Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the adjacent state park preserve a pristine landscape of white sand sculpted by strong winds blowing south off Lake Michigan. The parks offer stunning lake views, miles of hiking trails, swimming, bird watching, and prime real estate for sandcastles.
The landscape of South Central Indiana is riddled with caves, several of which offer wonderful spelunking opportunities. Squire Boone Caverns hides rare underground waterfalls. Bluespring Caverns is large enough for tour boats to travel along an underground river for over a mile. Wyandotte Caves hold one of the world’s largest underground mountains and is home to endangered Indiana bats. Marengo Caves was discovered by 15-year-old Blanche Hiestand and her 11-year-old brother Orris, who crawled into it in 1883, using only candles to find their way. Now a U.S. National Natural Landmark, Marengo Caves are undeveloped, and visitors who are brave enough can explore the cavern with headlamps and flashlights (and experienced guides).