Northwest Indiana offers natural beauty and small town charm

You don’t have to go far to find a Hoosier adventure.  Northwest Indiana’s got fascinating places to visit and some places that might surprise you.

The Cruisin’ journey begins in the picturesque town of Chesterton.

It’s an ecological wonder on the southern shore of Lake Michigan.  The Indiana Dunes State Park together with the National Lakeshore is a precious expanse of both plant and animal diversity.  There’s thousands of acres of wilderness crowned by ancient sand dunes.

There is also globally rare Black Oak savannas.

“It’s a very unique area both geologically and the way that the nature and the parks between the state park and national lakeshore coexist with the industry,” said the park’s Brandt Baughman.

Wedged between steel mills and a power plant the Dunes are a refuge for families and water fowl alike. Hundreds of migratory species - and love birds-  finding tranquility on the blue-green shoreline.

A South Shore train stop connects you to miles of hiking trails.

Family-friendly campsites are available. But reserve well in advance, especially during busy Summer months.

Just minutes from the park is the gateway to the Indiana Dunes, the quaint little town of Chesterton.

Cool off at Lucrezia’s Café and savor the Italian cooking.

The ice cream shop draws a crowd downtown in this classic Indiana small town with one of the finest brew pubs anywhere – Hunter’s Brewing.

There’s locomotives animating Chesterton’s most adventurous place to lodge - Riley’s Railhouse.  The lovingly refurbished New York Central station is now a bed & breakfast.

You can sleep inside a converted train car.

You can sit on the porch or watch the big trains from your bedroom balcony.  You can see and feel them rumble by.

Notre Dame and the Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes draws visitors seeking reflection and prayer.  But in downtown South Bend, you’ll find something else.

On the weekends, through late August ride a “Fun Yak” on the East Race Waterway rapids off the St. Joseph River.

It is $12 for two to make the 5-minute journey and $24 dollars for 3-to-4 on a raft.  All equipment included.

At the Studebaker national museum you’ll see one of America’s first global brands known for its style.  The iconic 1953 Starliner is an automotive masterpiece and was once on display in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

But the Indiana car maker hit aa home run with its best-selling bullet nose models.

“They produced over half a million of these vehicles in 1950 and 1951,” said the museum’s Andrew Beckman.  “And they had record employment at the South Bend Factory at that time with just over 26,000 employees.”

From nostalgic cars to the breezy shoreline, you’ll enjoy Cruisin’ beautiful northwest Indiana.

 

Here are some helpful links to plan your visit:

 

Visit Indiana

https://visitindiana.com/

 

Indiana Dunes State Park

1600 N. 25 E.

Chesterton, IN (219)926-1952

https://secure.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2980.htm

 

National Park Service 

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

1100 N. Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304 (219) 395-1882

https://www.nps.gov/indu/index.htm

 

Hunter’s Brewing

1535 S. Calumet Rd
Chesterton , IN 46304
Phone: 219-728-6729
E-Mail: info@huntersbrewing.com

 

Riley’s Railhouse

Richard & Annmarie Riley

123 N. 4th Street

Chesterton, Indiana  46304

Email:   StationMaster@RileysRailhouse.com

Phone:  219-395-9999

http://rileysrailhouse.com/

 

Notre Dame – Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

Eck Visitor’s Center - 100 Eck Center, Notre Dame, IN 46556

http://my.nd.edu/s/1210/myND/interior-2col.aspx?sid=1210&gid=1&pgid=18705

Phone 574-631-6000 ndalumni@nd.edu

 

East Race Waterway (Whitewater)

126 South Niles Avenue

South Bend, IN 46617

OPEN NOW!  Through August 27, 2017

Saturdays 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Sundays 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Additional Dates   -

September 3: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
September 10: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

126 South Niles Avenue

South Bend, IN 46617

574-235-5888 ext. 3261

http://sbvpa.org/activities/aquatics/rafting-kayaking/