Note: Businesses and venues throughout LaPorte County, which includes the communities of Michigan City and LaPorte, are following state guidelines established in conjunction with the coronavirus (COVID-19) to open gradually and safely in accordance with a five-part plan initiated by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. The current stage – 4.5 – has allowed further reopening but does require face masks be worn for indoor businesses. We recommend that you check ahead with places you plan to visit to make sure they are operating and to learn about regulations in place such as occupancy limits. You can check their websites, call ahead, or visit their social media accounts.
Exciting New Exploits
Boom in LaPorte County
Add some new chills and thrills to your Northern Indiana vacation by trying out some adventures you might never have imagined. How about jumping out of an airplane and parachuting to the ground, taking in the scenic wonders of shoreline and city from a whole new vantage point? Or strategizing a great escape with your family from a room fraught with puzzling mysteries? And did you ever think about flinging a hatchet and hitting your mark just like a long-ago lumberjack?
Now’s your chance for a whole new realm of escapades that will leave your everyday world behind when you visit Michigan City and LaPorte, both located in beautiful LaPorte County, which anchors Lake Michigan’s southern shore. There’s also plenty of relaxation in store when you’re done with the excitement and want to chill out with an icy cold beverage, good food, and a little night life to boot. What are you waiting for?
Get Your Daniel Boone On
Throwing a hatchet just for the fun of it? That’s a growing trend across the country and LaPorte County is no exception. The Lucky Hatchet in Michigan City opened its doors last year and has been welcoming hatchet-throwers ever since. Here’s how it goes – Patrons hurl hatchets at wooden targets 12 feet away in safely screened lanes, hoping to hit the bullseye. If you want to make a competition of it, scoring is similar to that of darts. The new endeavor draws couples, friends and even parties to have a go at flinging the one-pound hatchets. Lanes are rented by the hour and half-hour. The Lucky Hatchet serves non-alcoholic beverages and locally crafted Burn ‘Em Brewery beer and snacks to go along with an activity that’s been described as challenging, a stress-reliever, and just plain entertaining.
Make a Great Escape
Get ready for a real-life adventure that will have you feeling as if you are in your own crazy video game. That’s what happens when you book an hour at an escape room in Michigan City or LaPorte. You and your team solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategies to escape an enclosed room in just 60 minutes.
It’s fun for the adults and kids alike in your family or group. So head out to one of LaPorte County’s escape rooms for a unique experience. At Xscape Quest in Michigan City, your challenge might be finding your way out of a Zen Temple or outwitting pirates in a game of Blackbeard’s Revenge. A series of clues and puzzles thrill and challenge participants as they work to escape before time runs out. (Reservations currently required, but can be made the same day). Escape Room LaPorte in the city of LaPorte offers plenty of thrills as well, challenging your group to keep their wits about them so they can escape just in time.
Fly High on a Skydiving Adventure
Talk about a view! Imagine what Lake Michigan, the Chicago skyline, and the verdant green fields below look like as you float to earth from 14,000 feet. The Skydive Windy City Chicago company makes it all happen, but here’s the best news of all! Despite its name, these skydiving jaunts take off right from the Michigan City Airport, so you’re good to go right here in LaPorte County.
No previous experience is necessary for tandem skydiving, where you are fitted with a harness, provided goggles and tethered to your professional instructor for the dive. After a short training session, a super-fast turbine aircraft takes you skyward and you are attached to the parachute system your instructor is wearing. Then the thrills begin as you freefall for a mile or more before the parachute deploys and you float toward earth, taking in incredible far-reaching panoramas of shoreline and skyline. Plus, you can get a video or photo to relive your accomplishment and prove to your friends back home that you did it! Must be 18 years old.
