A few weeks ago, I did a list of my most favorite things to do and places to go in LaPorte County where I was born.  TODAY, I am going to discuss my top 5 most favorite things to do in my current home town of Valparaiso.

I went to school in Valpo from 4th grade up.  In 2006, I returned here with my husband, Jeff, to raise our now 10 year old daughter.  My Kate and I are on the town every weekend and one of our most favorite spots is the Valparaiso Public Library.    If your child is anything like mine, you could take him/her to a car parts store and they'd beg you to buy them something.  At the library, everything is FREE so they can beg away and you can say, "Sure!"  Win/Win!  The Valpo Library is located at 103 Jefferson Street.

While you are in downtown Valpo, stop by the Porter County Museum,  #2 on my list!  If you've never been or haven't been in a while, you do not know what you're missing!  This is a REAL MUSEUM in every sense.  My daughter and I went there recently and learned about the Civil War, WWII, women's suffrage movement, mastodons, and MORE.  The quality of the exhibits is phenomenal for a community our size.  To plan your visit, go to

If you love to eat and who doesn't, DINE IN DOWNTOWN VALPO!  Valpo has become a dining destination.  Chicagoland comes to Valpo to enjoy the dining experiences we offer.  For a list of some of your downtown dining options, visit  My personal favorite for breakfast is the Silver Spoon.  If you want a good margarita and some Karaoke, go to Margarita's.  For an evening of outdoor ambiance and great food, go to Stack's Bar & Grill.  Go early and get reservations if you want to eat in their spectacular outdoor dining space.  We are so lucky to have sooo many incredible dining options.

PLAY!  Zao Island is a favorite spot for adults and kids alike!  If you've been around a while, you remember when this was called Wright's Barnyard.  But this is not your father's miniature golf course. They have batting cages, laser tag, go-karts, bumper cars, food, drinks, and more!  You'll run out of time or money before you run out of things to do here.  To plan your visit to Zao Island, visit

Last but certainly not least is the Valpo Parks!  There is NOTHING like Rogers Lakewood Park off of Campbell St on a gorgeous spring, fall or summer evening.  After a long day of work, nothing soothes my soul like a stroll there.  For the kiddos, there is Butterfly Meadows Park that includes a nature trail and huge slides.  ValPlayso just underwent a major renovation last fall and is the new hot park in our community.  And of course, you must take your kids to the splash pad at Central Park Plaza in downtown Valpo.  An ice skating rink is opening there in 2016!  For a full list of Valpo Parks locations, events and programs, visit

I will stop for now, but watch for future posts spotlighting the best of the cities and towns in Northwest Indiana.  We certainly have a lot to be proud of and enjoy!  

When you are ready to sell your home and/or buy your next home, call me 219-263-8300 or visit my website at  You can use my website to start your home search - The search feature will give you access to all NWI homes on the market.  

Melissa Benefiel

Melissa Benefiel

Your Professional REALTOR
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