Planning a getaway in Indiana but want to find some new places off the tourist path? Check out the hidden gems along the south shore of Lake Michigan, which will breathe new life into your adventures.
Travel brings out the pioneer in all of us, sparking a need to be the first to discover someplace new. Which begs the question: “Can you still find places around the world— and more specifically, Indiana—like that?” The answer is a resounding…Yes, absolutely. As small as the world seems, it’s still a huge place to explore. Many a hidden gem is still waiting for you. They’re just, well, sometimes harder to find.
One of the not-so-hidden gems along the shoreline in northern Indiana is the Indiana Dunes. But what you may not know is that there’s a lot more than the 18 miles of beautiful beaches in these National and State Parks. Known for its striking plant and bird diversity, it’s easy to find inspiration throughout their 17,000+ acres. Along the shoreline you will see the perfect sunset from the rooftop cantina at Sunset Grille and five stunning Century of Progress Homes, which were originally built for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. You can tour these homes once a year in September but it sells out quickly.
A day of exploration can be tiring and you may need some libations and good food. You’ll find just that right next to the dunes at Goblin & the Grocer. Another spot to check out is Brewery Lodge & Supper Club. This boutique hotel is surrounded by 40 acres of woods and includes a restaurant, day spa, and a craft beer and wine bar. You can also get a sour beer at Fuzzyline Brewing, stop in for a sweet tasting at Manic Mead. Wine. Cider., or listen to live music while sipping a glass of wine at Carpenter Creek Cellars.
If you’re looking for something different, try out the Region Cat Café. Not only do they offer delicious soups, sandwiches and bakery items in a cat-free dining room with a view of the cat lounge, but you can reserve a spot to go play with the kitties for a purrrfect afternoon. You might even find a friend you want to adopt.
Tucked away you can find the 575-acre Buckley Homestead schoolhouse and barn with live animals, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, or you can stroll the historic Lake County Courthouse Shops to find some unique gifts. Walk through history at Community Veterans Memorial, or enjoy outdoor works of art from artists around the world at the Art Mural Trail – #RenArtWlk.
No matter your interests, the South Shore has something for everyone. Jerry Seinfeld famously said “Sometimes the road less traveled is less- traveled for a reason!” and he’s right. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
So, what are you waiting for? There are tons of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Visit alongthesouthshore.com for a full list of our hidden gems and upcoming events & festivals.