South Shore Posters
The South Shore is home to a wide range of birds including many migrating species. Connecticut, magnolia, and black-throated green warblers, Le Conte's sparrows, Kingbirds, towhees and northern goshawks have all been spotted in the area.
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$5 Chicken Wraps at St. John Malt Brothers

Take advantage of $5 chicken wraps every Wednesday at St. John Malt Brothers Craft Brewers.more

Bird Watching

For more information on bird watching in the area, contact the Douglas Center at 219-769-3820, part of the National Parks Service, or Gibson Woods at 219-844-3188.

Indiana Dunes Bird Watching

Indiana Dunes is the perfect place to see more than 350 different bird species that either inhabit or migrate through the Indiana Dunes. The wide variety of habitats - beaches, marshes, forests, wetlands and dunes - make the Indiana Dunes one of the best areas in the Midwest for birding. Although the migrations of spring and fall bring an abundance of birds to the region, every season offers great bird watching opportunities. More info on birding in the Indiana Dunes.

Don't miss the annual Indiana Dunes Birding Festival!

Hammond Lakefront Park and Bird Sanctuary

Known locally as the "Migrant Trap", this small patch of woods wedged between the Hammond Marina and the Commonwealth Edison Power Plant attracts an amazing number and variety of birds during migration. Sitting on the lakeshore, surrounded by heavy industry, marinas, railroads and gambling boats, the Hammond Bird Sanctuary is the only green patch for several kilometers in every direction. That combined with the funnel effect of Lake Michigan makes the Sanctuary a prime place to bird watch. Everything from Le Conte's sparrows to Connecticut warblers to northern goshawks have been sighted here. Mid-August through October is ideal for viewing some of these rare and unusual birds.

birding2Gibson Woods Nature Preserve

Tucked onto the northern edge of Hammond, wedged between Gary and East Chicago lies a small jewel, Gibson Woods Nature Preserve. Owned and operated by Lake County Parks and Recreation Department, this state-dedicated nature preserve represents the largest undisturbed dune and swale topography still in existence. From the low, wet swales to the high, sandy dunes, Gibson Woods hosts a large variety of plants and birds. In the spring, check the bushes and trees in the swales for black-throated, blue, Prothonotary and magnolia warblers. Connecticut, Nashville, and black-throated green warblers can be seen along the drier areas. More info on Gibson Woods.

Whihala Beach and County Park

This park lies on the other side of the Hammond Marina from the Hammond Bird Sanctuary. Though it doesn't boast quite the variety and the huge number of rarities as the Hammond Bird Sanctuary, its sidewalks and mowed grass make it much easier to get around in. Look in the grassy scrub at the beach's edge for migrating songbirds; scope the harbor between the park and Inland Steel for ducks. The park breakwater often hosts snowy owls in December and January. More info on Whihala Beach.

Miller Beach

The Miller area is the eastern edge of Gary. The beach parking lot at the end of Lake Street marks the southernmost edge of Lake Michigan. It makes a great place to watch for migrating birds, especially on days when the wind is coming from the north. Many bird watchers prefer to go on around to the Marquette Park concession stand where they have an elevated and sheltered view of the lake. Bird watching is best here in the fall. More jaegers have been sighted from Miller Beach than any other place in Indiana.

Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park

Spring and summer are the best times to bird watch in this 1,900 acre park. (Insect repellent is strongly recommended in the summer.) The park's trails wind through several different habitats. Look for warblers and other sun-loving birds in the willow and cottonwood. Peer into the ponds to look for Canada geese, ducks and shorebirds. Be sure to listen for wood thrush and very. Look to the sky for red-tail hawks and turkey vultures. Osprey and bald eagles are occasional visitors during migration. More info on Grand Kankakee Marsh.

Oak Ridge Prairie County Park

Oak Ridge Prairie is a notable restoration success story. Henslow's sparrow and sedge wrens nest in the prairies on either side of the road. Check out the wildlife ponds to see what ducks and shore birds might be visiting. Kingbirds and towhees are fond of the savanna area; grasshopper sparrows have nested in back of the sled hill. More info on Oak Ridge Prairie.


Hotels Northwest Indiana Staybridge Suites
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Spotlight South Shore




Uniquely South Shore
Northwest Indiana’s very own candy factory boasts the world’s best gummies! Tour the factory and experience your favorites being made, see the world’s tallest chocolate waterfall and sample some of the best candies around!…more
What began as a local newspaper’s effort to tell the compelling stories of Northwest Indiana men and women who sacrificed during the Civil War has evolved into a large-scale historical preservation effort. The joint partnership of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority and the Calumet Region Civil War Preservation Project seeks to carry forward on hundreds of hours of community service that already have taken place. …more
Conveniently located between Chicago and Indianapolis, Fair Oaks Farms offers a fun family playground that everyone will enjoy! From the Dairy Adventure and Birthday Barn, to the Cheese Factory and Mooville, Fair Oaks Farms will keep the family entertained, and well-fed, for a full day of education and fun!…more
Experience the journey of the Passion of Christ as never before in this interactive trail featuring 40 life-sized bronze statues. Experience the various Stations of the Cross with audio descriptions as you walk the winding pathway.…more
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A breathtaking adventure awaits at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, home to a plethora of diverse natural resources. The National Park is comprised of more than 15,000 acres of sand dunes, bogs, marshes, swamps, fens, prairies, rivers, oak savannas, and woodland forests. It provides visitors with opportunities for bird watching, camping, 45 miles of hiking, fishing, swimming, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.…more
Pierogi Fest, the pride of Whiting, is an opportunity for the residents to celebrate their heritage while poking a little fun at themselves at the same time. The one of a kind parade and festival have received countrywide recognition having been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel.…more
This holiday season, The Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond will feature 6 animated displays featuring scenes from "A Christmas Story". The displays include: Higbee’s Department Store Window, Flick’s Tongue and the Triple Dog Dare, It’s a Major Award, Santa’s Mountain at Higbee’s, the Bumpus Hounds, and the Parker Living Room. The displays were first showcased in 2003 in the windows of the Herald Square Macy’s in New York City. …more
Heavy industry carried the South Shore economy for decades. Now, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority tells a story about a community: it’s been built by steel but changing from tourism. Northwest Indiana’s appeal is its devotion to ensure new & already existing businesses succeed. Area leaders have teamed together to revitalize the mill towns and make Northwest Indiana the place people want to live & work. …more
When a guest visits a hotel, restaurant, bank, or gas station, they rarely meet the manager or owner of the establishment. It's up to the front-line employee to make the customer's visit enjoyable.The R.O.S.E. Awards were created to recognize these "directors of first impression" who consistently work hard to make our lives easier. Guests & managers are able to nominate an employee who consistently "goes the extra mile."…more
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