41 Fun Things To Do & Places To Visit In Indiana

By: Author Jerric Chong

Posted on Published: December 29, 2020  - Last updated: October 17, 2023

things to do in Indiana

Maybe you’re a fan of the Indy 500.

Maybe you love rugged nature trails or finger-licking sugar cream pies.

Maybe you just want to see famous places like Notre Dame up close!

No matter what your reasons for visiting Indiana, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do within the state.

As a historic destination, it has a long history of welcoming explorers, settlers and travelers.

It also has plenty of Midwestern charm to offer locals and tourists alike!

If you’re ready to explore the Hoosier State, here are just a few of the best things to do while you’re there.

Table of Contents

1. Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park

Jon Lauriat / Shutterstock

Covering more than 15,000 acres, the Indiana Dunes National Park is an amazingly diverse ecosystem that includes forests, prairies, swamps, savannas and wetlands.

As befitting the name, it also has plenty of sand dunes!

The scenery isn’t the only reason to visit, however.

You can enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities at the park.

From hiking through the trees to camping under the stars, there are plenty of ways to have adventures, try new things and make memories with loved ones.

Another fun feature of the park is that you can visit it at any time of the year.

There’s horseback riding in the summer; there’s cross-country skiing in the winter.

You’ll never lack for cool stuff to do.

If you’re looking for interesting places in Indiana, the Indiana Dunes National Park should be at the top of your list.

There’s a reason why it’s one of the most popular places to visit in the entire state.

It’s that amazing.

Address: 1050 N Mineral Springs Rd, Chesterton, IN 46304, United States

2. Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Children's Museum of Indianapolis

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

It’s impossible to miss the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis .

There are life-sized dinosaurs sniffing at the outside of its five-story, glass-covered building!

The inside is just as wondrous as the outside.

Unlike stiff, stuffy museums, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis encourages curiosity and discovery, and many of its exhibits are interactive in some way.

Children are actively encouraged to touch the mastodon skulls and run through the rain gardens.

They can also build circuits, clamber on rock walls, play with putty, ride a carousel and climb abroad a steam locomotive.

Are you an adult traveling with kids?

Don’t worry; the museum has fun activities for you as well.

You can read books, watch movies, admire sculptures and fiddle with hands-on artifacts just like the little ones.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis offers almost 500,000 square feet of entertainment.

The fact that it’s educational is just icing on the cake.

If you’re wondering what to do during a trip to Indiana, just follow the dinosaurs!

Address: 3000 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46208, United States

3. University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

Everyone knows Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame Stadium is one of the largest in the United States, and it’s hosted everything from music concerts to football championships to ice hockey games.

There’s more to the university than its athletic department, however.

Other points of interest include the “Golden Dome,” a striking 18th century tower that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic church with dozens of historic murals and stunning stained glass windows.

You might feel weird about walking on a college campus as a tourist.

Don’t worry.

The University welcomes visitors year-round because of its world-class resources for art, science and culture.

People come from all over the world to visit its libraries, laboratories, stadiums, galleries, churches and landmarks.

Don’t leave Indiana without picnicking on the lawn of the University of Notre Dame .

It’s a bucket list item that’s a must do for any serious traveler.

Address: Notre Dame, IN 46556, United States

4. Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Wellfield Botanic Gardens

The Wellfield Botanic Gardens is more than just a stateside attraction.

It’s a working source of hydropower, so it’s equal parts beautiful and sustainable, and it delivers all of the drinking water to the nearby city of Elkhart.

You can appreciate its multifaceted elegance as soon as you enter.

The garden is actually a series of gardens, and they’re divided by theme, so you can travel between spheres like “the waterfall garden” and “the adventure garden.”

Some spaces are also divided by region, so depending on your mood, you can get zen in the Japanese garden or royal in the English country garden.

Did we mention that admission is free on Tuesdays?

If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Indiana, a well-timed trip to the gardens can solve all of your problems.

The Wellfield Botanic Gardens is one of the must see tourist attractions of Indiana.

It’s gorgeous; it’s educational; it’s affordable.

What more do you need during your travels?

Address: 1011 N Main St, Elkhart, IN 46514, United States

5. Indianapolis City Market

Indianapolis City Market

Indianapolis City Market

Located in a gigantic brick building that’s trimmed with limestone and flanked by towers, the Indianapolis City Market looks a bit different from your usual, open-air farmer’s market, but you can find the same kinds of goodies inside.

Fruits and veggies are stacked high.

Meats are cut, packed, moved, seasoned and stored.

Spices rattle in jars; necklaces glimmer among scarves and shawls.

While food is the main draw of the market, you can also find everything from cheap art prints to luxury, salon-style hair care products among the merchants.

If you’ll be in the capital while traveling through Indiana, make time for the Indianapolis City Market.

It’s one of the biggest, most well-known tourist attractions in the city, so it’s worth the trip.

Address: 222 E Market St, Indianapolis, IN 46204, United States

6. Belterra Casino Resort

Belterra Casino Resort

Belterra Casino Resort

Indiana has complicated gambling laws, but if you’re dying to play the slots while you’re in town, you can do it legally at the Belterra Casino Resort .

The loophole comes from the fact that the casino is located on a riverboat.

It sits on the Ohio River and can be accessed from several major cities like Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Louisville .

Once aboard, you’ll enjoy the typical casino experience.

You can bet on black; you can eat steaks and drink fancy wine; you can sleep on feather beds.

The resort has additional amenities as well, so if you’re interested in shops, spas, salons or golf courses, you won’t have to go anywhere to enjoy them.

Tourist places can take many shapes in Indiana.

For legal gambling, you’ll want the Belterra Casino Resort.

Address: 777 Belterra Dr, Florence, IN 47020, United States

7. Exotic Feline Rescue Center

Exotic Feline Rescue Center

Andrea Coimbra / Shutterstock

Long before the “Tiger King” became a rite of passage for binge watchers, the Exotic Feline Rescue Center was taking in lions, leopards, pumas, bobcats and other non-domestic felines that needed a place to live after being abused or abandoned.

It isn’t a zoo.

There are a limited number of animals to see, and tours take place on gravel roads that lead to natural, leafy habitats under the sun.

You should be prepared to sweat!

If you’re okay with a rough-around-the-edges destination, however, you won’t find a more authentic wildlife sanctuary in Indiana.

The staff are all volunteers who care deeply for animals, and they work hard every day to care for their charges in addition to promoting awareness and conservation efforts about big cats in general.

Plan a visit to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center if you love animals but want your money to go towards good, grassroots causes rather than commercial zoos.

Address: 2221 E Ashboro Rd, Center Point, IN 47840, United States

8. Perfect North Slopes

Perfect North Slopes

Kit Leong / Shutterstock

Indiana might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about ski resorts, but at Perfect North Slopes , you’ll realize that you don’t have to travel to the Alps to experience a winter wonderland.

Fresh powder covers a wide variety of slopes.

These include marked lanes for beginners and free-range hills and trails for experts.

There are also chairlifts, magic carpets, rope tows and other essentials for skiers.

