Get out and explore

The South Shore along Lake Michigan in Indiana is an exciting place, with no shortage of outdoor activities and places to explore, fun community events to enjoy, unique attractions to visit and so much more. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the region offers a wonderful quality of life with plenty of green space including the Indiana Dunes National Park. There are also more than 80 different cultures represented in the area, which can be seen in the variety of restaurants and annual festivals.

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South Shore highlights

South Shore offers so many things to do and places to see. The region has more than 15 miles of beaches along Lake Michigan, a rich arts and culture community, unique attractions, plenty of blueways and greenways, exciting festivals and events, plus local breweries, wineries and distilleries. Below is a list of some of the area’s featured highlights and must-see locations.

Indiana Dunes National Park

The Indiana Dunes stretch 25 miles east along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Enjoy beautiful lakeside beaches and trails surrounded by prairies, forests and, of course, sand dunes. The landscapes along this region are recognized as some of the most biologically diverse in the nation, acting as a home to more than 350 species of birds and hundreds of other animals, and more than 1,400 species of ferns and flowering plants. Go on a camping trip, take a scheduled tour, paddle your way along the Lake Michigan Water Trail, go fishing, snowshoe along the trails, take your furry friend for a walk and so much more at the Indiana Dunes National Park.

Fair Oaks Farms

Get an up-close look at sustainable farming through three different interactive experiences: the Dairy Adventure, Pig Adventure and Crop Adventure. Once you’ve learned what it takes to run a modern day farm, sample delicious dairy products that were made from milk produced at Fair Oaks Farms. There is also an on-site cheese factory and a “Cowfé” where you can order scrumptious breakfasts and lunches that are made with — you guessed it — farm-fresh products and produce. Be sure to order some of Fair Oaks Farms ice cream before you end your day!

The Shrine of Christ’s Passion

Located in St. John, Indiana, this religious shrine is a multimedia interactive Prayer Trail depicting the last days of Jesus Christ’s life. Walk along the winding, half-mile path with 40 life-size bronze sculptures in a tranquil setting. Enjoy the beautiful music and sculpted gardens that present the story of the crucifixion and resurrection through listening stations along the path with audio recordings narrated by Chicago broadcaster Bill Kurtis.

See the bison at Kankakee Sands

The Nature Conservancy introduced a herd of 23 bison to the Kankakee Sands prairie restoration project in 2016. Now, more than 100 bison roam the one-square mile prairie, and the area is considered to be the easternmost conservancy preserve where bison can be found. Thanks to a designated, slightly elevated viewing area, visitors can easily and safely see the bison roaming and grazing.

Regional Events

April 16
Wisconsin vs. Purdue Volleyball Game
Lake Central High School, St. John

April 22
Dane Cook Presents: The Perfectly Shattered Tour
Horseshoe Casino, Hammond

April 22
Hammond Marina’s Annual Fishing Derby
Hammond Marina, Hammond

April 23
APFC 4: Night of Champions
Jean Shepherd Center, Hammond

May 4-5
Mariachi Acero de Las Vegas
Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Merrillville

May 5
Diana Ross
Hard Rock Casino, Gary

May 6
NWI & I-65 Interstate Chili Cook-Off
I.U.O.E Local 150 Union Hall, Merrillville

May 6
Shipshewana on the Road
Lake County Fairgrounds, Crown Point

May 6
25th Annual Munster Car Show
Community Park, Munster

May 11
The Killers
Hard Rock Casino, Gary

May 11-14
Indiana Dunes Birding Festival
Indiana Dunes National Park, Porter

May 12-13
Hunt & Gather
Lake County Fairgrounds, Crown Point

May 13
Wayne Newton & Tony Orlando
Hard Rock Casino, Gary

May 19
Billy Currington
Hard Rock Casino, Gary

May 20
Dark Lord Day
Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster

May 20
Sugarbelt Mead Festival
Bulldog Park, Crown Point

May 28
Food Truck Festival
Fedders Alley, Michigan City

June 1
All About the Girls
Urschel Pavilion, Valparaiso

June 2-3
Hometown Jams Music Festival
Brickie Bowl, Hobart

June 4
Leon’s Triathlon
Wolf Lake Pavilion, Hammond

June 9
Singing Sands Sculpting Festival
Washington Park, Michigan City

June 10
Crown Beer Fest
East Street, Crown Point

June 10
Kevin Hart
Hard Rock Casino, Gary

June 15
Hometown Jams Presents: Warren Zeiders
Central Park Plaza, Valparaiso

June 18
Kevin James
Hard Rock Casino, Gary

June 19
Juneteenth Celebration
Martin Luther King Park, Hammond

June 25
Hometown Jams Presents: Chris Janson
Bulldog Park, Crown Point