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Northside Diner named best breakfast in Porter County Indiana @indianadunes

March 18, 2018 2 comments
northside-diner

Northside Diner in Chesterton, Indiana.
Photo provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism and used with written permission.

By Dustin Ritchea
Indiana Dunes Tourism

Porter, Ind. — Indiana Dunes Tourism, in partnership with the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission (NITDC), is proud to announce Northside Diner in Chesterton as the Porter County champion of Indiana’s Cool North Breakfast Wars!

The ten best breakfast restaurants in Porter County squared off for eleven days against each other in an online voting contest to decide who served the best breakfast in Indiana Dunes Country and all of Indiana’s Cool North.

“We’re so flattered to be a part of this competition and overwhelmed by the love we have received from our community,” said Northside Diner owner, Kerry Lively. “I’m proud to serve our patrons every morning and excited that the most important meal of the day may just be the best one too.”

Northside Diner will now move on to the regional final to compete alongside six other county winners to see who will be crowned Best Breakfast in Indiana’s Cool North.

“Breakfast Wars is such a fun way for us to celebrate the unique restaurants in our local communities,” said Kailey Davenport, Indiana Dunes Tourism’s Community Engagement Director. “There’s been so much passion, loyalty and excitement throughout this competition. All it takes is bacon and eggs to bring people together, and that’s what tourism’s all about.”

The voting for the regional round will begin Friday, March 16, 2018 at 10 a.m. EST and will be hosted on the regional website at www.IndianasCoolNorth.com/BreakfastWars.

Anyone can vote once in the final round per valid email. Votes from the county round do not count, so make sure to vote again for your favorite restaurant. The regional round lasts ten days and the winner will be crowned on Monday, March 26.

The seven winning restaurants that will vie for Best Breakfast in Indiana’s Cool North are the following: Castaways in Plymouth, Jennie Rae’s Restaurant in Rolling Prairie, Country Corral Restaurant in Shipshewana, Macadoo’s Family Restaurant in Mishawaka, The Golden Egg Pancake House in Elkhart, American Table Restaurant in Warsaw and Northside Diner in Chesterton.

Indiana’s Cool North Breakfast Wars is a joint initiative of the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission (NITDC) and its member convention and visitors bureaus in Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Marshall, Kosciusko, Elkhart and LaGrange counties. NITDC is the leading regional economic development authority focusing on sustainable tourism through effective partnerships, including the development of Indiana’s Cool North Campaign. Indiana Dunes Tourism is the official destination marketing, planning and development organization for Indiana Dunes Country/Porter County, Ind.

For more information about this year’s Breakfast Wars, please contact Kailey Davenport at kailey@indianadunes.com or Robby Bearss at rbearss@nitdc.com.

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An Indy Girl’s Summer in Indiana Dunes Country

July 13, 2016 Leave a comment
indiana-dunes

On the beach at Indiana Dunes in Porter County, Indiana.
Photo provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism and used with written permission.

By Danielle Pieratt
Indiana Dunes Tourism Intern

I’ve been in Indiana Dunes Country for almost three months now while doing my summer internship. It’s been like a beach vacation without having to drive 15 hours to Florida.

Fortunately, I have a couple weeks left to enjoy the rest of the summer up north by relaxing on the beach, attending events like Indiana Dunes Tourism’s 30th Anniversary Celebration and eating at award-winning restaurants like Lucrezia Cafe in Chesterton.

One of my favorite parts about living up north has been the beach. There are so many different trails and nature hikes to explore. If you are a fan of biking, there are plenty of bike trails to ride on that get you from one place to the next. At the end of July, Indiana Dunes Visitor Center is unveiling a new bike path called the Dunes Kankakee Trail that travels from the Visitor Center for three miles to Indiana Dunes State Park, and which will eventually go to the Kankakee River.

indiana-dunes-restaurant

Valpo Velvet Ice Cream Company in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Photo provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism and used with written permission.

