Best Fall and Winter Activities in Chesterton, IN

Fall forest | Lake Shore ToyotaAlthough everyone loves the warm summer months, fall and winter can be just as fun, especially if you live in Chesterton, IN. Chesterton offers great fall and winter activities that are perfect for families, and you can easily reach them all in your Toyota vehicle. Check out one or more of these cool-weather activities in the Chesterton area.

Chesterton Fall Activities

If you’re like many people, fall is your favorite season. The temperature is cooler and more comfortable, and there’s an energy in the air that you won’t find during other times of the year. Fall also means being able to enjoy a wide range of exciting activities in and around Chesterton.

The best part of this season is seeing the leaves change from a rich green color to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. If you want to view the changing foliage near Chesterton, you should plan a visit to Indiana Dunes State Park. At this park, you can enjoy the crisp air while hiking miles of trails filled with gorgeous trees.

The sandhill crane migration is another activity that you may enjoy. Between September and December, you can see sandhill cranes pass through the South Shore area as they make their way south for the winter. Seeing these majestic birds in person is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Visiting Fair Oaks Farm is also a great way to pass the time during the fall. At this unique attraction, you can explore a working dairy farm and learn how food goes from the farm to your dining room table.

Continue reading

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser Review

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser | Lake Shore ToyotaIf you’re looking for a tough SUV that can overcome every obstacle the road has in store, look no further than the Toyota Land Cruiser. An icon in the SUV class, the Land Cruiser offers unbeatable performance and an array of useful features that can add to your driving experience. Check out this review of the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser so you can decide if investing in this quality SUV is the right choice for you.

Land Cruiser Performance

Unmatched performance is the best reason to choose the Toyota Land Cruiser as your next SUV. Whether you’re driving on a smoothly paved highway or a bumpy off-road trail, you’ll have a great time behind the wheel of this automobile.

To start with, the Land Cruiser is equipped with a 5.7-liter V-8 engine producing 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, giving you the confidence you need to tackle the toughest roads. This SUV also features an 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, monitoring several factors to guarantee you always have outstanding power delivery.

With the 2019 Land Cruiser, you’ll also have a variety of features that make going off-road easy and fun. The multi-terrain monitor allows you to check the surrounding terrain with a push of a button, letting you plan your route more effectively. To help you maintain traction on uneven terrain, the Land Cruiser offers a kinetic dynamic suspension system. Additional performance features include crawl control with off-road turn assist and a Torsen limited-slip differential.

Continue reading

4 Things to Do at the Chesterton Art Center

Paintbrush in process of painting flowers on canvas | Lake Shore ToyotaThe Chesterton Art Center is a true community resource. As the home of the Association of Artists and Craftsmen of Porter County, the Center has flourished from its humble beginnings as a single-floor gallery. Today, the Center has its own building on 4th Street, hosts over 200 classes annually, and boasts over 500 members. If you’re looking to express your creativity, check out one or more of these activities at the Chesterton Art Center.

  1. Attend an Art Class

Both children and adults can master their artistic skills at a number of classes hosted by local masters. Children’s classes primarily happen during the summer in the form of art camps. For 2018, kids had five weeks of classes to choose from, with a different theme each week. During this two-hour Monday-Thursday sessions, they worked on painting and expressing themselves through art.

For adults, classes go on year-round to accommodate your busy schedule. Classes are generally once a week for at least five to six weeks, meaning that if you’ve missed the start date of the class you’re interested in, you can join the new session in a few weeks. Topics range from life drawing, ceramics, stained glass, quilting, watercolors, and much more.

Continue reading

4 Relaxing Ways to Spend an Afternoon in Chesterton

Beer | Lake Shore ToyotaFeeling stressed out from work, school, or life in general? If so, a relaxing afternoon in Chesterton, Indiana, could be just what you need. The next time you’re free and looking for something to ease your tension, consider one of the following local options for relaxation.

