"Great Place to Raise a Family" Valparaiso by Toughluck

Valparaiso Travel Guide: 97 reviews and 256 photos

You have to go, to get there!

Like most county seats in Indiana, you have to be headed to Valparaiso to get there. Yes, you can go through on US 30 or State Route 49, but you're really passing through the commecial/retail areas only. The charm and interest is in the old town itself. But to get there, you'll have to go looking.

In every county of Indiana, all road lead to the county seat. This is true for Porter County also. Every road that leads to the center of the county takes you to the center of Valparaiso. It's only the new roads (mentioned above) that now by-pass the town completely.

Named for a defeat

Porter County, Indiana was named for Capt. David Porter, a hero of the War of 1812. Admiral Porter (of Civil War Fame) is assumed to be his son or grandson. Capt. Porter was one of the most victorious Capt's of the small American Navy at the turn of the 17th to 18th Century. He sailed the South Atlantic and the South Pacific raiding British merchant vessels, sending nearly 20 prizes home.

With the county named for this great patriot, the public and the town council voted to name the town after his greatest battle, the Battle of Valparaiso. It was off the Chillean Coast from the port of Valparaiso that Capt Porter meet a flotilla of British Naval vessels. These ships had been sent to the South Pacific just to locate Porter and stop his activities. It was here that, out numbered and out gunned, Capt Porter and his crew ended through rampage through the southern hemisphere.

Capt Porter and much of his crew returned home by the end of the war having spent time as prisoners of the British Navy.

Growing Community

Valparaiso continues to expand as the County Seat. It's not only one of the fast growing cities in the county, the county continues to grow as Chicago discovers it's Indiana suburbs. We're still far enough away that we don't live with the hustle of the city, but during elections, we'll know who is running for Illinois' Governor before we discover who's running in Indiana.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small town feeling
  • Cons:Chicago keeps getting closer
  • In a nutshell:It's a great place to raise kids.
  • Last visit to Valparaiso: Oct 2006
  • Intro Updated Nov 12, 2009
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Reviews (92)

Comments (6)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Oct 4, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Hello, Chris! Thanks for your interesting page! ><>< Take care!

  • wife2004's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    We have an old-time Drive-In outdoor movie place in northern NY (near Massena, NY) on Route 56. Same idea - two movies for the price of one! Snack stand and bathrooms. However, we now listen via radio vs. speakers nside the door windows!!!

  • SteedJnr's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Great restaurant tips. Yep! Steamed up windows are always a good sign. Cheers, John. PS Great HP too and love the pics.

  • marcbrazil's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2007 at 11:07 AM

    Valpo sounds way more interesting than Valparaiso near Brasilia, it is a little town with that name in Brazil, I know that is another one in Chile!;)

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2007 at 2:48 PM

    Nice coverage of Valpo! We head out that way at least once a year to eat at Don Quioxte :-) Pretty cool that the root beer barrel is still there.

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2006 at 2:47 PM

    Great descriptions of your hometown. The root-beer on a pole looks very cool! Must confess I had never heard of Valparaiso before now. So much of USA is unknown to me even though I lived there for a year.

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