does more than prove its excellence.
Visitors to this place can watch performances and shows and even attend concerts.
Purchase a ticket and reserve a seat, watch a show and cheer on your favorite actors.
There are a bunch of pastimes you can do here so long as it is entertainment related.
Address: 288 Shady Oak Dr, Michigan City, Indiana 46360, United States
20. Shoreline Brewery
The Shoreline Brewery is a fantastic microbrewery and restaurant serving handcrafted beer, gourmet pub fare, and live music.
This brewery in Michigan City is one of the popular breweries that is sure to catch your taste buds.
Since its debut in 2005, this brewery has been offering wonderful handcrafted beers on the shore of Lake Michigan.
You’ll find almost any type of beer from Beltaine Scottish Ale, and the seasonal Stellar Blue blueberry ale.
There are twelve beers that are always on tap and visitors can participate in beer tasting.
They also offer diverse cuisine varieties from tasty, spicy, and even delectable.
You can snack on a light Veracruz Fish Tacos or a Grecian Lamb Burger.
If there’s one truth, the Shoreline Brewery is the definitive point to calm down after a day at the beach.
Visit this brewery and unwind after a day of shopping or catching up with friends.
Besides, it is a nonsmoking, family-friendly setting, so you can be sure of a healthy atmosphere.
Address: 208 Wabash St, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
21. AMC Showplace Michigan City 14
Visits to the AMC Showplace Michigan City 14 is one of the next biggest things you can do in Michigan City.
The AMC Showplace Michigan City is a grand theatre in the city, offering entertainment, food, and tons of services you never knew existed.
Before you begin your movie-watching journey, start off with a movie treat from Uber Eats in this location.
You’ll find crispy pretzel bites, popcorn, and impossible nuggets to munch on.
After you’ve gotten your snackies, drop by the theatre room for a perfect picture and sound movie experience.
Take in a movie on its perfectly serene grounds and have your cup of popcorn lying next to you.
You can even decide to hire your own theatre and watch movies alone on the bug screen with just your family or partner.
If you are thinking of a quality way to spend more time with your family or partner, this can be a great option.
Even if you’re going for a movie experience with a child with special needs such as autism, there’s a provision for a serene atmosphere to help them relax.
Words are not suitable to describe what it is worth. You just have to visit to find out for yourself.
Address: 100 Meijer Dr, Michigan City, Indiana 46360, United States
22. Mount Baldy
While on your vacation experience, take a trip to the largest living dune in Michigan City.
Mount Baldy is the largest living dune in the Indiana Dunes National Park.
It is on the southern coast of Lake Michigan and is about 126 feet tall.
According to stories, this sand dune moves every year, about four feet while burying everything along its path.
Because of this single fact, Mount Baldy is a popular tourist region, with thousands of visitors, especially from Chicago, coming to catch a glimpse of it.
Apart from looking at the mount, there are other options you can explore around the park housing it.
In the northern part of the mount, you’ll find a beach and lake.
At the lake, visitors can try fishing and hiking.
The beach itself is open for swimming, sandcastle building, and playing beach ball.
Bird watching can also be an option, since the trees within the park draw a large number of birds.
Try paddling by the lake or go picnicking on the soft grasses or tables.
After that, you can roam amongst the wildflowers, taking pictures and studying them.
In fact, the wildflower session provides the right backdrop for Instagram-worthy pictures.
Address: 101 Rice St. (US Hwy 12), Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
23. Walton Lake Dam
Visits to the Walton Lake Dam can be one of the most beautiful things to do in Michigan City.
This dam is a notable recreational reservoir just 5.1 miles from Michigan City, Indiana.
It is another intriguing territory to stop by if you are in the city.
The Walton lake dam has connections to Westville, Michigan City, Trail Creek, and the Town of Pines.
Since its inception in 1957, with the motive of stocking, fire protection, and creating a small fish pond, the dam has continued to serve its purpose.
Moreover, the height is bound to stun you. It has an elevation of 748 feet.
If you are a fisherman, you’ll be able to find various fish, including rainbow trout.
In fact, it doesn’t matter what you want to catch, whether you’re fly-fishing, spinning, or bait casting, you have a great chance of getting to it.
Don’t let the chance pass you by. Be sure to stop by the dam and give fishing a shot.
24. Xscape Quest
Spend time in an escape room while touring Michigan City.
The Xscape Quest is an escape room center in Michigan City.
In this interactive escape room, players attempt to leave a themed room by using codes, ciphers, teamwork, and strategy to solve a series of puzzles.
For you to unlock the room, decode, and leave the room within 60 minutes, players must use and control their environment.
To locate fresh clues and solve riddles, you must work as a team with others.
Finding clues brings you one step further to completing the mission and opening the door.
Since there are no lineups to wait in, you can select a time period on the calendar, then reserve it.
It isn’t hard to do and so you can easily escape.
Set your mind to proper functioning and leave the room.
If you have any difficulties, there are guides available.
Check out the rooms, they are quite fun to be in.
Address: 301 US-20, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
25. Galveston Steakhouse
The Galveston Steakhouse is a restaurant offering steaks roasted over a mesquite fire.
This saloon-styled steakhouse also features live blues musicians who make the atmosphere comfy.
Here, visitors can relish a warm cocktail in the steakhouse bar with a fireplace.
You’ll also be able to try a flavorful rack of lamb, broth, filet steaks, cheesecakes, bread pudding, and ice cream.
Moreover, this steakhouse is renowned for its delectable beer, martinis, and wine.
Step into the great ambiance and try a meal with a beer pair.
Try delicious cheesecakes and experience their beauty.
Address: 10 Commerce Square, Michigan City, IN 46360, United States
Michigan city offers a lot of ambiances, and it is equally easy to spot.
Enjoy your moments in the city and take the time to document your findings.
In all, you can be sure of having a great time.