Northwest Indiana is lucky to have so many downtowns that offer food, shopping, and entertainment for everyone! Based on your input, we have put together a list of some of the best things to do in your favorite downtowns as well as some up and coming cities and towns!
Boasting a splash pad, outdoor ice skating rink, Saturday market in the summer, and a variety of shops and restaurants, Downtown Valparaiso is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Stop by Blackbird Cafe for a warm cup of coffee, grab a sweet treat from Designer Desserts or Wild Flour, explore local shops and boutiques like Lifestyles and Ivy Boutique, be entertained by a Shakespeare in the Park performance at Central Park Plaza, or engage in the county’s history at PoCo Muse! And we can’t forget about Popcorn Fest!
With incredible architecture and more than five antique shops around the square, Downtown Crown Point is the place to go to have some fun and indulge in the region’s history. Restaurants and cafes like Lucrezia, Sip Coffee House, and Tavern on Main offer delicious meals that will keep you going for a whole day of exploration! Stop by in the fall for Oktoberfest or visit the nearby Lake County Fairgrounds in August for the Lake County Fair!
Downtown Whiting brings you one of the Region’s most anticipated festivals every July - Pierogi Fest! This celebration of Polish food and culture is only one of the many ways Whiting honors its diversity. A well-renovated downtown preserves the city’s history, the classic Hoosier Theatre is noted as one of the best places to catch a movie, and restaurants, like Bulldog Brewing Company, are great places to grab a bite to eat.
Michigan City has been the place to go for the Lighthouse Premium Outlets, but the area has seen incredible growth in their arts through the Lubeznik Center for the Arts and Southern Shore Art Association. Local favorites like Patrick’s Grille and Fiddlehead are wonderful places to have a meal, and Blue Chip Casino offers fun and entertainment year round. Of course this city would not be complete without the beautiful lakefront and a zoo that offers fun for the whole family!
Chesterton has been home to the beloved European Market for years, bringing local farmers, artists, entertainers, and artisans together for what is the ultimate showcase of Northwest Indiana! With the adorable O'Gara & Wilson Ltd. Antiquarian Booksellers shop, quaint restaurants like Ivy’s Bohemia House, and community theatre provided by 4th Street Theatre, Downtown Chesterton is the place to be this summer!
As noted by many, Griffith’s downtown is up and coming with a variety of fun and interesting things to do. The Grindhouse Cafe is a favorite hangout spot, Set ‘Em Up Lanes and Lounge is the go-to place for bowling, and American Natural Resources, Inc. specializes in something a little unexpected - taxidermy! The town also hosts farmers markets and its popular Rock ‘N' Rail Street Festival with tons of live music, good food, and fun!
Everyone has their favorite city or town to visit, but there is one thing that will remain regardless of personal preferences - Northwest Indiana is one of the most vibrant, ever-changing, and invigorating regions of the Hoosier State. Now get out and explore!
Comment below with your favorite attractions, shops, restaurants, and other awesome downtowns!