Things To Do In Gary, IN – Top 11 Must See Attractions

Gary, Indiana is a vibrant city situated on the shores of Lake Michigan. With beautiful beaches, historical attractions, and an abundance of entertainment options, it’s the perfect destination for a memorable getaway.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at all of the fantastic things to do in Gary, Indiana.

From swimming and sunning at Lake Michigan and Marquette Park to exploring Michael Jackson’s hometown and admiring the views at Indiana Dunes State Park, there’s something exciting for everyone.

If you’re looking for more indoor activities, then you won’t want to miss a visit to the Gary Aquatorium or Miller Beach. Here you can learn about maritime history and view exhibits about marine life.

There are also plenty of gaming options available at NorthShore Health Center’s armory of games and live entertainment venues.

No matter your interests, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained when visiting Gary, Indiana. So plan your visit today and discover all that this vibrant city has to offer!

1. Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

Are you looking for something new and exciting to explore? Check out Gary, Indiana and its incredible shoreline along Lake Michigan!

This beautiful lake offers miles and miles of stunning beaches, parks and trails.

Whether you’re enjoying a stunning sunset, taking a peaceful stroll on the beach, or admiring the sailboats as they drift by, there’s always something special to discover near Lake Michigan.

The Gary-Merrillville area is home to eight public beach access points along Lake Michigan, where you can swim, fish, and boat in the beautiful waters.

From Miller Beach Park to Jean Wolfmeyer Public Beach Access, there are plenty of options for a Lake Michigan adventure.

Other beaches include Marquette Park Beach Area, U.S. Steel Gary Works West Beach, Ogden Dunes State Beach, Illinois Beach Marina (formerly part of Marquette Park), East Chicago Boat Launch & Pier Head Marina, and Beverly Shores State Park – so no matter where you choose to go you’re sure to have a fantastic time!

Are you looking for an exciting adventure on the open waters?

Offshore from the beaches, charter boats offer deep-sea fishing trips to catch Steelhead Salmon or Trout during the spring and summer, and Coho Salmon during mid-September through October.

If you’re looking for something a little closer to land, there are plenty of golf courses and nature trails – such as the Calumet Trail – in the wooded countryside of northwest Indiana.

This 22-mile trail runs between Gary’s Miller Beach area and Porter County into LaPorte County.

Whatever your preference, there are endless outdoor activities just waiting to be explored!


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2. Marquette Park

Picnic in park

A trip to Gary, Indiana would not be complete without a visit to Marquette Park! This beautiful 269-acre park in the Miller neighbourhood is situated right along Lake Michigan and offers something for everyone.

From biking and running trails to fishing or simply enjoying the breathtaking view of the lake, there’s no shortage of activities at Marquette Park. Make sure you don’t miss this amazing attraction on your next getaway! 

Marquette Park is the perfect destination for a day of outdoor recreation! Here you’ll find an abundance of activities to enjoy such as biking, boating, gardening, sports courts and fields, and plenty of fishing spots.

And for the little ones, there’s a playground full of fun and exploration. Come have an adventure at Marquette Park today!

Marquette Park is the perfect place for a day out in the sun, and it doesn’t stop there!

The park hosts plenty of festivals throughout the year, like the Aquatorium Festival at the historic building atop Marquette Park Hill or Music in the Park events sponsored by local businesses.

So come on down to discover this beautiful park and all that it has to offer – from leisurely walks to thrilling community events.


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3. Michigan City

Michigan City

Take a short 45-minute drive outside of Gary Indiana, and you’ll find yourself in beautiful Michigan City.

A top destination in the state for vacationers, this coastal town offers a perfect escape for anyone looking for a day or weekend trip away from home.

With plenty of interesting sights and cultural attractions to explore, there’s never a dull moment in Michigan City! 

Michigan City has been a hotspot for tourists ever since a railroad was built there in the early 1900s. Its beachfront location makes it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenery while taking advantage of its incredible natural beauty.

The city is home to many attractions such as Washington Park Zoo, Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets and Splash Down Dunes which offer thrilling waterslides for an adrenaline-packed day out with family or friends.

