Lake Michigan Shore | Best Western Hotels & Resorts

  

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Lake Michigan Shore Tour

Enjoy your drive through northwestern Indiana along the Lake Michigan Shore. You'll visit pleasant cities like Portage, Hammond, and Valparaiso.

Hammond

Kick off your Lake Michigan Shore tour in the northwest corner of the state in Hammond. Just minutes east of the Illinois border, Hammond yields a full day of fun and activity – you can check out the games at Horseshoe Hammond Casino, or explore local outdoor hotspots like Homestead Park, Carlson Oxbow Park, and Wicker Park.

Must See
Be sure to visit Horseshoe Hammond on your stay. You’ll find a wide range of your favorite casino games, which will entertain you for hours on end. You can grab a drink and a bite a the Sixth Street Bar at Horseshoe Hammond, or explore Push, the nightlife lounge at the casino – live music, dancing, and plenty of people watching chances.

Local Guide
The Indiana Welcome Center will yield insights into the local areas surrounding and within Hammond – learn a little about Hammond’s rich history and what’s fun to do around the city. As you explore the Indiana Welcome Center, don’t miss the W.F. Wellman Exhibit Hall. Any holiday season visit should also include a trip to the exhibit, “A Christmas Story Comes Home.”

Outdoor
Get outside and stretch those legs – a visit to Carlson Oxbow Park should always be in the cards. One of the premier outdoor areas in Hammond, Carlson Oxbow Park is home to the Little Calumet River, where you can go fishing, or launch your kayak. There are hiking and cycling paths for you to explore, and you can even plan for a festive picnic with the family – all possible on your visit to Carlson Oxbow Park.

Schererville

Continue your tour of the Lake Michigan Shore with a drive into Schererville. Just south of Hammond, you’ll find Schererville to be pleasant and charming – lots to do, and so little time to see it all. You can explore the city via the Lincoln Highway as you check out some of the highlights – don’t miss the Crossroads Shopping Center, or a round of 18 holes at the Scherwood Golf Course.

Must See
Stretching to nearly 4,000 miles in length, the Lincoln Highway is a main throughway in Schererville. Beginning on the west coast in San Francisco, the Lincoln Highway guides passengers all the way to New York City. Be sure to explore the northwestern Indiana segment on your stay in Schererville.

Local Guide
Venture over to the Crossroads Shopping Center to pick up a few necessities – or grab a few gifts for the folks back at home. Find a selection of your favorite retail stores, grab a bite at any number of the different restaurants, and be sure to visit over the holidays when the kids can have their picture taken with Santa.

Outdoor
Don’t forget your clubs when you embark on this Lake Michigan Shore tour. Book a tee time now at the Scherwood Golf Course, one of the premier public courses in the Schererville area. Play this 18 hole course and find 6,750 yards and a par-72. Opened in 1967, Scherwood Golf Course was designed by Ted Locke.

Merrillville

From Schererville, head east into Merrillville for the next stop on this tour. A pleasant town of just 31 square miles, Merrillville was once a densely forested area, and home to the Potawatomi Indians. Get out there and see what Merrillville has to offer – from live performance at the Star Plaza Theatre, to some aquatic adventures at the Deep River Waterpark.

Must See
The Star Plaza Theater proves to be an ideal destination when seeking live shows. Music, comedy, and plays are the usual fare at Star Plaza Theatre. Seating 3,400 guests, the Star Plaza Theatre hosts some of the top touring recording artists in the business today. Check the local calendar when you’re visiting to see if anyone you like is performing.

Local Guide
Opened in 1990, Wisecrackers Comedy Club has been a hub for stand up comedy in Merrillville. Top stand ups from across the country have made appearances at Wisecrackers. Featuring performances most nights of the week, Wisecrackers Comedy Club opens their doors at 8:30p.m.

Outdoor
Be sure to visit the Deep River Waterpark, an ideal way to cool down on a warm summer day in Merrillville. If your Merrillville visit is during the fall or winter months, worry not – they also feature an indoor ice skating rink. Enjoy the waterpark, though, with rides like the Rip Tide Wave Pool, Double Dueling CannonBowl, Mayor Byrdovich’s Courthouse, and the BAYOU River Ride.

