The town of Valparaiso, Indiana is a vibrant college town located in the northwestern part of the state, around fifty miles from bustling Chicago. It’s also only around fifteen miles from the Indiana Dunes National Seashore. With a name that means “Vale of Paradise,” the town is home to historic theaters, scenic and beautiful gardens, arts, delicious food, and the Valparaiso University. No matter which season it is, Valparaiso offers a wide variety of things to do for all ages, including several festivals and events throughout the year. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Taltree Arboretum and Gardens
The Taltree Arboretum and Gardens, also known as the Gabis Arboretum, is a non-profit with a dedication to the preservation of the environment, conservation of natural spaces for visitors to enjoy, and education of the general public. Set on 330 acres of oak preserve, the arboretum includes formal gardens, prairie, wetlands, and restored woodlands. Open on the weekends, the Taltree Arboretum and Gardens also host a variety of events, exhibits, and public classes throughout the year. The grounds feature around six miles of trails for hiking, diverse landscapes, an intricate Railway Garden, and even animals within the Children’s Garden.
450 W 100 N, Valparaiso, IN 46385, Phone: 219-462-0025
2.Chapel of the Resurrection, Valparaiso, Indiana
The Chapel of the Resurrection in the college town of Valparaiso, Indiana is a mid-century chapel featuring bold architectural elements. The church has become a symbol of the Lutheran heritage of Indiana. Built in 1959, the Chapel of the Resurrection is a towering focal point of the suburban campus of Valparaiso University and is the country’s largest collegiate chapel, becoming a symbol of the university and the northwestern Indiana region recognized nationwide. The chapel features high ceilings and three floor-to-ceiling stained glass walls, offering a light-filled, dazzling, and colorful view upon entering the Chapel of the Resurrection.
1600 Chapel Dr, Valparaiso, IN 46383, Phone: 219-464-5093
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3.Memorial Opera House, Valparaiso, IN
© Gunnar Assmy/stock.adobe.com
The Memorial Opera House is a historic and beautiful opera house in Valparaiso originally built by the Grand Army of the Republic’s local chapter back in the year 1893. This gorgeous hall was constructed as a tribute to the Union sailors and soldiers who fought during the Civil War, as well as a community resource. Visitors can tour the Memorial Opera House from 10:00am until 2:00pm, Monday to Friday. The red brick, two-story historic building puts on numerous theatrical productions and events, and has played host to many notable people like Teddy Roosevelt, the Marx brothers, and John Phillips Sousa.
104 Indiana Ave, Valparaiso, IN 46383, Phone: 219-548-9137
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4.Chicago Street Theatre, Valparaiso, Indiana
The Chicago Street Theatre has celebrated more than sixty seasons of live theatre productions for the Valparaiso community and the surrounding northwest Indiana region. Originally performing at the Memorial Opera House, the award-winning theater company started its new chapter when they bought the Chicago Street Theatre in 1997, named for the street on which it is located. The theater bathrooms, auditorium, and lobby all underwent extensive renovations that were finished in 2008. Today, the theatre company puts on a variety of different shows every season, such as classics, new works, comedies, musicals, dramas, and family-oriented productions.
154 W Chicago St, Valparaiso, IN 46383, Phone: 219-464-1636
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5.Porter County Museum, Valparaiso, Indiana
© Porter County Museum
Formerly the local jail and sheriff’s residence of Valparaiso, the Porter County Museum showcases the most extensive collection of the area’s treasure and history in northern Indiana. The exhibits on display throughout the museum change on a regular basis, offering something new for visitors to explore and learn. The award-winning museum was founded in 1916 and is open year-round to the public, free of charge. It’s also the oldest institution devoted to Porter County’s culture and history. The Porter County Museum offers something for visitors of all ages, even exhibits for children with its interactive, hands-on displays.
153 Franklin St, Valparaiso, IN 46383, Phone: 219-465-3595
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6.Brauer Museum of Art Center for the Arts
© Brauer Museum of Art Center for the Arts
The Brauer Museum of Art Center for the Arts features a nationally recognized collection of American art from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. It is also home to the largest known Junius R. Sloan collection. Other focus areas of the art museum include Midwestern regional art and world religious art. The Brauer Museum is open to the public on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:00am until 5:00pm, until 8:30pm on Wednesdays, and from noon until 5:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Several events and special exhibitions take place at the center throughout the year as well.