  1. Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park is just a 10-minute drive from downtown Chesterton, meaning it’s a perfect stop if you just have a couple of hours to kill. This 2,182-acre oasis sits right on the shores of Lake Michigan, providing numerous opportunities for swimming, boating, and fishing. Large sand dunes lurk along the shoreline, providing myriad habitats for local wildlife to flourish. Spend your day scouting for rare birds, hiking the numerous miles of trails, or having a picnic at one of the various shelters throughout the park.

Continue reading

4 Reasons to Upgrade From a Corolla to a Camry

2018 Toyota Camry | Lake Shore ToyotaBoth the Corolla and the Camry are two of Toyota’s most popular vehicles for a good reason — they’re reliable, comfortable, and affordable. If you’re currently driving a Corolla, you know just how practical this small car can be. Therefore, you may be reticent to make the upgrade to a new Camry. Here are just a few reasons why making the switch from Corolla to Camry could be a good idea for you.

  1. Upgraded Tech

Since the Camry is a higher-end model, it features more tech than the Corolla. For example, you’ll benefit from a Wi-Fi hotspot, Remote Connect to unlock or lock doors on the go, and an updated Entune infotainment system. While a 7-inch touch screen is standard in both vehicles, the Camry goes a step further with a 10-inch head-up display so you never have to take your eyes off the road. And if you’re a fan of music, your tunes will sound better than ever thanks to the JBL audio system that mimics a live concert venue.

Continue reading

3 Drivers Who Will Love the 2018 Toyota Highlander

Dashboard of 2018 Toyota Highlander | Lake Shore ToyotaAs far as midsize SUVs go, the 2018 Toyota Highlander is at the top of the pack. With plenty of cargo space, numerous standard safety features, and a variety of powerful engine options, it’s the perfect vehicle for a number of different drivers. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you might love the Highlander if you consider yourself one of these types of drivers.

  1. The Family Focused

As a parent, you need a vehicle that can tote around your partner, kids, pets, and luggage. The Highlander will have no problem doing all of this with a max passenger capacity of eight. Three full rows provide plenty of space for children and adults alike. And for the younger children, two complete sets of LATCH connectors in the second row make it easier to strap in car seats.

The Highlander also provides plenty of room for storing your cargo. Behind the third row, there is a full 13.8 cubic feet of space. Fold this row down to get 42.3 cubic feet of space, and if you also fold down the second row, you’ll have a maximum of 83.7 cubic feet of space depending on the configuration you choose.

Continue reading

Where to Get the Best Tea Near Chesterton

Hot tea | Lake Shore ToyotaAfter driving around Chesterton or meeting with your car dealer in Lake Shore Toyota (and perhaps closing a deal for your next car), you may want to wind down with the best tea near Chesterton. Here are some of the best teashops in town:

Tiger Lily Café

Tiger Lily Café is located at 1505 S Calumet Road, Chesterton. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It serves lunch and dinner with specialty teas. You can enjoy its house blend hot tea ($2), organic cold brew tea ($2.50) and frozen lemonade ($2.75). Tiger Lily also offers a wide selection of vegan food.

Third Coast Spice Café

Third Coast Spice Café is located at 761 Indian Boundary Road #6, Chesterton. It is open daily from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Its specialty iced teas are custom blends of herbs and tea leaves. Dunes Sunset ($2.29) is a mix of refreshing fruit flavors and rooibos tea. They also have a specialty tea that is a blend of vanilla and a hint of almond mixed with rooibos. You can also opt for their specialty iced teas which rotate every season. Third Coast is also famous for their Craft Lemonade ($2.29) and freshly-squeezed fruit juices ($5).