In addition to skiing, there’s also tubing, sledding and snowboarding; you can take lessons if you need them, or you can just hit the powder with nothing but courage and a couple of poles.

Perfect North Slopes is named for the fact that it’s located on Perfect Place Lane, but the word is also pretty accurate for the destination in general.

If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Indiana, it’s hard to beat perfect.

Address: 19074 Perfect Pl Ln, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025, United States

9. Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Stephen B. Goodwin / Shutterstock

Indiana has strong ties to its Native American community, and nowhere is this more apparent than the Eiteljorg Museum .

Housing hundreds and hundreds of objects, the Eiteljorg Museum is dedicated to the indigenous people that lived and worked the land before European settlers arrived in the 1600s.

Some of the exhibits have relics from the past; others have newly-made art pieces that were inspired by or crafted from old-fashioned tools and techniques.

You can find all sorts of things in the museum’s collections, including paintings, quilts, totems, pottery, jewelry and more.

If you were to rank Indiana attractions in terms of importance, the Eiteljorg Museum would definitely be at the top of the list.

It celebrates the art, history and culture of the first people on Indiana land, and it establishes their legacy for generations to come.

Address: 500 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204, United States

10. Indianapolis Catacombs

Indianapolis Catacombs

Indianapolis Catacombs

Also known as the “Market Street Catacombs,” the Indianapolis Catacombs are a hidden gem for tourists, photographers and adventure seekers.

They cover more than 20,000 square feet below the city, and with their twisting, dimly-lit tunnels made of crumbling limestone, they form an amazing underground labyrinth.

As a bonus, since they’re largely hidden from the public, many Indianapolis residents don’t even realize that they’re walking on top of them!

The catacombs were originally built in the late 1800s because of the City Market.

Located right under the market’s brick building, the tunnels were meant for moving and storing goods between stalls.

Their cool, dark environment also helped to preserve meat and produce in the winter.

Today, the Indianapolis Catacombs are mostly ruins, but you can explore them on Saturdays and Sundays through official tour guides.

You won’t be allowed to wander on your own, so make sure to book your tour in advance.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Indianapolis this weekend, it doesn’t get any cooler than decaying subterranean tunnels.

11. New Harmony

New Harmony

Timothy K Hamilton Creativity+ Photography , CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Indiana, you won’t want to miss New Harmony.

Tucked in the corner of the state, it’s a failed utopia from the 1800s that was devoted to education, enlightenment and equality, and it can offer a fascinating journey through history as well as a fun experience for the modern-day tourist.

Attractions include everything from charming little mom-and-pop shops to elaborate community halls and art galleries.

One of its most beautiful places is the “roofless church,” an open-air worship site meant for people of all faiths.

As you might expect from a historic city, there are also plenty of museums.

You can learn all about the settlers who wanted New Harmony and its “Harmonians” to represent a new type of civilization.

If you’re seeking unforgettable vacation experiences, New Harmony, Indiana is one of the best places to go.

It has an old-world charm as well as a fascinating backstory, so it’s definitely a must see.

12. Castleton Square Mall

Castleton Square Mall

Castleton Square Mall

With a name like “Castleton,” you might expect this shopping mall to be upscale, and it’s true that you can find many high-class shops and boutiques within it.

One such store is Von Maur, which is famous for having a live pianist serenade its customers!

Not everything comes with a luxury price tag, however.

You can find plenty of everyday retailers at the mall, and there are staples like movie theaters and food courts as well.

One distinguishing feature of the Castleton Square Mall is that it’s the largest shopping complex in the state of Indiana.

It covers more than 1.3 million square feet, so if you’re a shopaholic, this will be your mecca.

Castleton Square Mall is one of the nicest places to go in Indiana.

Whether you’re looking for elegant necklaces or cheap phone cards, you can find them here.

A million square feet won’t let you down.

Address: 6020 E 82nd St, Indianapolis, IN 46250, United States

13. Indiana State Capitol

Indiana State Capitol

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

You can’t visit Indiana without visiting the Indiana State Capitol .

Built in an Italian Renaissance style, its towers, columns and domes are made of white limestone, and it looms over the city skyline at more than 250 feet tall.

It also houses just about every branch of the Indiana government, and its meeting places include offices, courts, chambers, law libraries and more.

Tours are available of the plushly-carpeted halls and meeting rooms.

You can also explore the grounds outside to learn about the time capsules that are buried on the property and the “moon trees” that were sprouted from seeds carried during the Apollo 14 mission.

You don’t have to be a political person to enjoy a stroll through the Indiana State Capitol.

Its architecture is awesome; its points of interest are legitimately amazing.

You can have a lot of fun here!

Address: 200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204, United States

14. Lake Monroe

Lake Monroe

Shannon VanB Photography / Shutterstock

Lake Monroe is one of the best outdoor destinations in the Midwest.

Not only does it have stunning natural beauty in the form of shady forests and sandy beaches, but it also offers experiences that you can’t get anywhere else in Indiana.

For starters, it’s home to the Fourwinds Resort and Marina, the largest marina in the state with more than 800 vessels docked at its stations.

There’s also the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area, Indiana’s only protected wilderness preserve, and “Boy Scout Bay,” a 600-acre recreation area for the Scouts.

Visitors can enjoy all of the usual outdoor pursuits, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and walking.

There’s picnicking in the summer and ice fishing in the winter.

You can go pontooning or water-skiing.

You can even hunt waterfowl in specially designated areas!

Lake Monroe is one of the best places to go on vacation when you’re in Indiana.

It offers plenty to see and do, and since admission is free, you’ll only need to pay for things like boat rentals.

It’s a cheap but fun locale!

Address: 4850 S State Road 446, Bloomington, IN 47401, United States

15. Allison Mansion

Allison Mansion

Allison Mansion

With its high ceilings and gleaming marble walls, you might assume that the Allison Mansion was built for art shows or fancy dinner parties.

In truth, however, it was an aviary for birds!

The marble was meant as a contrast for the brightly-colored feathers of its occupants.

The big windows and airy spaces were designed to let in sunlight.

Even the tulips planted on the front lawn were meant to attract wildlife and give the birds something to watch.

The parrots weren’t the only ones to enjoy the mansion, of course.

Its human residents lived a luxurious life as well.

They had pools, gardens, chandeliers and banquet halls as well as a sunken conservatory and a music hall with a two-story pipe organ.

Allison Mansion is one of the best places to visit if you’re looking for sightseeing destinations in Indiana.

Though it hasn’t seen the flutter of bird wings for many decades, it’s still an opulent piece of architecture that will make you sigh and wistfully think about winning the lottery.

Address: 3200 Cold Spring Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46222, United States

16. Indiana Medical History Museum

Indiana Medical History Museum

Indiana Landmarks / flickr

Skulls line the shelves.

Jars of amber-colored liquid glow in the light.

Rusty machines sit in corners of libraries, lecture halls and autopsy rooms.

This isn’t a horror movie.

It’s the Indiana Medical History Museum , and it’s a state-run facility that chronicles the long, complex history of psychiatric research.

Some exhibits are frightening.

The museum is located on the grounds of what used to be called the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane, and as you’re probably aware, treatment of the mentally ill in the 19th century wasn’t always ethical.

