One night in Michigan City, IN–Big Trip #4

We were in Michigan City in August 2022, as part of Big Trip #4

distant Chicago skyline over the beach at Indiana Dunes
If you squint, you can see the Chicago skyline in the background

From Streetsboro, or rather Cuyahoga Valley National Park, we drove north to our next national park destination. We stayed in Michigan City for the sole purpose of visiting Indiana Dunes National Park, one of the newest national parks in the US. Exciting! Or not! We had two nights planned and bailed a day early!

As usual, I’m going to do one post–this one–on the non-national park stuff we did, and a separate one dedicated to national park activities.

Campground

Indiana Dunes has a national part section, and a state park section, and both have campgrounds that can support RVs–and both were fully booked for our target dates, a weekend at the end of August. And we booked everything out pretty far in advance for this trip. So we looked at a Google map and chose the campground that seemed to be closest to Indiana Dunes.

our site at Michigan City Campground

We ended up at Michigan City Campground, which looked like a fun place to take kids or hang out with friends. Our main problem with our site was that we were in a section of pull-thrus that alternated direction, so if we had a neighbor (which luckily we didn’t) our hanging out space would be shared.

If we ever go back (which we might… I’ll discuss in the Indiana Dunes National Park post) we’ll definitely stay at Dunewood Campground in the park.

Exploring

downtown Chesterton's architecture
downtown Chesterton

After playing in the national park, we headed to nearby Chesterton, less than thirteen minutes from the campground. Chesterton has a cute downtown, but there’s not much of substance within the pretty storefronts. A wine bar, a couple restaurants, and some nice architecture, but overall it didn’t wow us. If there’s cool stuff in the greater Indiana Dunes area, please let us know! Should we have spent time in downtown or waterfront Michigan City?

Drinking

J did his normal stellar research for this stop, but was so turned off by the places we tried that he declined to write a beer blurb. So, you’re stuck with me.

Our resident beer guy had identified three clusters of breweries near Michigan City: three breweries west of the campground, three breweries to the north, and three to the northeast. He wasn’t particularly excited about any of them, so when we decided our evening outing would be to Chesterton, we picked the one that seemed the least not good.

Hunter’s Brewing was the best in the area, based on the internet. But when we approached the empty patio, we were told no dogs were allowed, even though nobody else was there. The fellow said it was a city rule. So we left, and quickly learned that it’s either not really a city rule, or it’s a rule that other businesses don’t enforce. We rate Hunter’s poorly, even though we didn’t try the beer–J also didn’t like the look of the taproom when he popped inside.

beer on the dog-friendly patio at 219 Taproom
Bugsy and a beer at 219 Taproom

Worried that the no-dogs rule was city-wide, we cautiously approached 219 Taproom, but Bugsy was welcomed on that patio with open arms. Yay! 219 isn’t a brewery, but they have rotating partnerships with a few local breweries, so it’s the next best thing.

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