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The "Grandfather of Aviation," Octave Chanute, built and tested the first successful heavier-than-air glider at Marquette Park. The park is one of many unique attractions in the South Shore with its beautiful beaches, boat launches and trails.
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30 Unique Attractions

    In celebration of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority's 30 year anniversary, we invite you to enjoy 30 of the South Shore's unique and can't miss attractions.

    1. Feel young again by visiting Albanese Candy Factory in Hobart. This candy factory is home to the world's tallest chocolate waterfall and award-winning gummies.
    2. The Shrine of Christ's Passion in St. John is like no other. This interactive half-mile winding path features 40 life-size bronze statues depicting the Stations of the Cross.
    3. Windsurfing in Indiana? Wolf Lake in Hammond was recognized by the New York Times as being one of the best lakes in the country for windsurfing.
    4. Right off the shore at Whihala Beach in Whiting, Whoa Zone is a one-acre floating water park. The floating structure includes monkey bars, slides, towers, bridges and jumping platforms for children (7 & up) and adults.
    5. Jean Shepherd narrated and co-wrote "A Christmas Story" which was based on his childhood growing up in Hammond. In honor of Jean, the Indiana Welcome Center hosts the "A Christmas Story" Comes Home exhibit every November and December. The exhibit centers around 6 animatronic window displays from Macy's Herald Square in New York City.
    6. Whiz down water slides at up to 30 miles per hour at Deep River Waterpark in Merrillville. The waterpark is open from late May to August. During the winter months families can enjoy ice-skating under the clock tower.
    7. The "Grandfather of Aviation," Octave Chanute, built and tested the first successful heavier-than-air glider at Marquette Park in Miller Beach.
    8. Dr. Scholl, the famous foot doctor, started his practice in Cedar Lake. See many of his original tools at the Lake of the Red Cedars Museum.
    9. The Indiana Dunes State and National Parks welcome nearly 4 million guests each year. Mount Baldy, the "living" dune, stands at an impressive 123 feet tall and is the largest moving dune that trees cannot hold in place. Mount Baldy moves at a rate of four to five feet south each year and is located in Michigan City.
    10. Indulge in the freshest, award winning grilled cheese sandwich at Fair Oaks Farms. The blue-ribbon cheeses and velvety ice creams can be purchased in the retail store. Fair Oaks Farms Adventure Center offers interactive exhibits and visitors are welcome to tour the farm to see the milking process first-hand.
    11. Travel back to the mid-1800's with the Deep River Grinders vintage baseball team. The Grinders play according to rules from 1858 and wear vintage attire. Games are played at Deep River County Park in Hobart.
    12. Visit one of the last and highest quality remnants of dune and swale topography in the Midwest at Gibson Woods County Park in Hammond. The park was formed by a glacier that moved through the region thousands of years ago. Don't miss the bird room located onsite, which overlooks a bird sanctuary.
    13. Buckley Homestead, a living history farm in Lowell, depicts rural lifestyles on a farm with historic building including the Buckley home, schoolhouse and log cabin.
    14. During your visit to the South Shore, you may find yourself along the nation's first transcontinental highway, Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30). Be sure to take advantage of the many shopping and dining opportunities along this stretch of road. In Schererville, the intersection of U.S. 30 and U.S. 41 is referred to as the "Crossroads of America."
    15. Lake County, Indiana has a unique blend of history and cultural celebrations. Pierogi Fest® in Whiting is an Eastern European celebration centered around the stuffed dumpling (pierogi). This summer festival has been featured on the Travel Channel and the Food Network for its quirky entertainment and, of course, the pierogi.
    16. Visit the historic Crown Point Courthouse, also known as the Grand Old Lady. The courthouse was built in 1878 and was said to be "one of the finest architectural expressions in Indiana." The bottom floor of the courthouse houses many unique shops.
    17. At Horseshoe Casino Hammond you can try your luck at gaming or catch a show at The Venue located on site.
    18. More than 1,900 state-of-the-art slot and video poker machines awaits visitors at Ameristar Casino East Chicago.
    19. At Majestic Star Casinos and Hotel in Gary enjoy casino gaming and an assortment of dining and live entertainment.
    20. Blue Chip Casino Hotel in Michigan City offers 24-hours of entertainment, five restaurants and world-class spa.
    21. The convergence of the Lake Michigan flyway on Lake County's northern border and the Kankakee flyway on the southern border creates some of the best Canadian goose hunting and bird watching in the nation.
    22. The Community Veterans Memorial pays tribute to soldiers from every U.S. conflict of the 20th Century. Artifacts, such as a helicopter and war weapons, are on display at this park in Munster.
    23. Serving as an interchange for five major railroads and with nearly 180 trains passing through daily, Griffith was known as "the town that came to the tracks." You can learn more about the history of the railroads at the Griffith Historical Park and Railroad Museum located there.
    24. County Line Orchard in Hobart is one of the most popular orchards in the South Shore with apple picking, corn maze, petting zoo, apple cider, donuts and more.
    25. Little ones will have a blast at Bellaboo's Play and Discovery Center in Lake Station. Children can enjoy cooking classes, soft play room, face painting and rooms that inspire the imagination including pretend stores, kitchens, trains and more.
    26. Challenger Learning Center in Hammond offers space science education with missions for groups and laser light shows.
    27. Enjoy over 250 seasonal flavors of freshly popped gourmet popcorn at ChicagoLand Popcorn.
    28. A manufacturer of major league, minor league, college and high school bats, Hoosier Bat in Valparaiso offers tours of the facility for groups that reserve ahead and also has a gift shop.
    29. Taltree Arboretum and Gardens in Valparaiso is a collection of restored woodland, prairies and wetlands including four miles of walking trails. They host outdoor concerts and also have an award-winning Railway Garden that pays tribute to the steam era of the American railroad history.
    30. Baseball is a popular past-time in the South Shore with two local baseball clubs offering great family fun: the minor league team, Gary's SouthShore Railcats.
      Hotels Northwest Indiana Staybridge Suites
      Find the perfect place to stay during your trip - from standard hotels to renovated mansions and camping sites...… more

      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
      With five different casinos, Northwest Indiana offers much excitement and action along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan! With decadent restaurants, world class entertainment and floors (and floors) of slots and table games, your night is just getting started when you test your luck at one of our casinos.…more
      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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