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Indiana’s Cool North is calling.

Experience the state’s best kept secret. Come explore our nine eclectic counties filled with all sorts of gems—hidden and otherwise—that you might be surprised to find side by side.

Where else you can visit the Indiana Dunes, ride in a real Amish buggy, hit a Vegas-style casino, and walk the grounds of the University of Notre Dame in the same day? Yeah, it’s eclectic mix—but we’d suggest that’s part of what makes it so cool. Plan your visit to Indiana’s Cool North.

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Top 10

Girls Getaways

Let's Go

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Fall Art & Earth Experiences

Pumpkins & Apples!

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Fall Events

Mark your Calendar!

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Pet Friendly Adventures

Woof Woof

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Ways to Cool Off

Cool Off

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Outdoor Dining Places

Let's Eat!

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Waterfront Spots

Bring the sunscreen

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Summer Events

Let's Go

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Must See Gardens

Bring Your Camera

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Big Events for 2022

Plan Ahead

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Instagram Places for 2021

Grab Your Camera

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Food War Winners

Eat Local!

#INDIANASCOOLNORTH
PHOTO GALLERY

Share your photo and video memories using the #IndianasCoolNorth hashtag and you could be featured in our gallery!
Let’s show everyone why Indiana’s Cool North is Calling.

 

                                            

Places to Explore in the Cool North.

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Indiana Dunes

Chesterton, Portage, Valparaiso, Porter, Hebron, Kouts

Rolling sand dunes. A national park. Relaxing beach vibes. Endless aquatic adventures. And that’s just what you’ll find along the shore. Explore a little more in Indiana Dunes and you’ll discover world-class dining, unique shopping experiences, and fantastic accommodations. A mecca for lovers of the great outdoors, you might need to add another day to your stay with all there is to see and do!

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Michigan City LaPorte 12

Michigan City Laporte

Michigan City, LaPorte, Westville, Wanatah

Looking for a laid-back vacation, or is it time to let loose and live it up? You’ll find the perfect blend of both in Michigan City LaPorte. Roll the dice or shop till you drop. Explore the area’s unique history or carve out your own outdoor adventure. Whatever you decide, one thing is for sure—authentic Midwestern spirit comes standard.

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The Most Instagrammable Places in Indiana’s Cool North

South Bend Mishawaka

Notre Dame, South Bend, Mishawaka, New Carlisle, North Liberty

Big city attractions and small town charm. You’ll find the best of both worlds when you visit this vibrant Northern Indiana county. The iconic campus of the University of Notre Dame is a must-see, and each community holds its own hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Kid-friendly fun? Definitely. Outdoor activities? Absolutely. The ideal getaway to suit your travel style is waiting in South Bend Mishawaka.

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Elkhart County

Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee, Bristol, Wakarusa, Shipshewana

Amish life and culture play a big part in daily life here in Indiana’s Cool North, and Elkhart County is no exception. Whether by car, by bike, or by buggy, tour the Heritage Trail and discover the communities that Northern Indiana is famous for. Winding nature trails, quilt gardens and historic downtowns all add to an experience that is original, authentic, and a little outside of the ordinary.

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Kosciusko

Warsaw, Syracuse, Winona Lake, North Webster, Pierceton

It doesn’t get any better than life on the lakes. And with over 100 of them, you’re sure to find a unique experience around every turn. Dine on the water’s edge at The Village at Winona, explore eclectic artisan’s shops, or take an old-school ride on a sternwheeler boat. The name might be a little tricky, but there’s definitely nothing complicated about life in Kosciusko County.

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Marshall Culver Lake Dog on shore

Marshall County

Culver, Plymouth, Bremen

Thanks to its history as a crossroads in Northern Indiana, Marshall County offers an eclectic array of things to do, places to stay, and authentic Cool North attractions. The Quilt Barn Trail paints a charming picture of rural life in Northern Indiana, and the Blueberry Festival is one of the state’s most popular events.  Culver, “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” is home to Lake Max, the second largest natural lake in Indiana.  It takes time to unwind, and there’s no better place to spend it that in Marshall County.

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Shipshewana LaGrange County

Shipshewana, LaGrange, Topeka

You won’t hear phrases like “daily grind” or “rush hour commute” in these parts. Life in Shipshewana LaGrange County is unhurried, uncomplicated, and definitely unlike anywhere else. Amish culture thrives here, and combined with a focus on the great outdoors, this truly is the place to get away from it all.

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The Coolest Museums in Northern Indiana

South Shore

Whiting, Gary, Saint John, Merrillville, Hammond

Discover the City of Whiting, nestled between Chicago and the shores of Lake Michigan, with their World of Mascots at the Mascot Hall of Fame, interactive children’s museum. You won’t want to miss the Hard Rock Casino or Miller Beach in Gary, and the Albanese Candy Factory in Merrillville, Stop at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond to view exhibits, purchase your gifts, or get information about the area.

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Festivals & Events

WAKARUSA PUMPKIN TREE 1
Seasonal

WAKARUSA PUMPKIN TREE

October 01 - October 31, 2022

Visit Historic Downtown Wakarusa in the fall to witness the Giant Pumpkin Tree

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Theatre Shows & Concerts in Indiana's Cool North 3
Arts and Entertainment

Theatre Shows & Concerts in Indiana’s Cool North

See individual theatres for schedule of shows and concerts.

Indiana's Cool North has a number of theatres. See the individual theatres for their show and concert schedules.