Catch the Stoke Kitesurfing
How are you catching your stoke? Experience the thrill of Indiana kitesurfing on the sandy southern shores of Lake Michigan with the Stoke Riders. You can sign up for professional Michigan City kitesurfing lessons with IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) certified instructors and you’ll be up and riding before you know it. Instructors have years of experience and are ready from sunrise to sunset, whenever it’s windy. Additional services include foilboarding lessons, gear rental and IKO certification. So while here, get your kitesurf on and enjoy an exhilarating experience, one with unparalleled excitement and views.
Toast to a Special Winery
When the Anderson family, a group of Michigan City area siblings and spouses, pooled their talents several years ago to create a special destination, the Shady Creek Winery was born. Since then, its popularity has spread as visitors and residents alike come to enjoy custom-crafted wines, delicious food, friendly tastings, and a casual, welcoming atmosphere at the winery, just a mile from Lake Michigan’s southern shore.
The gleaming, modern facility with soaring ceilings is situated on 20 expansive acres and invites lingering and sipping a delicious vintage on patios, covered porches and around cozy fireplaces. Shady Creek features a wide variety of dry white, red and semi-sweet wines. Many are award-winners and carry names that pay tribute to the Great Lake: Beach Glass White, Rip Tide Red, Sandy Feet, White Caps, and Sweet Sunrise. Food plays an important role. Pair your wine with delicacies that include salads, grilled flatbreads, pizza and other entrees.
Bring on the Brews
Looking for a little night life? Nothing says camaraderie like a cool glass of craft beer, and LaPorte County takes pride in its offerings of locally produced brews. In a sophisticated brewpub setting, longtime Shoreline Brewery & Restaurant in Michigan City features numerous hand-crafted beers, from a light, crisp ale with hints of blueberry to its rich, dark Lost Sailor stout. The food to go with it is both locally and globally influenced and universally delicious.
Three other microbreweries have become true hot spots for their craft beers. At Michigan City’s Burn ’Em Brewing, their slogan – “Comforting the Disturbed and Disturbing the Comfortable” – signals the fun in store. Customers rave about several captivating options, from Burn’Em 14 Buck Chuck, a pale ale, to Burn’Em Sluagh, a rye Irish stout, plus seasonal brews. The Brewery offers a rotating appetizer menu that features local products.
The Zorn Brew Works Co. in Michigan City may have just opened a few years ago, but the microbrewery pays tribute to Bavarian immigrant Philip Zorn, who founded a microbrewery in the Elston Grove neighborhood back in 1871. With that past in mind, today’s Zorn Brew Works creates everything from mellow, pale ales to Zorn’s Elston Grove, an oatmeal stout, plus offers great food. Original brick recalls an English pub and the outdoor patio is perfect for warm evenings.
It’s been 16 years since Back Road Brewery became the community of LaPorte’s first production craft brewery. The seven-barrel establishment rotates in as many as 40 different recipes each year. From crisp and refreshing American Pale Ale to rich Maple City Gold lager, you’ll find a brew to suit your taste. The beers are not filtered but are matured and conditioned in 14-barrel tanks kept in a large cold room.
There’s always excitement in store in the gleaming Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City. Open almost around the clock, the casino features 1,700 slot machines and 40 gaming tables. Sports lovers can experience the new FanDuel Sportsbook offering 2,730 square feet of sports betting, with 5 betting windows, 22 television screens, and 2 sports tickers or head to The Game sports bar and restaurant, featuring stats and the games on wall-to-wall televisions plus gourmet burgers, mouth-watering wings and 34 beers on tap. It’s one of the Blue Chip’s several dining spots. Enjoy the lavish Spa Blu, and spend the night in one of the luxurious guest rooms and suites.
Insider Tip: Looking for one more challenge? Just west of Michigan City, some hardy visitors take on the 3 Dune Challenge at Indiana Dunes State Park. To complete the trek, a person must run or hike a special 1.5 mile course at the park, climbing Mount Jackson (elevation 176 feet), Mount Holden (184 feet), and Mount Tom (192 feet). Some parts of the trail feature 40-degree slopes, guaranteed to test your mettle!