From Lake Michigan’s bustling shoreline to the quiet Amish countryside and all along the Indiana/Michigan state line, both the landscape and the mood are ever-changing. Steel mills and railroad factories sprang up along Lake Michigan’s dune-studded shoreline 75 years ago. Soon, vacationers were thronging to the silvery sand beaches of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Inland, the landscape rolls past fruit-growing hills and easygoing towns. Hundreds of glacier-carved kettle lakes dot the rolling countryside. You can indulge in the simpler country life in pastoral Amish areas.
Ornate painted wood trim on commercial buildings hints of Chesterton’s heyday as a railroad-shipping center. Today, the community is a major stop on the South Shore Line, a commuter railroad serving northwest Indiana and Chicago. A host of antiques, specialty shops and galleries overlook a downtown park crowned by a beautiful gazebo.
As it has for more than a century, an imposing lighthouse guards Michigan City’s harbor. The beacon guided lumber-loaded freighters during the town’s early days as one of the busiest Great Lakes ports.
Noting the natural opening in this area’s dense forests, 18th-century French fur traders gave LaPorte (“the door”) its name. From the lakeshore, gentle hills roll southward, cradling downtown and shaded. neighborhoods. Orchards and farms still cover some hillsides. The 150-year-old towered sandstone courthouse anchors the historic downtown. Businesses and specialty shops join cafés behind century-old storefronts.
Sleek high rises sparkle above the St. Joseph River. Its man-made fork, the East Race Waterway, thrills kayakers and rafters. Downtown, sights and sounds of pigskin action pour from the College Football Hall of Fame. A mile north, the University of Notre Dame’s Golden Dome presides over the 1,250-acre park-like campus.
Tree-lined streets and quiet parks cluster downtown around the St. Joseph and Elkhart rivers.
Tucked among Steuben County’s 101 lakes, Fremont is a shopper’s paradise. Visitors can bag bargains at the outlet mall or shop for collector dolls, folk art paintings and home furnishings.
Reminders of Indiana’s frontier past and the glory days of the natural-gas-and-glass boom flourish amid eastern Indiana. Centuries ago, the three-rivers region of Maumee, St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers provided a gateway to frontier settlement and trade.