Things to Do in Gary, Indiana

by Jillian O'Keeffe Google

A relatively small city with less than 100,000 residents, Gary, Indiana, is just down the road from Chicago. Despite its location as a central hub for three busy interstates, the city sits on the edge of the natural phenomenon that is Lake Michigan, where tourists can gaze out over the water or swim from one of the many urban beaches. Befitting its juxtaposition between nature and the human impact on the area, those tourists who enjoy bright lights and shopping can also find activities to fill their days and nights.

Lake Michigan

One of the richest natural features of the city is the lake shore. Gary is built along the shoreline and right on top of five beaches, most of which are free to the public. As well as sandy beaches and dunes, walkers can wend their way through the hiking trails that start there. Cyclists are also welcome on some of the trails. In winter, when the snow falls, tourists can turn to cold-weather sports such as cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoe hikes. Various other businesses that provide tourist services along the lake shore include windsurfing operators, jet ski rental shops and boat charter businesses. Fishing in the lake, whether from shore or from a chartered boat, is another option.

Visit Michael Jackson's Birthplace

Gary, Indiana, was where Michael Jackson grew up, before he became a musical superstar. A pilgrimage to his home, near Roosevelt Park, might be just the ticket for fans, who can stand in front of his house and moonwalk down the pavement.

City Shopping

Avid shoppers can indulge their passion in the clothes stores and art galleries of the Lake Street district, perhaps to purchase a swimsuit for the beach or a cocktail dress for a night out at the city's bars. Additional shops at Miller Beach allow for relaxed vacation browsing.

Casino Days

If the weather doesn't suit outdoor activities, visitors to the city can opt to spend their time inside, at one of the two casinos in the Buffington Harbor area. These entertainment centers offer gaming for tourists, restaurants and live entertainment for those who decide to take a break from gambling.