Summertime Fun in Northern Indiana

Every summer, northern Indiana comes to life with abundant outdoor recreational opportunities and plenty of family-friendly festivals and events. The following counties in northern Indiana are just some of our favorite places to experience summertime fun. They offer some of the best recreation the state has to offer.

(Steuben County Tourism Bureau photo)

Steuben County

Tucked in the corner of northeast Indiana awaits Steuben County, an area with vibrant downtowns, more than 100 lakes, and miles upon miles of hiking and biking trails at the beautiful Pokagon State Park.

Some can’t-miss attractions in Steuben County include the corn maze at Ridenour Acres; bison at Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve; and wine tasting at Satek Winery. Shopping and dining in downtown Angola, Fremont and Hamilton are a must, with boutiques, coffee shops and a great variety of restaurants.

“While in Steuben County, don’t miss taking a vintage train ride on the Indiana Rail Experience,” adds Janet Hartsuff, Steuben County Tourism Bureau communications manager. “There’s a variety of themed rides available throughout the year and more will be added in 2025.”

A trip to Steuben County wouldn’t be complete without experiencing Pokagon State Park, Hartsuff adds.

“With nine hiking trails – plus the eight-mile Hell’s Point Challenge – guided horseback rides, an interpretive nature center and two beaches, this is a perfect spot for a family vacation.”

Steuben County has many festivals and events coming up. A couple include the Lake James Antique and Classic Boat Show on July 27 and the Indiana Seaplane Pilots Association Splash-In at Pokagon State Park on Sept. 22.

Visit the tourism bureau’s website,, to see a full calendar of events.

(LaGrange County CVB photo)

LaGrange County

LaGrange County, and the town of Shipshewana, in particular, offer small-town hospitality and a slower pace of life combined with the modern amenities and entertainment options of a larger destination.

“The Amish and the Mennonites of this area enjoy welcoming visitors to tour their shops or purchase the goods they create, but the rest of the area offers countless other fun and interesting ways to relax and enjoy your time here. Shipshewana is really a one-of-a-kind destination,” says Miranda Beverly, Shipshewana/LaGrange County Convention & Visitors Bureau communications and public relations manager.

On Aug. 3, the popular Shipshewana Antique Market takes place rain or shine with hundreds of treasures to find. The annual Northeastern Indiana Steam & Gas Show takes place Aug. 8-10, with people flocking to see old-time farming equipment and tractors while watching demonstrations of antique hay-bailers and steam plows. And, beginning Aug. 8, the Blue Gate Theater puts on a new musical, “When Calls the Heart.”

“In addition to all of the wonderful events, tours, and shows that go on all year round, summer means that visitors can also experience the largest flea market in the Midwest, open Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of September, plus a few extra weekend and holiday hours. Good weather also means it’s a great time to do things like Dairy Farm Tours, where you can milk cows, or bottle feed calves,” Beverly adds.

In LaGrange County, summer also means park and water activities, including kayaking local rivers.

“T&L Country Canoes and Trading Place Outfitters in Mongo are wonderful places to start an outdoor adventure,” Beverly says. “We also have a ton of RV parks and campgrounds for anyone visiting who likes to camp the wide-open spaces.”

Even though Shipshewana has a population of only 850 people, the small town welcomes more than 2 million visitors a year, Beverly adds.

“It’s a perfect destination because there is literally something for everyone to do, see, or experience. Shopping, amazing food, beautiful countryside, fascinating farm and home tours, artisan products, animal experiences, and big-name entertainment all make it impossible to be bored here.”

Find out more at

(Huntington County CVB photo)

Huntington County

Huntington County is ideally located just southwest of Fort Wayne and a short drive from Indianapolis.

“We have a vibrant arts scene, fantastic shopping and dining options, and an abundance of outdoor activities, making it a perfect spot for both relaxation and adventure,” says Bobby Kemp, executive director at the Huntington County Visitor and Convention Bureau.

Visitors can browse the downtown shops in Roanoke and Huntington, take in a performance in downtown Warren, and enjoy amazing antique shopping in Markle.

“Huntington County has culinary options for every taste and budget,” Kemp adds. “We’re home to Nick’s Kitchen, the birthplace of the Indiana-favorite Hand-Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, which has been featured in regional and national publications as well as the Travel Channel’s ‘Food Paradise.’ Visitors come from all over the country to grab a tenderloin and a slice of sugar cream pie.”

The Roanoke Farmer’s Market takes place every Friday from 5-8 p.m. through Aug. 30, with live performances enhancing the experience.

Outdoor concerts are abundant in Huntington County. The Markle Summer Sounds concert series takes place the second Friday of each month at the Markle Fish and Game Club Park; the Music in the City concert series takes place the second Saturday of each month in downtown Huntington; and Warren’s Final Friday’s outdoor concert series hosts a variety of musical performers on the final Friday of the month at Warren’s downtown Riverside Park.

For nature enthusiasts, Huntington County is known for its variety of outdoor activities.

“From boating and fishing at Roush or Salamonie Lake to the scenic trails of our many parks and preserves, you will find outdoor adventure around every turn,” Kemp says. “Be sure to not miss out on Salamonie Lake DNR where visitors can enjoy camping (both primitive and modern), boating, fishing, mountain biking, swimming, hiking, picnicking and the newly expanded disc golf course at Salamonie Lake in Lost Bridge West. Salamonie is also an excellent place for bird watching.”

For more of an adrenaline-packed experience, visitors can zipline through the treetops at Zip Timber Lake, northeast Indiana’s only zipline adventure course. Those looking for slower, less-strenuous summer activities may enjoy touring local museums or sipping wine at Rustic River Outfitters, Dash 90 Wine or Two-EE’s Winery.

“Whether you are a solo traveler, a group of friends, a family on vacation, or a couple looking for an affordable getaway, Huntington County is the destination for all you want to do this summer,” Kemp says.

Go to for a complete list of attractions and sample itineraries.

(Visit Dekalb photo)

DeKalb County

Every year, thousands of visitors travel to DeKalb County, and the city of Auburn, in particular, to experience festivals, wineries, shopping, museums and more.

“People enjoy the quaintness of the town and the wonderful business mix of downtown Auburn,” says Mike Littlejohn, president of the Downtown Auburn Business Association. “Our business district is thriving – we have a great mix of different kinds of stores, and great restaurants such as the Auburn City Steakhouse. There’s also the Auburn Brewing Company making craft brews, which makes for a unique experience when someone visits here.”

This summer, an art exhibit “Sip & Smile” features 20 wooden outdoor patio bars throughout Auburn that area artists have utilized to create unique works of art. All outdoor patio bars are available for purchase at the “Sip & Smile” dinner auction in September.

“Another big draw is the summer cruise-in car show, where there’s typically 180-200 cars downtown the third Thursday of the month from 6:30-8:30 p.m.,” Littlejohn adds. “In addition to the cruise-in, we have a big event in August where these cars come back and are featured through Labor Day Weekend.”

There’s also a farmer’s market that takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

“It’s amazing how many people come to that – we’ve been doing it since 1981,” Littlejohn says. “These are all unique experiences that make for a great trip. So not only do you have the great restaurants and eateries, but you have the shops in the downtown district and activities that add to the whole experience.”

For more information about DeKalb County, go to