Here Comes Summer!
Love It in LaPorte County
Lively waterfront fun and a host of exciting summer events make this special corner of Northern Indiana a hotter-than-ever vacation getaway this year. You can’t beat the prime stretch of Lake Michigan beachfront that anchors the bustling community of Michigan City, but there’s so much more to love along the lakefront and beyond.
Experience a modern-day wonder as some of the world’s fastest offshore powerboats race across Lake Michigan waters in Michigan City’s award-winning Great Lakes Grand Prix or discover true old-fashioned fun at Indiana’s longest-running county fair in LaPorte. While you’re in the area, add in some unique shopping stops at a popular outlet mall in Michigan City, plus antique shops in LaPorte. Experience non-stop gaming and refreshing spa treatments at a top-notch casino resort.
Michigan City also serves as the unofficial gateway to a true national treasure – the Indiana Dunes and the brand-new Indiana Dunes National Park, a 15,000-acre enclave formerly known as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It’s the state’s first national park and a fabulous area for beaching along Lake Michigan and hiking among towering sand dunes. There’s even a festival dedicated to preserving the dunes.
Here’s a close-up look at just a few amazing finds and events to get your planning started:
Lakeside – Michigan City
Washington Park and Beach – Soft sand beaches stretch for two miles where this gem of a park meets Lake Michigan, a haven for swimmers, strollers and beachcombers. With 140 tree-shaded acres, Washington Park is a hub of activity and includes fitness trails and plenty of picnic tables.
Washington Park Zoo – More than 90 species from all over the world make their home at this longtime zoo, located on the Lake Michigan shore and a part of the park. Visitors especially enjoy a see-through tunnel where they can watch otters swim.
Lubeznik Center for the Arts – Also located along the waterfront a short walk from Washington Park, this modern art center features four stunning galleries with changing exhibitions plus outdoor sculptures. The Lubeznik’s Gallery Shop sells the handcrafted works of local, regional and national artisans.
Inland – Michigan City and LaPorte
Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa – This gleaming facility is known as Northern Indiana’s favorite place to play, and it’s no wonder. The spacious single-level casino includes 1,700 slot machines and 40 table games – with open boarding 24/7 every day year-round. Visitors love the luxurious lodgings, fabulous food, and ultimate spa treatments.
Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets, Michigan City – Shopping scores high when pollsters ask vacationers about their favorite away-from-home activities. Just a mile from Lake Michigan, this attractive outdoor mall is home to 100 top name-brand stores such as Columbia Sportswear, Michael Kors, and Ann Taylor Loft. You’ll love the bargains!
Antiquing in LaPorte – A plethora of shops bring antique lovers to town to hunt for vintage treasures. Sixty dealers sell their antique wares at Uptowne Shoppes, and Coachman Antique Mall is known as Indiana’s oldest and largest antique mall.
Mark Your Calendar!
Jammin with Save the Dunes (June 1) – What could be a better cause (or a more entertaining one) than a festival filled with music, food, and fun where proceeds go to an organization dedicated to preserving the Indiana Dunes? This annual fundraiser in Michigan City’s lakefront Washington Park will host six bands along with food trucks serving local favorites and breweries and wineries offering their craft beers and wine. Bring the whole family – there’s a Kid’s Zone too!
LaPorte County Fair and Pioneerland (July 7-13) – Indiana’s longest-running county fair celebrates its 174th year at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds in LaPorte. The popular fair gives visitors a chance to relive the past at Pioneerland, the re-creation of an early 1800s town. Fill your days at the fair with top name grandstand entertainment, tractor pulls, a rodeo, carnival rides, food, and games.
Great Lakes Grand Prix (August 1-4) – It’s back and powerboat race fans couldn’t be more thrilled! Michigan City’s waterfront at Washington Park will be the scene for the 11th Annual Award-Winning Great Lakes Grand Prix. Some new excitement is in store this year as several classes of offshore powerboats and jet skis race at daring high speeds past Washington Park. There’s plenty of activity away from the water too. The annual boat parade, a vintage car show, live bands, and vendors selling both food and race souvenirs are all on tap.
Sensational Sunset: Head for Washington Park for a front seat to witness one of nature’s best shows –a panorama of orange, gold, and red that erupts as the sun sets over Lake Michigan. With the lakeshore’s iconic Michigan City lighthouse in the foreground, it’s a scene that will stay with you long after vacation is over.