Other exhibits, however, are legitimately informative.

The museum has the oldest surviving pathology laboratory in the world, and many antique surgery tools and medical artifacts are on display.

You can learn a lot from a tour, and not just in a gruesome, voyeuristic way.

You don’t have to be a med student to get something out of a trip to the Indiana Medical History Museum.

It’s one of the most interesting destinations in the entire Midwest, so if you’re on the hunt for cool, unique places to visit, put it on your itinerary.

Address: 3045 W Vermont St, Indianapolis, IN 46222, United States

17. Schimpff’s Confectionery

Schimpff's Confectionery

Schimpff’s Confectionery

Founded in 1891, Schimpff’s Confectionery is one of the oldest mom-and-pop stores in Indiana, and it can serve up a delightfully nostalgic experience along with its vintage-style sweets and ice creams.

Not much in the shop has changed since its foundation.

It still has wooden tables and countertops; it still has big, colorful jars filled with jelly beans and ribboned bags that are stuffed with fudges and truffles.

The ice cream machine is emblazoned with a ’50s era Coca-Cola label.

Behind the shop, there’s a small “candy museum” where you can marvel at carnival-bright bits of memorabilia from days gone by.

There’s also a “candy kitchen” where you can watch sweets being made on genuine, old-fashioned equipment!

Stepping into Schimpff’s Confectionery is like stepping backwards in time.

Whether you’re a foodie with a sweet tooth or just a traveler looking for unique Indiana attractions, this confectionery should hit the spot!

Address: 347 Spring St, Jeffersonville, IN 47130, United States

18. Knobstone Trail

Knobstone Trail

Michele Korfhage / Shutterstock

As the longest hiking trail in the state of Indiana, you might expect the Knobstone Trail to be a popular place, but it doesn’t actually get a lot of visitors.

It’s too rugged.

Not only does it cover 58 miles of difficult terrain, but its elevation changes more than 20,000 feet from one end to the other, and a lot of it isn’t officially marked or mapped.

The good news is that the views are amazing.

If you don’t mind working up a sweat to reap your rewards, it’s hard to beat a sunset at the top of a cliff.

It also offers amazing nighttime views of the stars!

There aren’t any designated camping areas, but you’re welcome to make your own, so you can lay out a sleeping bag and count the constellations after a hard day’s work in the wilderness.

Indiana has plenty of trails, but if you’re wondering where to go that isn’t perpetually crowded with tourists, joggers and dog walkers, you’ll need to get off the usual paths.

Try the Knobstone Trail for an invigorating journey through nature.

Address: 4507 Wilson Switch Rd, Borden, IN 47106, United States

19. Levi Coffin House

Levi Coffin House

J. Stephen Conn / flickr

Located in Fountain City, Indiana, the Levi Coffin House doesn’t look that impressive from the outside.

It’s a small brick building that was built in 1838 by members of the Quaker faith, and while it has a certain historic charm, it isn’t one of the grand pieces of architecture to come from that time period.

Its unobtrusive design, however, was on purpose.

It was the “Grand Central Station” of the Underground Railroad.

Countless slaves were able to hide in the building on their way north.

Not only was it run by abolitionists, but it was also in a central location where several different escape routes converged, so it saw a lot of foot traffic over the years.

Today, travelers can tour the house and explore an on-site museum and visitor center.

It’s one of the best ways to learn more about the Underground Railroad and the people who used it.

If you’re looking for places of interest as you travel in or near Indiana, you’ll definitely want to make time for the Levi Coffin House.

It’s an important piece of history, and since it’s a one-of-a-kind destination, you literally can’t find it anywhere else but Indiana.

Address: 201 US-27, Fountain City, IN 47341, United States

20. KokoMantis

KokoMantis

No road trip is complete without a detour to a bizarre roadside attraction.

In Kokomo, Indiana, that attraction is KokoMantis.

KokoMantis is an art piece that stands more than 17 feet tall.

As you might guess from the name, it’s shaped like a praying mantis, and it has the beady eyes and long pincers to prove it.

KokoMantis was made from an odd jumble of materials, including scrap metal, repurposed traffic poles and World War II fuel pontoons.

When it was finished, it was transferred to a busy intersection in Kokomo where it could overlook the traffic going by.

If you want to see KokoMantis in the “flesh,” just travel to the intersection.

It’s right by a strip mall with a Subway and other businesses.

It’s definitely one of the weirder places to see in Indiana, but like any good roadside attraction, it’s also one that you’ll remember for years to come!

Address: 200-298 W Sycamore St, Kokomo, IN 46901, United States

21. Fair Oaks Farms

Fair Oaks Farms

Fair Oaks Farms

City slickers, this one is for you.

Fair Oaks Farms is a chance to leave city life behind and experience what it’s like on a working farm!

Visitors can take tours, watch demonstrations and perform small tasks and chores.

There are orchards for picking apples and zoos for learning about barnyard animals.

There are even special adventures like going underground to examine soil samples or climbing to the top of a tree house to test ropes, pulleys and ladders.

Everything is family-friendly, so whether you’re traveling alone or with the little ones, all visitors will have something to do.

When you’re done exploring the farm, feel free to stop by the on-site restaurant or gift shop.

Fair Oaks Farms has it all, so you can spend the whole day walking, exploring, dining and shopping.

For bonus points, the snacks are made with fresh produce and dairy products!

Address: 856 N 600 E, Fair Oaks, IN 47943, United States

22. Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum

Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum

Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum

Located in the small town of Elkhart, Indiana, the Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum offers a big experience in a little package.

For starters, it was the first superhero museum ever created.

Before the days of Marvel movies shattering box office records, it was the only one.

Visitors from all around the world came to “get their geek on” in a fun, vibrant place filled with comic books, art prints, posters, props, toys and memorabilia.

It also has a number of cool and interesting attractions.

For example, there’s a replica Batcave, and there’s an old-school arcade with video games like Sega’s Spider-Man and Konami’s X-Men.

The exterior wall has even been designed as a copycat of the Hall of Justice from the 1970s Superfriends cartoon!

The Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum is one of the most fun things to do in Indiana.

Whether you’re a lifelong comics enthusiast or just a fan of certain movie characters, you’re sure to have a blast in a place that’s completely dedicated to them.

Address: 1915 Cassopolis St, Elkhart, IN 46514, United States

23. Big Four Pedestrian Bridge

Big Four Pedestrian Bridge

Leonid Andronov / Shutterstock

Indiana isn’t an expensive state, but if you’re on a budget, you’ll probably want to look for low-cost places to see.

Fortunately, places like the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge are open year-round!

Despite the name, the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge is open to more than just walkers and joggers.

You’ll also see bikers, skateboarders and all other kinds of folks taking the bridge.

It’s one of the major points of interest along the Ohio River, and it also serves as a central location on the road between Kentucky and Indiana.

There’s no toll or ticketing system, so you can cross the two-mile length of the bridge whenever and however you want.

It’s quick, easy, fun and free.

If you’re traveling through Indiana and wondering what to do on a budget, you might like the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge.