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Shipshewana Weekly Auctions & Monthly Swap Meets
Shopping

Shipshewana Weekly Auctions & Monthly Swap Meets

Auctions are held every Wednesday year-round; Swap Meets on select Saturdays, Apr-Oct.

Antique and miscellaneous auctions and a livestock auction is held every Wednesday; Swap Meets on select Saturdays,

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CHESTERTON'S EUROPEAN MARKET 1
Shopping

CHESTERTON’S EUROPEAN MARKET

Every Saturday from the beginning of May through the end of October

Our European Market provides a strong tradition of quality shopping, live entertainment, and a festive community experience.

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Classic Car Cruise In
Community

Classic Car Cruise In

Thursday evenings from 4:30pm-8:00pm, May 12 through September 29

Whether you are a classic car owner or a car enthusiast this event is for you

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Upsadaisy Market
Community

Upsadaisy Market

Every Sunday, May 22 to October 23

Chesterton's upscale urban vintage market for pickers, hunters, and treasure seekers

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County Line Orchard
Seasonal

County Line Orchard

August 31 - October 31, 2022

U-Pick pumpkins, Antique Tractor Rides, Animal Barnyard, 10-acre Corn Maize, Country Kitchen & Grill

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Sporting Events

Notre Dame Football Weekends

2022 Home Games: Sept. 10, 17; Oct. 15, 22; Nov. 5, 19

The weekends when Notre Dame Football has a home game are always a little more special than any other weekend of the year.

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Seward Johnson Sculptures in Elkhart County
Community

Seward Johnson Sculptures in Elkhart County

September 16 - October 28, 2022

The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail celebrate their 15th year by adding Seward Johnson sculptures; the sculptures will be available until Oct 28.

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Shipshewana Fall Crafter’s Fair
Arts and Entertainment

Shipshewana Fall Crafter’s Fair

September 29 - October 01, 2022

Shipshewana will be hosting a festival of crafters, entertainers, and musicians that has become an annual fall event.

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Monsters in the Gardens!
Nature

Monsters in the Gardens!

Saturdays, Oct 1, 8, 22 & 19

A new series of family-friendly events, exploring different “monster” at the Wellfield Botanic Gardens

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Westville Pumpkin Festival
Fairs and Festivals

Westville Pumpkin Festival

October 01 - October 01, 2022

Join us for a celebration of the pumpkin harvest in a true Midwestern-style family event.

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HORSEBACK RIDING ON THE BEACH
Nature

HORSEBACK RIDING ON THE BEACH

October 02 - October 02, 2022

Join fellow equestrians for an extremely rare chance to ride on the beaches of Lake Michigan BYOH (bring your own horse).

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Griffith Oktoberfest
Fairs and Festivals

GRIFFITH OKTOBERFEST

October 07 - October 09, 2022

Enjoy German food, a pumpkin patch, live authentic German music, and a wide variety of German biers and wines!

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Historic Graveyard Trick or Treat-Grace Lawn Cemetery
Seasonal

Historic Graveyard Trick or Treat-Grace Lawn Cemetery

October 08 - October 08, 2022

Walk through the city of Elkhart's oldest surviving cemetery and learn the rich history of its residents

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SANDHILL CRANE PADDLE
Nature

SANDHILL CRANE PADDLE

October 09 - October 09, 2022

Witness one of America's greatest wildlife spectacles: tens of thousands of sandhill cranes visiting the shallow marches on their annual migration.

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Top 15 Local Favorites in Northern Indiana 7
Shopping

Shipshewana Antique & Miscellaneous Auction

Auctions are held every Wednesday, year-round

Six to ten auctioneers simultaneously sell antiques, collectibles, estate items, and more.

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The Garden of Villains
Seasonal

The Garden of Villains

October 14 - October 15, 2022

Wellfield partners with Hall of Heroes Museum to present a spooky spectacular.

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Drop-in Volunteering
Community

Drop-in Volunteering Program

October 15 - October 15, 2022

Join the staff and fellow volunteers in helping to care for your local national park

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FALL HARVEST FESTIVAL
Fairs and Festivals

VALPARAISO FALL HARVEST FESTIVAL

October 15 - October 15, 2022

Fall themed interactive events such as a Pumpkin Bounce House, pumpkin painting, caramel apple dipping and more!

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Hesston Ghost Train
Historical

Hesston Ghost Train

Saturdays and Sundays, October 15-30

All aboard for some spooky fun when the Hesston Ghost Train rolls out at the Hesston Steam Museum

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ZOO BOO at Potawatomi Zoo
Seasonal

ZOO BOO at Potawatomi Zoo

October 21 - October 23, 2022

Zoo Boo is the Potawatomi Zoo’s annual safe trick-or-treating event complete with pumpkins, candy, lights and decorations

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Boo at the Zoo - Washington Park Zoo
Seasonal

Boo at the Zoo – Washington Park Zoo

October 22 - October 22, 2022

Make plans to fly your broomstick down to the Washington Park Zoo with your young goblins, ghosts, princesses, and zooperheros to spend a day with the animals.

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Annual Festival of Owls - Humane Indiana
Nature

Annual Festival of Owls – Humane Indiana

October 22 - October 22, 2022

Join Humane Indiana at the largest Owl Festival in Indiana for a day of family-friendly owl-themed fun.

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LaPour Brew & Wine Fest
Food/Beverage

LaPour Brew & Wine Fest

November 12 - November 12, 2022

Great people, music, atmosphere and brews from local and regional breweries to help celebrate the day

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