Grab the Gals and Go!
Great Girlfriend Getaways in LaPorte County
What Women Want – how about some free time away from all those obligations that fill their daily lives! Get your female companions together and head to LaPorte County in Northern Indiana for a fantastic escape that will create lasting memories. Whether you’re reuniting with old friends, organizing a bachelorette weekend before the big day, or gathering with moms and daughters, sisters and cousins, ultimate pleasures await.
Perhaps your perfect day includes the relaxation that comes from lolling on a Lake Michigan beach and taking a cooling swim whenever the mood hits. Maybe your group is up for the challenge of hiking lofty sand dunes or the peace that comes with strolling beautiful botanic gardens.
If shopping tops your list, options abound in the communities of Michigan City and LaPorte. Find bargains at an amazing outlet mall filled with every name brand you love, then discover funky boutiques and treasured antiques. Soothing pursuits bring added satisfaction, such as indulgent spa treatments, wine sipping on outdoor patios, upscale dining, and very special places to rest your heads at the end of the day. Whatever your pleasure, LaPorte County welcomes your group for the best getaway ever!
Find the Perfect Stay
The hugs and laughter as everyone in your entourage arrives at that chosen lodging signals the fun that lies ahead. This will be your weekend headquarters, and there are some unparalleled choices in the communities of Michigan City and LaPorte.
Arbor Hill Inn, LaPorte – Settle into this historic brick white-pillared inn, just a short walk from Pine Lake. Built in 1910, Arbor Hill’s elegant rooms recall the romance of a bygone era, but with today’s amenities, such as fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs. Breakfast is a true feast and might feature specialties such as stuffed French toast.
Beachwalk Vacation Rentals, Michigan City – Lodging choices, many along or near Lake Michigan, range from cozy cottages for small groups to expansive homes that can accommodate the whole gang. Many of the offerings include everything you need for your stay, such as fully equipped kitchens.
Blue Chip Casino Hotel & Spa, Michigan City – Not only are the hotel rooms luxurious, but they are located in a gleaming facility known as Northern Indiana’s favorite place to play – and stay! The Blue Chip features 486 guest rooms in two ritzy towers, plus a single-level casino with 1,700 slot machines and 40 table games. Enjoy three restaurants, including William B’s for delicious steaks and an award-winning wine list. The rooms are spacious, and some feature floor-to-ceiling windows, plus deep-soaking bathtubs. Check out the spa for revitalizing treatments, too.
Blue Heron Inn, LaPorte – The options are both luxurious and unique at this inn along Pine Lake. Choose from accommodations in five floating boathouses or 34 hotel rooms, including luxurious spa rooms with magnificent lake views from your deck or patio. You won’t have to leave the property to dine at two regional favorites – T-Bones Pier 11, known for steaks and chops, and The Boardwalk Beach Bar & Grill for casual food and drinks on a deck overlooking the lake.
GW Tryon Farm, Michigan City – Groups of up to 15 people can rent the entirety of this beautifully restored 1800s farmstead house, complete with kitchen. Or rooms can be rented individually, with these guests enjoying a breakfast prepared by the owners. A peaceful setting includes an outdoor hot tub and access to miles of hiking trails.
The Brewery Lodge & Supper Club, Michigan City – This boutique hotel nestles on 40 acres amid forests, streams, and ponds. Enjoy the view from one of 12 upscale suites with wood-paneled walls. The main house, built in 1930, includes a craft beer and wine lounge and several outdoor terraces. Enjoy fresh lake fish, steaks, burgers and more at the refined restaurant, featuring New American cuisine for daily dinner and a sumptuous Sunday brunch.
Head Out for Adventure
Lake Michigan and Indiana Dunes National Park, two of the nation’s most beloved natural treasures, anchor this corner of Indiana. Outdoor activities, both sedate and stimulating, lure visitors to both water and land.
Washington Park and Beach – It’s the pride of Michigan City – that soft sand beach that seems to stretch endlessly along Lake Michigan, a haven for swimmers, strollers, sunbathers, and beachcombers. The beach is backed by Washington Park’s 140 tree-shaded acres, a hub of activity that also includes fitness trails, concessions, and picnic tables. Commanding the whole scene is one of the most photographed and painted icons of the area – the historic Michigan City Lighthouse. On calm days, visitors love to walk the long pier that leads to it.
If you’re an animal lover, more than 90 species from all over the world make their home at Washington Park Zoo, located on the Lake Michigan shore and a part of the park. Also, along the lakefront, you can visit the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, a modern art center featuring four stunning galleries plus outdoor sculptures. The Lubeznik’s Gallery Shop sells the works of local and regional artisans.
Indiana Dunes National Park – The magnificence of towering dunes rising from Lake Michigan’s cobalt waters nearly takes your breath away the first time you view the stunning landscape just west of Michigan City. It’s easy to spend a day exploring Indiana Dunes National Park, a 15,000-acre haven with more than 50 miles of hiking trails over rugged dunes and through rich wetlands, sunny prairies, and tranquil forests. The area is alive with wildlife and a well-known birding spot.
