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

November 12 – December 30, 2022
“A Christmas Story” Comes Home
Indiana Welcome Center, Hammond

November 12, 2022 – January 5, 2023
Holiday Gift Gallery
Art Barn School of Art, Valparaiso

November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Forest of Lights
Fair Oaks Farms, Fair Oaks

November 18, 2022 – March 5, 2023
Ice Skating and 135-foot long Ice Slide
Fair Oaks Farms, Fair Oaks

November 19, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Winter Lights Drive-Through
Sunset Hill Farm County Park, Valparaiso

November 19 – 20, 2022
Valpo Holidaze Show
Porter County Expo Center, Valparaiso

November 25 – December 26, 2022
Winter Wonderlights

November 25 – December 4, 2022
LaPorte Christkindlmarkt
LaPorte County Fairgrounds, LaPorte

November 25 – December 30, 2022
Christmas Tyme Lights
Harvest Tyme Family Farm, Lowell

November 26, 2022
Crown Point Santa Parade
Downtown Crown Point

November 27, 2022
Hobart Holiday Market

December 2 – 11, 2022
Dickens Christmas Carol Show
Theater at the Center, Munster

December 2 & 3, 2022
Holly Days
Downtown Valparaiso

December 3, 2022
America’s Crossroads Bowl
Brickyard Stadium, Hobart

December 3, 2022
Hammond Holiday Parade

December 3, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Michigan City Festival of Lights
Washington Park, Michigan City

December 9 & 10, 2022
Hunt and Gather Market
Lake County Fairgrounds, Crown Point

December 9 – 11, 2022
The Nutcracker
Indiana University Northwest Theater, Gary

December 9 – 18, 2022
Elf the Musical, Jr.
Memorial Opera House, Valparaiso