Midwest

8 Indiana Beach Hotels: Sandy Surprises Across The Hoosier State

Local writer Robert Annis takes you through the top eight Indiana beach hotels for a little sandy relaxation in the Midwest.

I keep glancing at my iPhone’s clock, knowing I need to get moving, but I can’t force myself to budge. I’ve entered into a zen-like state of relaxation; the hotel maid is going to have to pry me off this bed and back into reality.

It’s my last day of vacation; I deserve to be a little lazy. Outside my open window, I hear low snippets of laughter and conversation coming from the courtyard below. No one has a care in the world. Why would they? In this town, everyone is on vacation, or so it seems.

Finally, hunger gets the better of me. I walk across the wooden floor into the bathroom, where a few minutes later I stick my face into a towel that’s so soft and fluffy, like drying off with a baby bunny. I already dread checking out the next day, but I manage to console myself with the knowledge that at least it won’t be a far drive home.

Indiana probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you’re considering possibilities for your next getaway. But the Hoosier state offers a surprising number of options, whether you’re looking to get closer to nature or pamper yourself in a luxurious spa. Plan your next getaway to one of these eight beach hotels in Indiana.

Belterra

1/4

The Belterra Casino Resort offers Vegas excitement with a touch of Hoosier hospitality. Different stay-and-play packages allow you to create the exact vacation you want. Lounge on the sun terrace next to the outdoor pool, play 18 holes at the Tom Fazio-designed golf course or take in a concert at the CenterStage Showroom. Air Supply, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Rodney Carrington, Grand Funk Railroad are just a few of the acts slated to play in 2019.

The Beleza Spa & Salon offers all the standard treatments as well as a “Learn how to be a gentleman” package that includes a deep-tissue massage, facial, and pedicure, all geared toward men. Then again, both the rooms and the plush robes are so comfortable, you might be inclined to stay in. If you do decide to venture out for provisions, you can choose from fine dining options like 19 Steak & Seafood or any number of more casual options.

Belterra Casino Resort

8.3 Very good (1648 reviews)
Excellent Comfort 8.7 / 10
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Culver

1/4

Culver Cove resort condominiums are highly sought after by families with kids attending the nearby military academy. The condos have walk-out access to two well-maintained beaches on Lake Maxinkuckee. Bring your own boat or jetski for hours of fun on the water.

The Mystic Hills Golf Course is just minutes away by car, as is the Ride On Bike Shop offering bicycle rentals for you to explore the town. If the weather is uncooperative, you can still find something to do in the resort lending library, which has more than 300 books, dozens of board games, and an extensive collection of DVDs to borrow.

Culver Cove Lakeside Condominiums

8.4 Very good (24 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
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Marshall

Located inside Turkey Run State Park, the Turkey Run Inn is an ideal launching point for outdoor adventure. While neither the rustic, 61-room inn nor the surrounding cabins have much in the way of frills, they do have some of the best hiking trails in the state virtually outside their front doors.

After a morning exploring the park’s sandstone canyons, families can go for a swim in the indoor pool or head toward Sugar Creek with their canoe or fishing rods. At night, sit around the fire in a rocking chair while the kids play in the game room. The Narrows Restaurant serves plenty of Hoosier favorites like tenderloins and fried mushrooms. (You can burn all those extra calories on the 14 miles of trail.) Plus, the inn is pet-friendly, so bring Fido.

Parke County is known as the covered bridge capital of the world–they were named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978–so be sure to carve out plenty of time for sightseeing and photography. In addition to the two inside Turkey Run, there are 29 others around the county. You can find maps to the bridges at many local businesses.

Turkey Run Inn

8.0 Very good (39 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.8 / 10
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Michigan City

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Nearly every aspect of this getaway near Michigan City is meant to ignite a romantic spark. Escorted to their private cabins via horse-drawn carriage, Serenity Springs guests will find well-appointed quarters with a charming fireplace and Jacuzzi tub. Each cabin comes with its own gas grill if you’d like to enjoy a quiet meal on your screened-in back porch, or, if you prefer, the staff can set up a candlelight dinner in your room. A butler box means guests can still have their needs met while maintaining their privacy. Just jot down what you need on a slip of paper and slide it into the box. When the staff delivers your request, they’ll leave it in the same place.

As much as you might enjoy hiding out in the cabin for your entire stay, there’s so much more to do on the more than 80-acre property. Go for a hike or snowshoe the mile or so of crushed limestone trails, fish on the lake, or pedal around on the complimentary bicycles. Be sure to stop by the Shady Creek Winery, just three miles away, for a tasting and to pick up a bottle of Syrah for your night in.

