It’s a great idea to call an attraction, restaurant and shop to make sure they’re open before visiting.
⇒ 23 minutes to Fidler Pond
1. Explore Elkhart County Parks where you’ll discover hundreds of recreational activities from hiking trails, to blue ways to open air picnic shelters at 4 large county parks.
One of the most popular destinations within the park system is Bonneyville Mill. Here you can tour Indiana’s oldest operating grist mill, explore the biking and hiking trails, and take home a bag of freshly ground cornmeal. But don’t leave without a selfie in front of the historic red mill. It is the most instagramable spot in Elkhart County.
Out top instagram photos from 2019, may inspire you to visit other places in Indiana’s Cool North.
⇐ 23 minutes to Bonneyville Mill ⇒ 30 minutes to Wellfield Botanic Gardens
2. This 100-acre park has an 80-acre pond with canoe, kayak and pedal boat rentals as well as fishing pole rentals for catch and release. Enjoy the popular walking trail around the pond or simply relax and enjoy nature.
Fall is a great time to hit the bike trails, all across Northern Indiana.
⇐ 30 minutes to Fidler Pond ⇒ 41 minutes to Potato Creek State Park
3. Explore Wellfield’s 36 gorgeous acres featuring over 20 themed garden areas and 18 acres of lakes, streams, waterfalls and other water features. Open year round, Wellfield is beautiful in all seasons and features family-friendly events.
Discover more amazing gardens in Indiana’s Cool North.
⇐ 41 minute to Wellfield Botanic Gardens ⇒ 31 minutes to Luhr County Park
4. When you’re in a nearly 4,000-acre state park in Indiana’s Cool North, you’re going to have some excellent opportunities for hiking. Potato Creek State Park is one of the best destinations for hiking, paved path and trail biking, picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping. Fall will be a beautiful time to visit!
Indiana’s Cool North offers so many outdoor adventures that you will want to take advantage of before the cold weather.
⇐ 31 minutes to Potato Creek State Park ⇒ 4 minutes to Kesling Park
5. Luhr County Park offers 89 acres of upland forest, prairie, wetland and stocked pond. The park offers picnicking, shelter rentals, playground, nature center and trails and a no-leash dog area. There is also a free full-service nature center where children of all ages can find hands-on environmental displays and exhibits. If you want to do more than walk or hike, there is also adult exercise equipment and 2 pods of playtrail.
Discover some of the best places to see fall foliage in Indiana’s Cool North.
⇐ 4 minutes to Luhr County Park ⇒ 30 minutes to Washington Park
6. Located on the south end of LaPorte, this 90-acre park features walking/nature trails, Fort LaPlay Porte playground, picnic shelters, soccer fields, tennis courts, a fitness court, and sledding hill. The four-diamond baseball/softball complex hosts tournaments and recreational leagues.
Make a weekend of it, and find more adventures near Lake Michigan,
⇐ 30 minutes to Kesling Park ⇒ 11 minutes to Indiana Dunes National Park
7. Washington Park features a beach for walking along the shore, shady grounds and a lighthouse; making it one of Northern Indiana’s favorite Instagram shots. The park is right next door to two popular attractions – the Washington Park Zoo and the Lubeznik Center for the Arts.
Find the other most Instagrammable Places in Indiana’s Cool North.
⇐ 11 minutes to Washington Park ⇒ Next door to Indiana Dunes State Park
8. A backdrop of lofty sand dunes frames the southern tip of Lake Michigan creating one of the nation’s best-loved treasures – the Indiana Dunes National Park. Soft sand beaches and clear waters draw visitors to this 15-mile stretch of coastline. Hike the dunes and trails near the shore or head inland through woodlands and wetlands, a haven for birdwatchers intent on spotting some of the 350 species that live here or migrate through.
Learn more about the many fun-packed weekend adventures available in Northern Indiana.
⇐ Next door to Indiana Dunes National Park ⇒ 17 minutes to Hannah's Hope Playgound
9. There’s more to the Indiana Dunes than lakeshore and sand. Get some maps at the State Park in Porter and you’re off on trails where you’ll discover peaceful woodlands, rivers and wetlands, all rich with birds and wildlife. In fact, birdwatchers in the know flock to the area, a haven for numerous species of birds. Bird towers and viewing platforms are available to assist the viewing.
It’s still warm enough for outdoor dining — learn more about our favorite locations in Indiana’s Cool North.
⇐ 17 minutes to Indiana Dunes State Park
10. Portage’s Founders Square Park is home to Hannah’s Hope Playground, an all-inclusive playground for children of all abilities to play together. The neighboring splash pad is the perfect place for young kids to cool off on a hot summer day. The tree-studded Woodland Park offers 64-acres of wide open space for kids to run around outdoors and explore nature.
Learn more about other fun, kid-friendly activities in Indiana’s Cool North.
August 01 - May 31, 2024
University of Notre Dame (Home games)
The University of Notre Dame home athletic events - not including football, basketball and hockey - that fans can attend free of chargeView Details
Auctions are held every Wednesday and Friday, year-round
Auction Buildings and Barns at Shipshewana Trading Place
Antique and miscellaneous auctions and a livestock auction is held every Wednesday. A horse auction is held every Friday, in addition to special yearly sales.View Details
December 09 - March 31, 2024
Grab your friends, bring the kids, snag your spouse and come out to skate at the William E. Urschel Pavilion.View Details
See individual theatres for schedule of shows and concerts.
Indiana's Cool North
Indiana's Cool North has a number of theatres. See the individual theatres for their show and concert schedules.View Details
Feb 3 and Mar 2, 2024
Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Pavilion
Look for and learn to identify some of the water birds visiting Lake Michigan during the winter.View Details
February 26 - March 10, 2024
Various Restaurants Along the South Shore
Savor the South Shore Restaurant Weeks features specially priced 3-course menus or discounts from participating restaurants.View Details
If you’re looking for exciting—and beautiful—spring activities in Indiana’s Cool North, here are eight of the best places to celebrate spring.Learn More
Whether you are looking for a night out with your Valentine, or just want something warmer to do while you wait on spring, Indiana’s Cool North has some amazing foodie experiences and top-notch show and concert options.Learn More