McAlister’s Deli

McAlister’s Deli is located at 300 Porter Vale Blvd., Suite 130, Valparaiso. It is open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. McAlister’s Famous Iced Tea is Rainforest Alliance Certified® and specialty filtered in-house. To ensure freshness, they do not stock the tea for longer than four hours. You can also opt for the sweet tea ($2.15 per glass or $6.25 for 1 gallon) or unsweetened variant ($2.15 per glass or $6.25 for 1 gallon). If you’re hungry, order McAlister’s club sandwich to come with your iced tea.

Blackbird Café

Blackbird Café is located at 114 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso. It is open to serve you from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. They are one of the longest-running cafés in Valparaiso and they use locally-grown produce in their tea products. They have a wide selection of fresh iced and hot teas such as apple chai ($3.29), iced tea ($1.69), hot tea ($1.89),  hot red eye ($2.29), and iced red eye ($2.19). If you’re into art, you also get to enjoy the numerous paintings hung around its walls. If you’re lucky, you can even have a drink and chit-chat with the artists themselves.

Lakeshore Coffees and Specialties

Lakeshore Coffees and Specialties is located at 444 Wabash St., Michigan City. It opens daily from 6:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Go back in time as you enter this former 1950s house turned café. There’s a lot of space outside with adequate parking for your car and outside seating if you want to enjoy the ambiance. Feel refreshed with their house blend specialty hot tea ($2.30) or iced tea ($2.15). If you’re craving a sumptuous breakfast, try their famous Lakeshore Scrambler ($9.95) which comes with bacon, egg, cheddar, guacamole, and red pepper on ciabatta bread.

Enjoy these fresh-tasting and thirst-quenching teas the next time you drive around Chesterton and the nearby areas.

Weekly Activities for Kids Under 3 in Chesterton

2 little girls in dresses holding hands and walking | Lake Shore Toyota It is a challenge to find fun activities for children under three years old. The best type of play is not just something they will enjoy, but also something they can learn from. Engaging in fun activities has a lot of benefits, including building confidence, feeling loved, learning to care for others and the environment, and developing physical skills, social skills, language, and communication.

In Cheston, Indiana, there are places where kids can join many different types of activities. Whether you want your kid to learn to be creative or sporty, there is an entertaining class available for your child. Some classes offer free testing sessions to determine whether the class is a good fit for your child or not. Here are some of the kids’ activities you can check out in the area.

Bricks for Kidz in Gary, IN

Children will definitely have a great time at this place. They offer programs where kids can create, play games, and have loads of fun using LEGO® bricks. These activities help open the minds of children, allowing them to express their creative visions and build their self-confidence.

Continue reading

How the 2018 C-HR Compares to the RAV4

Toyota C-HR in blue, parked at a home with people walking nearby | Lake Shore Toyota When it comes to quality cars and trucks, one of the leading brand names that we can think of is Toyota. The company is dedicated to building cars that meet people’s needs, equipping each vehicle with sustainable mobility and state-of-the-art safety technologies.

Two of the latest models released by Toyota are the 2018 C-HR and 2018 RAV4. While both SUVs have advanced features, each car still has its own unique qualities that will make it hard for you to decide which one to bring home.

Continue reading

5 Best SafetySense Features to Notice

Toyota Safety Sense logo and "Designed for safety" | Lake Shore ToyotaIn 2018, Toyota released the first generation of Toyota SafetySense (TSS), its suite of active and passive safety systems. It is designed to help protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians from accidents caused by a delay in the driver’s recognition of and reaction to unfortunate situations. Here are some of the SafetySense’s specific features that you should watch out for:

Vehicle Detection

One feature of its pre-collision system is vehicle detection. TSS includes an in-vehicle camera and laser that can detect a vehicle in front of your vehicle. If it determines a high likelihood of a collision, it emits audio and visual alerts. Depending on the braking force applied by the driver to the brake pedal, the system will provide additional braking force through Brake Assist. The Brake Assist will be canceled 2 seconds after the vehicle has been stopped. However, Toyota warns drivers not to completely rely on the system, because there are certain conditions where it will not work due to limited visibility.

Continue reading