The parks offer a host of naturalist-led activities that include hikes and other adventures. But, of course, the dunes themselves are the unparalleled draw, offering an exhilarating experience to visitors of every age and ability. Hardy hikers take on the 3 Dune Challenge, a 1.5-mile course climbing the adjoining Indiana Dunes State Park’s three tallest dunes. Others choose to stroll sandy stretches at their own pace. A good place to start your adventure is at the Indiana Dunes National Park Visitors Center. You’ll find displays, orientation films, maps, a gift shop, and a daily schedule of ranger-led and other activities.
Lake Michigan Cruises – What a way to end the day – a sunset cruise on the big water! Board Harbor Country Adventures’ Emita II in Michigan City for nightly two-hour jaunts out on Lake Michigan, with live entertainment on the top deck and a full bar. Daytime cruises are available too. If your group is in the mood for an adrenaline rush, sign up for one of Harbor Country’s Sea Rocket Adventures tours. A high-speed cruiser zooms across Lake Michigan waters, while a narrator tells intriguing tales about the area. The trip provides beautiful views of the Lake Michigan shoreline and Indiana Dunes.
Shop for Fantastic Finds
Looking for bargains, treasures, or a bit of Northern Indiana to take home for yourself or others? LaPorte County is overflowing with finds!
Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets, Michigan City – This attractive outdoor mall is home to nearly 100 top name-brand stores such as Michael Kors, Coach, Guess, Kate Spade and Loft. You’ll love the everyday bargains on clothing, shoes, and accessories, plus perusing all the home goods and specialty stores!
Antique Market, Michigan City – This extravaganza of vintage finds features more than 140 vendors in a mall setting. Furniture, clothing, glassware, china and so much more fill the store.
Coachman Antique Mall, LaPorte –Known as one of Indiana’s oldest and largest antique malls, this huge space features an exceptional furniture selection and treasures galore.
A trio of shops – Three great antiquing shops in and around LaPorte, two in refurbished barns, are overflowing with vintage finds. Stop in at Barn Style in Rolling Prairie, Freckle Farm Primitives and Antiques in LaPorte, and It’s All About the Barn, just outside of town.
The Shops of the Uptown Arts District – This trendy area of Michigan City features a host of stores that sell everything from unique home décor at Nest Number 4 to jewelry made from Lake Michigan beach glass at Beach Bum Jewels to distinctive hats at Chef Bizarro Millinery.
Fawn Run Farm Mercantile, Rolling Prairie – Artist Marcy Dailey creates primitive folk dolls, animals and characters and sells a host of other items, including dried flowers, scented candles, and early wares in her custom-built barn.
Hook Pottery Paper, LaPorte – Jon Hook’s stunning ceramics and Andrea Petersen’s delicate handmade paper creations star at this studio, where both artists repurpose everything from wood ash for pottery to used fibers for paper in their creations.
Thaddeus C. Gallery, LaPorte – The gallery showcases painting, printmaking, sculpture, glass, ceramics, handmade jewelry, and other functional art from regional artists.
Sooth Your Body and Soul
Spas for the body, gardens for the soul…here are some special places for both.
Hermanas Harmony Spa, Michigan City – You can book your whole group here for a spa party that includes massages and facials.
Posh Day Spa, LaPorte – Manicures, pedicures, and an array of body treatments make you feel new again at this day spa in the historic district.
The Great Escape Spa & Art Shop, Michigan City – Revitalize with massages, including a Thai massage, manicures and more, and then peruse artworks from jewelry to watercolors.
Friendship Botanic Gardens, Michigan City – Stroll earthen trails through cultivated gardens, forested woodlands, and meadows, complete with a creek and small lake at this refreshing 105-acre oasis. Special events include Cabaret Nights with live entertainment.
Garwood Orchards, LaPorte – This fifth-generation orchard is known for even more than the endless array of u-pick and already harvested berries, produce, and apples as the seasons roll from spring through fall. Visitors love the legendary donuts and pies, plus lunch at the Garwood Grill.
Minich Farms Flower Patch, LaPorte – Pick a posy or two at this family-operated flower farm south of town, featuring some 25 types of dahlias, sunflowers, a host of other cutting blooms, and potted plants, too.
Wine and Dine
Some of the best moments of your time together come with a delicious, relaxing dinner and a toast or two. (See additional dining options listed with lodgings above under “Find a Place to Stay.” They include William B’s at the Blue Chip, Boardwalk Bar and Grill and T-Bone’s Pier 11 at the Blue Heron Inn, and The Brewery Supper Club at The Brewery Lodge.)
Leeds Public House, Michigan City – Craft beer from Northern Indiana breweries pair beautifully with steaks, brisket, and more at this casual gastropub, complete with patio dining.
Shady Creek Winery, Michigan City – Enjoy award-winning wines, delicious upscale food, friendly tastings, and a casual, welcoming atmosphere at this gleaming, modern facility with soaring ceilings, patios and covered porches.
Trattoria Enzo, LaPorte – It’s all about friends, family, and primo Italian food at this cozy restaurant, where you can book your group of 12 or more for your own private party in Enzo’s Attic.
Insider Tip: The early risers in your group won’t want to miss the wonderful Saturday morning Farmers Markets at 8th and Washington streets in Michigan City and at Lincolnway and Monroe in LaPorte. In addition to all that fresh produce, shop for cheeses, local honey, sweet baked goods, dried flowers and other crafts.