DunesWalk Inn and The Indiana Dunes

June 20, 2014 by Heather Tallman with 21 comments


Every year my little family and I pack up and head north to Chesterton, Indiana and spend 3 laid back days in the Indiana Dunes area.  Sweeping bluffs, tall dunes, swaying grasses and powdery white sand beckon to you as soon as you pull into the state park area.  The water is cool, clean and clear and practically everyone on the beach is in it.


It doesn’t take long before my kids are climbing the largest dune in the state park area and then running at full speed all of the way down.



We dig in the sand….

027 060

We swim and cool off….


When it’s time for dinner we head to our favorite local restaurant in Chesterton: Lucrezia Cafe We like to dine outside in the garden area.  A full Italian-style menu, daily specials and a kids menu make it a place where we can all find something that appeals to us.  Even better: the food is good.

This time I ordered the traditional spaghetti and meatballs.

This time I ordered the traditional spaghetti and meatballs.

When it comes to accommodations we have stayed at 2 places. The Inn at Aberdeen in Valparaiso (read about our trip last year) and DunesWalk Inn at the Furness Mansion in Chesterton.  Both are fantastic and offer something for any accommodation need.  This year we stayed at DunesWalk and we are already planning another trip there in the Fall.  My kids loved our room (the entire 3rd floor), the views and the ability for everyone to spread out and have their own space.  Decadently furnished, our room at DunesWalk has a complete kitchen with serving/cookware, a dining room, 2 sitting areas, a desk and charging area, twin sized bunk beds, a comfortable queen sized bed, sofa with a fold out bed, walk in closet and large bathroom with a garden tub.

Take a look at the pictures I took on our visit:


Just one view of the room


Another view


The kitchen area















Schoolhouse Shop: A really neat shop right next door with clothes, gifts-something for everyone!


Before dinner in our room


This little area is pretty quiet and oh so relaxing!


Would YOU like to win a night’s stay at DunesWalk Inn AND dinner at Lucrezia?  The folks at Indiana Dunes Visitors Bureau have given me a special gift to share with one of you!

All you have to do to enter is……

  • Visit one of the websites listed below and leave me a comment with one factoid you gleaned from checking out their sites. Something that shows you visited more than 5 seconds :) This is a required element for entry.

Indiana Dunes, DunesWalk Inn or Lucrezia Cafe

  • Subscribe to my site. You can do this on my home page in the top right hand corner.   

The fine print on the giveaway

I was given one night’s stay and dinner at Lucrezia in exchange for this post BUT all opinions are my own.  We had a blast and we also did a few things that we were just eh about that did not make it in this post. See- my own opinions here.  Giveaway open to anyone who can actually enjoy this . Obviously if you live in Alaska this might not be for you.

Giveaway open NOW-Saturday July 6 at Noon.  One winner will be randomly drawn and notified via email.  Winner will have 24 hours to respond.

What you win: ONE night’s stay at DunesWalk Inn between Sunday-Thursday and 1 $50 giftcard for Lucrezia Cafe.  YOU must call DunesWalk Inn to make your reservation and I suggest you do so once you win as they are filling up quick due to high demand. When you make the reservation let the owner (who will be expecting you) know you won from Me! Basilmomma :)





  • Jonna

    Dunes Walk Inn, looks amazingly comfortable, relaxing, and family friendly! They have a lounge and coin operated laundry:-) they offer 2 suites and 3 guest rooms.

  • Ben

    I’m craving tiramisu. I came close to spending $23 on a tray at the restaurant supply store today. Any chance you know how much they’re serving for $8 at Lucrezia? I’m sure it’s better than what’s in the freezer.

    I’m also curious about The Canoli Queen in Greenwood. Any chance you have a review? I think she opened (County Line & Emerson) during our 3 months in Greenwood.

