Inspirations Abound in the South Shore

Northwest Indiana - Seeking inspiration? Look toward the southern shores of Lake Michigan for your inspirational journey. Northwest Indiana has an array of activities and attractions that are uplifting to all walks of life. Explore the natural beauty of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, visit The Shrine of Christ's Passion, experience the Community Veterans Memorial or worship in Indiana's largest church.  

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has been a popular destination for hundreds of years. Artists have created masterpieces inspired by its natural beauty. The park is a mecca of ecological wonders comprised of more than 15,000 acres of dunes, bogs, marshes, prairies and forests. Outdoor activities like horseback riding, bird watching, boating and fishing are sure to connect you to nature. Hike the scenic trails of Mount Baldy, the largest moving dune within the lakeshore or have a charming picnic on one of the lakeshore's eight beaches.

Get in touch with your spiritual side in the South Shore where two beautiful shrines evoke serenity and fulfillment. The Shrine of Christ's Passion is one of the area's newest attractions and opened last summer to national acclaim drawing approximately 50,000 visitors from all faiths. The interactive, half-mile winding pathway displays the Passion of Christ in the Stations of the Cross.

Each grotto has a bronze life-like statue and a listening station where music and a description of each scene can be heard. Aside from the Stations of the Cross, the shrine includes scenes of Jesus' resurrection from the grave and ascension into Heaven.

There is also a visitor's center and gift shop where religious items such as Bibles, jewelry, prayer books, rosaries and other items can be purchased. The gift shop is open Monday - Friday 10am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm. Experience a spiritual renewal along the prayer trail this spring. The facility is handicapped accessible and provides special accommodations for those unable to walk.

Crystal, marble and colorful stones adorn twelve shrines at the Carmelite Shrines in Munster on the property of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Monastery. Striking displays and religious sculptures captivate at every turn in the grottoes. For example, the Holy Mother Grotto contains a popular black light exhibition of the archangel Gabriel and Jesus raising the dead often referred to as the Ultraviolet Apocalypse. Prayer corners and memorials are tucked away along the grounds for quiet reflection and privacy.

First Baptist Church of Hammond, known as one of America's oldest megachurches, is the largest church in Indiana according to Outreach magazine's "Outreach 100" for 2008. The main building is 175,000 square feet and includes a 7,500 seat auditorium, a fellowship hall and a nursery. The church has an average attendance of 14,000 and is ranked the 19th largest congregation nationwide. It is the largest Independent Baptist Church in the country and is one of the 100 fastest growing churches in the country, according to the church. First Baptist Church holds three services a week. Services begin at 10:45am and the evening service begins at 7pm.                                             

Veterans of 20th Century wars are honored at the Community Veterans Memorial in Munster. The memorial is a dedication to the valiant acts of those who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. Set amidst landscapes of war-torn lands, the memorial is a beautiful tribute to courage and bravery. A brick pathway and history trail guides you through each scene with background information. World renowned sculptors Omri and Julie Amrany, used their exceptional talent to sculpt monuments as a tribute to the men and women who fought for the United States.

More than 300 acres of gardens, wetlands, savannahs and prairies make up Taltree Arboretum and Gardens on top of the Valparaiso Moraine. A picturesque wonder of nature, Taltree Arboretum offers a place to bask in the atmosphere of each garden, woodland and prairie. Take a walk through the blooming gardens, watch the sunset amongst the oak trees or bring a blanket to relax on the lavish greenery. There are several nature trails to hike and woods to explore. Bluebirds, grasshopper sparrows and other woodland creatures can be seen in their natural habitat and along the trails.

Be inspired by the scenic settings that celebrate the South Shore's stunning natural resources. The South Shore is located between Chicago, IL and New Buffalo, MI along Lake Michigan's Southern Shore.


To plan your visit, please contact:

South Shore CVA                                (219) 989-7770;

Indiana Dune National Lakeshore         (219) 926-7561 ext. 225;

The Shrine of Christ's Passion   (219) 365-5129;

Carmelite Shrines                                  (219) 838-7111

First Baptist Church of Hammond         (219) 932-0711;

Community Veterans Memorial (219) 836-3392;

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens  (219) 462-0025;