Michigan City also boasts arts, theatre, shopping centres and delicious restaurants to explore.

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4. Buffington Harbor

Buffington Harbor Gary Indiana

Are you looking for the perfect outdoor escape? Look no further than Buffington Harbor in Gary Indiana!

Located on Lake Michigan, this beautiful spot is ideal for fishing, bird watching and so much more. So pack up your gear and get ready for an adventure – Buffalo Harbor is waiting!

The harbor is home to many species of birds attracted by its marshy banks. From osprey to buffleheads, this area provides an exciting variety of avian life.

It’s also the home of many warm-water fish species such as largemouth bass, muskellunge, and yellow perch.

You can enjoy water sports and kayaking in the calmer waters around the harbor. Fishing charter services are available too for those wanting some guidance, knowledge and special equipment.

For boaters looking for fuel up services or docking spots there’s both public and private marinas nearby.

5. Lake Etta

Lake Etta

Gary’s Marquette Park is home to the beloved Lake Etta. This beautiful lake provides a great spot for fishing and an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to take in nature’s beauty.

Whether you’re looking for some fun outdoor activities or just a moment of peacefulness, make sure to check out Lake Etta! 

Lake Etta is well known for its bird watching opportunities. Visitors can find over two dozen different species of birds that flock to the shorelines and banks of the lake to build nests or find food.

In addition to bird watching, visitors can take part in bike trails, a nature center and other educational programs offered by Lake Etta.

With something for everyone, it’s easy to see why Lake Etta is one of Gary’s favorite attractions.


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6. Lake Street Gallery

Lake Street Gallery Gary Indiana

Art lovers, look no further – the Lake Street Gallery in Gary, Indiana is calling your name!

Located right on the banks of beautiful Lake Michigan, this spectacular gallery offers a constantly evolving exhibit of both classic and contemporary art by artists from around the globe.

Don’t miss out – come visit and experience art in a whole new way!

 The Lake Street Gallery showcases a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, photography and more.

The gallery has been around since 1985 and regularly hosts events like artist talks, lectures and workshops to provide insight into the work on display.

You can also shop at their gift shop which has everything from books to jewelry to prints from past exhibitions. It’s an ideal place to pick up something unique for yourself or someone special.

The gallery also offers amazing classes for children as well as adults who want some guidance in creating art themselves.

Take some time to browse through the impressive collection of artwork at the Lake Street Gallery in Gary, Indiana. It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!

7. Michael Jackson’s Family Home

Michael Jackson's Family Home

The city of Gary, Indiana has a special connection to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

True fans of the music icon can pay tribute and visit the family home he grew up in on Jackson Street.

Michael Jackson’s family home was built in 1959 and is located in the Midtown section of Gary. Today, it is open to visitors, allowing them to get an insider’s view of his childhood there.

This house, now known as the Michael Jackson Family Home Museum, holds memorabilia and artifacts that were part of his family’s life during those times. The museum is curated by MJ’s nephew, who’s also been featured in MTV’s “Being Mike Tyson” series.

Visitors are welcome to take pictures inside the house as they walk through different rooms that are significant in Michael’s youth.

This includes bedrooms where he shared special moments with his brothers and sisters as they increased their love for dancing , singing and performing together.

Visiting this cherished landmark will provide insight into some precious memories shared by one of music’s most important figures and his beloved hometown!

8. The Museum Of Flight

The Museum of flight Gary Indiana

Calling all aspiring pilots and flight enthusiasts – Gary, Indiana is home to the renowned Museum of Flight, an absolute must-see for anyone interested in learning more about this fascinating topic.

If you’re looking for a great day trip that celebrates the history and development of aviation, then don’t pass up on this rare opportunity. 

The museum features a wide variety of exhibits from modern-day jets to biplanes from WWII.

The collection is one of the largest in the area, with aircraft and engines on display ranging from early balloons to modern-day jet aircraft.

Visitors can also learn about military history, astronauts, space exploration and more.

The Museum of Flight also has interactive educational displays and activities for kids and adults alike.

