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. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Taltree Arboretum and Gardens

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

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2.Chapel of the Resurrection, Valparaiso, Indiana

Chapel of the Resurrection, Valparaiso, Indiana
© photo.eccles/

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

Memorial Opera House, Valparaiso, IN
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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

Chicago Street Theatre, Valparaiso, Indiana
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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, 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.Ricochet Tacos, Valparaiso, Indiana

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.

55 Franklin St, Valparaiso, IN 46383, Phone: 219-531-8888

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7.Tony's Place

Tony's Place
© 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

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8.Lincoln Flats, Valparaiso, Indiana

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 Best Things to Do in Valparaiso, Indiana

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