What You Need To Know About Valparaiso, Indiana
Valparaiso, Indiana is a small town in the Northwest corner of Indiana, with a population of nearly 32,000 residents. A hot spot for education, Valparaiso is home to Valparaiso University, a regional campus of Ivy Tech, and a satellite campus for Purdue University Northwest.
The History of Valparaiso, IN
Valparaiso has a rich history. The township dates back to 1832 when the U.S. purchased the original land from the Potawatomi people.
The city, named “Vale of Paradise” after Valparaiso, Chile, was also called the City of Churches in the 19th century, due to a large number of churches available to parishioners.
Valparaiso is also a center of transportation for the area due to its proximity and was once connected directly to Chicago by railway. It is located near several major highways, which are used by many to travel to and through the region.
Major Highways In Valparaiso, Indiana
Considered a part of the “Crossroads of America,” Valparaiso is situated near major highways I-94, I-80, I-65, and I-90. Many state roads also cross through the region, including Indiana State Roads 130, 2, and 49.
Unfortunately, this makes the city a prime place for not only auto accidents, but also collisions with large commercial trucks.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reports that between the years of 2011 and 2015, there were a total 3566 fatal collisions on Indiana’s busy roadways.
Tourism and Points of Interest in Valparaiso, Indiana
There’s no shortage of things to do in Valparaiso, from exploring historical sites to just having fun.
Places to Visit in Valparaiso
Taltree Arboretum and Gardens
The Taltree Arboretum and Gardens has 330 acres of gardens, prairies, woodlands, and wetlands have been restored for conservation and for residents and travelers to enjoy. A children’s garden and 6 miles of hiking trails are among many activities available.
The Chapel of the Resurrection
The stunning Chapel of the Ressurection is the center structure of Valparaiso University and is the most significant collegiate chapel in America. While used mostly for Lutheran church services, the building can be toured and offers guest lectures, music performances, and more.
The Rogers-Lakewood Park is an expansive 122 acres and offers a variety of outdoor activities from hiking and fishing to disc golf, discovery day camps, picnicking, and more.
Anderson’s Vineyard and Winery
For some adult fun, visit Anderson’s Vineyard and Winery, tucked away on the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan. Wine tastings are available during scheduled hours, and a bakery is on site for unique treats.
Arts In Valparaiso, Indiana
Brauer Museum of Art Center for the Arts
Brauer Museum of Art Center for the Arta is Located on Valparaiso University campus, this museum features Midwestern regional and religious artworks. Visitors can enjoy nationally recognized art from the 19th-21st centuries.
Porter County Museum
The Porter County Museum features permanent and featured exhibits on local and national history, including World War II, prehistoric Porter County, and more.
Chicago Street Theater
The Chicago Street Theater is situated in downtown Valparaiso, this award-winning theater has produced over 63 seasons of exciting shows. Fans of live theater can enjoy themselves in the cozy 130-seat space.
Memorial Opera House
Once home to the Chicago Street Theater, the Opera House is not only a place to catch a great show but is also a historical landmark and venue rental featuring cabaret, concerts, and youth theatre.
Shopping In Valparaiso
True to its roots, downtown Valparaiso offers many unique shops with one-of-a-kind items.
Tour the South Bend Chocolate Company and watch chocolates being made before picking up fresh treats by the pound to take home. Lifestyles features eclectic yet affordable home essentials and gifts and has something for just about everyone, from toys to kitchen gadgets.
Visit the Old World Market for wine tastings and to stock up on hand-cut cheeses. Shop for unique children’s clothes at Piper’s Children’s Boutique.
Other locally owned stores in Valparaiso include:
- Buck’s Bicycle Shop
- Mark T. Nielsen Interiors and Homenclature
- Martin Binder Jewelers
- Blythe’s Sports Shop
Traditional shopping in Valparaiso can be found on Silhavy Road and Laporte Avenue and includes national stores like:
- Bed Bath and Beyond
- Target, Best Buy
- Marshall’s, Lane Bryant
- Barnes and Noble
- the Children’s Place
- Shoe Carnival
Dining in Valparaiso
Dining in Valparaiso is always a good time, with over 120 restaurants to choose from.
