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Inside: The Ultimate Valparaiso, Indiana Bucket List

by Melissa Marshall [follow me on TikTok for Valpo videos!]

Melissa Marshall Designer Desserts (photo by Katelyn Mae Photography) Valparaiso Indiana
Designer Desserts (photo by Katelyn Mae Photography)

Some hidden gems of Valpo, you may not have heard of yet, and some that just could not be excluded because they're THAT good.

I get asked a lot by friends from other cities, what they should see, do, and eat if they are coming to spend a day in Valparaiso.

I’m going to walk you through some of my favorite spots in town, you may not have heard of yet, and what I would consider the ultimate Valpo day.

I would definitely start your day at Suzie’s Cafe, on the Southside of 30

From here, I would head to one of our locally owned coffee shops and caffeinate to fuel your day. My personal favorite is Fluid coffee bar. My favorite drink here changes depending on my mood but a classic Valpo favorite is an iced voodoo latte, it tastes like a liquid Reese’s. If that’s not your cup of tea (err coffee) chat with a barista and they will point you in the right direction.

Since you’ll already be downtown, I highly recommend checking out some of our unique boutiques and shops scattered throughout the downtown scene. Aster + Grey, Lifestyles, Society, Indie Indie Bang Bang, Bun’s Soapbox, and a handful of other boutiques create a truly one-of-kind shopping experience. If you find yourself shopping til you drop and you need a mid-day pit stop, head into Aftermath Cidery and winery for a sip.

If you happen to be in town on a Tuesday or Saturday, I love the downtown Market hosted by Valparaiso events. Local vendors have everything from fresh floral bouquets, to local farm raised meats and fresh grown produce, to handmade soaps and olive oils, and so much more to explore. If you miss the market, check the Valparaiso events website for a full calendar of live music, movies in the park, and all of the events that are scheduled to resume this summer.

If you’ve brought the family for the day, a short drive to the north side of town, will take you to the 49-er Drive In, one of the few remaining drive in movie theaters in the region. On the south side of town, you can check out Zao Island for mini golf, go carts, batting cages, arcade games, and in my personal opinion some of the best tasting pizza in town.

No trip to Valpo would be complete without a visit to one of the oldest standing businesses, Valpo Velvet ice cream. I love their lunch menu just as much as I love their delicious scratch-made ice cream. If you love cupcakes as much as ice cream, you will not want to miss Valpo staple Designer Desserts. Almost too pretty-to-eat and just about every flavor you can dream up.

If you’re out for a night on the town and looking for an over 21 experience, dining on the Stacks rooftop is highly recommended. It can be a little difficult to get a table, so reservations in advance are strongly encouraged. If you’re seeking a quieter ambiance a little off the beaten path, head a few minutes north to BaitShop to experience one of most unique and well thought out menus this side of Chicago.

There is definitely no shortage of things to do, places to go, shops to shop, and eats to eat when visiting Valparaiso. I would love to hear about some of your favorite places in town and I’ll share some more in upcoming blog posts.

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