Indiana is one of the most prominent Midwestern vacation destinations, offering summer outdoor adventures at rivers and lakes, as well as winter sports like snowboarding and skiing in the town of French Lick. Celebrate the holiday season with a weekend getaway in the community of Santa Claus, or explore the Amish country of Bristol. Relax and unwind at one of many cozy Indiana vacation rentals. Consider these top cities and towns in Indiana for your next weekend getaway.

1. Indianapolis

Source: Flickr/Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

When adventure is calling, Indianapolis answers with attractions such as the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Zoo. Get a thrill visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum or put a little culture in your trip with a tour of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Catch a game at Lucas Oil Stadium or an exciting performance at the Fountain Square Theatre Building before retreating to your cozy vacation rental. Take a guided bike tour of the city during the warmer months with Active Indy Tours or zip line above the White River Gardens with the Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course Company.

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2. Shipshewana

amish country
Source: Flickr/Pat (Cletch) Williams

Make Shipshewana your vacation destination between May and October, and, shop until you drop at the Midwest’s largest flea market. This Amish community offers a small-town feel and all the peace and quiet you need to relax on your Indiana getaway. Treat the kids to a ride on the 108-year old Dentzel Carousel, located at the Davis Mercantile, or stop in at the Blue Gate Restaurant for American cuisine. The Hitching Post is known for its elaborate desserts and JoJo’s Pretzels provides you with a mid-day snack.

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3. Madison

old river town
Source: Flickr/LuAnn Snawder Photography

Explore the river town of Madison, rich with history and museums. The Lanier Mansion is a popular attraction, allowing you to tour the home built in the 1840s, and the Jeremiah Sullivan House gives you plenty to see as well. After wandering through the expansive grounds, take a leisurely walk or hike through Clifty Falls State Park to find fossils in the stony bed. When you feel the need for speed, explore the river with Rockin’ Thunder Jet Boat Rides and make a splash on your weekend getaway.

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4. Santa Claus

Source: Flickr/Patrick McGarvey

Celebrate Christmas all year long when venturing to Santa Claus, Indiana for the weekend. A vacation rental in this festive town puts you within close proximity to holiday-themed specialty shops and restaurants such as the Silent Night Cafe. Treat the kids to a day at the Holiday World Theme Park or get wet and wild at Splashin’ Safari when taking a weekend trip during the summer months. Santa Claus is also right in the heart of nature-themed adventures. Opt for a horseback riding lesson with Santa Stables or walk along the river banks of Lincoln State Park.

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5. Bristol

Source: Flickr/Fisherga

Escape to simpler times when making Bristol your vacation destination. A vacation rental in Bristol puts you in the heart of Amish country. Spend a few hours watching how flour is stone ground when touring the Bonneyville Mill, one of Indiana’s oldest gristmills. Afterward, stop in for scones or lemon curd at the Murphy Guest House. History buffs enjoy touring the Elkhart County Historical Museum where you can see interactive exhibits and artifacts displaying Indiana’s history.

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6. Bloomington

indiana university
Source: Flickr/Poren Chiang

Get active in the big city when heading to Bloomington for a weekend getaway. This city is popular with cyclists and is home to the Hilly Hundred Tour and the Little 500. Fuel up for a bike ride around the city with breakfast at the Village Deli or the Bloomington Bagel Company. During the warmer months, explore Lake Monroe with gear from Paradise Rental Boats or excite the bird enthusiasts by signing up for one of the Indigo Birding Nature Tours. Head to the B-Line Trail when you want to hike and see nature up close and personal.

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7. French Lick

Source: Flickr/Forest Service, Eastern Region

Book a vacation rental that puts you right smack dab in the Hoosier National Forest. French Lick borders this expansive forest, presenting you with opportunities to hike, zip line, or ride mountain bikes through the trails. Get in a game of golf at Valley Links Golf Course or shop the specialty shops in the French Lick downtown area. When you’re feeling lucky, stop in at the French Lick Casino to play the slots. Take advantage of the cold weather and snowfall when making French Lick your vacation destination in the winter months by scheduling a skiing or snowboarding adventure at Paoli Peaks.

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8. Nashville

Source: Flickr/Serge Melki

For a small town feel boasting big adventure, Nashville is the ideal place to book a vacation rental for a weekend getaway. Explore Brown County State Park where you can hike through the miles of forest or get an aerial view when zip lining with Holler Hoppin’ Zip Lines. Shop for antiques in the downtown area, known as the “artist colony of the Midwest” and stop in at the Brown County Art Guild to pick up a masterpiece to display in your home. See the historic city by train when scheduling a Nashville Express Train Tour or relax at the Brown County Winery with a glass of Merlot.

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