Nestled between Chicago and the artsy coastal communities of Michigan's Harbor Country, Northwest Indiana is a unique locale on Lake Michigan's southern shore. Its cities and towns offer a diverse range of lifestyles, from the quaint to the fast-paced, and convenient access through the ChicaGo Dash bus service or South Shore train line to the amenities of the nation's third-largest city. The area offers a variety of housing, educational and recreational opportunities. Friendly, safe neighborhoods abound, with public and private schools close by. From dining to shopping, recreation to culture, you will find it here. A crossroads of urban activity and small town charm, Northwest Indiana truly is the best of both worlds.
Many of the area's towns developed originally as havens for Chicago artists, so it's no surprise Northwest Indiana has a strong appreciation of the arts. Numerous galleries are located throughout the area that display works by world-renowned artists as well as samplings from Northwest Indiana's diverse local art scene. In terms of live entertainment, venues like the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville and local casinos attract top musicians and entertainers, while more intimate community theaters and symphonies thrive throughout the region at all times of year.
A job at Methodist also puts you within 70 miles of three of the nation's top 20 universities that offer art, culture, restaurants, sporting events, movies and other activities. The University of Chicago is located in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood, Northwestern University in suburban Evanston, Illinois and the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Closer to home is Valparaiso University, the nation's largest independent Lutheran university. Here you can catch a concert in the beautiful Chapel of the Resurrection or visit the Brauer Museum of Art, home to works by Frederic Edwin Church, Asher B. Durand, Childe Hassam, Georgia O'Keeffe and Ed Paschke. Our area is also home to a number of other colleges and universities, including Ivy Tech State College and branches of Indiana University and Purdue University.
With its calm waters and beautiful beaches, Lake Michigan is an impeccable backdrop to the area. For boaters, accommodating harbors dot the shoreline from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan, and dozens of fishing and sailboat charter captains are more than willing to act as a guide.
The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore boasts 15 miles of beaches along Lake Michigan's south shore. Whether the activity of choice is swimming, soaking up the sun or climbing one of the region's famous sand dunes, a summer day at the beach is full of possibilities. Step away from the shoreline and discover the national park's other amenities, from camping to bird watching, horseback riding to cross country skiing. And don't count out the 45 miles of trails for hiking and cycling.
Coffee Creek nature preserve in Chesterton is just one of many spots that allow visitors to connect with nature. At 167 acres, the park has miles of trails for exploring.
For sports fans, the Gary South Shore Railcats is the region's own professional baseball team. The Railcats play to packed houses at Gary's new 6,000-capacity U.S. Steel Yard stadium. For local basketball, you may recall the Valparaiso University Crusader's Sweet Sixteen appearance in the 1998 NCAA men's basketball tournament. Tradition is alive and well in South Bend too where Notre Dame's Fighting Irish home football games and tailgate parties promise a fun time for all. Chicago sports teams are also popular in Northwest Indiana, and outings to Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field to catch a Cubs or White Sox game are a summer tradition for many region residents. The city is also home to the Blackhawks, professional hockey; the Bears, professional football and the Bulls, professional basketball teams.
A world of food awaits those with discerning palates. A variety of restaurants with culinary styles from European fare to old-fashioned hot dog stands can be found in the Northwest Indiana region. With choices that include fine dining, casual, family meals and more, this region offers it all. The I-65 and US 30 corridor through Lake County Indiana is said to have more restaurants per capita than any other community in the country!
A short drive leads to Michigan's wine country where more than a dozen Southwest Michigan wineries offer the best tastings from the fourth-largest grape growing state.
For further information about food, family, art, wine activities and shopping that make this region a great place to live, visit the area's premiere online lifestyle magazine, TheBeachCoast.com.