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Midwest FIRST: Indoor Beach in Covington

Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana
Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana: To the Beach!

This is the story of what happens when a beach-loving woman marries a farmer who doesn’t particularly enjoy taking vacations or leaving the farm.

Inspired by Nature in Covington, Indiana began because after girl met boy, they fell in love, and married, she yearned for the sand of the beach. There is not an ocean in Indiana, as even an elementary school kid knows, but what they most likely don’t know is that there’s now an indoor beach!

Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana

Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana
Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana

The five year old didn’t have preschool that day so we decided to head over to Covington, just the two of us. I was hoping to discover some places I hadn’t visited the last time and have a good slice of homemade pie somewhere local. Kid #2 was just happy for the ride and hoped that we would find a wonderful park while we were out and about. You could say that we both got our wish! (more on the pie will be coming up soon)

You can’t imagine my surprise when one of the locals mentioned that we needed to head to the indoor beach just down the street. I thought that I had misheard her! She wasn’t the only one to recommend the indoor beach either. Shop after shop, you can bet we were eager to make our way to this new and unusual Indiana attraction.

I’m pretty sure that when founders began the town of Covington in 1826, they would not have been able to conceive of such a thing! I am so happy that someone did. Conveniently located downtown, the beach-themed fun is right in the middle of everything.

Inside the Indoor Beach

Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana
Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana

As if Covington didn’t have enough to do, what with easy access to the Portland Arch nature trail the next village over, a great variety of shops, and the Circle Trail, Covington already had its fair share of fun! Now it’s adding to the appeal of this small town by providing an usual indoor attraction that’s never been seen in the Midwest.

Indoor beaches aren’t a new thing, at least, not if you live in Japan or Germany. Over in Japan, a large dome, capable of fitting in a 984 feet x 328 feet space, with 13,500 tons of salt-free water to play in rain or shine–particularly shine since the Ocean Dome also possesses a retractable roof. Germany’s Tropical Islands Resort is the world’s largest indoor waterpark, at 1181ft x 689 feet, boasting a bit of sand for the 6,000 folks it is capable of holding! It boggles the mind.

The new Indiana beach may lack the water, but you can find plenty of sand to keep everyone busy, whether it is folks wanting to use the sand for exercise or walking, families hoping for a little playtime that’s a bit different from the usual play date, or groups taking advantage of the indoor volleyball net.

When you walk in to Inspired by Nature, you are greeted with beachy decor. Seashells, fun things on the walls like beach towels and starfish, and ropes leading down a gangplank to the sand. Wow, the sand! You might be imagining a room with scant bits of sand, kids trying to dig down, and thunk! they hit the flooring–and you would be wrong!

The owner had sixty-five tons of sand brought in to the 30′ X 44′ area. Roll your head around that figure again: sixty-five TONS of sand. That’s enough sand for digging, scooping, and running amock in it if for no reason other than you are five and it feels pretty good after the hard Indiana winter we suffered through yet again.

Midwest’s First Indoor Beach

Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana
Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana: Jessica Nunemaker, Taken by Kid #2, Age 5

At the upper level, you will pay a super reasonable price for beach access. Then, head down the gangplank to the stylish chairs and tables and settle in if you would like–they do have snacks, coffee, and free WIFI. Or, have a seat on a bench and remove your shoes, placing them in one of the cubbies.

There’s a slew of sand toys from buckets to shovels to large cars and light plastic balls for kids to rifle through and grab (outside toys are not allowed). While kids are busy playing, they might want to be on the lookout for seashells, starfish, and shark teeth hidden in the sand. If they find any, they get to bring it home with them (if they so desire) as a nice little souvenir of their stay!

A volleyball net stretches across the middle of the room, letting anyone have a go. Teams use it for practice. Like any good small business owner, she’s developed some really great ways to help locals (and beyond) use this space to full advantage, by holding special events like ocean-related educational classes and a ladies night out. The last ladies night out was a spring event with catered food and massages! If that doesn’t sound like a great day at the beach, then I don’t know what is.

Make sure to check out the tanks in the back of the seating area to take a look at the hermit crabs! What shell will Captain choose today? The owner knows all about them and is quick to share her knowledge. Little ones will love it! Kid #2 had the chance to hold one. I had no idea why he kept using the name “Captain” for everything–and then I remembered our visit here. You could say that the whole experience really makes an impression!

Go There

Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana Hermit Crab
Indoor Beach in Covington, Indiana Hermit Crab

It’s probably pretty clear that Inspired by Nature Sand Bar Indoor Beach is an extraordinary destination. And to think, people believe that Indiana has nothing more than farm fields and race cars! It’s full of interesting, unique, educational, and memorable attractions of all kinds. Covington has so many reasons to entice you to visit–I hope this one finally gets you to go.

To stay on top of her new product offerings, special events, and occasional giveaways, follow the Inspired by Nature Facebook Page or hop on to her website, link located below. You saw it here on Little Indiana first!

Things to Do in Covington, Indiana

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.

Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.

Inspired by Nature
318 4th Street
Covington, IN 47932

Targeted. Relevant. Affordable! Little Indiana advertising.

About Jessica Nunemaker

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little More than a website, Little Indiana is a PBS segment on the state-wide program "The Weekly Special," a bi-weekly column in a local newspaper, and a book. Look for "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" published by Indiana University Press in April 2016--just in time for Indiana's BIG 200th Birthday Celebration.


  1. Thank you! We had a great time. :) Kid #1 was so mad he missed it! Ha ha! Best of luck to you!

  2. Thank you Jessica! I loved having you two visit my beach paradise! I hope you will be in the area to visit again!

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