Notable local places to dine include:
- Industrial Revolution Eatery. Enjoy traditional pub fares like burgers, salads, tacos, and great desserts in a unique historic setting.
- Kelsey’s Steak House. Located on U.S. Highway 30, this restaurant features upscale steaks and seafood paired with wine and a relaxing atmosphere.
- Stacks Bar and Grill. A local favorite, this eatery offers unique dishes with beautiful presentation and must-try craft beers on tap.
- Designer Desserts. Order something custom or just pop in for an out-of-this-world cupcake in flavors like Rocky Road, Root Beer Float, or Cherry Cherry Chip.
Other great restaurants include:
- The Meditrina Market Cafe
- Tomato Bar Pizza Bakery
- Restaurante don Quijote
- Burger Haus, Sage
- Parea Restaurant and Lounge
- La Cabana
- Gelsosomo’s Pizzeria
Steel Mills In Valparaiso
Although Valparaiso is home to many great restaurants and places to shop, it’s also home to many steel mills as well.
Steel mills like Calhoun Steel Co., Wegener Steel and Fabricating, and Union Electric Steel Corporation help bring funding to the area and creates jobs for Valparaiso workers. However, steel mills can also be dangerous places to be employed.
The use of heavy equipment and molten steel can lead to injuries like falls, burns, back injuries, head and spinal cord injuries, and in some cases, even lead to fatalities.
Average Weather Patterns In Valparaiso
Being situated in Northern Indiana has its perks during the summer — Valparaiso enjoys mild warm temperatures during even the hottest months. However, the downside to this is much colder winters.
July is noted as being the hottest month on average, with highs up to 83 degrees and lows around 63 degrees. January clocks in as the coldest month of the year on average, with highs of only 32 degrees and lows down to 17 degrees.
Valparaiso only enjoys five months of the year on average with highs above 60 degrees.
Rain In Valparaiso
The city gets around 40 inches of rain per year, which is just one inch above the U.S. average of 39 inches. Due to its location, the city sees more snow than the U.S. typically does, with an average 39 inches to the U.S.’ 26 inches.
Typically, Valparaiso sees 78 days of precipitation per year and only 176 sunny days. Since Valparaiso is close to Lake Michigan, the humidity in the city tends to be higher than other areas of the state.
Valparaiso Cost of Living
The cost of living in Valparaiso tends to be slightly higher than the U.S. national average, but not by much.
Overall, the cost of living, according to Sperling’s Best Places, is 6.50 points above America’s national average of 100.
The average rent for a 2-bedroom place is $867, much cheaper than what it would cost to rent a contemporary home in the Chicago metro area, and slightly less expensive than the U.S. as a whole.
The cost of groceries is ranked at 109.9 of 100, and healthcare costs rank 102. Individuals with injuries or who have been involved in accidents will find medical care a little more expensive in Valparaiso than in the U.S. on average; however, the difference is not astronomical.
Transportation in the city is significantly higher than the rest of the United States, clocking in at 123 out of 100. Utilities are roughly on par with national averages, calculated at only 4 points above average.
Demographics of Valparaiso, Indiana
According to Livability, the median age in Valparaiso is 34, and the median household income is $49,509. The median home price is $165,600 and although transportation is more expensive compared to other cities, it’s easy to walk around in Valparaiso to get where you need to go.
Driving is still the primary way to commute to work, with just over 80% reporting that they drove alone. The average commute is 21 minutes and just under 4% of residents work from home. Roughly 6% of residents carpool to work.
93% of individuals in the city speak English, and there are roughly as many men as women in the city. 42% of people in Valparaiso own their homes and 57% rent.
There stands 15 total employed armed forces in the city, and approximately 7% of the city’s population are civilian veterans.
A Beautiful City Focused On Its People
Ultimately, Valparaiso is a great place to live, work, and visit. The city is focused on providing great opportunities for its people for both work and play.
Accidents happen in every city, from car crashes to slip and falls to workplace injuries. Those in the community who can help do, including providing Valparaiso residents and visitors with medical and legal care when needed.
At Sarkisian Law Offices, we help injured people and their families obtain compensation for damages related to accidents caused by others who were negligent or careless. If you or a loved one have been hurt in Valparaiso, don’t wait to call our office at (219) 477-3998.