It won’t cost you a dime, and it offers the kind of unforgettable views that create unforgettable vacations, so most people consider it well worth a visit.

24. Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park

Aeypix / Shutterstock

Indiana is one of the most beautiful states in the US , and when you’re among the oaks and pines of Brown County State Park , you’ll understand why.

Forests cover most of the landscape, so there are lots of trees and shrubs.

They’re particularly stunning when the leaves change in the autumn.

If you’re visiting at other times of the year, you might enjoy the sight of snow-covered hills or jaggedly icy streams with crisp, cold water.

Popular activities at the park include hiking, biking, fishing, camping and horseback riding.

If you’re on foot, you can meander along the trails or climb the lookout towers for amazing aerial views of the woods.

If you prefer other methods of transport, you can hop on a bike, board or boat and explore the wilderness at your leisure.

A visit to Brown County State Park is one of the best things to do in Indiana.

Whether you’re an artist, photographer, birdwatcher or just someone who enjoys long walks through nature, you’ll love the fresh air of this scenic destination.

Address: 1801 Indiana 46 East, Nashville, IN 47448, United States

25. Rotary Jail Museum

Rotary Jail Museum

Don O’Brien / flickr

Some of the best places to visit in Indiana are the little-known destinations that can’t be found in glossy travel guides.

One example is the Rotary Jail Museum .

Built in 1800s, the Rotary Jail was considered the peak of innovation for its ability to spin.

es, you read that right: spin.

“Rotary jails” were a bizarre but legitimate form of architecture back in the day when prisoner cells were built like wedges around a central crank that was hand-operated to make them move.

Rotary jails fell out of favor in the 19th century, so today, the Rotary Jail Museum of Indiana is one of the few left standing.

It’s also the only one that still spins!

It’s totally unmatched in terms of site seeing, so if you’ll be anywhere near Crawfordsville, Indiana during your travels, make time for the spinning prison.

Address: 225 N Washington St, Crawfordsville, IN 47933, United States

26. Holiday World Theme Park and Splashin’ Safari Water Park

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Inferno Insane / flickr

The only thing better than an amusement park is one that has a water park attached to it, and at Holiday World , you can enjoy two Indiana attractions for the price of one!

Holiday World gets its name from the fact that it’s divided into four “sections” based off Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween and the Fourth of July.

Many activities correspond to its particular theme.

For example, the Christmas section has sleigh rides and nativity scenes; the Halloween section has roller coasters named after The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.

If you don’t care about motifs, however, you can ignore the turkeys and just focus on fun.

There are carousels and wave pools; there are magic shows and theater productions.

Multiple restaurants are available with everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to traditional turkey-and-stuffing meals.

A day at Holiday World is one of the most fun things to do in Indiana.

Book your tickets today and you could be screaming at the top of your lungs on a water slide by this weekend!

Address: 452 E Christmas Blvd, Santa Claus, IN 47579, United States

27. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

You’ve probably seen the Indianapolis Motor Speedway even if you’ve never been there.

Home to everything from the Indianapolis 500 to the United States Grand Prix, it’s the largest racetrack in the world by both square footage and venue capacity.

It can seat more than 250,000 people at once!

The races are the biggest draw of the track, of course, but there are other events and activities to enjoy as well.

The venue has hosted everything from marathons to drone games.

You can also visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum across the street; it’s home to the Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Indiana is something of a mecca for NASCAR fans, and a large part of that is due to the existence of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

If you’re looking to have a good time this weekend, why don’t you join 250,000 people looking for the same thing?

Address: 4790 W 16th St, Indianapolis, IN 46222, United States

28. Indiana Beach Boardwalk

Indiana Beach Boardwalk

Indiana Beach Boardwalk

You don’t have to go to Florida or California to enjoy an old-fashioned boardwalk.

There’s one in Indiana on the shores of Lake Shafer, and it’s called the Indiana Beach Boardwalk .

Jutting over the water, the wooden boardwalk stretches for several miles and is filled with all of the tourist attractions that you’d expect.

There are roller coasters and bumper cars; there are water slides and tilt-a-whirls.

A Ferris wheel towers over everything and offers beautiful views of the daytime or nighttime sky.

When your stomach is done with the rides, fill it up at one of the boardwalk’s many cafes, bakeries, bistros and restaurants, or put it to bed at one of the boardwalk’s lakeside hotels and resorts.

The Indiana Beach Boardwalk is one of those scenic places that has more to offer than just the sights.

If you’re looking for entertainment, it offers year-round fun on and near the water.

Address: 5224 E Indiana Beach Rd, Monticello, IN 47960, United States

29. Tibbs Drive-in Theatre

Tibbs Drive-in Theatre

Tibbs Drive-in Theatre

Drive-in theaters are a dying form of entertainment, but they’re still alive in certain parts of the Midwest, including Indiana.

One of the most famous is the Tibbs Drive-in Theatre .

Offering two movies for the price of one, the theater provides a fun and affordable way to do something a little different with a loved one.

You can snuggle with your sweetheart under a blanket; you can throw popcorn and make jokes at the screen with your kids.

Since you’re always in your car, you’re in control of your own movie experience.

You won’t have to worry about ushers coming to wave their flashlights at you.

Concessions include hot dogs, hamburgers, pizzas, candy, ice cream and all of the popcorn that you can eat.

Sometimes, when the weather is nice, the venue will host flea markets during the day and movies at night.

If you’ve never been to a drive-in, the Tibbs Drive-in Theatre might be one of your last chances.

It’s an experience that’s slowly going extinct.

Enjoy it while you still can!

Address: 480 S Tibbs Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46241, United States

30. Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie is a museum dedicated to pioneer life.

Unlike others of its kind, however, it doesn’t just show photos and film reels from the old days.

It turns history into an interactive, real-life experience through the combined use of indoor and outdoor space.

“Step into the story,” its website encourages, and once you’re on site, you’ll realize what that means.

There are historic houses with costumed actors inside; there are games, exhibits and demonstrations on everything from sewing to butter churning.

There’s an Indian camp where Native Americans sell their wares and tell their stories; there’s an animal encounter farm where barnyard creatures are always ready for petting.

Kids aren’t the only ones who can get in on the fun.

Adults can enjoy workshops, nature walks, war reenactments and more.

Do you enjoy history?

Or maybe you’re a history buff trying to convince your friends that it isn’t all lectures and textbooks.

Either way, Conner Prairie can take you on a journey through the past with fun, engaging and entertaining perspectives.

Address: 13400 Allisonville Rd, Fishers, IN 46038, United States

31. Bluespring Caverns

Bluespring Caverns

Bluespring Caverns

Are you looking for Indiana attractions that are off the beaten path?

If so, have you ever thought about sailing an underground river while surrounded on all sides by crumbling limestone canyons and albino animals?

The Bluespring Caverns are home to the longest subterranean river in the United States.

It stretches for 21 miles beneath the earth, and it’s a dark, humid place filled with jagged rocks and sharp turns.

This environment has made it a thriving habit for blind and albino animals.

In addition to the usual cave-dwelling species like bats and beetles, there are also frogs, salamanders, spiders and fish.