If you are thinking about venturing up north into Indiana Dunes Country to explore what it has to offer, a helpful guide is the “Must See and Do” in the Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide. It features 14 options on exiting things to do.

The Broken Wagon Bison Farm was one of the most exciting things I got to enjoy from this list. On the tour, you are able to come face to face with over 100 of America’s largest native land mammals. This is especially exciting as it’s Indiana’s bicentennial this year.

No matter what you choose to do while visiting Indiana Dunes Country, it is sure to blow you away. The food, people and atmosphere can’t be beat… And that’s coming from an Indy girl. Visit www.indianadunes.com for more information.

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Editor’s Note: Danielle Pieratt is a senior attending Ball State University, working toward a public relations degree. She is currently an intern for Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism agency for Porter County.

Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide Now Available

February 28, 2015 Leave a comment
Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide

Indiana Dunes Country Activity Guide. Image provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism and used with written permission.

By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Tourism

The official 2015 Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide, which is a comprehensive guide to Porter County’s attractions, restaurants, hotels and more, is now available.

The free guide, produced by Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau of Porter County, is being distributed to potential visitors in an effort to get them to visit and spend their dollars in the local communities. Local residents are also welcome to pick up a copy at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, located at 1215 N. State Road 49 in Porter.

Indiana Dunes Tourism Executive Director Lorelei Weimer said the Activities Guide is a valuable tool that visitors and residents can use to find fun things to do in each community.

“The Activities Guide is our primary publication, featuring dozens of great attractions and events,” Weimer said.

The guide features listings for Indiana Dunes beaches and hiking trails, museums, and places for family fun like the 49er Drive-In Theatre, Broken Wagon Bison Farm and Taltree Arboretum Railway Garden.

In addition, the guide lists places to enjoy fishing, kayaking and birding. The guide also has listings for golfing, art galleries and antique shopping. It’s even got sections devoted to summer farmer’s markets, fall drives and winter recreation.

The guide’s hotel listings and restaurant listings feature new places that people might not know have opened.

This year’s guide features articles about The 3 Dune Challenge at Indiana Dunes State Park, how to succeed in fishing and cooking your catch, great places to get burgers, and places to go for people with pets.

Also new this year is a two-page spread of day trips that people can take from Porter County, including going to Chicago, Amish Acres, Notre Dame, the Barn Quilt Trail and more.

Weimer hopes area residents will use the guide to explore Porter County or to find great things to do with friends and family members from out of town. While the guide is a useful resource to local residents, it is designed to encourage potential visitors to choose Porter County as a destination and then extend their stays by letting them know all there is to do in our communities.

The 68-page guide’s cover features a large aerial photo of the Indiana Dunes shot by Air One Aerial Photography in Valparaiso, as well as smaller photos of local dining and live theatre.

Weimer encourages you to call the Visitor Center at 219-926-2255 if you have any questions or if you would like to request a guide. You may also visit http://www.IndianaDunes.com/destination-guides to view or download the guide electronically.

Porter County Burger Wars Underway in Northwest Indiana

A perfect cheeseburger.

A perfect cheeseburger. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Tourism
http://indianadunes.com/

Burger Wars, a bracket-style contest to crown the best burgers in Porter County, began on Friday, May 16, 2014. The Epic Eight, identified as having the best burgers in the county through social media mentions and surveys, will battle head-to-head until a winner is crowned.

Porter County’s Epic Eight are:

  • Burgerhaus, Valparaiso
  • Franklin House, Valparaiso
  • Industrial Revolution, Valparaiso
  • Octave Grill, Chesterton
  • Piggies and Cream at the Depot, Kouts
  • Pikk’s Tavern, Valparaiso
  • Village Tavern, Porter
  • Wagner’s Ribs, Porter.