  • Melissa Gardner

    Wow! What a great place for a family trip! I have looked at your pictures for the last 2 years and have lived vicariously through your family trip. :) What fun! Not only is there a beach, beautiful overnight accommodations (including camping), but hiking, fishing, a little history and art in one of the local museums, shopping, and you can climb to the top of the largest sand dunes in Indiana. My family would love to win this trip!!!

  • Alina Hahn

    We live in Valparaiso which is near all of these wonderful attractions but this is the first summer I have heard of Dunes Walk Inn. I love that most of the rooms have a kitchenette. I was also surprised to see that there is a shuttle from the Beverly Shores station. Looks like a great way to stay close to the beach!

  • Kris Hahn

    My wife loves martinis so I was happy to see that Lucrezia Cafe has a martini bar. We had no idea that they were voted best martini bar so we will be heading that way on our next date night!

  • Erin Freuchtel

    Wow, soooo beautiful!

    I love that the Beverly Shores Suite has bunk beds. We have two little one and finding a room that comfortably accommodates us isn’t always easy to find.

  • Solducky

    I checked out Lucrezia’s Chesterton menu and it looks so good! The Yellow Tomato Salad and the Stuffed Eggplant dishes sound really delicious.

  • Kim K.

    Beautiful area! I have lived in Indiana all my life and have never visited the Dunes. Never realized there was 15 miles of beach and is considered in the top 6 of family beach areas!

  • natasha merrick

    My husband and I were talking about a getaway to the Dunes, how perfect! The South Shore King Room offers grand views of Duneswalk’s four acre property. Sounds like a beautiful place no matter the room you book.

  • Dana G.`

    We are very excited to hear about the DunesWalk Inn at the Furness Mansion. It’s so hard to find accommodations for our large family, and I’m really looking forward to checking out the Beverly Shores Suite with its queen bed, queen-size sofa bed, twin bunk beds and kitchenette, will be perfect for our 4 small children and allow us to save money by making meals on site! Thanks so much for the opportunity of winning this getaway!

  • Lucinda Bostick

    I was excited to hear about all the family-friendly accomodations at the Dunes Walk Inn. The rates ranging from $125 – $185 a night are very reasonable. With a family of 5 on a tight budget, this would make for a wonderful family getaway!

  • Jessica

    The Beverly Shores Suite at the Duneswalk Inn sounds marvelous! A fireplace and a whirlpool tub?!? Sounds like a super Indiana autumn getaway destination to me!

  • Martha

    I’m always fascinated when restaurants offer history or other juicy tidbits in addition to their food/drink. Lucrezia does not disappoint with its description of the Borgia family and Lucrezia in particular. Still, it begs the question…did she or didn’t she? Hmmmm….. And since you specified only one factoid, then I won’t mention the Stuffed Eggplant recipe they shared that I am eager to try myself!

  • Cindy

    Lucrezia’s has been named Best Desserts 2 different years. Their menu looks awesome. We have never been to the Dunes. We would enjoy this alot!

  • QuatroMama

    You introduced me to DuneWalk Inn via Facebook and I’m hooked! Checked out their website the other night and can’t wait to spend time with my family there! The bunk beds are PERFECT =)
    Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway!

  • Rachel Snyder

    DunesWalk Inn is at the remodeled Furness Mansion, which was built in 1881. Anything that starts with 18– is LOVE!

    • Rachel Snyder

      And I couldn’t find the date on their site, so I had to do some extra Googling. Extra credit? lol

  • Eternal Lizdom

    I learned that the house was built in 1881 (Duneswalk Inn) by E.L. Furness

  • Denise Wilson

    The Duneswalk Inn was built in 1881, and it looks beautiful! Would love to stay there!

    And I would love to try the Pan Seared Pork Chop at Lucrezia.

    Thank you for the chance to win this giveaway!

  • Doreen H

    I didn’t realize there were 15 miles of shoreline at the Dunes. And more than 70 miles of hiking and biking trails. I’ve never been there, but it sure looks nice!

  • Pamela

    Sounds lovely! And with free wi-fi, my family won’t miss me so much when I take a mom’s night away with my best friends.