Indiana, the Hoosier State, was the 19th state to join the union (on December 11th, 1816). Located in the American Midwest, Indiana shares borders with Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. It is also part of the Great Lakes region since it borders Lake Michigan in the northwest. The state capital of Indianapolis is within a day’s drive for the majority of the population in the US. This aptly fits the state’s motto “Crossroads of America.” Here are some of the top draws of the state –
Indianapolis – Indianapolis is the state capital and is also the most populous city in Indiana. Its connectivity with the rest of the country makes it a major transport hub. It is known for hosting the Indianapolis 500 – the largest single-day sporting event in the world. Indianapolis is a culturally rich city and is home to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – the world’s largest children’s museum, and the Indianapolis Zoo – the largest privately funded zoo in the US. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Eagle Creek Park and Nature preserve, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indiana State Museum, the White Water State Park, the Indiana World War Memorial, Museum of Psychphonics, Museum of Medical History, and Rhythm! Discovery Center are also among the city’s top attractions. The city is best known for its natural beauty and greenery.
Fort Wayne – Fort Wayne in Allen County is the second largest (by population) city in Indiana. Some of the popular tourist attractions of the city include the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Johnny Appleseed Park (which hosts the Johnny Appleseed Festival), the History Center, the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, the Firefighters Museum, and the African American Historical Society Museum.
Nappanee – Nappanee is the longest city name in the US which contains each letter twice. This, however, is not why this city is famous. It biggest tourist attractions are the Arts and Crafts Festival and the Apple Festival. The Amish culture lends a unique charm to the city.
Brown County State Park – The largest among the 24 state parks of the state of Indiana, the Brown County State Park attracts over a million visitors each year. With 70 miles of horse riding trails and 18 miles of hiking trails, it is a favorite with nature lovers, campers, hikers, and fishing enthusiasts.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore – Bordering about 15 miles of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is the perfect place to look out for rare birds and admire the incredible flora and fauna of the Great Lakes region. Over 50 miles of hiking trails can be covered by hikers and campers.
Falls of the Ohio State Park – Located on the Ohio River to the south-east of Indiana, the Falls of the Ohio State Park preserves the natural history of the region. The natural fossil beds, the numerous hiking trails, the exotic flora, and fauna are all part of the park’s attraction.
Cataract State Park – The Cataract Falls located in this state park is a beautiful sight. The Upper and Lower Falls are connected by a hiking trail and these are often referred to as the most beautiful falls in the state.
These are only a few of the major attractions in the state of Indiana. Apart from these, there are numerous places that are both interesting and educational places to visit. Here are a few tourist attractions in Indiana that are places to see –
- RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum, Elkhart: Dedicated to the Recreation Vehicle and Manufactured Housing industry manufacturers from across the world.
- Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame: Part of the University of Notre Dame, the Snite Museum of Art showcases pieces of ancient and Renaissance art and American art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
- The Lanier Mansion, Madison: The Greek Revival style mansion built by James Franklin Doughty with its stately gardens and beautiful furnishings is open to visitors.
- Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington: The IU Eskenazi Museum of Art is the largest free art museum in the state and showcases more than 45,000 works of art apart from holding seasonal displays.
- Wonder Lab Museum of Science, Bloomington: The Wonder Lab is a science and technology center which runs a number of programs for children to encourage an active interest in education and science.
- City West Ghost Town, Chesterton: A flourishing 19th-century city, City West, was much bigger and prosperous than Chicago. This was before it was destroyed by fires and natural calamities.
- Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Fishers: This sprawling historic park preserves the William Conner home and recreates the experience of 19th-century life on the White River.
Apart from the cultural centers, educational museums, and beautiful locales, Indiana also has a number of historic hotels that you must stay in when you are in the state. Here are a few you must stay in –
- Omni Severin Hotel, Indianapolis
- West Baden Springs Hotel, West Baden Springs
- Historic Broadway Hotel & Tavern, Madison
- French Lick Springs Hotel, French Lick
- The Sherman, Batesville
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