Readers can visit www.indianadunes.com/wars to vote in the first round. The winner of each pairing will advance to a round of four on May 26, with the final round of two kicking off on June 2. The winning restaurant will be announced June 10, and will compete against burgers from six other Northern Indiana counties starting June 13 to pick a Northern Indiana champion.

The contest, an initiative of Indiana Dunes Tourism and the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission, is designed to highlight the fact that there are so many great burger places in the area and to encourage residents and visitors to experience multiple restaurants.

The eight restaurants competing against each other will have tourism-produced posters at their businesses and are encouraged to use social media and be creative in getting diners and voters to come their way.

“Burger Wars not only allows people to participate in the battle for the best local burgers, but it will help visitors decide where to go when they’re here and are craving a juicy burger, whether it’s beef, pork, bison, veggie or Ahi tuna. We anticipate that Burger Wars will be the first of several future ‘Wars’ in coming years,” said Angela Pasyk, niche market director for Indiana Dunes Tourism.

In addition to awarding prizes to the restaurants, Indiana Dunes Tourism will award a $100 gift certificate – purchased from the winning Porter County restaurant – to one lucky person from among those who dine and vote for their favorite burger. People are encouraged to check www.indianadunes.com and www.facebook.com/IndianaDunesTourism for opportunities to win other prizes. For more information, call 219-926-2255.

Indiana Dunes a Favorite Bird-Watching Locale

Red-headed woodpecker.

Red-headed woodpecker. Photo credit: Matt Williams, The Nature Conservancy in Indiana.
Photo provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism and used with written permission.

By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Tourism
http://indianadunes.com/

The Indiana Dunes region is one of the best spots in the Midwest for birdwatching, and spring is the time of year when birders are rewarded with the biggest variety and quantity of birds.

To kick off the peak spring birding season, Indiana Dunes Tourism has launched a special birding webpage which features a list of birding hotspots, a bird tracker and a downloadable birding guide. The webpage also features information about the new Backpacks for Birders  program, which allows birders to stop by five great birding spots and use – free of charge – a backpack containing binoculars and guides.

The perfect site

Just like in real estate, good birding is all about location, location and location.

The Indiana Dunes’ location at the southern tip of Lake Michigan creates a “funnel effect,” funneling birds along the shoreline as they migrate.

For an avid birder like Brad Bumgardner, the best thing about working at Indiana Dunes State Park is that his binoculars never have to collect dust — even if it’s not the busy spring and fall bird migration times.

“There’s something going on every month. Any time of year, you can see something,” said Bumgardner, an interpretive naturalist for Indiana Dunes State Park.

“The Indiana Dunes, for birdwatching, is the top spot in Indiana. We’re one of the best spots on Lake Michigan and one of the top three sites in the Midwest or Great Lakes for birding.”

369 and counting

Bumgardner said there are at least 369 species of birds identified in the dunes area. Not only does the dunes area boast a variety of birds, but it also shows higher numbers of them than in other Midwest locations.

“People come from several states to bird the dunes,” Bumgardner said.

“We have gotten folks from all over the world.”

Indiana Dunes State Park is a popular stop for birders because it has so many habitats, so it attracts many species. He said the opening of the bird observation platform on the west side of the park is just one more way to enhance the birdwatching experience.

The park offers regularly scheduled hikes that are good for birdwatching, bird-related events and a field trip to see the tens of thousands of sandhill cranes that come to Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area.

“Sandhill cranes are Indiana’s claim to fame, or one of them,” Bumgardner said.

There is also plenty for birders to see at the nearby Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore sites as well, Bumgardner said.

National Lakeshore Supervisory Park Ranger Bruce Rowe said the Great Marsh Trail is a great trail for waterfowl, and Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk has become a popular spot when birds are migrating. The Heron Rookery is another great birding spot, he said.

To enhance the birding experience, Bumgardner recommends people pick up a birding field guide and Kenneth J. Brock’s book Birds of the Indiana Dunes.

For more information, visit http://indianadunes.com/, or call 219-926-2255.