Indiana’s cultural attractions are concentrated in its handful of active cities such as Bloomington and South Bend. In the north, Chicago spills over along Lake Michigan, home to some amazing natural scenery, but Indianapolis is the core of Indiana’s entire world, predictably situated right in the center of the state. Heading south, the farmland transforms into rich forests and some of the best state parks around university towns like Bloomington.
Located dead center of Indiana is its main city, a cool mix of historic neighborhoods, artistry and culture. Lockerbie Square is awash in lovely Victorians, while Massachusetts Avenue is lined with art galleries, restaurants and boutiques in the heart of downtown. The theater in Indianapolis is surprisingly vibrant, but sports are what really consume the attention of most residents. The NBA Pacers, NFL Colts, and of course the Indy 500 motor race are just the tip of the iceberg for a one-stop destination of fun. Address: Central Indiana Phone: n/a Website: http://visitindy.com/
Tippecanoe Battlefield and Museum
The Native American tribes who called Indiana home put up a valiant fight against the European settlers in the early 1800’s. Led by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, his fighters held onto their ancestral land as long as possible, but ultimately lost out to American army forces at the Battle of Tippecanoe. An interesting national battlefield park, explore a great museum that sheds some light on the heritage and plight of Indiana’s Native American tribes. Address: Tippecanoe Battlefield and Museum, 200 Battle Ground Ave, Battle Ground, IN 47920 Phone: +1-765-476-8411 Website: http://www.tcha.mus.in.us/battlefield.htm
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
The farm where US President Abraham Lincoln was born and lived until he was 21 is now protected and managed by the National Park Service. Located outside of Lincoln City, it’s still a working farm, allowing visitors to experience both how Lincoln grew up as a boy and how an early 19th-century farm looked and operated. It’s a fantastic place, with much more to absorb than just the man himself. Address: Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, 2916 E. South Street, Lincoln City, IN 47552 Phone: +1-812-937-4541 Website: http://www.nps.gov/libo/index.htm
Eagle Creek Park
One of America’s biggest municipal parks is located right in the middle of Indianapolis. It encompasses more than 4,000 acres of meadows and forest laced with trails and paths for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing in winter. There is a massive reservoir with a beach for boating, and the Garfield Park Conservatory is also within Eagle Creek. This tropical greenhouse is a fascinating mini-world of waterfall-fed pools, tropical plants from around the world and even flocks of macaws and parrots. Address: Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46254 Phone: +1-317-327-7100 Website: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPR/Pages/IndyParksH...
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Any fan of motorized racing or sports cars in general, will appreciate a visit to the legendary Indy Speedway. Built in 1909, it’s one of the world’s premier racing tracks. Each May nearly a half million spectators pack into the speedway to watch the Indy 500, the world’s biggest purse race. Within the oval track is the Hall of Fame Museum, which allows visitors to experience the heritage of the sport any time of year. There’s even a famous 18-hole championship golf course on site, Brickyard Crossing, with four holes actually inside the speedway’s oval. Address: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 4790 W. 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222 Phone: +1-317-484-6749 Website: http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Visitors can get the rare chance to experience pioneer life in the American Midwest between 1820 and 1840 at this incredibly lifelike 19th-century farming village. Prairietown, as it’s known, has streets lined with authentic shops and houses that still make crafts and bake food. Visitors can watch, learn and even taste the food made during this era. The workers are as real as they come, and during summer the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra plays at the amphitheater under the stars as part of their Symphony on the Prairie series. Address: Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers, IN 46038 Phone: +1-317-776-6006 Website: http://www.connerprairie.org/
Indiana Dunes State Park
Arguably the most impressive piece of Indiana nature is found along its little stretch of Lake Michigan. Seventy miles of nice sandy beach and towering sand dunes provide endless amusement along this ocean-like lake. Wooded trail systems run for 15 miles through the forests and along the shore, where wildlife is commonly spotted that includes 350 species of birds. Address: Indiana Dunes State Park, 1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton, IN 46304 Phone: +1-312-595-7437 Website: http://www.indianadunes.com/
There’s a significant Amish community living in Indiana, and they welcome visitors who want to experience their uniquely traditional life. Elkhart County in the north part of the state is the hub of Amish town, and a road trip along the 90-mile Heritage Trail will ferry travelers through charming timeless villages and past beautiful farms and countryside. Stop at any settlement to shop for handmade quilts and other crafts, as well as incredibly delicious homemade food products. Address: Northern Indiana Phone: n/a Website: http://www.amishcountry.org/