For many, Labor Day signals the “unofficial” end of summer. But ask us, and we’d interject that fall in Miller Beach is one of the best times to visit! With summer vacation-goers packing up their beach umbrellas to return home, it leaves a charming beach and town all for you to experience—and great weather to top it all off!
If you’re planning an autumn stay at one of our vacation rentals, we’ve got tons of exciting things to do while you’re in town!
Things to Do During Fall in Miller Beach
Explore Indiana Dunes National Park
Photo Credit: Jon Lauriat
Did you know Miller Beach borders a national park? Indiana Dunes National Park was declared the 61st in America and is an excellent way to get outdoors during the season.
As its name implies, sand dunes and surrounding hikes are one of the park’s defining features. The cooling temperatures make it perfect to attempt the famous 3 Dune Challenge, where you’ll summit the highest dunes across 1.5 miles and over 500 vertical feet! The final dune, Mount Tom, rises 760 feet above Lake Michigan and offers quite a rewarding view at the top, stretching as far as Illinois to see the Chicago Skyline on a clear day!
Race to the bottom in the sliding sand, where you’ll get to check out the park’s numerous public beaches. West Beach is the nearest to reach, but a bit up the coast, you’ll have the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, Porter Beach, Dunbar Beach, and Kemil Beach.
With more than 50 miles of hiking trails, you’ll pass through woodlands to spot migratory birds beginning their journey south.
Shop the Miller Beach Farmers Market
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Google Images CCL
Thrust yourself into our friendly community with a visit to the Miller Beach Farmer’s Market. It’s constantly changing, with new vendors and activities for visitors—and, as of the last few years, extended operations through the end of September.
Every Sunday, come down to the outdoor lot at the Historic Miller School Shops & Spaces and browse the tents to see what goodies you’ll find to enjoy onsite or back at your vacation rental. Pick out fresh local produce like veggies, fruits, herbs, and nuts to prep for a delicious homemade dinner. Select artisan bread paired with savory honey and jams to snack on during a picnic outing. Or stop by when you’re hungry for some ready-made dishes you can dig in while chatting with the friendly faces of our beach community.
The market also has jewelry and other crafts that make for excellent souvenirs!
Shop and Dine on Lake Street
Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers via Flickr CC 2.0
If you drop by our Downtown District on Lake Street, you’ll be pleased with the range of local boutiques, eateries, and entertainment options.
The Shops on Lake Street feature something for everyone, extending all the way to Lake Street Beach! Our popular Indie Indie Bang Bang store has candles, antiques, and other great holiday gift ideas. Visit the Lake Street Gallery to browse locally inspired masterpiece works of art. Rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul at the Vibrations Health, Wellness, and Juice Bar.
Looking for entertainment? Check out the fall line-up of shows at the MillerBeach PerforMance Theater that will have you laughing all season long.
Breathe in the Fresh Fall Air at Marquette Park
Photo Credit: Indiana Landmarks via Flickr CC 2.0
Good news! Miller Beach is a year-round destination, and Fall isn’t too cold to enjoy the outdoors. If it’s too chilly to go swimming in the lake, an alternative is hanging out at Marquette Park. This season is one of the most beautiful times to visit it.
Pull up a park map to navigate the many notable points of interest you don’t want to miss. The lush Oak Savannah serves as your seasonal greeting, with 54 acres of black oak woodlands exhibiting colorful fall foliage.
Make your way around the Calumet Lagoon and cross the restored Japanese Bridge onto Patterson Island. These nature sites are one of the best birding areas for bird watchers in the fall with their large population of migratory birds. It also has the Marquette Beach.
History buffs can trace the local past at various sites. This park is home to the historic Recreation Pavilion, which makes for a great fall photoshoot (when there isn’t a wedding happening here!). Also, the Father Marquette Monument and the Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium which is included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Trek the Nature Trails of Miller Woods
Photo Credit: Kevin Chang via Flickr CC 2.0
The diverse landscape of the Northwest Indiana region always surprises everyone—especially if it’s your first time visiting. To get a taste of the different landscapes, set aside a couple of hours to hike the 3.5-mile loop trail through Miller Woods.
The journey starts at the Paul H. Douglas Center, where park rangers love presenting about the area’s biodiverse ecosystems with 287 plant and animal species you’ll encounter during your walk—some only found here in the Midwest.
After checking out the exhibitions, set off on the Paul H. Douglas Trail! You’ll traverse through more fall colors in the black oak savanna trees and wetlands before crossing the Grand Calumet River, running directly through the middle. The other side transforms into a sandy dune landscape where you’ll pass the scenic shore of Lake Michigan before returning to the center.
Pets on a leash are welcome for those staying in our pet-friendly vacation rentals. Just keep your distance from other wildlife you’ll see, like beavers, frogs, and birds.
Visit the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District
It’s time to get artsy this fall! Tap into your creative side or show your love for the arts at Miller Beach’s hub for art and creativity.
Established in the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District puts on exhibitions and events dedicated to showcasing the myriad of talent in the South Shore region. See photography, painting, and sculpture exhibitions from local artists.
Attend our live events with everything from dance performances to live music concerts. All events are open to the public, and exhibits frequently change, so there’s always something exciting to see.
One of our hidden gems lies in the alley behind the building. You’ll discover amazing artistic murals designed by our talented artists representing Miller Beach and the people impacting our community.
Fall Events in Miller Beach
Fall in Miller Beach welcomes some of our popular annual events. If you’re making reservations at our rentals this season, here are a few local events to keep an eye out for to include on your trip itinerary.
Fest in the First
Photo Credit: Oleg Kopyov
- Date: September
- Where: 540 S. Lake Street, Gary, IN
- Website: millerbeacharts.org/events/fest-in-the-first
Miller Beach is part of the First District in the city of Gary, and this event celebrates our neighbors with a lively street festival. Line up on Lake Street for our annual kick-off parade, listen to live music, or take a bike tour through the Miller Beach neighborhood. There are even activities for kids, like pony rides and a bouncy obstacle course. This event supports our local businesses with market stalls and food vendors.
MBACD Golf Outing
Photo Credit: Mikael Damkier
- Date: September
- Where: 6701 W Taft St #3732, Merrillville, IN
- Website: https://millerbeacharts.org/series/golf/
Have a good swing? Get out on the golf course as the Miller Beach Arts & Creative District (MBACD) hosts its annual golf outing. It will be held at the Innsbrook Country Club with 18 holes of golfing fun, meals, and more. There’s also a putting content.
What to Pack?
One of the great things about visiting Miller Beach in the fall is getting the tail end of summertime weather without the busy tourist crowds that come during the summer months.
If you’re visiting in September, you can see a range of highs of up to 70°F and a moderate low of 50°F. It begins to cool in October with highs in the high 50s and lows in the 40s. Visiting at the end of the fall season can have temperate highs in the 40s and lows in the 30s.
We recommend our guests pack a mix of clothing for warm and cooler temperatures!
Book Your Fall Stay in Miller Beach
Fall in Miller Beach is an excellent time to enjoy the beach, outdoors, and activities around the community. Check out our nearby rental homes and villas for your next fall getaway to experience one of the best seasons in Miller Beach.