Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Crown Point, IN

  • Published 2022/10/26

The charming and historic city of Crown Point, Indiana, is a vibrant little attraction on the northernmost edges of the state.

It’s called the “Hub of Lake County,” serving as its county seat and one of the busiest little destinations outside the Chicago Metro Area.

But its community maintains a small-town and laid-back atmosphere that makes the place a great place for fun adventures.

It also has a storied past, with two historic districts preserving old buildings and structures.

Aside from these manmade attractions, Crown Point is surrounded by lush forests and bodies of water that nature lovers will enjoy.

There are also plenty of events to see, such as the grand Lake County Fair, the second biggest country fair in the state.

So when planning an upcoming getaway, make this place your top choice!

Here are the 20 best things to do in Crown Point, IN:

Tour the Interiors of Lake County Courthouse

Top view of the Lake County Courthouse.

Robert Sarnowski /

Upon your arrival in Crown Point’s city center, your eyes would be drawn to Lake County Courthouse, an ornate building with a brick-red facade.

This palatial attraction is one of the most recognizable attractions in Crown Point, earning the lovely nickname “Grand Old Lady” thanks to its age.

Since it was built in 1880, it has remained one of the most important government facilities in the county.

Interior of the Lake County Courthouse.

Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

But it has also become a tourist attraction thanks to its eye-catching and intricate design.

Inside, you’ll find various offices and departments, including the Lake County Historical Society Museum.

Check out this small attraction and discover artifacts from the bygone days, such as clothing, documents, and ancient tools.

But if you’re short with time, you can simply explore the outdoors of the courthouse and admire the beautiful architecture.

Marker post outside the lake county courthouse.

Repete, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Participate in Community Events at Bulldog Park

Near the Lake County Courthouse is an expansive community center frequented by the city’s families: Bulldog Park.

It’s not your typical park with verdant green spaces.

Instead, this attraction has a large open-air pavilion and a building housing four community rooms.

Thanks to its proximity to the downtown area, Bulldog Park is often used as a venue for the city’s other bombastic events.

These include the Summer Concert Series, Taste of Crown Point, and a weekly car cruise.

If you can’t schedule your trip on the dates of these events, you can still visit the park on regular days.

It’s a great place to stay with the family, as it has barbeque pits, a seasonal splash pad, and an ice hockey rink during the winter.

Join the Celebrations at Lake County Fairgrounds

The expansive Lake County Fairgrounds is, first and foremost, a park located on the southwestern outskirts of the city.

But its main purpose is being the venue of the Lake County Fair.

Within the large property, there are plenty of attractions and amenities that make the place a favorite attraction among the locals.

Chief of these is Fancher Lake, occupying around half of the area.

Fishermen frequent this body of water to try catching the freshwater species abounding in the lake.

Surrounding it are well-paved trails that wind around the rest of the park, looking like a child’s scribble when viewed from above.

The verdant fields between these paths serve as the venue for the Lake County Fair, a festive event that brings together the whole community.

It happens every July, so head over the city if you want to enjoy live music, fresh produce, arts, and delectable dishes offered by local vendors.

Play Disc Golf at Lemon Lake County Park

Trees around a body of water at Lake County Park.

Scott J. Kingery /

You need to drive a few minutes from the city center to reach the scenic Lemon Lake County Park.

It’s one of the quieter, undeveloped attractions located south of Crown Point.

Because of its pristine and undisturbed woodlands sections, the destination attracts many nature lovers and adventurers from all over.

This vast, 403-acre space contains mostly wilderness, meadows, and two small lakes.

To visit the hidden wonders, explore the trails that go deep into the park on foot or bike.

The only developed area here contains mostly sports facilities, such as baseball diamonds and sand volleyball courts.

But most active people come here for the five world-class disc golf courses that wind their way into the forests and clearings.

Watch a Thrilling Game at Crown Point Sports Complex

If the sports facilities in Lemon Lake County Park aren’t enough for you, check out the vast Crown Point Sports Complex.

It’s where most major athletic events in the city are held.

Within a 95-acre, multi-use complex, you’ll find numerous outdoor sports facilities and events venues.

These include ten baseball and softball diamonds with natural grass, two synthetic turf fields, and a championship field with stadium seating.

For those who get hungry in the middle of matches, visit the many concession stands offering snacks and refreshments.

Thanks to these many, well-maintained fields, the complex can host various events all at once.

So if you want to cheer for your favorite team or join a game yourself, add this place to your itinerary.