Serenity Springs

9.4 Excellent (103 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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Monticello

1/3

Less than a mile from Lake Shafer and the Indiana Beach Amusement Park, Pine View Resort offers families a fun and affordable summer getaway. While most visitors come for Indiana Beach, there are plenty of other things to do at Pine View and in the town of Monticello, like racing at the NASCAR Go-Kart Track or sailing on Lake Shafer.

After a complimentary continental breakfast, kids can spend hours bouncing between the resort’s children’s pool and playground. Parents will enjoy the hot tub and a trip to the Whyte Horse Winery for a tasting and live music (on select nights). As the day winds down, load the family into your vehicle and head to the nearby Lake Shore Drive-In Theater to catch a double feature of Hollywood’s latest releases.

Pine View Resort

7.6 Good (224 reviews)
Very good Location 8.3 / 10
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Plymouth

1/4

Swan Lake Resort may be the only Indiana resort that’s devoted entirely to golf. With 36 holes of golf to choose from, you can play a new course every day of a three-day weekend. Want to up your game or help your spouse or kids learn to play? Swan Lake offers Stay and Play Academy Packages, as well as private instruction and group introductory clinics.

After you hit the links, soothe your tired muscles in the whirlpool or sauna. When you’re feeling peckish, Swan Lake has two restaurants to choose from Putter’s, a sports bar, and Dickie’s–which specializes in casual fine dining.

There’s a variety of lodging options for practically every budget—hotel rooms and suites, cottages, rustic log cabins, and even RV pads if you prefer to bring your home with you. If other family members aren’t into golf, they can pass the time by splashing away in either the indoor or outdoor swimming pools or checking out live music at Dickie’s. (Be sure to check the calendar for dates.)

Swan Lake Resort

Top rated
8.5 Excellent (267 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.7 / 10
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Syracuse

1/4

Sitting on 27 acres surrounding Lake Wawasee, the Oakwood Resort is the perfect getaway for families who need a beach vacation but don’t have time to travel down to Florida. Depending on their needs, guests can choose between nearly 80 rooms, eight spacious cabins, and 10 vacation homes, all with free WiFi, cable TV, and refrigerators. Feel like making your own meals? The cottages come equipped with full kitchens.

Although the rooms are clean and comfortable, it’s the 3,000-acre natural lake that’s the star of this resort. Kids of all ages will enjoy diving off the swimming pier and complimentary lake cruises set sail every summer evening Tuesday through Thursday. Rent a kayak or even just sit on the shore and fish. Don’t worry if you don’t catch anything because al fresco dining at the Pier & Back Porch restaurant allows you to enjoy your meal while watching the sun set over the water.

If soaking up the sun on the beach isn’t relaxing enough for you, the J-Three Salon offers massages, facials and other spa treatments. If the weather isn’t cooperating, you can still have fun in the game room or get in a workout in the fitness center.

Looking to get away from the resort for a bit? Several golf courses are within a five-minute drive. Folks wanting a little retail therapy can browse the art on display at the Creative Fish Art Gallery or some of the local antique shops nearby.

Oakwood Resort

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (405 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
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West Baden Springs

1/4

Whether you’re a high roller or just want to feel like one, take a gamble on this opulent Orange County resort. Referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” when built in 1901, a $600 million renovation restored the West Baden Springs Hotel to its former glory more than a century later. The elegant tone of your visit is set the moment you walk into the huge atrium underneath the 200-foot arched dome. (Be sure to check out the gorgeous light show at night.) Guests can choose from more than 240 rooms and suites with atrium views or balconies.

A two-level, 28,000 square-foot spa offers massage and other wellness treatments as well as a pool and exercise equipment. Prefer to get your blood pumping outdoors? Guests can stretch their legs on five miles of hiking trails or on the world-class mountain bike trail network. Golf lovers can choose from three different courses, including a championship-caliber course designed by Pete and Alice Dye. Winter visitors can hit the slopes at nearby Paoli Peaks.

All that activity can work up an appetite. For a truly special dining experience, Table One seat guests right in the kitchen, so they can watch firsthand as the chef prepares their meal. (More casual options are available as well, such as Ballard’s in the Atrium, Cafe Sinclair’s and Xanadu.) Guests can otherwise take a shuttle to the West Baden’s sister property, the French Lick Springs Hotel, to sample its restaurants (a steakhouse, pizzeria, and breakfast options) and casino as well.

West Baden Springs Hotel

Top rated
9.3 Excellent (1101 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
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Feature photo by Erik Stine on Unsplash