One of Northwest Indiana’s principal industrial hubs is Hammond, which is in Lake County. George Hammond founded a slaughterhouse there in 1869, which bears his name. The building served as the area’s first industrial establishment.
The town’s closeness to Lake Michigan significantly aided its development and industrial expansion. German farmers first settled in a small area that would become Hammond around 1847. The village developed into a thriving town by constructing George Hammond’s slaughterhouse and beef packing facility.
On April 21, 1884, the town was constituted as a city. The city’s first mayor was Marcus Towle. After being incorporated, Hammond expanded incredibly. In 1960, the population grew to a record high of 111,698. One of the biggest congregations in the nation, the First Baptist Church of Hammond, is located there.
The main campus runs the Purdue University branch campus in Calumet. The Hammond Professionals, one of the country’s first professional football clubs, were based in this city. Despite being primarily industrial, Hammond, LA, keeps its lush vegetation.
The 129-acre Gibson Woods Nature Preserve, a marina on the lakefront, and 950 acres of public parks are all present. The modest John Dillinger Museum, which explores the horrific death of one of America’s most infamous gangsters, is located at the Lake County Visitor Center.
If you’re considering a vacation to Hammond, you’re in for a memorable adventure because the city is known for drawing tourists yearly.
Are you planning a visit to this awesome city soon? This article will explore some of the best things to do in Hammond, Louisiana.
Things to Do in Hammond, LA
1. Kliebert and Sons Gator Tours
The American alligator is a creature that consistently arouses attention in Southeast Louisiana, and in Hammond, you can find an alligator farm that welcomes visitors for excursions.
Since more than 50 years ago, Kliebert & Son’s has been in business. It is open from March to October. You may observe demonstrations and get up close and personal with newborn alligators while learning fascinating facts about this powerful animal.
Other creatures on the farm include wallabies, emus, snakes, different species of turtles, and a bird sanctuary with herons and egrets that are breeding.
Location: 40511 W E Interstate 55 Service Rd, Ponchatoula, LA 70454, United States
2. Southeastern Louisiana University
Southeastern Louisiana University is among the top attractions in Hammond, LA. The third-largest institution in the state was established in 1925 and experienced remarkable growth in the 1990s and 2000s. It is located just a few blocks north of downtown Hammond.
An interest in a visit is not limited to prospective students. The campus is dotted with lovely live oak trees, notably the Friendship Oak, a centuries-old tree that takes center stage at the central Friendship Circle.
McGehee Hall, a lovely example of Depression Gothic built in 1935 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, is the oldest building on the campus.
In the Southland Conference, Southeastern fields 14 varsity teams named the Southeastern Louisiana Lions and Lady Lions.
Sports events occur in places like the football- and basketball-playing 7,400-seat Strawberry Stadium and the basketball- and volleyball-playing 7,500-seat University Center arena.
Location: 500 W University Ave, Hammond, LA 70402, United States
3. Cate Square Park
Cate Square Park is located just north of the restaurants on Thomas St. and occupies an entire city block in the heart of downtown Hammond.
A sawmill, tannery, and shoe factory operated here starting in 1861, all of which supplied the Confederate Army. E. Cate, who later assisted in developing and promoting the emerging city.
A vast open area in the middle of Cate Square Park is surrounded by an oval, tree-lined road that leads to a gazebo and a gated playground for kids.
Your trip to Hammond, LA, won’t be complete without visiting this location.
Location: 279 N Oak St #219, Hammond, LA 70401, United States
4. Old Live Oak
Old live oak is one of the best places in Hammond, LA. A significant live oak can be found a few blocks east of the city center on the 500 block of East Charles Street if you can’t get enough of the twisted, old live oaks that line Hammond’s streets.
This tangle of extended limbs is the Hammond Oak, a Live Oak Society member tree marked with a historical plaque.
The grave of Peter Hammond, the city’s Swedish founder, and namesake, is located beneath this moss-covered tree (1798-1870). His wife Caroline, his three daughters, and “a favorite slave boy” are all buried nearby.