Valparaiso

Continue your Lake Michigan Shore tour in Valparaiso. A scenic drive east from Merrillville along the Lincoln Highway, Valparaiso is known as the home of Valparaiso University, and the Brauer Museum of Art. You can shoot for par at the Creekside Golf Course, enjoy a pleasant picnic at Kirchoff Park, or pick up some goodies at the Valparaiso Market Place Shopping Center.

Must See
Plan on visiting the Porter County Museum of History when you’re in Valparaiso. Yielding an impressive array of art, artifacts, knowledge, and culture, the Porter County Museum of History opens its doors Wednesday through Saturday. Keep an eye out for the annual Heritage Dinner, an event where proceeds go to help fund the museum. Many visitors particularly enjoy exploring the World War II exhibit on the second floor.

Local Guide
Established in 1859, Valparaiso University is one of the premier private schools in the state. Known by many as simply “Valpo,” the school is just east of downtown on a campus of nearly 350 acres. Embark on a Valpo campus tour and be sure to check out the Victory Bell – it’s rung for campus celebrations and after athletic triumphs. The Valparaiso University Crusaders play within the Horizon League across 18 different varsity sports. Baseball fans often visit the Emory G. Bauer Field, while the Crusaders football team plays home games at Brown Field.

Outdoor
Particularly ideal for any spring visit to Valparaiso, the Taltree Arboretum & Gardens makes for a wealth of fun. The smell of the freshly cut grass, flowers in bloom, birds chirping away – Taltree Arboretum rarely lets you down. Be sure to check out the majestic Signature Oak Tree, just south of the Railway Garden. There are several trails you can hike or walk through at Taltree – don’t miss the Cardinal Trail, just under a mile long, or the Heron Trail measuring in at just under a third of a mile.

Chesterton

Hit the open road again and make your way to Chesterton. As you travel to Chesterton from Valparaiso, make a quick stop over in Portage – you won’t want to miss out on the Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk. Shops, food, vendors, and plenty of scenic beauty await you and the family. As you find your way into Chesterton, plan for an insightful tour of the Westchester Township Historical Museum, and don’t miss the Indiana Dunes State Park.

Must See
You’ll find the Westchester Township Historical Museum in the 1885 Brown Mansion, one of the most historic buildings in Chesterton. Established as a museum in 1998, this historical destination yields tours of its 16 rooms. There are always a number of different exhibits on display at the Westchester Township Historical Museum, rotating and permanent.

Local Guide
Quench your thirst when you stop at Hunter’s Brewing. One of the top "nanobreweries" in Chesterton, Hunter’s Brewing features a very quaint tasting room where you’ll a satisfying pint of locally crafted ales, seasonal offerings, stouts, and much more.

Outdoor
Any spring or summer visit to Chesterton should include time spent at the Indiana Dunes State Park. With a total area of 2,182 acres, the Indiana Dunes State Park is open year round, with enough room to accommodate a wealth of people. Lake Michigan proves to be a most ideal backdrop for the Indiana Dunes State Park – check out the many bird watching, hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities.

La Porte

Set your GPS for La Porte, the final destination on this tour of Lake Michigan’s south shore. From the Hesston Steam Museum, to the Garwood Orchards, La Porte yields a variety of things to do and see for all members of the family. Nicknamed “The Maple City,” La Porte is a warm and charming city, measuring in at just under 13 square miles.

Must See
Make the most of your stay in la Porte with a tour of the La Porte County Historical Society Museum. You can catch a live re-enactment of the Civil War, or gaze upon the many permanent and traveling exhibits. Their annual Civil War re-enactment is usually held in mid-June, perfect for your summer visit to La Porte. Many La Porte County Historical Society Museum guests also enjoy the Kesling Auto Collection. Take a few pictures of the more than 30 vintage automobiles found within this display.

Local Guide
As your tour through northwestern Indiana reaches its pinnacle, make sure you play a round of 18 holes at the Beechwood Golf Course. Yielding one of the premier golf experiences from a public course, Beechwood Golf Course is a par-72, and plays to 6,627 yards from the back tees. It was designed by William H. Diddel, and opened in 1931.

Outdoor
Whether you enjoy a brisk hike through any of its 170 acres, or settle in for a pleasant afternoon picnic, Fox Memorial Park is a can’t-miss for anyone visiting La Porte. Check out Clear Lake when you visit, or let the kids burn off some steam at the Thrills ‘n’ Spills Skate Park. There is also the Dennis F. Smith Amphitheater where you’ll find events throughout the year, and the Arts in the Parks programs.