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Have lunch at the recently opened 18th Street Brewery. Sample craft beers and order the hearty Mother Clucker sandwich (chicken, bacon and an over-easy egg on toasted brioche for $10). 5725 Miller Ave., Gary, IN
Pick up local goodies for a beach picnic at the Miller Beach Market Place. The cute gourmet grocery store sells fresh sandwiches to go, produce from nearby farms and creamy Angelo?s Gelato. 925 N. Shelby Rd., Gary, IN
Buy whimsical fox-printed tank tops by Blue Platypus at the new Miller Beach boutique Indie Indie Bang Bang. 621 S. Lake St., Gary, IN
Soak up the sun at Wells Street Beach, a spot on the east end of the community. It’s worth it to spring for the pay-to-park lot ($10 on weekends) to enjoy the gorgeous sandy stretch. Plus, you can buy mimosas and sangria at the concession stand.
9501 Lake Shore Dr., Gary, IN
Order steak for dinner (the bone-in rib-eye is $34) at Miller Bakery Café, where you’ll find upscale comfort food and a buzzy bar atmosphere. 555 S. Lake St., Gary, IN
Walk the arts and creative district, a collection of galleries and local businesses that stretches out from the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts. On this month at the center: an exhibition of paintings of the area by Jeffrey Baumgartner.
540 S. Lake St., Gary, IN
Which sounds more like Gary, Indiana: smokestacks or natural wonders? Yeah, we also went with smokestacks--that is, until we discovered the charms of Miller Beach.
The funky little community--just 40 miles from downtown Chicago--is technically part of Gary, and it?s so close, you can still see the city skyline and take the South Shore Line there from the Loop. (An experience in itself--the train is BYOB.)
Since it?s surrounded by the protected lands of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Miller Beach is a beautiful, quiet escape for a day or a weekend. Here, our rundown on what to do there.
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