Location: 17010 Old Covington Hwy Hammond, LA 70403.
5. Hammond Square
In Tangipahoa Parish, the best shopping places may be located south of the city, off I-12. After a period of decline, the 1977-built Hammond Square mall received a comprehensive restoration in the late 2000s, giving it a fresh lease on life.
With dozens of major national businesses like JCPenney, Foot Locker, Old Navy, Kay Jewelers, Claire’s, rue21, Target, and many more, this is currently the second-largest open-air mall in the state.
On the western side of the complex, the AMC Hammond Palace 10 is surrounded by various restaurants, including Olive Garden and Raising Cane’s.
Location: 411 Palace Dr, Hammond, LA 70403, United States
6. Safari Quest Family
The Safari Quest Family Fun Center includes a variety of attractions under one roof and is located on the approach to Hammond Square from downtown.
The most impressive of these is a fantastic laser tag arena that spans over 3,000 square feet and has numerous levels, bases, and even an observation deck for onlookers.
The indoor Ropes Course, a recently added attraction, is eight feet from the ground and has complex transitional features like nets, balancing beams, barrels, and a skateboard.
All you need for a self-contained day of family enjoyment is the Watering Hole restaurant and an arcade with the newest games added to the mix.
Location: 200 Hewitt Rd, Hammond, LA 70403, United States
7. Downtown Hammond
Hammond’s downtown area has become well-known across the country for being bustling, alive, and expertly kept.
The Illinois Central Railroad tracks separate these blocks, which include most of the city’s historic structures.
These offer a bewildering array of cafes, pubs, and eateries that cater to young customers from the Southeast.
Located primarily along Thomas St., the self-guided walking tour map for the downtown sites is available on the Hammond Historic District website.
On Saturdays throughout the year, there is a thriving farmers’ market with over 60 vendors.
There are many little local businesses downtown where you can find art supplies, specialty foods, sports, flowers, presents, clothes, fashion accessories, and antiques.
Location: 2 W Thomas St, Hammond, LA 70401, United States
8. Cajun Dining
If you’re a lover of seafood, then your visit to Hammond is going to be a memorable one. Hammond is the best place to go for traditional Cajun and Creole seafood dishes.
There are a ton of local eateries, and the menus at most of them are packed with favorites like boiled shrimp and crawfish (when in season), seafood gumbo, fried catfish, shrimp or oyster, shrimp étouffée, crab cake, blackened redfish, and dozens of other local specialties like red beans and boudin sausage.
Don’s Seafood (1915 S Morrison Blvd), B&J Seafood (2504 W Church St), Cate Street Seafood Station (308 S Cate St), Blackened Brew (12 W Thomas St), and Chookie’s Seafood & Oyster Bar are just a few of the numerous nearby restaurants (45654 University Park Dr).
Explore as many options as possible, as you’ll be thankful you visited that spot.
9. Joyce Wildlife Management Area
If you enjoy the outdoors, you should add a visit to the Joyce Wildlife Management Area to your list of things to do in Hammond, LA.
The Joyce Wildlife Management Area, which spans 35,000 acres of swampland between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain, is located ten miles south of Hammond.
This location is impassable without a boat and is home to several waterfowl species, ospreys, bald eagles, spring and fall neotropical migrants, American alligators, and many more (tours are available).
However, a boardwalk built in 1990 allows access to a piece of the restricted area on the northwest corner.
You’ll need approximately an hour to enjoy the Joyce Animals Swamp Walk and have several opportunities to take pictures of wildlife, including turtles, snakes, gators, and pink spoonbills.
Take your time to enjoy the peace and read the educational signage.
Location: Ponchatoula, LA 70454, United States
10. Hammond Farmers’ Market
The thriving farmers’ market, a year-round gathering of more than 60 merchants in the Old Feed & Seed lot downtown, is the best place to start a weekend in Hammond, LA.
As a result of the regulations requiring that everything sold here must be grown or produced by the vendor, you may be sure you’ll be purchasing directly during the long growing season.
