More than 62 million people head to the midwestern state of Indiana each year for the state’s numerous tourist attractions and events. In Indiana, sports reign supreme, so the state sees tons of visitors for professional, collegiate and even recreational sports. Another high point for visitors is the state’s varied terrain. The expanse of land from the shores of Lake Michigan up north to the rolling hills of Indiana in the south includes everything from lush farmland to urban escapes. Indiana is a surprisingly dynamic state of many facets.
If you think the Empire State building in New York City is majestic, wait until you see the stunning limestone quarry in southern Indiana that provided the stone to erect the building. The Bluespring Caverns in Bedford is the longest navigable underground river in the county; it’s also home to countless blind and albino animals. The Rotary Jail Museum in Crawfordsville is the only still-working example of a rotating jail, an innovation that caught on in the 1800s. Find the nation’s highest concentration of covered bridges 55 miles west of Indianapolis in Wabash River Valley, a place full of history and charm. For a rather unusual excursion, stop by the City Market for fresh local goods, and then see if you can find the hidden entryways to the Market Street Catacombs, a hidden network of underground passageways used in the past to transport goods across the market.
Indianapolis is not only the capital of the state, but also the capital of heritage, culture, history and events. Fort Wayne is all about the performing arts, museums and attractions, noted for its children’s zoo and philharmonic orchestra. Bloomington is also home to several theater companies, as well as a large folk punk music scene and popular traditional music. A bustling nightlife makes Lafayette one of the top contenders for the best places to visit in Indiana, especially for those who enjoy good music, great food and a hopping bar scene. Crown Point also has a worthy music scene, with a considerable selection of bars venues for nighttime entertainment.
Amish Acres in Nappanee Indiana is 80 acres of old-world farms, a step away from electronics and everyday conveniences and into Amish country. Consider Zionsville a little piece of Europe in Boone County, Indiana. In downtown Zionsville, “the Village” is all about the French awnings and manicured tree lines decorating the area galleries, cafes and wineries. Shamrock Lake, a tiny little town just one of five places in the U.S. named after the shamrock, is home to not one, but six different lakes. Williamsport offers a lovely view of the Wabash River, as well as several different places listed on the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures.
Surrounded by hotels and campsites, Lake Shafer is a vacation destination that holds appeal for everyone from the rookie outdoorsman to the sportsman. For fishing, try Lake Maxinkuckee, the second largest in the state, and home to a large range of bluegill, catfish, bass and walleye. Lake Webster near North Webster offers pontoon rentals, great fishing and is where visitors can see Dixie, the oldest sternwheel paddleboat the state. Lake Michigan is a popular spot for summer visitors for its public beaches, sand dunes and water sports. Lake Wawassee is the largest lake fully contained in the state, and is a fan favorite for all the bays, islands, dining and recreation to explore.
Brown County State Park, the largest state park in Indiana, attracts over one million visitors each year with more than 70 miles of horse trails and hiking and mountain biking routes. Cataract Falls, located inside Cataract State Park, is the largest waterfall in the state, visible from many of the trails within the park. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore along the southern shore of Lake Michigan is full of life that visitors will find among the rugged dunes, mysterious wetlands and meandering rivers. George Rogers Clark National Historic Park, located at the believed site of Fort Sackville, stands as a reminder of the courage, fortitude and valor of the people of the past.
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