One particularly notable animal is the Northern Cavefish, a rare, sightless fish that only lives in caves in the South and Midwest.

If you’re tired of the usual tourist attractions, make a visit to the Bluespring Caverns.

They’re a top 10 destination in Indiana, and they’ll give you some amazing stories when you’re back home.

Address: 1459 Blue Springs Cavern Rd, Bedford, IN 47421, United States

32. Pokagon State Park

Pokagon State Park

Tyler Herman / Shutterstock

Indiana has a number of state parks, so to stand out from the crowd, they need to offer something special.

Pokagon State Park distinguishes itself with its activity roster.

In addition to the usual outdoor pursuits like hiking, biking, boating and camping, it also offers less-common pastimes like tobogganing and ice fishing.

In warmer weather, you can go treasure hunting in the woods and look for local landmarks like natural springs and moss-covered cabins.

There are always new places to go and exciting things to see.

As for amenities, the park has those as well.

You can sleep under the stars, or you can reserve a room at the gigantic red-roof inn.

There’s also an interpretive center where you can obtain maps, pet wildlife, touch fossils and look at Native American artifacts.

Pokagon State Park is one of the top things to do in Indiana.

In a state filled with parks and nature preserves, there’s a reason why Pokagon usually gets a mention in travel guides.

Follow the advice of those who came before you and give it a visit!

Address: Park Office:, 450 Ln 100 Lake James, Angola, IN 46703, United States

33. Harvest Homecoming

The Harvest Homecoming is one of the largest annual events in Indiana.

Typically celebrated in October, it can span anywhere from 9 – 12 days in total, and it offers food, drink, games, rides, music, art and more.

Events are usually autumn-themed, so if you’ve never participated in something like a pumpkin throwing competition, this is your chance.

There are also fun festivities like concerts, parades, pageants, races and costume contests.

Food is a big deal at the festival, so be prepared to loosen your belt after stuffing your face.

You can find everything from food truck snacks to full-course meals at sit-down, restaurant-style booths.

Flavors can also come from all around the world, but in true “homecoming” fashion, most of the meals are hearty American fare.

Another nice thing about the Homecoming Festival is that many of its activities won’t cost you a dime.

While some things have a fee, others are open to everyone.

If you’re looking for fun but cheap activities in Indiana, the Harvest Homecoming offers lots of cool, interesting things to see that won’t stretch your budget at all!

Address: 904 Indiana’s Historic Pathways – South Spur, New Albany, IN 47150, United States

34. Butt Drugs

Butt Drugs

Butt Drugs is one of the cheekiest destinations in Indiana.

Despite the name, it isn’t an obscene place.

“Drugs” refers to its status as a pharmacy, and “Butt” is the surname of the family that owns it.

Instead of shying away from the humor of their name, they decided to lean into it, and “Butts Drugs” has been a staple of Corydon, Indiana since its establishment in 1952.

You don’t have to have a prescription to enjoy Butt.

It’s also a novelty shop with everything from quirky toys to old-fashioned malts served from a vintage soda fountain.

You can stop by for sweets and souvenirs.

There’s no doubt that Butt Drugs is a quirky destination, but if you’re looking for cool and unique places to visit in Indiana, it can offer one of the best experiences for the money.

How many times in your life will you have the opportunity to eat ice cream in a Butt?

Address: 115 E Chestnut St, Corydon, IN 47112, United States

35. Monon Trail

Monon Trail

H. Michael Miley / flickr

The Monon Trail is one of the treasures of Indiana.

It stretches for more than 20 miles and winds through several towns, cities and parks, so you can turn it into an adventure throughout the state!

It all started with a railroad that connected Chicago and Indianapolis.

It was eventually abandoned, but rather than letting it go to waste, the state of Indiana converted it into a nature trail.

They also added identical red signs along the path to keep folks from losing their way.

Today’s Monon Trail is used by hikers, bikers, joggers, pedestrians and everyone in between.

It can get a bit crowded depending on where you are along the trail, so if you want to avoid bumping elbows with others, steer clear of the asphalt in the city and stick to the more rugged roads in the wilderness.

Just make sure to pack a strong pair of shoes!

To travel 20 miles on foot, you’re going to need them.

36. Lark Valley Ziplines

Lark Valley Ziplines

Mike_O / Shutterstock

Lark Valley Ziplines is a must do for thrill seekers.

You’ll get to zoom through the treetops while attached to nothing but a harness and a cord!

It’s a unique way to take in the sights of Indiana, and since the park offers multiple ziplines, you can do it again and again without getting bored.

When you’re done with the ziplines, they offer other activities as well.

You can climb a rock wall; you can take a paddle boat across the river.

They even have a “Mega-Zip Canopy Tour” that combines all of the experiences into one!

Lark Valley Ziplines represents the best of Indiana attractions.

It’s crazy, beautiful and memorable all at the same time.

It’s basically Indiana in a nutshell.

Address: 10400 US-150, Shoals, IN 47581, United States

37. Cataract Falls

Cataract Falls

Kenneth Keifer / Shutterstock

Cataract Falls is one of the prettiest sites in Indiana.

Actually, it’s two sites.

There’s an “Upper Falls” and a “Lower Falls” that are about a mile apart.

The upper waterfall is the biggest one; it stands 45 feet tall and thunders onto the rocks below.

The lower waterfall is smaller and slightly more horizontal; it stands 30 feet tall and extends sideways, so it creates a curtain-like effect with its spray.

Animals are abundant around the falls, so in addition to being beautiful places in their own right, they’re also great for birdwatchers, sightseers and wildlife enthusiasts.

One thing to note about the falls is that accessibility can be tricky.

The terrain isn’t steep, but it’s rugged, so it might be a bit much for small children or the disabled.

You can take your car between locations if you don’t want to leg it.

Waterfalls are a wonder of nature.

If you’re keen to experience them during your vacation to Indiana, visit Cataract Falls and get two for the price of one!

Address: 1Off Country Rd. 1050 North 2605 N. Cataract Road, IN 47460, United States

38. Nick’s Kitchen

Nick's Kitchen

Nick’s Kitchen

It’s easy to work up an appetite while exploring all of the sights and sounds of Indiana.

But where do you go when you’re hungry?

One option is Nick’s Kitchen .

Located in Huntington, Indiana, it serves many classic foods of the state, including breaded pork tenderloin and sugar cream pie.

Other menu items include grilled cheese, beef steaks, chicken and waffles, pulled pork sandwiches and double cheeseburgers with all of the fixings.

Really, though, it’s all about the sugar cream pie.

You can’t leave Indiana without trying its sugar cream pie.

Nick’s Kitchen isn’t the only place that serves it, but it’s one of the best, so grab your fork and prepare for an enlightening experience!

Address: 506 N Jefferson St, Huntington, IN 46750, United States

39. Santa Claus

Santa Claus

Sue Smith / Shutterstock

Santa Claus is real.

Rather than being a person, however, it’s a city in Indiana.

Santa Claus is the real and official name of Santa Claus, Indiana.

It’s located in the southwestern region of the state and has a population of 2,410.

