Northwest Indiana is a prime destination for residents who want to enjoy convenient access to Chicago while staying well within the suburbs. Many of the cities and towns there are highly ranked for safety, which makes this area a great pick for families. While Chicago is often ranked among the most dangerous cities in America, the cities listed here are some of the safest in all of Indiana, providing essential peace of mind.
If you’re interested in finding a charming home for your family, you’ll find an abundance of welcoming options in Northwest Indiana with prime amenities, great schools, and ample highlights. Learn more about these top regional cities and find your new dream home.
The county seat of Porter County, Valparaiso is a hub of culture and activity in Northwest Indiana. The city hosts a wealth of annual events, such as the Summer Rhapsody Music Festival, Popcorn Fest, and Valpo Brewfest, and the Central Park Plaza Market is a popular farmers market. The city has a population of just 34,000, so the influx of 3,500 students to Valparaiso University each fall makes a noticeable change. However, the college atmosphere here is more subdued than wild.
Valparaiso is an extremely family-friendly community with 17 city parks. Highlights include the ValPAWraiso Dog Park, the Ogden Gardens Japanese Garden, and the Central Park Plaza Splash Pad. Niche gave Valparaiso’s schools an A- grade overall. The lowest-ranked was Washington Township Middle/High School, which received a B+, due in part to its small size, which can limit some extracurricular opportunities. Some families may prefer this smaller school, however, as it results in a prime student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1.
For three years in a row, St. John has ranked first on SafeWise’s list of the safest places to live in Indiana. Within its population of 18,047, St. John’s crime rate is just 0.3 violent crimes and 6.3 property crimes per 1,000 people. Though St. John is only 24 miles southeast of Chicago, it can feel a world away with its 20 lush parks and extensive map of bicycle and pedestrian trails. These abundant outdoor highlights may contribute to St. John’s impressive No. 2 ranking among the Best Cities for Fit Lifestyles from BarBend.
St. John’s schools are highly ranked, with all but two receiving an A- grade or higher from Niche. Hanover Central Middle School received a B+, and Hanover Central High School had a B-, making every option in this area a fine choice for families.
The county seat of Lake County, Crown Point enjoys a central location with ample facilities for health care, shopping, dining, and entertainment. The city’s 30,000 residents are well-served by 19 parks that boast amenities such as a pool, skate park, and seasonal ice rink. The Crown Point Sportsplex is a particular highlight, with 10 fields over 95 acres for athletic events.
According to SafeWise, Crown Point is the eighth-safest city in Indiana. Though it’s been growing in recent years, this area still retains its welcoming small-town feel. Niche gave the public schools here an A overall. The district includes seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school.
Dyer is a small city in Lake County with a population of just 16,352 residents. SafeWise ranked Dyer as the fifth-safest city in Indiana. Less than 40 minutes from both Chicago and the Indiana Dunes National Park, this city is within easy reach of both metropolitan amenities and outdoor adventure.
You’ll enjoy a strong sense of community here, which sets Dyer apart from suburbs closer to Chicago. During the summer, you can peruse the weekly Dyer Community Market at Pheasant Hills Park and enjoy local vendors and live music. Other local highlights include the Dyer Dog Park, the annual five-day Summerfest, and the abundance of delicious dining options.
Bordering the Indiana Dunes National Park, Chesterton provides its 13,000 residents with ample opportunities for recreation. The town staunchly resists big-box stores and offers a distinct sense of community through its preponderance of small local businesses. Located on the South Shore Line, Chesterton’s commuter train makes it easy for residents to access Chicago for work while remaining in the more secluded atmosphere of a small town.
Chesterton ranks seventh among the safest cities in Indiana, according to SafeWise. This city has some of the lowest property crimes in the state, with just 11 such crimes reported over the last year. Niche gave Chesteron’s public schools a solid A.
If you’re looking for a small town to retreat to, you’ll find just what you’re looking for among Winfield’s 5,987 residents. Despite its size, Winfield still features a Metra Rail station offering convenient access to Chicago.
Winfield is BarBend’s fifth-best city for fit lifestyles. The city offers 930 exercise opportunities per 1,000 residents, making it easy to stay in shape. The town offers five parks with playgrounds, so families will have plenty of entertaining destinations to explore. Students in Winfield attend the Crown Point Community School Corporation.
Cedar Lake is often recognized as a resort destination, thanks to the city’s namesake lake. Covering nearly 800 acres, Cedar Lake is the largest natural lake in Northwest Indiana. The same highlights that draw vacationers to the city also delight Cedar Lake’s community of 11,560 residents. Boating and fishing are especially popular, as are the city’s annual Summerfest in July and Hometown Fest in September.
Chicago is only about an hour north, so residents have easy access to major metropolitan amenities while staying well out of the city. Cedar Lake boasts high ratings for safety and schools.
If you’re looking to plant your new home in one of these Northwest Indiana communities, Steiner Homes can help. Our Housing Specialists will help you navigate all your options for home building and come up with a home and lot that meet all your needs. Customization options enable you to make any floor plan your own, equipped with just what you’re after for comfort and convenience. Reach out to us at Steiner Homes today to begin your journey toward a better home.