Just across the Indiana State boundary, where Michael Jackson kicked around as a kid, is the curious town of Hammond – part of Greater Chicago. If you’re in need of a hotel here, it’s likely because of business since dockyards dominate the area. It does, however, have some pretty characteristics. The other reason people come here is to hop across the Illinois border for some gambling.
Things to see
The recently built Horseshoe Casino is the highlight of a visit to Hammond for its venue as well as for its gaming opportunities, and there is a hotel on site, to boot.
Hammond Lakefront Park and Bird Sanctuary is the result of the greening of the lakeshore, giving access to beaches, woodland hiking and walking routes, and stunning views of the Chicago skyline. The Ramada is a 50-acre lakefront playground.
Wolf Lake is a gem for ecotourists and one of the region’s most important biological sites. Birders will be in heaven here for the diversity of heron species and the winter-visiting tundra swans. In nearby Fort Wayne there is a comfortable Marriott.
Hotels in Hammond
If you’re heading for the Horseshoe Casino, there’s a good choice of mid-range 3-star hotels set within an easy distance and offering low-rise comfort, all the facilities you could ask for, and good food. Internet access comes as standard, and indoor swimming pools are a relaxing extra.
Motel-style 2-star budget lodgings are found close to River Oaks Center and offer excellent value for money whether you’re vacationing or in town on business.
Where to stay in Hammond
Where you stay depends very much on the nature of your business since Hammond attracts a curious mix of business travelers who favor the downtown area, and leisure gamblers from Chicago heading for the casino resorts.
Hotels in Hammond are likely to found in close proximity to the casinos and the large lakeside resorts.
Downtown there is a cluster of business-friendly lodges around Optimist Lake, such as the Fairfield Inn.
How to get there
Hammond is on the wrong side of Chicago for convenient access to Chicago O’Hare or other alternative Illinois airports. A complicated arrangement of bus transfers via downtown Chicago, or an expensive taxi ride, are your options.
Finding a flight to nearby Gary Airport, which receives some international airlines, is a much better arrangement.
Self-drive is straightforward, as Hammond lies on major interstate highways including I-90, I-94, and I-65. US-41 and IN-152 are more interesting routes running from south to north of the metropolis, avoiding the industrial complexes.