As you might expect, the city fully embraces the holiday spirit, and it makes a killing every year with places to visit like “Santa’s Candy Castle” and “Frosty’s Fun Center.”

It might also warm your heart to know that volunteers respond to each and every letter to Santa that children send to the city.

If you love the holidays, a trip to Santa Claus is one of the best things to do in Indiana.

You won’t find anywhere else on the planet with the same amount of Christmas joy!

40. Central Indiana Enchanted Fairy Trail

Are you thinking about what to do in Indiana with kids?

While there’s no shortage of arcades and amusement parks, there are other ways to have fun as well.

For example, you can take them on a scavenger hunt across the Central Indiana Enchanted Fairy Trail .

The trail is exactly what it sounds like: a path that follows “fairies” throughout Indiana.

They live in hand-painted fairy houses that are scattered across the state, and depending on the location, they might be tucked behind flowerpots, hidden inside of tree groves or resting in plain sight on a window or front porch.

The fairy trail stops in dozens of locations, so in addition to being a fun adventure for kids, it’s also a convenient way for adults to go sightseeing.

Stops are at parks, museums, libraries and more.

Do something different with your little ones this year.

Show them that there are cool things to do even when they’re unplugged from video games and miles away from roller coasters.

The Central Indiana Enchanted Fairy Trail represents a chance for good old-fashioned family fun!

41. Freedom Helicopters

Freedom Helicopters

Freedom Helicopters

It’s always hard to say goodbye, but if you’re wondering what to do on your final night in Indiana, call Freedom Helicopters .

Officially serving as a training institute for pilots, Freedom Helicopters also offers scenic helicopter tours of Indianapolis and the surrounding areas.

You can take a Robinson R-44 on a breathtaking journey across the sky! You’ll see buildings, bridges, rivers, farms and more.

Tours are available for groups of three, but you can also arrange multiple tours if you have a larger party.

You can also book special tours for sunrise or sunset if you want to say goodbye in style.

Indiana is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the United States.

Get one final look at its majesty before you leave.

Address: 9913 Willow View Road, Fishers, IN 46038, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To Indiana

These are just a few of the coolest places to visit in Indiana.

Whether you’re looking for elegant experiences, wholesome family fun or death-defying adventures in nature, the Hoosier State has a little something for everyone!

Happy travels!

The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » United States » Indiana (IN) » 15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Indiana

15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Indiana

Indiana, nicknamed The Hoosier State, is located in the Great Lakes region and therefore of course has lots of awesome places to visit and see. Be amazed by these beautiful pictures of places in Indiana !

1. Cataract Falls

Cataract Falls

The largest waterfall in the state of Indiana can be found inside Cataract State Park. Cataract Falls drops for a total of 86 feet, with the upper falls making up 20 feet of this figure.

The hike to the falls is of moderate difficulty and less than three miles in length, with the best time to visit between December and May. As Cataract Falls is made up a long series of cascades, many of the trails within Cataract State Park are within site of the beautiful falling water.

2. Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park is the largest state park in Indiana, attracting over one million people every year. The park is named after Commanding General of the United States Army, General Jacob Brown. The state park is often referred to by its nickname the Little Smokies due to its resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains.

With 70 miles of horse trails, as well as hiking and mountain biking trails, Brown County State Park is perfect for those who enjoy scenic views. The rare Yellowwood tree on Trail 5 is one of the many highlights of Brown County State Park.

3. Kissing Bridges

Kissing Bridges

Kissing bridges are one of the main tourist attractions Indiana has to offer, with these beautiful structures found all over Brown County. Some 21 of these covered bridges are still in use across Indiana’s Parke County, with many of them now covered in romantic notes that have been left by visitors.

The covered bridges are known as kissing bridges as they were one of the few places courting couples could find some privacy hundreds of years ago. October is perhaps the best time of the year to see Indiana’s kissing bridges as this is when an annual festival dedicated to the structures is held in Parke County.

4. Kesling Wetland and Farmstead

Indiana Wetland

Kesling Wetland and Farmstead is one of the best places in Indiana to get up close with the state’s nature. The 10-acre marsh and slough wetland community is ideal for those who want to learn about how important it is to conserve the natural environment. Sunset and sunrise are two of the best times of the day to visit Kesling Wetland and Farmstead due to their spectacular sights.

5. Turkey Run State Park

Turkey Run State Park, Indiana

Turkey Run State Park in Parke County features 14 picturesque miles of challenging trails, as well as the Rocky Hollow Falls Canyon Nature Preserve. Cut into the sandstone of the park, the canyons can be seen and experienced from six trails through the park.

Within the grounds of the park is Turkey Run Inn, where guests can stay in one of the 79 rooms or enjoy a fine meal in one of the state’s finest places to have dinner, the Narrows Restaurant.

6. Clifty Falls State Park

Clifty Falls State Park

Clifty Falls State Park is home to some of the most popular events in Indiana, such as the July Regatta hydroplane boat race and the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art in late September.

Located near Madison, the park features many beautiful nature trails and its highlight is Clifty Creek Canyon, which runs through the heart of the park. Elsewhere within Clifty Falls State Park is a canyon so deep the sun is only visible at midday, as well as the gorgeous McCormick’s Creek.

7. Nappanee

Nappanee, Illinois

Nappanee is one of the most beautiful locations within the state of Indiana, with its wide of range of tourist attractions, including the Arts & Crafts Festival. Visiting the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres is a must for anyone staying in Nappanee, with the Amish population of the town giving it a unique feel. The Nappanee Apple Festival attracts tens of thousands of people every year, with events including a talent show and a tractor pull.

8. Bean Blossom

Bean Blossom Covered Bridge, Indiana

Bean Blossom – sometimes styled as Beanblossom – is one of Indiana’s most beautiful places and is home to one of the many covered bridges that Parke County is famous for. Bean Blossom is home to the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground, which hosts an annual bluegrass festival known locally as the Bean. Bean Blossom is found about two miles west of Helmsburg.

9. East Pierhead Lighthouse at Michigan City

East Pierhead Lighthouse, Michigan City

10. Indiana Winter

Indiana Winter

Winter in Indiana is perhaps when the state is at its most beautiful. The south shore of Lake Michigan is one of the best places to go in the Indiana winter, as it is home to a number of ice skating rinks, while sporty people will also enjoy the chance to go cross-country skiing.

One of the most fun things to do during winter in Indiana is to take a horse-drawn sleigh ride at Buckley Homestead in Lowell, which is available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

11. Hemlock Cliffs

Hemlock Cliffs

Hemlock Cliffs Falls is arguably the most beautiful spot in the whole of Indiana, with the falls located within the Hoosier National Forest. Many people heading to the falls use the Hemlock Cliffs National Scenic Trail, which is a little over a mile long and is accessible all year round. Hiking and camping are both very popular within Hoosier National Forest. Hemlock Cliffs is so named as the tall evergreen with short needles and small cones thrives in the forest.

12. Brown County

Brown County State Park, Indiana

Brown County is also one of the most beautiful locations in Indiana, with its mix of unincorporated communities and over 170,000 acres of forested land making it a great place to experience what Indiana is all about. Tour Bill Monroe’s Music Park, Big Woods Brewery and the Brown County Railroad Museum to see the best of what Brown County has to offer.

13. Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

Among the most popular tourist attractions in the state of Indiana is the stunning Lake Michigan, which is the only one of the Great Lakes of North America to be located wholly within the boundaries of the United States. Indeed, Lake Michigan is so massive that it is sometimes known as the third coast of the States, with many beaches to explore and enjoy.

For people wishing to camp near to the gorgeous banks of Lake Michigan, both Indiana Dunes State Park and the Indiana National Lakeshore are well worth visiting. The area is also home to the Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farmstead trails, where visitors can learn more about the history of Indiana.

15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Indiana:

  • Cataract Falls
  • Brown County State Park
  • Kissing Bridges
  • Kesling Wetland and Farmstead
  • Turkey Run State Park
  • Clifty Falls State Park
  • Bean Blossom
  • East Pierhead Lighthouse at Michigan City
  • Indiana Winter
  • Hemlock Cliffs
  • Brown County
  • Lake Michigan

awesome places to visit in indiana

20 Hidden Gems in Indiana: Unique and Quirky Places to Visit

  • Posted By Ali Dillingham

Add To My Planner 29

20 Hidden Gems in Indiana: Unique and Quirky Places to Visit

From the world’s largest ball of paint in Alexandria to a trail of giant Garfield sculptures in Fairmount, these unique destinations and hidden gems in Indiana are sure to provide good photo ops and a fun road trip for the family. My family and I discovered twenty of the most unusual excursions within about an hour’s drive of Indy. These trips will spark conversation and provide Instagram-worthy photos.

Our Favorite Hidden Gems in Indiana

Use your family’s next day off of school and work to discover one of these intriguing spots for yourselves.

Garfield Trail

Grant County

Whether your kids know Garfield the Cat from cartoons or comic strips, they will enjoy this trail around Fairmount and surrounding cities. The trail boasts eleven fiberglass statues of the famous cat, each over five feet in height, in various outfits and poses. More information about the sculptures is available by calling (765) 997-7034.

If you are interested in learning more about Fairmont, stop by the Fairmount Historical Museum. Exhibits include authentic artifacts of hometown film star James Dean and Garfield cartoon creator Jim Davis, as well as community history. While in the area, you should also stop at the legendary Ivanhoe’s restaurant for one of 100 ice cream sundaes or shakes. You’ll find a Garfield enjoying a triple scoop outside!

Admission to the Garfield Trail is free. The Fairmount Historical Museum is $5 per adult and children 17 & under are free with paid adult admission.

Hidden Gems in Indiana: Garfield Statue Trail

Greater Lafayette

Home to gray wolves, red foxes, gray foxes, and bison, Wolf Park is a non-profit educational wildlife facility in Lafayette. Each type of animal represented at Wolf Park is native to Indiana. Wolf Park requires a reservation to visit. Reservations for tours, as well as other programs such as Howl Night, can be made through their website.

Bob Ross Experience

We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents. – Bob Ross

Bob Ross has inspired generations with his gentle voice and iconic paintings. The Joy of Painting was filmed in Muncie, and his former studio is now open to the public as a museum. The Bob Ross Experience includes his refurbished studio, painting equipment, original paintings, and interactive experiences.

Hidden Gems in Indiana: Bob Ross Experience

The Bob Ross Experience is open Wednesday-Saturday, 9 am-5 pm, and Sunday, Noon-5 pm. Admission is $15 per adult or $12 per child aged 4-12 for all non-residents. For local residents, admission is $8 per person over 12 and $6 per kid aged 12 & under. Children 3 & under are free.

World’s Largest Ball of Paint

What happens when you cover a baseball in a layer of paint? Michael Carmichael has spent over 40 years doing just that, covering a ball with over 25,000 coats of paint. It started in 1977 when he let his son cover a baseball in a layer of paint. Since then, the layers have continued, and the ball now holds the title of the ‘Largest Ball of Paint in the World.’

Admission is free but visitors are asked to call (765) 724-4088 to schedule a visit. Visitors will find the giant ball of paint surrounded by paint buckets, hanging from a steel beam in a custom-built ‘Ball House’ next to the Carmichael house in Alexandria. All are welcome to paint the ball in a color of their choosing or select a sliced section of the original ball.

Old Ben, World’s Largest Steer

Within the Visitor’s Center at the Highland Park Pavilion is Old Ben, a preserved statue figure of the world’s largest steer. Born in 1902 on the farm of Mike and John Murphy, he weighed 125 pounds at birth. By age four, Ben was two tons and was a local celebrity, appearing at fairs and festivals. He measured over 6 feet tall and 16 feet long.

Highland Park is also home to a giant sycamore stump. It is 57 feet in diameter and was once used as a phone booth holding over two dozen people.

Grannie’s Cookie Jar and Ice Cream Parlor

In the tiny town of Metamora, you will find the world’s largest collection of cookie jars. Started by Eva “Grannie” and Paul Fuchs in 1998, the collection includes over 3,200 cookie jars and is open to visitors. Eva and her daughter Connie also make delicious homemade waffle cones to serve with hand-dipped ice cream and 24 flavors of soft-serve ice cream. Seating is available inside, or you can sit outside and watch the horse-drawn canal boat glide on the canal.

Big John, Rocking Chair

Long’s Furniture World is a well-known business in Indiana. However, one piece of its collection may catch your eye as you drive through Franklin.

Outside of the Long’s Furniture World in Franklin, sits a thirty-two-foot rocking chair. It is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest wooden rocking chair in the world. The custom-built structure received its name “Big John” as a nod to the former owner of the business, JD Long.

Historic Hoosier Gym

Knightstown

It would be difficult to have an Indiana Adventures list without mention of basketball. Part of the 1985 movie Hoosiers was filmed in the Hoosier Gym, the fictional home of the Hickory Huskers. The gym is over 80 years old and is open to the public.

Silo Mural Project

Greencastle

Driving through the Indiana landscape, you have probably seen your fair share of silos. However, have you ever seen silo art?

Greencastle is home to four silos featured in The Putnam County Mural Project, one of the largest murals in Indiana. The silos became the canvas for mural artist Key Detail (Andrei Krautsou). Key spray painted by hand to transform the 50-foot-tall, 8000-square-foot cylinders into works of art featuring farm animals, an eagle, a violin, and a covered bridge. You can download coloring pages of the artwork on The Putnam County Mural Project website .

Indy’s Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum

Indianapolis This small one-room museum on the east side of Indianapolis is home to more than 700 items featuring the image of the Statue of Liberty. From traditional statues to snow globes and sweaters, this museum has a vast collection to explore in a tiny space.

You can request a private tour of Indy’s Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum by entering Tim and Julie’s Another Fine Mess next door. The museum is a fun stop for elementary-aged kids or those who enjoy collecting. Admission is 50 cents or free with a donation of an item to the museum.

Hidden Gems in Indiana: Statue of Liberty Museum

Veal’s Ice Tree

Indianapolis

Veal’s Ice Tree is a seasonal and weather-dependent Indiana attraction, started in the winter of 1961 by Vierl G. Veal. It is a massive icy and colorful sculpture, created with nearby pond water. The sculpture is breathtaking and worth the drive.

