In 1832, the U.S. government purchased the site of present-day Valparaiso and the surrounding area from the Potawatomi Indians. The town of Portersville, which was to be the county seat of the recently established Porter County, was divided and platted in 1836. Just a year later, the town was renamed "Valparaiso," which means "vale of paradise" in Spanish, after the city in Chile near which the county's namesake, David Porter, fought an important battle in the War of 1812.
In the decades since, Valparaiso has grown into a prospering city with a population of more than 25,000 people. This bustling county seat is filled with historic buildings, beautiful parks, lovely neighborhoods, successful businesses and friendly residents.
Visitors can always find something to do in Valparaiso, no matter the season. The city hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as Central Park Plaza Market, Summer Rhapsody Music Festival, Valpo Brewfest, Holly Days and the ever-popular Popcorn Fest.
Valparaiso also has a diverse variety of attractions. Cultural offerings include the Memorial Opera House, the Brauer Museum of Art and Chicago Street Theatre. Family-friendly attractions, such as the 49er Drive-In Theatre, Gabis Arboretum and Zao Island, will keep the gang entertained. Wine and craft beer aficionados will enjoy Four Fathers Brewing, Ironwood Brewing and Anderson Vineyard & Winery.
The city is home to internationally acclaimed Valparaiso University, which boasts beautiful grounds and buildings, top-notch sporting events and cultural entertainment. The outstanding system of local parks, including Central Park Plaza, Old Fairgrounds Park and Ogden Gardens Park, features activities for all ages. Golfers will enjoy hitting the links at Creekside and Forest Park golf courses.