See the Landmarks along Erie Lackawanna Trail

A water tank at Erie Lackawanna Trail.

Dmytro Sergiyenko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The lengthy Erie Lackawanna Trail is an excellent route for those who want to explore the various attractions on this side of Indiana.

Its southern terminus is located in Crown Point, with a little park marking the starting point of the greenway.

From here, the trail runs parallel to the former Erie Lackawanna Railway and covers 17.7 miles.

It ends in the city of Hammond but not before passing many of the area’s well-known destinations.

These include the Griffith Historical Park, Ivan Gatlin Nature Preserve, and Indiana Visitors’ Center.

To explore the segments, you can go cycling or walking.

Slow down every once in a while and take in the views of gorgeous forests, clearings, and historical homes lining the trail.

Trek the Trails of Sauerman Woods Park

No, Sauerman Woods Park is in no way related to the famous Lord of the Rings villain played by Christopher Lee.

It is, however, a lovely little attraction that’s far from the bleak landscape of Saruman’s lair, Isengard.

The northern section boasts classic park features like playgrounds for kids, trails, open fields, and picnic pavilions surrounded by landscaped bushes.

There’s even a swimming pool open seasonally.

But the woods from which the park is named are the main attraction, especially for explorers and thrill-seekers.

Even though it’s in the middle of the city, this section has undergone little development.

The result is thick woodlands that you can explore on foot or by bike.

And keep an eye out for the wildlife—deer, native birds, and fluttering insects call this place home.

Experience the Paranormal at Old Sheriffs House

Marker post outside the Old Sheriffs House.

Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Old Sheriffs House/Lake County Jail has an infamous reputation brought about by John Dillinger, a famous gangster from the Great Depression.

The place was dubbed inescapable back then, but he nevertheless broke free by carving wood into the likeness of a gun that he used to threaten his hostages.

It’s not a memory that the city likes to remember, but it’s an important part of what made this attraction famous.

Today, it’s been turned into a museum that houses original artifacts from yesteryears.

You can tour it during the day, but the real fun happens at night.

There’s a volunteer paranormal expert who likes to bring people after sunset to find things that go bump in the dark.

Over the years, there have been reports of unusual recordings, noises, and events that remain unexplained.

So join the night tour and try to discover whatever is causing a disturbance here—if you dare.

Make a Splash at Deep River Waterpark

Deep River Waterpark lies on the edge of Crown Point’s eastern borders.

And even though it’s a bit far from the city, this well-known summer destination still attracts crowds of people.

This is officially the second-largest publicly owned waterpark in the country, with 14 different sections for every preference.

During the warm summer days, you can enjoy the park’s towering tubes, multi-lane slides, and other thrilling rides.

There are also multiple pools for cooling dips or laps, including a lazy river.

Cruise this attraction’s gentle currents on an inflatable and forget all about your worries.

When winter comes, the waterpark reopens for ice skating and other winter-related activities.

Check out their website today to see their next opening dates or to get daily passes!

Go Restaurant Hopping Downtown

The eclectic and diverse food establishments in Crown Point’s city center are well-known throughout the region.

So if you want a taste of the local cuisine and mingle with locals, head to the favorite restaurants downtown.

The cozy Square Roots is a well-loved gastropub with a menu of fusion dishes and cocktails “engineered to perfection.”

For those with more refined pallets, reserve a spot at Lucrezia Italian Ristorante and try their selection of North Italy cuisine.

To cap off your Crown Point adventures, grab a glass of wine at the Tavern On Main or a mug of craft beer from Crown Brewing.

Visit The Antique Vault & Records

The store’s knowledgeable staff hand-picked antique records, LPs, 45s, CDs, and 8-tracks at Antique Vault & Records.

This shop opened in 2016 and has quickly become known throughout the Midwest as having the region’s finest collection of both new and antique vinyl.

It also sells and fixes both new and old audio equipment.

The Antique Vault & Records is a one-stop store for your vinyl needs, including record covers, record player parts, and more.

Visit The Antique Vault and Records at Crown Point’s historic courthouse to peruse a growing selection of old records, memorabilia, and rock ‘n’ roll gems.

Enjoy Free Entertainment at Lake County Fair

As one of Indiana’s major county fairs, Lake County Fair attracts many visitors yearly.

It starts on the first Friday of August and lasts for ten days.

It features a massive carnival midway, a free petting zoo, free entertainment, free horse shows daily, and cuisine for every taste.

