Finding The Best of Northern Indiana

Activities, Magazine Features

Explore some of the best things to do in Northern Indiana and check out a diverse range of beautiful attractions and fun activities that everyone will enjoy.

Northern Indiana has a diverse range of attractions and activities to offer. Whether you’re interested in exploring nature, learning about local history, experiencing unique cultural events, or just relaxing in picturesque settings, there’s something for everyone.

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Picture-perfect Views in Indiana

If you’re looking for stunning scenes to take up space on your camera, look no further. Indiana is home to a variety of beautiful locations.

  • Indiana Dunes National Park (featured above): This is one of the most popular destinations in Northern Indiana. You can enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches along Lake Michigan, hike through the dunes, birdwatch in diverse ecosystems, and even camp. The Indiana Dunes State Park, located within the national park, also has additional amenities like a nature center and picnic areas.
  • Taltree Arboretum and Gardens: Located in Valparaiso, this arboretum is a great place to explore the natural beauty of Northern Indiana. It features themed gardens, a railway garden, and several trails for walking and birdwatching.
  • Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve: Located in Chesterton, this preserve offers a tranquil escape with walking trails, wetlands, and boardwalks. It’s a perfect spot for birdwatching and appreciating the natural beauty of Northern Indiana.
  • Pokagon State Park: Located in Angola, Pokagon State Park is known for its natural beauty, with lush forests and tranquil lakes. The park offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, and boating in the summer, and a toboggan run in the winter.
Studebaker National Museum

Studebaker National Museum

Family Attractions in Northern Indiana

Northern Indiana is rich with family-friendly activities, offering a range of indoor and outdoor experiences to suit all ages. Whether you’re interested in nature, history, education, or entertainment, there are plenty of options for families to enjoy. Here are some of the best family activities in Northern Indiana:

  • Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo: Consistently ranked among the top zoos in the United States, this zoo offers a wide range of exhibits and activities for kids. It features a petting zoo, a miniature train ride, a carousel, and exhibits like the African Journey and Australian Adventure.
  • Science Central in Fort Wayne: This science museum has interactive exhibits focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Families can enjoy hands-on activities, live demonstrations, and educational programs.
  • Studebaker National Museum: While a car museum might not sound like a typical family activity, this museum in South Bend offers interactive exhibits and a unique look at American automotive history. The museum’s “Studebaker Super Service Center” allows kids to play mechanic.
  • The Potawatomi Zoo: Located in South Bend, this is Indiana’s oldest zoo. It features a wide variety of animals, a playground, and a train ride, making it a great destination for families.
Notre Dame Stadium

Notre Dame Stadium

Calling All Sports Fans!

Northern Indiana offers a variety of fun-filled sports games and family experiences. If you’re hoping to catch a game up close and personal, Northern Indiana is a must-add stop for your itinerary.

  • Notre Dame Football Games: The University of Notre Dame in South Bend is famous for its storied football program. Home games at Notre Dame Stadium are major events, with a rich tradition and enthusiastic fans. Attending a game here is a quintessential Northern Indiana sports experience.
  • South Bend Cubs Baseball: The South Bend Cubs are a minor league baseball team, part of the Midwest League and an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. They play at Four Winds Field in South Bend. The team offers a fun, family-friendly atmosphere with themed nights, fireworks, and other special events.
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps Baseball: The TinCaps are another minor league baseball team, affiliated with the San Diego Padres. They play at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, which is known for its modern facilities and a great fan experience.
  • Fort Wayne Mad Ants Basketball: The Mad Ants are a G League team affiliated with the Indiana Pacers. They play at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne. G League games are a great opportunity to see up-and-coming basketball talent.
Amish Sampler dish in Indiana

Amish Sampler dish in Indiana

A taste for every palate

Northern Indiana offers a diverse food scene that includes a mix of regional specialties, traditional Midwestern fare, and influences from other cuisines. Here’s a list of some of the best food experiences in Northern Indiana:

  • Amish Cuisine in Shipshewana: Shipshewana and the surrounding Amish country in Elkhart County are known for hearty, home-cooked meals. Traditional Amish dishes like fried chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes, noodles, and pie are served in family-style restaurants like Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery and Essenhaus Restaurantin Middlebury.
  • Local Breweries and Craft Beer: Northern Indiana has a growing craft beer scene, with breweries offering unique and locally brewed beers. Try Three Floyds Brewing in Munster for a diverse selection of craft beers, or visit Iechyd Da Brewing Company in Elkhart for a laid-back brewery experience.
  • Farm-to-Table Restaurants: Farm-to-table dining is a growing trend in Northern Indiana, with restaurants focusing on locally sourced ingredients. Places like Joseph Decuis in Roanoke offer gourmet dining experiences with a focus on local and sustainable foods.
  • Indiana Pork Tenderloin Sandwich: A regional specialty, the pork tenderloin sandwich features breaded and fried pork, often pounded thin and served on a bun with various toppings. Try it at places like Triple XXX Family Restaurant in West Lafayette or local diners throughout the region.

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Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium

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