Visitors can test their knowledge on aviation trivia, view hands-on artifacts such as flight instruments or uniforms, take photos with a full size model aircraft, or build their own model planes.

9. Hard Rock Casino

Things To Do In Gary Indiana

For an exciting night out, you’ll want to check out the Hard Rock Casino in Gary Indiana. Located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan just east of Chicago, the Hard Rock Casino offers plenty of gaming and entertainment possibilities.

The casino features over 1,000 slot machines and dozens of table games. You can try your luck at blackjack, roulette, three-card poker and more.

For VIPs, there are four levels – Gold, Silver, Bronze and Gold Plus where they can experience something special while playing their favourite game.

The property also houses a nightclub that hosts exciting live music performances.

They offer a variety of drinks from classic cocktails to innovative signature drinks, along with delicious food options from around the world.

Grab some friends, or just come along for a night out full of fun at Hard Rock Casino!

10. Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium

Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium

Filled with fun and excitement, the Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium is the perfect place to spend a sunny day in Gary, Indiana!

With its breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, this city beach has something to offer everyone.

Whether you’re looking for a spot to relax and enjoy some fresh air or participate in thrilling water activities, you won’t be disappointed with your trip to the Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium.

From swimming and sunbathing to boating and fishing, the beach is truly one of the best places to cool off during hot summer days.

The beach also has a full-service concession stand that serves up snacks and refreshments throughout the day.

The beauty of this beach is that it provides not only recreation but also education. There is an aquarium with fascinating displays of local aquatic life and touch tanks where visitors can interact with a variety of sea creatures.

Complimentary events are held throughout the summer months, such as water aerobics classes, arts & craft sessions for kids, movie nights on the beach and outdoor concerts.

So if you’re looking for a fun and educational way to enjoy your day at the lake, there’s no better place then Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium!

11. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Fancy a trip to the great outdoors? Look no further than the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, located just 40 miles away from Gary, Indiana.

This stunning park offers 15 miles of breathtaking Lake Michigan shoreline and 50 miles of trails with other outdoor activities to explore.

Biking trails, bird watching, camping, fishing, and more are all available for visitors to enjoy.

The park is also home to various wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, beavers and white-tailed deer.

For those looking for a more educational experience, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore offers guided tours and programs that explore the history and ecology of the area.

Plan your next outdoor adventure at this incredible location – you won’t regret it!

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore offers experiences for nature lovers of all ages. Its trails cover diverse landscapes, from sandy beaches and dune ridges to wetlands and wildflower meadows, forested wetlands, swamps and marshes.

There’s also plenty of wildlife in the park, from playful seagulls to gentle deer. Birders will love exploring hidden habitats throughout the coastlines that are home to over 300 species of birds.

The centerpiece of the national parks is Mount Baldy Beach Trail – a 2-mile stretch between Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve and Kemil Beach with stunning views across Lake Michigan all along the way.

Pack a picnic lunch or take advantage of one of the many restaurants by the beach – this is one outdoor adventure you won’t want to miss!

Conclusion On Things To Do In Gary Indiana

In conclusion, Gary, Indiana is a great place for tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re looking to reconnect with nature or explore the vibrant and ever-changing cityscape, there’s something here for everyone.

For those who are especially adventurous, don’t forget to drop by Lake Street Beach and enjoy some of the most stunning views on offer in Gary.

With plenty of unique experiences to be had in this vibrant Midwestern city, it’s easy to see why many people consider it such a special destination.

Gary also has something to offer for every budget, whether it’s an affordable meal at a local restaurant or even a shopping spree at one of the many malls and outlet stores in the area.

There is so much to explore that you could easily spend several days just discovering the exciting city of Gary, Indiana.

It’s a chance to further your knowledge of history, create lasting memories with friends and family, and meet some truly wonderful people who call this city home.

Gary is a destination like no other and has plenty to do for everyone. Whether you are an avid historic enthusiast, an outdoor explorer, or someone just looking for a fun day away from home, Gary is the perfect place to spend some time.

With its unique downtown area and variety of options, this city does not disappoint.

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Things To Do In Gary, IN – Top 11 Must See Attractions
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