Valparaiso Travel Guide

  • Restaurants
    by Toughluck
  • Valparaiso After Dark
    Valparaiso After Dark
    by Toughluck
  • Dave at the guitar
    Dave at the guitar
    by Toughluck

Valparaiso Things to Do

  • Indiana Aviation Museum

    The Aviation museum is a collection of aircraft from WWII and Vietnam. There are about a dozen aircraft. What makes this museum fun is that you can get right up and touch the planes. Each is in working order and if you're interested, you can arrange for a ride. Museum Hours: Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm Sunday 1:00pm - 4:00pm Season: May-October

  • Butterfly Park - plus Veterans Memorial

    A new place, even though it was the middle of winter. This is especially nice when the kids have been couped up for sometime, at home, in the car, or doing adult things. There is a prairie restoration and a play area. It's off the roads and in summer there are numerous birds, including Canadian Geese at the pond at the entrance. It's a good place...

  • Labyrinths of Valparaiso

    Have you ever walked a labyrinth? They're architectural wonders in the Medevil Churches of Europe and they've come to the U.S. in great numbers. Here, they're more garden style. Valparaiso has two.Orginally designed as a meditative discipline, labyrinths have become ways of getting closer to god, concentrating on a problem in life to find...

  • Courthouse Sqaure

    The Courthouse has been the center of the City since it's creation. The cities historic commercial district is Lincolnway on the north side of the square. County services have been supported on the southside with the old County Jail and Sheriffs Office on the SE corner of Indiana & Franklin. Today, commercial services are still prevelant along...

  • Kid's Love 'Valplayso'

    Valplayso is a commuity built kid's place. Climbing, swinging, jumping, sliding and more. Valplayso was designed by the 9-13 year olds and built by the adults several years ago. It's divided between little kids (toddlers to age 5) and bigger kids. On a sunny day, there are plenty of kids having fun.I specifically did not take any pictures of kids...

  • County History

    The Historical Society of Porter County operates the Old Jail Museum, which houses artifacts from around the county. There is the ledger of Joseph Bailly (1807), a mastadon tusk, the old jail itself and items from daily life in Porter County. Hours: Wed, Fri & Sat; 1 - 4 pm. Donations Accepted.


Valparaiso Hotels

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Valparaiso

    1451 Silhavy, Valparaiso, Indiana, 46385, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • Star Express Inn

    760 Morthland Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana, 46385-6260, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Holiday Inn Express Valparaiso

    1251 Silhavy Rd, Valparaiso, Indiana, 46385, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

Valparaiso Restaurants

  • New Place in town (Mexican)

    My brother was in town and we always go out. The Casa del Mar opened a few weeks ago and I'd heard that they have live music 3 nights a week. It was Saturday, to off we went. From the outside, it looked small and crowded. Inside, there are plenty of room. We didn't have to wait. While seated, we watched 8 of our friends leave, whom we did not see...

  • Kick Back in The Stacks

    We were a group of friends who toured around this town where Valparaiso University is. The Stacks is not easy to find, for it's a bar/restaurant that's inside another building that is downtown near Central Park.The themed atmosphere is terrific. Shelves and shelves of books of all kinds. Conversation pieces everywhere around you. My favorite find...

  • Restaurant that feels like a...

    Amongst the newest in town is the Valley Kitchen and Bar. Pleasant atmosphere. They pride themselves on the freshest and therefore local sources of their produce and meats. Excellent flavor. I've tried several things, including their French Fries. That can be a meal unto itself. Not just potatoes, but spiced to a unique flavor.

  • Friendly

    Without a doubt, this is the place to come if you're interested in the local art scene. Monthly or less often, the Cafe highlights a local artist on it's walls. The works are always interesting, if not to my personal liking. Plenty of sandwiches to choose from and a variety of coffee. Not being a coffee drinker, I can't comment on the various...