1709 Chapel Dr, Valparaiso, IN 46383, Phone: 219-464-5365
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7.Ricochet Tacos, Valparaiso, Indiana
© Ricochet Tacos
Ricochet Tacos in the vibrant town of Valparaiso, Indiana aims to switch things up and make customers forget everything they knew about tacos. A result of a vision of creating the best in taste and quality, the local eatery is a New American casual restaurant that specializes in gourmet tacos featuring high quality and fresh ingredients. Ricochet Tacos serves unassuming tacos boasting complex flavor profiles from a thoughtfully delivered and creative limited menu. The restaurant is open Monday to Thursday from 11:00am until 10:00pm, Fridays until 11:00pm, Saturdays 10:00am until 11:00pm, and Sudays from 10:00am until 10:00pm.
55 Franklin St, Valparaiso, IN 46383, Phone: 219-531-8888
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© Tony's Place
The origins of Tony’s Place can be traced back to the city of Naples, Italy more than one hundred years ago. In Naples, a family tradition of using wood burning bakery ovens began. After coming to New York City, a family shop was opened, followed by a second. Tony’s eventually made it to Valparaiso, Indiana in 1955, where the restaurant was the first pizza place to open in town and remains today as one of the finest pizza restaurants in the region. The menu at Tony’s Place today consists of Tony’s Original Pizza,Tony’s Delicious Deep Dish Pizza and many fine Italian dishes.
218 E Lincolnway, Valparaiso, IN 46383, Phone: 219-464-1018
9.Lincoln Flats, Valparaiso, Indiana
© Lincoln Flats
Lincoln Flats brings innovative cuisine; top-notch spirits, beers, and wines; and excellent service to the community of Valparaiso, all offered within a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. The locally owned and operated restaurant invites everyone in town to “eat, drink, and gather.” Lincoln Flats is known throughout the area for offering excellent quality food with a nice presentation and plenty of flavor. The restaurant is open for dinner starting at 4:00pm and for lunch and dinner on Saturdays starting around noon. Since Lincoln Flats is a bit on the small side, it’s recommended to make a reservation.
1 Napoleon St, Valparaiso, IN 46383, Phone: 219-510-5046
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10.Salvoras Pizza, Valparaiso, Indiana
© Salvoras Pizza
Started by the Fausto siblings, Salvoras Pizza in the college town of Valparaiso in northern Indiana offers dine-in, delivery, and carry-out options. The menu at the pizzeria includes many different pizza options, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pastas, and desserts. There is a menu for children available, too. One of the things Salvoras Pizza is best known for in the area is bringing “real Chicago-style pizza” to the region. Beginning as just a delivery and carry-out pizzeria, the restaurant’s delivery area extends beyond Valparaiso as well, including parts of Chesterton, Valparaiso, and Hobart, along with the towns of Burns, Wheeler, and Portage.
786 McCool Rd, Valparaiso, IN 46385, Phone: 219-759-5333
10 Best Things to Do in Valparaiso, Indiana
- Taltree Arboretum and Gardens, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Chapel of the Resurrection, Valparaiso, Indiana, Photo: photo.eccles/stock.adobe.com
- Memorial Opera House, Valparaiso, IN, Photo: Gunnar Assmy/stock.adobe.com
- Chicago Street Theatre, Valparaiso, Indiana, Photo: whyframeshot/stock.adobe.com
- Porter County Museum, Valparaiso, Indiana, Photo: Porter County Museum
- Brauer Museum of Art Center for the Arts, Photo: Brauer Museum of Art Center for the Arts
- Ricochet Tacos, Valparaiso, Indiana, Photo: Ricochet Tacos
- Tony's Place, Photo: Tony's Place
- Lincoln Flats, Valparaiso, Indiana, Photo: Lincoln Flats
- Salvoras Pizza, Valparaiso, Indiana, Photo: Salvoras Pizza
- Cover Photo: photo.eccles/stock.adobe.com
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