Check out the 4-H displays, the pig races, and the cow milking.

You may compete at no cost in bean spitting, pedal pulling, frog jumping, paper aircraft, or pie-eating events.

The Lake County Fairgrounds is a gorgeous, forested setting to soak up some rays.

Tractor pulling, demolition derbies, and a fantastic Monster Truck show are just some things you can watch at the Grandstand.

Expand Your Crystal Collection at The Crystal Lady

The Crystal Lady is a dream come true for crystal collectors!

It’s ideal for individuals just starting or expanding their collections.

Crystals, minerals, and other paranormal tools galore await your exploration.

The store continually updates its supply drawn from mines worldwide, some of which have been carved and polished to perfection.

You may also find sacred herbs, dream catchers, tapestries, and other significant works of art for the house.

It offers the best deals and quality in the area, plus a crystal expert on call.

Sample Local Beer at Crown Brewing

Crown Point’s traditional brewing industry has been brought back to life by a craft brewery located just southeast of Courthouse Square.

Crown Brewing was founded in 2008, although it borrowed its name from an established brewery in the exact location more than a century ago.

Crown Brewing, located next to the Lake County Sheriff’s House and Jail with its distinctively high chimney, is winning praise for its authentic renditions of English brews, including Porters and Brown Ales.

The regulars are Industrial Porter, Mayzie Cream Ale, Dude Java Porter, and Beauregard Blue.

There are also several seasonal brews, guest beers, and wines.

The pizza from Carriage Court Pizza, right next door, is the house specialty.

However, there is a wide variety of other options.

Taste Honey Wine at Manic Meadery

Manic Meadery is a small-batch winery that produces mead (honey wine), regular wine, and cider.

Dessert meads are its specialty, utilizing only the most delicate fruit and honey worldwide to make them.

Visit and relax in its chic, contemporary tasting area as you enjoy a flight or glass of wine.

Manic’s “Elliot” and “Vanilla Elliot,” both dessert meads made with blueberries from Michigan, have received awards in international competitions, cementing their status as among the world’s best.

It also sells meads and ciders in a corked bottle or a reusable flip-top bottle for takeout.

Other Things to Do Nearby

After touring Crown Point, why not visit these other attractions just a few minutes away?

Explore the Wonders of Indiana Dunes National Park

Long wooden bridge at Indiana Dunes national park.

Jon Lauriat /

The majestic Indiana Dunes National Park is one the most sought-after attractions in the region, bringing in tens of thousands of visitors annually.

Thankfully, it’s just 25 minutes away from Crown Point, so you quickly drive to it if you have a day or two to spare.

Sunset at Indiana Dunes national park beach.

Thomas Ellis /

Covering a vast 15,349-acre land, this beautiful attraction sits next to Lake Michigan.

So it has everything you can imagine—large swaths of forests, sandy beaches, water access, and creeks.

But its most iconic feature is the dunes from which the place is named, reaching as high as 123 feet in height.

Body of water near the sand dunes at Indiana Dunes national park.

Delmas Lehman /

Test Your Accuracy at Shoot Point Blank Merrillville

There’s something extremely satisfying about pulling a trigger and hitting the bullseye on your target.

So if you want to feel the thrill of shooting, check out Shoot Point Blank Merrillville.

It’s one of the most visited spots in the neighboring city, and it’s just 13 minutes away from Crown Point.

The indoor range has plenty of sections for various types of guns, including pistols and rifles.

And don’t worry if you didn’t bring your own.

There are guns for lease as well as ammo and safety gear for sale.

Try Your Luck at Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana

Though it only opened in 2021, the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana has already established itself as one of the premier entertainment destinations in the region.

So if you’re someone who likes the thrill of gambling, check out this place after you visit Crown Point.

It’s just 25 minutes away!

The casino floor has a whopping 1,800 table games and slot machines, so you can play whichever game your desire, whether you’re a high roller or a casual player.

Aside from gambling, the Hard Rock franchise is known for its stunning entertainment productions, and this attraction is no different.

So once you’ve had your fill of games, check out the entertainment venue for some show-stopping, hardcore performances.

Final Thoughts

The eclectic city of Crown Point has hidden surprises in every corner, making it an exciting place to visit with family and friends.

From vast fairgrounds to extreme waterparks, from haunted jails to serene parks, there’s plenty to see and try for everyone.

Use this list as a guide when making your itinerary so you won’t miss the top sights!

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