Have you had enough of the fast pace of life in Chicago? Do you need a change of scenery but want to remain close enough to the city to take advantage of its amenities? Portage, Indiana, is where you need to be. Portage is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without sacrificing access to Chicago’s fantastic attractions and events. We’ll detail the many reasons Portage and the surrounding area in Northwest Indiana are great places to settle down.
How Far Is Portage, Indiana, From Chicago?
For those looking to escape the city, Portage is ideally situated only 40 miles southeast of Chicago’s downtown. Those who work in the city but prefer a more tranquil environment can still make the commute to Chicago thanks to convenient access to the South Shore line and major highways such as I-94 and I-65.
Why You Should Consider Relocating to Portage, Indiana
The largest city in Porter County, this charming suburban town of about 37,000 residents offers a wealth of attractions and an unbeatable, affordable, and family-friendly quality of life, including:
Portage is home to some of Indiana’s best public schools, including Portage High School, consistently ranked among the state’s top high schools. There are also magnet schools and programs available in the district, so there is something for every student. Portage is close to several outstanding universities, including Purdue University Northwest and Indiana University Northwest.
Portage is a relatively inexpensive place to live, especially compared to Chicago. The median home price in Portage is about $250,000, significantly lower than the median home price in Chicago. Property taxes are also relatively low in the city.
Great Parks and Recreation
The city has many excellent parks and recreation facilities, including Community Acres Park, Perry Park, and Hannah’s Hope Playground. Additionally, the city offers a variety of programs and activities for citizens of all ages.
Besides its low crime rate, Portage boasts a strong sense of community and neighborly support. Residents frequently organize various events and activities, creating a safe and welcoming environment.
Robust Job Market
Due to Indiana’s low taxes and business-friendly environment, Portage, Indiana, and the surrounding area have a strong job market. Numerous job openings are related to logistics, manufacturing, industrial production, plant management, and substantial demand for various professional services.
Plenty of Shopping and Dining Options
Portage offers a variety of shopping and dining options to both residents and visitors. Portage’s shopping options ensure that anyone can find what they’re looking for, with everything from trendy boutiques to niche bookstores. It’s also a culinary destination that satisfies all palates due to its varied selection of restaurants, from casual eateries to fine dining establishments.
Enjoy the Attractions of Portage and Northwest Indiana
Northwest Indiana offers something for everyone, whether exploring the Indiana Dunes National Park or enjoying water sports on Lake Michigan. Near Portage, residents can enjoy the region’s thriving arts scene, visit historic landmarks, and participate in various annual festivals and events.
Indiana Dunes National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park encompasses 15,000 acres along Lake Michigan’s picturesque shoreline and features breathtaking sand dunes, beautiful beaches, and an extensive network of hiking and biking trails. The park’s diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and prairies, make it an ideal location for birdwatching and wildlife observation. The park also provides educational programs and guided tours to help visitors comprehend the area’s unique natural features and cultural history.
Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk
The picturesque Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk is located within Indiana Dunes National Park and features a beach with soft sand and clear waters, ideal for swimming and sunbathing. In addition, there are fishing areas and a picnic pavilion. The riverwalk offers spectacular views of the surrounding wetlands and wildlife, making it a popular location for birdwatchers and photographers.
Alton Goin Museum
The Alton Goin Museum is a treasure trove of Portage-related antiques and relics located within the city’s larger 33-acre Countryside Park. Learn about the history of the town and township through displays ranging from a scale model of the area, artifacts from local Native Americans, and displays dedicated to the city’s police force, fire department, and educational institutions. Exhibits detailing Portage’s manufacturing and transportation history provide guests with some insight into the city’s industrial development. The museum also offers educational programs and events that provide additional insight into the area’s rich cultural heritage.
Albanese Candy Factory
The Albanese Candy Factory in neighboring Merrillville is a feast for the eyes and the palate. Guests can observe the extraordinary candy-making process and skilled artisans at work during the factory’s guided tours. Purchase sweet souvenirs from the gift shop, including the world’s best gummy bears, to share with your loved ones.
Fair Oaks Farms
Fair Oaks Farms, Indiana’s 35,000-acre working farm, is where visitors can milk cows, feed pigs, and learn about crop cultivation as part of the farm’s mission to educate the public about modern farming practices. The farm also offers educational tours showcasing the innovative techniques used in sustainable agriculture. There are also restaurants, a hotel, a gift shop, gardens, and a playground on the premises.
“Wizard of Oz” Weekend
The annual “Wizard of Oz” Weekend, hosted by Harvest Tyme Family Farm in Lowell, Indiana, is a two-day celebration of all things “Wizard of Oz.” Attendees can immerse themselves in the enchanted world of the “Wizard of Oz” through interactive storytelling sessions, costume contests, and live performances of cherished songs from the iconic film. In addition to the event’s exciting activities, visitors can explore an enormous corn maze with intricate “Wizard of Oz”-themed patterns and experience the unique candy cannon.
Leave Chicago Behind and Make the Move to Portage, Indiana
Making the right move out of Chicago is important, and Steiner Homes hopes our overview has helped you decide. Compared to the expensive Chicago suburbs, Portage and Northwest Indiana have a lower cost of living, allowing residents to stretch their budgets and enjoy a higher quality of life without sacrificing proximity to city amenities.