Central Avenue Beach at Indiana Dunes National Park

Central Beach
Central Avenue Beach at low water levels.

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Parking and Hours

Central Avenue Beach

41.701488, -86.948473
68 Total
0 Oversized
Paved parking lot with 68 parking spaces. 0 spaces are accessible.
There are no entrance or expanded amenity fees.
Cost: $0.00
Standard Hours
Sun: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Mon: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Tue: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Wed: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Thu: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Fri: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Sat: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM

During the peak season (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend), the parking lot can fill up fast.

Accessible Lot: No
Number of ADA-designated spaces: 0
Number of ADA van-accessible spaces: 0
Number of ADA step-free spaces: 0
Total number of spaces: 68
Number of oversize vehicle spaces: 0
The parking lot is paved. There are no accessible parking spaces.

Getting There

Central Avenue Beach Parking Lot
One mile north of the intersection of Central Avenue and U.S. Highway 12 in the Town of Pines.

Need to Know

  • Facilities – Seasonal restrooms and potable water.
  • Prohibited – Glass and fires on the beach, littering.
  • Prohibited – Removing plants, rocks, shells, and fossils.
  • Parking lot is paved.
  • There are two picnic tables at the west end of the parking lot up the stairs.


  • Please stay on the trail and respect closed area signs. Going off trail damages fragile habitat.
  • Visitors are strongly urged to safely remain on the beach area and not to climb up on the dune slopes directly behind the beach.
  • Ticks are present year-round. Take precautionary measures to prevent bites.
  • Poison ivy can be present on the edges of the parking lot and on the trails to the beach.
  • In case of an emergency or to report a crime, call 1-800-PARK-TIP.


  • The restrooms are wheelchair accessible. The beach and picnic tables are not wheelchair accessible.

Visitor Activities
  • Swimming. No lifeguards. Swim at your own risk; rip currents and waves can make swimming hazardous.
  • During the spring and summer, watch the Bank Swallows come and go from their nests in the dunes.

Nearby Beaches

Central Avenue Beach, July 2016
Central Avenue Beach, May 2016.

Last updated: November 2, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter , IN 46304


219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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