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Indiana Dunes Country Sample Itineraries

History & Culture

Day 1

History & Culture of Mahone BayMorning: Start your day at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center, where you’ll be introduced to the history of the national park and surrounding area with two informational videos (and also pick up information on places you’d like to visit). Then hop in your car and drive to Beverly Shores, where you can take a spin past the Century of Progress Homes. Furnessville and the Schoolhouse Shop (a former schoolhouse and residence turned into an upscale shop) aren’t far away.

Afternoon: Head into Chesterton and get the scoop on the history of the area, plus an in-depth tour of a former Victorian home, at the George Brown Mansion & Westchester History Museum. Take a late afternoon walk through downtown Chesterton’s Commercial Historic District, which takes you past some lovely little stores for shopping and grabbing a snack.

Evening: Enjoy an evening meal of filling, gourmet Italian food in the 100-year-old former mansion that houses the award-winning restaurant Popolano’s.

Day 2

Morning: The tiny, pink stucco Depot of Beverly Shores Museum and Art Gallery is the perfect beginning to your day (you may even get to see one of the passenger trains arrive with visitors fresh from Chicago). Then, after a trip to Tate’s Place for lunch, visit the Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm and learn how families lived in the early 19th century.

Afternoon: Head to Portage’s Alton Goin Museum, a turn-of-the-century farmhouse that houses exhibits on local history.

Evening: Enjoy authentic Cantonese cuisine at Jade Garden in Portage, and then wind up your day with a walk around Gilbert Memorial Park, a beautiful five-acre park commemorating fire fighters and police officers who have dedicated their lives to serving the Portage Community.

Day 3

Morning: Head to the tiny town of Hebron and learn about the history of Porter County’s railroads at the Stagecoach Inn Museum and neighboring Panhandle Depot (it’s appreciated if you call ahead to arrange a tour).

Afternoon: Take a trip through Porter County from the dawn of time to today at the Porter County Museum. Since it’s in the historic downtown, take some time and stroll along the sidewalks of the historic district and check out the fab architecture (plus, duck into the stores for a little souvenir shopping).

Evening: Gobble down local delights at the Strongbow Inn, once a turkey farm and now a nationally renowned gourmet restaurant. Wind up the day with a top-notch community theatre performance at the Memorial Opera House.

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Photograph Copyright: Christine Livingston