Last month, a $650 million three-year construction project to double-track the South Shore Line commuter rail between Gary and Michigan City was finally completed. Fourteen weekday trains have been added and overall travel times are now reduced, including some routes by 40 minutes. Plus, it’s even easier to bring your bicycle along for the ride. The 90-mile South Shore Line is considered one of the country’s last electric interurbans, providing a vital rail transportation link between Chicago and Northern Indiana for the past 120 years. This recent news got me thinking about what properties are currently for sale in this part of Indiana. Living so close to the train line offers an easy trip to the big city without having to deal with car traffic, which just seems to be getting worse. You’re also close to the lake, walking trails, public parks and beaches, and plenty of nature.

74 Ski Hill Rd, Portage, IN, $689,000

This charming five-bedroom brick home is located just a mile from the train station and is also within walking distance of the Indiana Dunes National Park. But what really sells this property is its natural beauty. The nearly 4,500-square-foot residence features a traditional layout but I really love the screened-in porch and outdoor patio. They both overlook the wooded lot, ideal for privacy and relaxation. Property taxes have gone up, but are still better than Chicago’s. There is a $125 annual HOA fee that covers amenities like a tennis court, community garden, and beach access. 

12 Ridge Dr, Dune Acres, IN, $1,799,000

According to Crain’s, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Congresswoman Lynn M. Martin currently owns this home that hit the market in early June. The property once belonged to another government official, Senator Paul H. Douglas, who was instrumental in preserving the Indiana Dunes. The nearly 8,800-square-foot residence, built in 2011, sits atop one of those dunes with views of Lake Michigan. The exterior pays homage to Douglas’s log cabin, which burned down around 25 years ago, while inside has more of a beach feel with its open floor plan, bleached wood ceiling, and large windows facing the water. It’s three miles from the train stop.

301 E Lake Front Dr, Beverly Shores, IN, $2,200,000

Just over a mile from the Beverly Shores station is this remarkable solar-powered contemporary home with views of Lake Michigan. Open and spacious inside, the 3,800-square-foot residence comes with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, a separate library/den, modern chef’s kitchen, and a lower-level guest suite. There are multiple outdoor spaces, including walled garden, spacious decks, and a swimming pool. Not only are there stunning vistas from almost every room of the house, but the beach is just steps away. What’s not to love?

2 S Merrivale Ave, Beverly Shores, IN, $924,900

This 1,800-square-foot International Style design is now for sale for only the second time since it was built in 1949. Swiss-born modernist architect Otto Kolb, who taught at IIT’s Institute of Design and worked as a furniture designer, created a unique glass-and-wood residence (plus a two-story guest house) that completely harmonizes with nature. Virtually intact with four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, the main living space has walls of glass on both sides to capture the property’s views (notice the tree growing through the screened porch). The current owner, Indiana Landmarks, is looking for a preservation-minded buyer who’ll hopefully protect this National Register-listed property.

2005 Lake Shore Dr, Long Beach, IN, $1,799,000

Long Beach, a small beachfront community that originated as a resort town in the 1920s, does not have its own stop on the South Shore Line. But this cottage-style residence is about a 10-minute drive to the 11th Street stop in downtown Michigan City (plus, it’s also close to all that New Buffalo has to offer). Known as Stone Gate Gables, the historic four-bedroom residence has been owned by only two families since it was built in 1928. The 2,712-square-foot interior features delightful details like an arched front door, large stone fireplace, and beautiful hardwood floors. Did I mention there’s an elevator?