Tracking Down the Perfect Escape.

Submitted by: Matt Cunningham Photo by: Stephen Lehman

Many Chicago folks may not be privy to the fact that there’s a nearby gateway to peace, serenity and adventure—at least for the weekend—that doesn’t require the onslaught of highway traffic—of course, most of us here know about the South Shore Line.

Maybe, you’re like me and you grew up with the South Shore as a vital part of your childhood. My mom would take us kids to the tremendous city museums, free festivals or a Cubs game.

Now as an adult, I enjoy those same experiences. But it goes the other way, too. Having lived in Chicago for years, I know how necessary breaking away can be. While today I may hop aboard to enjoy a stimulating urban jaunt, folks in the city, or anywhere along the line, have the luxury of exploring some truly remarkable places.

Wanderer that I am, I’m not much for exact directions, but I’m going to tell you about my favorite stop at Beverly Shores—a beautiful quaint Mediterranean Revival train station that is a perfect allegory for the spot itself. Beverly Shores is a dark-sky community, meaning a partnership between NIPSCO and residents to reduce light was so successful, that the Dark-Sky Association of Tuscon, AZ, took notice.

Do I have your attention yet? There’s magic afoot here. Trails, gardens, beaches … and it’s all accessible by foot, longboard or bike from the station. But be warned, it’s a flag stop, check the schedule, and don’t forget to hit the button for that wonderful blue light that will signal your return.  

In addition to having breweries and an abundance of great restaurants nearby, (walking might be a stretch for some of these, ride share, perhaps, but keep in mind cell reception can be spotty). Food trucks and bike rentals are staples during the warmer weekend months. Biking is my preferred way to get around, but sometimes, you simply must hop off, and walk around. Engage at a slower pace. That’s really what it’s all about. Slow down. Go explore.

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Close to Beverly Shores train stop:

Food: Bartlett’s Gourmet Grill Rolling Stonebaker Food Truck South Shore Ovenworks Food Truck Jannsen’s Dunes Mart (ice cream!)

Beaches & Trails: The Great Marsh Dune Ridge Trail Calumet Trail Lakeview, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Kemil Beach

Things to do: The Depot Art Gallery Century of Progress Homes Dunewood Campground Camp Stop General Store (bike rentals)