SoCal fag here. Traveling to Indiana in February, specifically to South Bend (Notre Dame) and might stay in Chicago for a few days. Never been outside of the west coast and sun belt ever before. What's the weather like in the Great Lakes state during February? Do I need to bring parkas and shit, or will a thick sweater do? Also, what should I expect in Indiana?
Indiana sucks generally and Northern Indiana is burnt the fuck out. South Bend is Notre Dame and NOTHING ELSE. Terre Haute is executions and a dot on a map. Gary has industrial history, a HUGE SKY BLUE BUILDING and Michael Jackson. It's feels like coal soot: more than 36 hours would be depressing, especially with Chicago so close and so much similar history all around the Great Lakes. If anything you'll realize how fucked up "Reconstuction" was.
The lakeside marshes and portages offer a lot of post-Revolutionary history in terms of westward expansion before The West (Oregon Trail, gold, Custer). This all culminated the establishment of Chicago in the tiny window where water allowed for a new western metropolis and the railways necessitated one. However, all of these stuff along I-80 will be lame in the winter.
As for dress - you'll want legit gloves, a hat and a scarf. A full blown parka can probably be avoided until you get into Wisconsin or Michigan. Jeans will be fine...just wear whatever coat you'd use in Tahoe + boots, socks and thermal tights if you are skinny. I'd be more concerned about getting snowed on and forced to pay for 2 extra nights at an I-80 hotel with wifi too slow to watch video and gas station snacks for dinner.
best thing about Ohio is that it's not Indiana & South Bend isn't really a place
>What's the weather like in the Great Lakes state during February?
Don't expect to do anything outside. Winter is still running strong in that area in February, so you'll need a thick Winter coat and hat just to walk outside to your car.
Chicago does have some very good museums, though, such as the Field Museum of Natural History (they have the world's largest, most complete T-Rex skeleton) and the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry (they have a whole WWII sub that you can walk inside and tons of other things).
All these other posts are right. Indiana legitimately sucks. Chicago you can find some fun things to do, depending on what you like... honestly, I would just stay the whole trip in Chicago.
Hope you like snow. Bring like 4 layers, you're gonna need it.
Indiana has lots of good nature shit if you're into that. Don't let winter stop you.
Warren Dunes and similar parks, lots and lots of forest preserves. Wolf Lake. Chicago is always fun. I recomend checking out some of the cool shit in Whicker Park, seeing the Magnificient Mile and MIllenium Park, and going to the museums. Also lots and lots of woods and savannas and meadows just 10+ miles outside the city. Berrien County in Michigan, the first one you enter from South Bend usually, is all countryside and forests. Lots of cool little towns to explore, though, really nice people, and awesome scenery.
But seriously, though. All seasons are beautiful and a cool experience in Chicago-land (which by less conservative definitions, stretches from just south of Milwaukee, to Berien Point, Michigan) so don't let winter stop you from doing shit.