Additionally, you can find plants, eggs, jams, homemade soaps, fresh bread, king cake (when in season), flowers, sauces, candy, tea kits, intriguing arts and crafts, and mouthwatering prepared foods like gumbo, tamales, and mirlitons.
Naturally, business is a little slower in the winter, but there is still more than enough local trade to keep the market open all year.
Location: 103 E Robert St, Hammond, LA 70401, USA
11. Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum
This establishment, one of more than two dozen on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, showcases and honors the contributions made by African Americans in Louisiana’s Florida Parishes.
Eight galleries make up the museum and focus on various subjects, including the Underground Railroad, African American innovators, and significant figures in entertainment, culture, and sports.
Southeastern Louisiana University established an interactive genealogy lab, while Southern University is in charge of the primary gallery, which takes you on a quick tour through the history of Africa, the cradle of humanity.
The museum is especially well-known for its striking collection of 26 8-by-8-inch murals that vividly depict African Americans’ history, from the dreadful Middle Passage through the Civil Rights Movement.
Location: 1600 Phoenix Square, Hammond, LA 70403, United States
12. Louisiana Children Discovery Center
This interactive children’s museum is a top destination in downtown Hammond for youngsters up to ten years old.
With dynamic and locale-specific exhibits like a music factory, vet clinic, shrimp boat, hot air balloon, Middendorf’s restaurant, dino dig, rock climbing wall, and art station, to mention a few, the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center is all about hands-on and immersive learning.
These open-ended learning activities, rooted in South Louisiana culture, promote problem-solving, enhance motor skills, and stimulate the imagination.
Location: 113 N Cypress St #3309, Hammond, LA 70401, United States
13. Mitchell Swamp Adventure
If you’re visiting Hammond, LA, with adventure-loving pals, you must stop at this site for a fantastic experience in the city.
This tour business explores the swamps, bayous, and passes south of Hammond between Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain.
You will travel in the same 20-foot Go-Devil boat Bruce uses to hunt alligators. Bruce is a savvy man who has long made a living in this setting and is quite familiar with it.
As you go up close to an extraordinary range of animals, including gators, turtles, snakes, frogs, nutria, and the astounding variety of birds living in these wetlands, your journey will be loaded with intriguing tales and historical tidbits.
Location: 41083 W Yellow Water Rd, Hammond, LA 70403, United States
14. Zemurray Park
This neighborhood park spans over 30 acres and is close to downtown Hammond’s south.
A serpentine pond that runs through the center of Zemurray Park and is surrounded by a 0.7-mile walking route is popular with ducks.
The outdoor public pool in Hammond is located in Zemurray Park, which also has tennis courts, a charming model train, a dog park, a skate park, three baseball diamonds, a dog park, and an excellent playground for young children.
The park is the home of Hammond’s yearly Christmas lights, and the pond serves as a fishing place with bluegill, channel catfish, green sunfish, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, and sunfish.
Location: 400 S Oak St, Hammond, LA 70403, United States
15. Gnarly Barley Brewing
This small brewery in Hammond was started in 2014 by a few Southeast Louisiana residents and evolved from a homebrewing business a few years earlier.
Presently, Northshore, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Houma, and the Greater New Orleans area are all served by the award-winning Gnarly Barley Brewing brand.
In addition to offering guided tours of its 14,000-square-foot facility, Hammond’s outdoor taproom allows visitors to see how the brewery operates.
Skater Aid (an Italian pilsner), Jucifer IPA, Catahoula Common, and Korova Milk Porter are year-round beers, although a large selection of seasonal and limited releases beers are also available.
Live music, brewing courses, yoga classes, and food truck events are scheduled seven days a week in the taproom.
Location: 1709 Corbin Rd, Hammond, LA 70403, United States
You would have a ton of fun in Hammond since it is a fantastic city. With the help of this article’s guidance, you may discover many unique destinations, whether you’re traveling alone or with friends and family.
If you were traveling with them, kids would have something to discuss with their pals.
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and snap some fantastic photos.