  • Music, Coffee and Lunch

    Live music in the evening, but I always go late morning. Usually around until lunch, when a number of people from the offices come in. Always friendly, never noisy. Toasted bagel with butter. There is a selection of sandwiches, which look good, and pastries on a daily basis. I like the cheesecake - smooth and rich.

  • Desert Anyone?

    Looking for a full meal with wonderful flavor? Then Round the Clock is the place to go. A full menu of dinners, delicious fresh baked roles, crisp salads and hot entrees. If you can go early or late, you'll find less of a crowd as this is one of the busier places in town. We've gone at the dinner hour, showed up late in the evening, come on Sunday...


Valparaiso Nightlife

  • Drive-in Movie

    An old American Tradision, the drive-in movie. It's part of the car fascination that has been kept alive in this country. Nearly every thing can be done in or from a car. The 49er is one of a few remaining drive-in theaters. Watch a movie from your car. There is the snack shop that has hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, and candy. Unlike a regular theater,...

  • Live Theater

    "Chicago Street Theater is proud to present . . . . ".CTS produces 7 theater productions each year. Beginning in 1955 with a small group of local actor's, CTS has a host of talented actors from northwest Indiana. Each year, they present theater workshops during the popcorn Festival and a family musical (September). Then, throughout the year the...

  • See you at the Opera House

    Live theater thrives in Valparaiso. When you're here, check out the schedule at the Opera House and the Chicago Street Theater. Between the two, a dozen plays and musicals are produced each year. The Opera house was built as a memorial to the men who fought in the Civil War. Renovated at the turn of the century (1999-2000) it is now the home of the...


Valparaiso Transportation

  • The V-Line (city bus)

    Yes, in 2008, the city got a bus line. It's called the V-Line. While it has a lot of riders, the routes are designed to get residents from housing areas to shopping areas. As such, there are 3-4 loops the buses make, but I can't say that it would be a way to get around town from hotels and B&B's. There are 3 stops downtown and the rest spread out...

  • Marketplace (East by IN 49)

    The Marketplace was the start of a development of shops around IN 49 and IN 2. Now there are numerous shopping plazas with too many names to remember. You'll find all the big stores "Kohl's, Menards, Home Depot, Target, Best Buy" and many of the smaller specialty shops that are common across the country. If it's crafts, 'Michaels' is here. If...

  • All roads lead downtown (or they once...

    Valparaiso is a place that many have learned one way in and use it regardless of where they are coming from. With continued growth and construction of new roads, it can be confusing getting about town. US 30 - access from the east and west - to the south side and much of the shopping districts IN 49 - access from north and south - to the west...


Valparaiso Shopping

  • Candy n Gifts

    Located on Lincolnway across from the Courthouse, American Legacy has a variety of home decorations, miniatures, books, and nik-naks featuring American images, buildings and lifestyles. Much of it reflects the rural life that is fast disappearing.

  • Go for the building, not just the shops

    The shop includes high quailty, sytlish womens clothing. More for the 'upper class', which the U.S. isn't supposed to have. Like I implied, I go for the building. Built in the early 1900's, it served as a hardware store for nearly 100 years. The original stamped tin ceiling, brick walls and plank floors have been lovingly restored and showcase the...

  • A little bit of Spain in Indiana

    I've not been in yet, but from the window, there are spanish clothes, crafts, home decorations. Right next door to Don Quijotes, it evokes a little bit of Spain.


Valparaiso Local Customs

  • Annual Crop Walk

    Each year, it changes. This year, it was shorter than usual. A few years back, maybe 10 or was it just 5 years? Oh, well, back then, it changed to the Valparaiso University Campus. It's a family affair. Sometimes, it's only 2 generations, once in a while, 3 participate.

  • Valparaiso Library

    Actually, the Porter County Library, but the main building is in Valparaiso, with branches in Kouts, Hebron, South Haven, and Portage. It's a great system with books, movies, music, and paintings for loan. You can access the internet for research or delve through hundreds of reference books. You can catch up on the news of the day, the week, or the...

