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The Brewery Lodge

Zeus, a rescue dog, relaxes on a seat at the Brewery Lodge in Michigan City. Zeus is the establishment's mascot.

On behalf of the tens of thousands of hospitality employees of the South Shore, we invite you to discover or rediscover the attractions, festivals and restaurants that make our region unique and attractive to travelers. Hundreds of festivals, dozens of breweries, wineries, cideries and meaderies, along with award-winning attractions, bring travelers to the South Shore each year to spend more than $1.4 billion in our local economy.

As residents, we often don’t realize how diverse and exciting our region truly is! The South Shore now boasts a national park, a state park, botanic and formal gardens, arboretums, beaches and nearly 20 county parks and hundreds of city parks and preserves. You can experience cuisines from around the world at our restaurants, soar through the trees at an adventure park, take a tour of a modern dairy farm, kayak along a national water trail or visit with a furry mascot at a museum. Travel back in time with a stop at a local history museum or living-history farm. You and your family can do all of these adventures in your backyard.

Did you realize more than 705 million vacation days go unused by Americans each year in the United States? Maybe you can’t afford that trip to Disney this year, but you can easily plan a staycation in the South Shore. Go camping, spend the afternoon at the water park or along Lake Michigan, and sip your way around the region on the brewery or winery trail. Start planning your itinerary at mytrip.alongthesouthshore.com.

When residents take pride in where they live, they become the community’s best ambassadors, and inviting your friends and family to the South Shore will positively impact the region’s economy. For each dollar spent by a visitor, 71 cents stay local, helping stabilize Northwest Indiana’s hospitality industry, making it a great place to live, work and play.

National Travel and Tourism Week 2019 continues through May 11, and each day the South Shore will celebrate and challenge you to discover something new. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@AlongtheSouthShore) for ideas and make this the year to explore the South Shore!

Speros Batistatos, is president and chief executive officer of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority. The opinions are the writer's.

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Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.