Northwestern Indiana was the meeting point to pick up my boys who were visiting family in Michigan. It was a 2 hour drive for them and around 4 hours for me. It was also a great excuse to visit a city that we had never explored before.
So what is there to do around Valparaiso?
I decided to explore Valparaiso University for the 1st time before my kids arrived to meet me with their grandparents.
The private university was founded in 1859 and I soon discovered that I wasn’t alone on the campus with multiple realistic artistic statues scattered throughout the campus
Chapel of the Resurrection
This gorgeous chapel on campus was dedicated in 1959 and seats over 2,000. The Chapel of the Resurrection is considered the largest university-oriented cathedral in the United States and the 2nd largest university cathedral in the world.
When you are inside the chapel, the beautiful 90 ft stain glass windows are even more incredible! The architecture of this building is amazing inside and out. Make sure that you check out the giant organ in the back.
Brauer Museum of Art
The Brauer Museum of Art is located on campus and houses the largest known collection of works by Hudson River School painter, Junius R. Sloan (1827-1900), who lived and worked in the Midwest.
There are seasonal special exhibits along with a permanent rotating collection of 3,700 works of art from the mid-19th century to the present.
Dinner at Lucrezia Cafe and Restaurant
If you are a fan of Italian food, you need to make sure that you make time for a meal at Lucrezia Cafe and Restaurant.
They were voted #1 Best Italian Restaurant in the Region (Best of the Region—2011 through 2016)
There are two Lucrezia Cafe and Restaurant locations in the area, one is in Crown Point and the one we visited was in Chesterton.
The inside of the restaurant is cozy and the outside has plenty of seating in a beautiful garden setting. Wine lovers will appreciate the options on the drink menu.
Everyone in our party found something on the menu that we were excited to try…. and even more excited to taste. There are also options on the menu if you are not a fan of Italian food. The hardest challenge is saving enough room for dessert.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
While you are in the area, you MUST visit Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. I have a separate post for tips for making the most out of your visit there. Seriously, no visit to the area is complete without a visit here.
An Overnight at Holiday Inn Express
During our visit, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Valparaiso.
The location was convenient (15 miles from Indiana Dunes State Park), the cookies were REALLY good (I might have sampled a few from the front desk …for research purposes of course), we enjoyed the hotel pool and hot tub along with a free hot breakfast buffet in the morning.
Make sure that you add these places to your list the next time that you drive through northern Indiana.
Thanks again to Indiana Dunes Tourism for hosting our visit. You can find more information about upcoming events in the area from their website.