  • The Big Wheel is leaving

    On October 31, 2006, the Big Wheel Restaurant closed it's doors. Known as a local gathering spot since the mid-1960's, the Big Wheel has served home cooking to the city and it's guests. Many families gathered at the Big Wheel each Sunday after church. Tables of 6 or 10 were not uncommon. Some days, it would take 15 or 20 minutes just to get to your...


Valparaiso Warnings and Dangers

  • Parking can be hard to find.

    There's plenty of parking, it's just not always easy to find. The majority of downtown stores are located on Lincolnway between Lafayette Street and Morgan Blvd. They're mostly on the north side as the County Courthouse is in the middle on the south side. There is lots of street parking, but it's often hard to find and then trying to get into a...

  • Watch for Trains

    Northwest Indiana funnels nearly 50% of the east to west (and west to east) traffic in the country through this area. This includes railroads. Trains are heavy (up to 20-30 tons per railcar) and long (average 2 miles-3.2 km). They take over a mile to stop. Don't cross against the signals. More than one driver has discovered that you're likely to be...

  • Valparaiso Hotels

    9 Hotels in Valparaiso

Valparaiso Off The Beaten Path

  • University Town

    If you have a student or were a student at Valparaiso University, they that's all you've probably come to town for and know it well. If you're not connected to the University, you've missed a wonderful part of the city. The Bauer Museum of Art is located there, the Chapel of the Resurrection with it's stained glass (visit in the morning) and a...

  • The Fly In

    Every August Porter County Airport hosts a fly-in of World War II aircraft. It occurs just after the Oskosh Air Show in Wisconsin. Each year, it varies as to what aircraft will arrive. Inevitably, it's a hot day, 90 degrees and hotter in the sun.If you're around, it's a chance for you to see and get inside the planes that defeated Hitlers...

  • Soap Box Derby

    Each summer, long about mid-august, the soap box derby comes to town. The Derby finals are held in Akron, Ohio, but one of the elimination events occurs here. Lincolnway is closed from Garfield to Morgan. This is the hill east of downtown and the racers start and Garfield and run towards town, stopping before Morgan. The area is packed with racers,...


Valparaiso Sports & Outdoors

  • Fairground Park

    Soccer (World Football), Baseball, jogging, walking; Fairground Park has a lot to offer. Every weekend through the summer, the park is busy with one league or another. Every evening, there are people walking and jogging the perimeter trail. Ball fields, restrooms, parking, paved track.

  • Mink Lake Golf Course

    I don't golf, but several of my friends do. They have all done Mink Lake. I've not found one yet who thinks it's the best in the area. Mostly I hear about the hills. Mink Lake (the lake) is a glacial pothole., which means that a building size chunk of ice (a 3-5 story tall building) was left behind by the glaciers, buried in the till (soil) left by...

  • Valparaiso Crusader Basketball

    In a town without much to do at night besides eat, Valparaiso is lucky to have a good college men's basketball team - the Valparaiso University Crusaders. Home games are played from late November to the first week of March. There are about 15 home games every season. Check the schedule on the website below.The team has been a perennial powerhouse...


Valparaiso Favorites

  • Christmas in April and Habitat for...

    Christmas in April - - Each spring the community churches (most, not all) get together and fix up homes of individuals who can't afford to do repairs. Usual this includes insulation, cauking windows, door replacement. It has also included repairs of stairways, painting inside or outside and other major chores.Habitat for Humanity - - Usually in the...

  • The Times (the local rag, i.e.,...

    A hundred years ago, it started out as The Messenger and The Vidette. Then less than 50 years ago, it became The Vidette-Messenger. Around 1998, The Times of Hammond, Indiana, bought the V-M and it became The Times, Porter County Edition. Whatever you want to call it, it's been the local paper for a long time. Many of the smaller towns have a...

  • Child Abuse Awareness

    The local Chapters of the Child Abuse Prevention Council is very active. Each April, during Child Abuse Awareness Month there are exhibits around town. During the rest of the year, they sponsor parenting programs and counseling activities to help parents prevent abuse and to learn more about what they to do to help themselves and others.


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