When the temperatures climb, there’s nothing better than splashing around in Lake Michigan and then heading over to a water park for some thrilling water rides. Indiana Dunes Country, which is only about a 2 1/2-hour drive from Indianapolis, feels like a world away with its 15 miles of glorious Lake Michigan shoreline and its new water park. Visitors can access the beaches via Indiana Dunes State Park or one of the the many Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore access points. And, just minutes from Lake Michigan, a new water park opened on July 1 -- Seven Peaks Waterpark Duneland. Seven Peaks is one of the largest water parks in Indiana, with 15 water slides -- everything from 70-foot tall free fall drop-slides to kiddie slides. It also features a wave pool and kids areas. I like Indiana Dunes State Park and Seven Peaks so much that I purchased season passes to each. I always make time for a hike at Dunes State Park. It’s kind of a tradition, after wearing yourself out in the hot sun, to get a frosty mug of root beer and a chili dog at The Port Drive-In in nearby Chesterton. Another favorite is The Rolling Stonebaker, a food truck that serves pizzas just down the road from the beach in Beverly Shores. Indiana Dunes Country is the perfect place for a weekend getaway, with charming independent lodging facilities, great chain hotels and camping spots. Visit www.indianadunes.com to find out about lodging and additional things to do.