Indiana in the summertime is a great place to be. Every year there are many things my wife and I always do. They define what it means to live in Indiana and continually remind us of why we stay in Indiana. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 things I try to do every summer in Indiana.
This one is a no brainer – I always make several trips up to the lakeshore. I’m not much of a beach bum, but I like going up and experiencing the sights and sounds of the lakeshore. There is nothing more serene this dipping your toes in the cool, serene water of Lake Michigan.
The Dunes provide ample opportunity for a bike ride. There are countless trails and winding country lanes that provide a beautiful backdrop for a bike ride. You can read about my favorite bike ride here.
The South Shore is one of my favorite things about Northwest Indiana. There is just something about the romance of the trains, the lulling back and forth as you speed through the dunes. The South Shore can take you many places – from Chicago all the way to South Bend. It’s worth a ride just for the experience.
No Indiana summer is complete without a trip to Indiana Beach in Monticello, Indiana. This quant, old lakeside amusement park provides a full day of fun, exciting roller coasters, enjoyable water parks and good food. Best of all, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to visit.
I try to visit Indy whenever I can. There is so much do to, not just downtown. I love the Circle Center area and enjoy eating at the fine restaurants. You don’t need to drive all the way to Chicago for good food and good times.
I love a bargain and you will find no better place than the Shipshewana flea market. Open Tuesday and Wednesday every week, dealers from all over Indiana hawk their wares in this old school swap meet. You can find great food, stylish clothing and strange knick-knacks.
If you’re looking for great deals, then you must make a visit to Michigan City. It’s home to the Lighthouse Place Outlet Mall, which is always a great place to get a good deal. Michigan City also has a second mall, Marquette Mall, which has cheaper prices at it’s chain stores than other area malls. Also, don’t forget to take a drive up Highway 421 towards the interstate and you’ll be presented with even more shopping and dining options.
While you’re shopping in Michigan City, drop by the Washington Park Zoo. Northwest Indiana’s only zoo feature a wide variety of animals, informative displays and so much more. The hidden gem of the Zoo is to climb up to the lookout tower located at the top of the park (most of the zoo is on a hill, going uphill). The lookout, which was built by the WPA during the Great Depression, provides expansive views of Northern Indiana. You can even see all the way to Valparaiso on a clear day!
The 49er deserves multiple trips throughout the summer. Take yourself back to the good ‘ol days of cinema at one of the few remaining (and top rated) drive-ins in the country. You can read more about the 49er Drive-in here.
US Route 12 through Northwest Indiana takes you past many exciting sites. From the steel mills of Portage, to the winding roads of the National Park, to the shopping of Michigan City and the borderlands with Michigan, a ride along Route 12 is relaxing, scenic and worth the gas.
So, there you have it, My Indiana Summer in a nutshell. I hope you take in some of the sights I wrote about and most of all – Enjoy!