The January 2023 issue of Travel Indiana magazine, a statewide travel and lifestyle magazine published in Columbus, Ind., features Chesterton in its annual “Staycation” edition. Judging from the term staycation, the magazine is directing this article to the attention of Dunelanders, for whom a visit to downtown Chesterton would not require a departure from the comforts of their own beds.
According to Wikipedia, a staycation is defined as “a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within day trip distance of their home and does not require overnight accommodations.”
The article, written by Andrea Pearce, emphasizes Chesterton’s proximity to beautiful natural landscapes, specifically those found at Indiana Dunes State Park and Indiana Dunes National Park, where visits are recommended to Chellberg Farm, Bailly Homestead and the Maple Sugar Time Festival at Chellberg Farm, to be held this year on March 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The article also singles out the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve, as a place where nature lovers can hike well maintained trails alongside the creek, which meanders through the park on its way to Lake Michigan.
The article jumps from finding peace and pleasure from the natural world to exploring the wonders of retail therapy, as applied at Chesterton’s popular weekend markets, the European Market on Saturdays and the Upsadaisy Market on Sundays.
Obviously, the author expects readers to tuck away these suggestions until later in the year, since the European Market won’t debut in 2023 until May 6 and the Upsadaisy Market returns May 21.
As a preview of market weekends, the author writes, “The picturesque downtown allows you to enjoy warm brick buildings featuring specialty shopping for fine gifts, apparel and accessories, antiques, toys, and vintage books. Stay to feed and refuel yourself at the wide range of dining options.”
Of course, no description of the highlights of Chesterton would be complete without the mention of trains. The author suggests a visit to Thomas Centennial Park, which offers, she writes, “amenities to sit, and even picnic, while experiencing the sights and sounds of freight and passenger train traffic.” Then she takes the idea a bit further, suggesting: “Stay the night in a local bed and breakfast that offers a firsthand view of the train experience and the opportunity to stay in vintage rail cars.”
Obviously, she’s referring to Riley’s Railhouse, a highly rated pilgrimage place for train spotters from all over the world. But since the article is about staycations, the whole point is to never have to leave your own bed while exploring a place. But don’t worry. There’s probably no place in Chesterton where you might miss out on the sounds of passing trains.
Whether you like trains or not, the author certainly summed up Chesterton well by writing, “Come and savor the colors, tastes, and fragrances of all the seasons that Chesterton has to offer, celebrating the art of living and quality of place with family-centric small town charms.”