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Indiana’s Cool North is calling.

Experience the state’s best kept secret. Come explore our eight 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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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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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

Free Notre Dame Home Sporting Events
Sporting Events

Free Notre Dame Home Sporting Events

August 01 - May 31, 2024

The University of Notre Dame home athletic events - not including football, basketball and hockey - that fans can attend free of charge

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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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South Bend Mishawaka 3
Sporting Events

South Bend Cubs Baseball

April 9 - September 1

These Cubs are a High-A affiliate of the big league squad., and has been recognized as one of the best ballparks in the Minor League. 

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CALUMET VOICES, NATIONAL STORIES
Historical

CALUMET VOICES, NATIONAL STORIES

April 19 - October 06, 2024

Developed by the Field Museum, the exhibition series showcases Calumet’s natural environment, industrial might, and cultural richness.

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Shipshewana Swap Meets
Shopping

Shipshewana Swap Meets

Swap Meets are held on select Saturdays, daylight to 1pm, Apr-Oct

The Swap Meet is an outdoor, open-air marketplace, selling fowl, poultry, small animals, pets, produce, baked goods, antiques, guns, flowers, trees, shrubs, and food

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Shipshewana LaGrange County 13
Shopping

Shipshewana Flea Market & Auctions

Flea Market every Tuesday and Wednesday, Apr 30 to Sept 25, 2024

The Shipshewana Flea Market is a do-not-miss Hoosier tradition with an open-air market the size of 30 football fields.

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Classic Car Cruise In
Community

Classic Car Cruise In

Thursday evenings from 4:30pm-8pm, May 2 through September 26

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

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Indiana Dunes 15
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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Gary SouthShore Railcats
Sporting Events

Gary SouthShore Railcats

May 10 - Sept 2

The three-time champion RailCats are the South Shore's professional baseball team.

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Michigan City LaPorte 6
Community

Memorial Day Weekend at Hesston Steam Museum

May 25 - May 27, 2024

The three different railroads will be running,  with exhibits that demonstrate the tremendous power of the steam locomotive.

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Michigan City Food Truck Festival
Fairs and Festivals

Michigan City Food Truck Festival

May 25 - May 26, 2024

Michigan City will host an assortment of gourmet food trucks, live music games and delicious drinks off the beach.

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Extended Shipshewana Flea Markets
Community

Extended Shipshewana Flea Markets

Memorial Day: May 27-29; Independence Day: July 2-4; Labor Day: Sept 2-4, 2024

The Midwest’s Largest Flea Market has extended markets on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

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Explore the Gardens of Elkhart County 1
Community

Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail

May 30 - September 15, 2024

This colorful patchwork of quilt inspired gardens and quilt-themed murals is linked by the roads that form the Heritage Trail.

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Hobart Lakefront Festival
Fairs and Festivals

Hobart Lakefront Festival

May 30 - June 02, 2024

This four-day event features live entertainment, an arts and crafts area, children’s activities, food vendors and beer garden.

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Elkhart County Quilt and Fiber Expo
Arts and Entertainment

Elkhart County Quilt & Fiber Expo

June 06 - June 08, 2024

Three days of seminars, demonstrations, presentations, and workshops.

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Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival 1
Fairs and Festivals

Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival

June 07 - June 09, 2024

A professional sand sculpting 3-day competition and exhibition on Michigan City's lakefront

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GOSHEN FIRST FRIDAYS
Community

GOSHEN FIRST FRIDAYS – Wheels & Deals

June 07 - June 07, 2024

This event places a special focus on Goshen’s bicycle-friendly outlook.

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RHAPSODY ART AND MUSIC FESTIVAL 3
Arts and Entertainment

RHAPSODY ART AND MUSIC FESTIVAL

June 07 - June 08, 2024

A waterside celebration of summer at Island Park

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Shipshewana Weekend Flea Markets 1
Shopping

Shipshewana Weekend Flea Markets

June 14-15 and August 2-3, 2024

The Shipshewana Flea Market will be open for a special weekend flea market!

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Elkhart Jazz Festival - June 2
Fairs and Festivals

Elkhart Jazz Festival

June 20 - June 23, 2024

Downtown Elkhart’s Arts & Entertainment district comes alive with a 4 day celebration of jazz, including free concerts.

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Cedar Lake Summerfest 1
Fairs and Festivals

Cedar Lake Summerfest

July 04 - July 07, 2024

Family fun festival, carnival, bingo, entertainment, food vendors, cardboard boat race, car show and rides along with two nights of fireworks.

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LaPorte County Fair and Pioneer Land 1
Fairs and Festivals

LaPorte County Fair and Pioneer Land

July 06 - July 13, 2024

Oldest Indiana fair features Pioneer Land, rides, 4-H exhibits, bazaar, demolition derbies, food and celebrity entertainment,

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FESTIVAL OF THE LAKES 1
Arts and Entertainment

FESTIVAL OF THE LAKES

July 17 - July 21, 2024

Five nights of fun on Wolf Lake with rides, live entertainment, Polka Party and fishing derby.

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Porter County Fair 3
Fairs and Festivals

Porter County Fair

July 18 - July 27, 2024

There are great rides, great food and loads of exhibits and events. Check out the 4-H exhibits; ride the double Ferris Wheel.

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Elkhart County 4-H Fair for all the Fair Food
Fairs and Festivals

Elkhart County 4-H Fair

July 19-27, 2024

Non-stop action and 9 days of family fun are guaranteed at one of the largest county fairs in the nation.

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Pierogi Fest
Community

Pierogi Fest

July 26 - July 28, 2024

Taking place in Whiting, Indiana, Pierogi Fest® celebrates Eastern European food and culture with a wacky familial twist.

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Aqua X Races in Michigan City & LaPorte
Fairs and Festivals

City of LaPorte Lakefest

July 26 - July 28, 2024

LakeFest boasts three days of music, AquaX racing, artisan market, venetian boat parade, fireworks, food and fun for the whole family on LaPorte’s lakes.

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XINSURANCE Great Lakes Grand Prix 1
Community

XINSURANCE Great Lakes Grand Prix

July 31 - August 04, 2024

Thousands of visitors head to Michigan City’s Washington Park each summer for a spectacle of speed and sound as some of the world’s fastest and most colorful powerboats roar across Lake Michigan

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Lake County Fair
Fairs and Festivals

Lake County Fair

August 02 - August 11, 2024

The fair hosts exciting grandstand events, horse shows, farm animals and thousands of exhibits.

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Gary Air Show - Thrilling Aerial Acts 1
Community

Gary Air Show

August 17 - August 18, 2024

Come see aerial acts perform along the south shore of Lake Michigan at the beautiful Marquette Park, just outside of the Indiana Dunes National Park.

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Shipshewana Ship-Chic Craft & Vintage Shows 1
Shopping

Shipshewana Ship-Chic Craft & Vintage Shows

October 26, & December 7, 2024

A show featuring gifts, vintage items, home decor, crafts, clothing, accessories, jewelry, baked goods, signs and more!

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