Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake entirely within US territory, meaning we don’t have to share it with our neighbor to the north. It is also the most influential in Indiana’s history.
Its expansion and recession (as Lake Chicago) created the flat, fertile farmland in northern Indiana. Its edges form Indiana’s only soon-to-be National Park, the Dunes, a recreational haven for thousands. Its connection to the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the open ocean makes its a national hub for international transportation. It still provides drinking water for many towns and cities. There’s no area of Hoosier life Lake Michigan doesn’t touch. Except cruise ships.
Although Chicago often has Lake Michigan tours, few if any Indiana ports have taken advantage of the lake’s natural (and free) beauty to bring in tourist dollars. Now, that may change.
For the first time since the 1930s, the Michigan City Port Authority will allowed sightseeing cruise ships to travel along the coastline for ship-side drinking and dining, then visiting destinations like New Buffalo. Lake Michigan’s treacherous winter waters aren’t ideal for touring ships, so cruises are expected to run from late spring to late fall, possibly starting this year.
Want to Know More?
A deluge of information on Lake Michigan’s composition, history and future in this condensed packet appropriately called “Lake Michigan 101”.