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Shopping Pleasures and Treasures

Shopping Pleasures and Treasures
Add to the Fun in LaPorte County

Everyone wants to take a bit of that Northern Indiana vacation home with them. It might be a dreamy painting of the Lake Michigan shore, beach glass jewelry, or locally produced wine and craft beer with funky names and labels that reflect the region. Shopping and leisure time away from home just naturally go together, and LaPorte County brims with opportunity.

Discover small Northern Indiana artists’ studios off the beaten path, vintage storefronts filled with antiques, and an attractive outdoor mall featuring top-name bargains. Best of all, shopping in LaPorte County goes hand-in-hand with local activities and attractions, like visiting a museum or art gallery and then perusing the gift shop for works created by local artists and crafters.

Here are some great options for browsing and buying in Michigan City, LaPorte and beyond. You’ll never go home empty-handed with all the treasures to be found along the way.

Artsy Stops

Artisans throughout LaPorte County create treasures that will long remind you of your trip to Northern Indiana. Don’t miss these studios, galleries and shops:

Beach Bum Jewels, Michigan City – Over long periods of time, Lake Michigan’s waters smooth out pieces of tossed-away glass, creating colorful “beach glass” that artists here turn into beautiful earrings, bracelets, rings, and other jewelry.

Fawn Run Farm Mercantile, Rolling Prairie – Artist Marcy Dailey creates primitive folk dolls, animals and characters. She sells a host of other items, including dried flowers, scented candles, and early wares in her custom-built barn in the quiet countryside.

Hook Pottery Paper, LaPorte – Jon Hook’s stunning ceramics and Andrea Petersen’s delicate handmade paper star at this studio, where both artists repurpose everything from wood ash for pottery to used fibers for paper in their creations.

Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City – This stunning facility with four airy galleries, changing exhibits, and outdoor sculpture takes great pride in its Gallery Shop, a unique shopping destination that gives hundreds of regional artisans an opportunity to sell their paintings, jewelry, wood-turned creations, pottery, blown glass and more.

Southern Shore Art Association, Michigan City – Regional artists display and sell their works in this Uptown Arts District studio. Choose from oils, watercolors, photography, and more, with many depicting local landscapes, forests, beaches, and Lake Michigan. Cards, ceramics, printed scarves, bags and pillow covers created by local artists are on sale in the gift shop, as well as books by local authors.

Classy Antiques

Who doesn’t love a vintage treasure? Antique shops small and large attract shoppers from a wide area. Here are some you won’t want to miss:

Antique Market, Michigan City – Voted the No. 1 Antique Shop in two area newspapers, 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.

Barn Style, Rolling Prairie – The antiques literally overflow from the cute barn onto the shady yard at this friendly store in the countryside. Shop for glassware, furniture, primitives, enamelware and all sorts of unique vintage items.

Coachman Antique Mall, LaPorte – In a community long reputed to be a great stop for vintage treasures, this 23,000-square-foot store is known as one of Indiana’s oldest and largest antique malls. You’ll find a bit of everything, with an exceptionally outstanding furniture selection featuring everything from Victorian to mid-century to a bit of modern.

Freckle Farm Primitives and Antiques, LaPorte – This shop may be one of the new kids on the block but it’s loaded with treasures, such as antiques, farmhouse furniture, and folk art.

It’s All About the Barn, LaPorte – This refurbished barn brims from floor to ceiling with just about every antique find imaginable, from stools and crocks to metalworks, rockers, signs and all kinds of memorabilia.

Plain and Fancy Antiques & Vintage Decor, LaPorte – Shop for vintage furniture, linens, glassware and more in a quaint farm setting. You’ll find everything from antique luggage and quilts to old-time paintings, signs and collectibles.

NOTE: Five of the shops featured in this blog are part of the Barn Shop Hop, held each spring and fall (Oct. 4-6 this year) in LaPorte County. Shop for antiques, folk art, handcrafts, salvage, re-purposed and vintage finds, primitives, furniture, yard art, and more at Fawn Run Farm Mercantile, Plain and Fancy, Freckle Farm Primitives and Antiques, Barn Style, and It’s All About the Barn. Each store provides maps.

Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets

It feels like you’re shopping in a friendly coastal village, complete with a lighthouse, at this outdoor mall with nearly 100 stores in Michigan City. Shoppers find top name-brand merchandise, including designer clothing, shoes, baby clothes, housewares, books gifts, shoes, and so much more at savings of up to 60 percent. Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Michael Kors, The North Face, Brooks Brothers, Carters, and Coach are just a few of the favorite name brands here, along with plenty of dining options.

Bottles and Brews

Discovering a local craft brewery or winery is all part of the fun for many vacationers. Taking some of that flavor home brings back the memories of special times. Here are some options:

Shady Creek Winery, Michigan City – Learn about different vintages at the tasting bar at this lovely winery with expansive views, then shop for award-winners that carry names reminiscent of Lake Michigan, such as Beach Glass White and Rip Tide Red.

Back Road Brewery, LaPorte – This longtime brewery rotates as many as 40 different recipes each year. Growlers and bottles are available for sale to take home, embellished with their signature label. One of the most popular take-outs is their Back Road beer.

Burn ’Em Brewery, Michigan City – Growlers, bottles and cans of this popular brewery’s creations are available to take home. From Burn’ Em Buck Chuck to Hipster Juicebag, the crazy labels are as wild as the names.

Shoreline Brewery, Michigan City – A popular restaurant with 12 craft beers brewed right here along the shores of Lake Michigan. Take home a six-pack with a fun name –perhaps Foggy Loggy or Sum Nug – or even a t-shirt that says “Don’t Drink the Water, Drink the Beer.”

Zorn Brew Works, Michigan City – History runs deep at Zorn, a newer brewery named for an immigrant who founded another local microbrewery in the Elston Grove Neighborhood in 1871. Take home cans of some of their brews like 1871 Ale or Elston Grove, an oatmeal stout, embellished with labels that reflect good times gone by.

Insiders Tip: Calling all Chocolate Lovers!

How about a sweet ending to your Northern Indiana shopping spree? Once you view the array of handcrafted chocolates at Little Chocolates in LaPorte, you’ll want to take them home for family and friends. But be sure to stock up on plenty for yourself along the way. The shop’s slogan is “Everybody Needs a Little Chocolate.” Sink your teeth into one of the Caramel Pecan Patties or other delights and there’s no doubt.

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