A gallery at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, part of the Michigan City/LaPorte Loop
You can’t go wrong with a weekend centered around fine art and artisan bakeries. Both are front and center in Indiana this weekend, where a septet of self-guided art trails loop through galleries, farmers’ markets, and boutiques. Here, the seven art trails of Northern Indiana:
- The Dunes Loop (Porter, Chesterton, and Valparaiso) offers easy access to beauty both outside (the magnificent walking paths and scenery of Indiana’s dunes) and inside (almost a dozen galleries and boutiques). For more information, call the Indiana Dunes Tourism office at 219-926-2255 or go to indianadunes.com.
- The Notre Dame Loop (New Carlisle, South Bend, Mishawaka, and Lakeville) goes through the titular campus, allowing visitors to supplement gallery visits with a tour of the fabled institution. For more information, call the South Bend/Mishawaka Convention and Visitors’ Bureau at 800-519-0577, ext. 340, or go to visitsouthbend.com.
- The Shipshewana Loop (LaGrange County) is defined by the art of the local Amish community, including quilts and woodworking. For more information, call the LaGrange County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 260-768-4008 or go to www.visitshipshewana.org.
- The Heritage Trail Loop (Elkhart County) is lined with studios specializing in hand-thrown pottery, bakeries filled with Amish-made pies, and Indiana’s oldest gristmill (where you can still purchase stone-ground flour). For more info, call the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau at 574-262-8161 or go to amishcountry.org.
- The Lake Loop (Warsaw, Winona Lake, and surrounding lakeside communities) is home to one-of-kind studio/galleries offering everything from jewelry made from vintage buttons to hand-cut crystal. For more information, call the Kosciusko County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-800-6090 or go to www.koscvb.org.
- The Michigan City/LaPorte Loop (Michigan City, LaPorte, Rolling Prairie, and Wanatah) is home to the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, a lakeside gallery and performance space where you’ll find one-of-a-kind stained glass pieces and handmade paper. For more information, call the Michigan City/LaPorte Convention and Visitors Bureau at 219-872-5055 or go to michigancitylaporte.com.
- The Time to Unwind Loop (Marshall County) is known for its independently owned artisan bakeries, farmers’ markets, and its slow, small-town pace. For more information, call the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 574-936-1882 or go to visitmarshallcounty.org.
Where to stay: The Duneswalk Inn (1491 N. Furnleigh Ln., Chesterton, Indiana; 219-728-6393, duneswalkinn.com) has two suites and three guest rooms, all within a five-minute walk of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and central to the Dunes Loop art trail; rates range from $125 to $185 per night. The Tryon Farm Guest House (1400 Tryon Rd., Michigan City, Indiana; 219-879-3618, tryonfarmguesthouse.com) has four guest rooms and a 170-acre spread of meadows, woods, and wetlands, all central to the Michigan City/La Porte Loop; rates range from $108 to $158 a night.
Where to eat: The Cerulean Restaurant (1101 E. Canal St., Winona Lake, Indiana; 574-269-1226, ceruleanrestaurant.com) specializes in Mediterranean and Asian dishes with an emphasis on bento boxes and sushi, and offers an extensive wine and sake menu. For breakfast or lunch near the Dunes, try Third Coast Spice Cafe (761 Indian Boundary Rd., Chesterton, Indiana; 219-926-5858, thirdcoastspice.com), where dishes include a Bloody Mary shrimp salad and Florentine omelets.
Photograph: Courtesy of the Lubeznik Center for the Arts