Hidden Gems in Indiana: Veal's Ice Tree

The tree is built after 7-10 consecutive days of consistent temperatures in the 20s, usually in January. Follow their Facebook page for updates. The ice tree is open from dawn to dusk, 7 days a week. The lights around the tree turn off around 10 pm.

Twisted House

The small, twisted house nestled in the woods of the Indianapolis Art Center in Broad Ripple is sure to spark the imagination of little ones and adults alike. The house is also an amazing showcase of woodworking skills. It was created by American artist John McNaughton, who has taught woodworking, drawing, and sculpture at the University of Southern Indiana for 35 years. His work has been featured in collections at the White House and the Smithsonian Institution.

Hidden Gems in Indiana: Crooked House

The curvy house is made from cedar wood and looks as though it is supported by its roof and foundation. Visitors can walk into the artwork, explore the house, and peer through the glass windows into the surrounding forest. The piece can be viewed for free on the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Center in Broad Ripple.

Rubber Horse Sculpture

Calling all Colts fans! Did you know there is a horse made from recycled tires in downtown Indy? Located at the corner of Prospect and New Jersey Streets, this horse provides quite the sight and looks ready for some riders should the urge strike.

Indiana Medical History Museum

Plan ahead and book your tour of the 1986 building that was once Indiana’s Central State Hospital. Explore the teaching amphitheater, various laboratories, a medical library, and the autopsy room. The anatomical museum features a large collection of brain specimens, which will intrigue many visitors. Outdoors, take a self-guided tour of the Medicinal Plant Garden, maintained by Purdue Master Gardeners. The Indiana Medical History Museum is open by appointment only and large groups (over 8) should schedule at least 3 weeks in advance.

Garden of Gas Station Signs

Whiteland resident Alan Ray Whitaker has created a stunning display with his collection of over 36 oval gas station signs, each placed on 18-foot poles, with a spinning roto-sphere in the center. The vintage signs date from 1934-1961. The outside portion of the Garden of Gas Station Signs, located in the side yard of the Whitaker shop, is free and open to the public.

Giant Toilet Slide

Kidscommons is a three-story children’s museum filled with fun exhibits such as a 17-foot climbing wall, a bubble room, and the Explorahouse. It is sure to delight children ages preschool through grade six. However, my kids will be quick to tell you that the highlight of the museum is the giant toilet slide, complete with a trip down the plumbing. After your visit to Kidscommons, stop next door and visit Zaharakos, an ice cream parlor built in 1900 with an old-fashioned soda fountain.

Hidden Gems in Indiana: Giant Toilet

The Sock Barn

I first noticed this barn last year while driving down to the T.C. Steele State Historic Site in Brown County. Located off State Road 46, is a barn with a stop sign and a pile of geodes. A few years ago, the couple who own the property put up small stickers that said “Take a Rock, Leave a Sock.”

Under the sign is a large pile of geodes collected from the nearby creek. Since then, hikers have made the trip… and left dirty socks… in exchange for geodes.

Hidden Gems in Indiana: Sock Barn

There is now a new sign that reads “Hikers! Please, help yourself to a free geode!” Leaving a sock is optional and a guestbook can be found inside a large plastic bag hanging from the sign.

Cataract Falls

While many of the spectacles on this list are man-made, those who prefer natural marvels should visit Cataract Falls. These beautiful formations are the largest waterfalls by volume in Indiana. Spilling into Cagles Mill Lake, Cataract Falls is located in Lieber State Recreation Area. A covered bridge is located nearby crossing Mill Creek.

Car-Sized Sneaker

Located in the parking lot outside the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, the giant shoe makes for a fun photo. If you have a basketball fan in the family, stop by the Hall of Fame to see jerseys, trophies, pendants, and plaques from Indiana basketball greats.

To see a matching shoe, drive about a mile south from the Hall of Fame to the Steve Alford All-American Inn.

Pink Martini Drinking Elephant

If you are looking for a unique photo op, look no further than the large pink elephant, wearing glasses and drinking a martini in Fortville. According to the elephant’s owner, it has a wardrobe to match the holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Fourth of July.

Please note that the elephant is located on a lot adjacent to a liquor store. We stopped by during daytime hours and were the only elephant visitors. The elephant occasionally joins local parades and non-profit events .

Hidden Gems in Indiana: Pink Elephant

If you’re looking for more to do in the area, check out our 10+ Family Friendly Things to do in Fortville .

Periodic Table Display

Do you have a budding scientist at home? If so, you may want to add this destination to your travel list. The Julian Science and Mathematics Center of DePauw University is an extraordinary display of the periodic table. The periodic display is housed in a large custom cabinet, with six-inch cubes for each element, and features an interactive screen with information about the elements. A few elements are missing due to the risk of danger to visitors.

The creators, Theodore Gray and Max Whitby made sure to find a variety of shapes and textures for the pure elements. They also included examples of common and uncommon uses for the elements. For example, the cube for copper (Cu) includes copper nails, telephone wire, and a sample of native pure copper from Michigan.

Rotary Jail Museum

Crawfordsville

Did you know Indiana is home to the only rotating jail in the world that is still operational? The Rotary Jail of Montgomery County was the first jail of its kind in the U.S. Built in 1881, it was designed to rotate the cell block in a complete circle and intended to allow for one guard to watch more inmates.

The jail has eight wedge-shaped cells divided between two floors, with one door on each floor. The only way to enter or exit a cell as if the cell and door were aligned. The 32-ton mechanism is hand-cranked and rotated regularly for tours.

Admission is $8 for ages 12+, $5 for children ages 6-11, and free for children 5 and under. There is street parking in front of the museum and on Spring Street.

Blue Spring Caverns

If you haven’t toured the caves of southern Indiana, it’s time to plan your trip! You have several options, including Squire Boone Caverns, Wyandotte Cave, and Marengo Cave. However, the most unique experience is found at Bluespring Caverns. Here, you can hop aboard a small boat and float along the underground Myst’ry River. The hour-long boat tour may give you glimpses of elusive cave creatures like blind cavefish and crayfish, salamanders, and bats, along with the gorgeous rock formations of the caverns. The park is open daily from mid-March through the end of October.

Rose Island Abandoned Amusement Park

Charlestown

If obscure history, beautiful hikes, and mysterious ruins are your thing, you’ll want to visit Rose Island Amusement Park. Hidden within Charlestown State Park, the remains of the tourist destination can be accessed on Trail 7. Rose Island was open from 1923-1937 and guests could ride a wooden roller coaster, visit wolves and bears in the small zoo, swim at the pool, play a round of golf, or dance the night away at the dance hall. Today, only fragments of the many buildings and attractions remain. However, with a little imagination, this hike will take you back in time.

Indy With Kids is always on the lookout for memorable family outings. Comment below to let us know which one is your favorite, or if there are other Indiana hidden gems you would like added to the list.

For an amazing weekend of family fun without leaving the state, book a trip to Fort Wayne.

Get outside with your kids at our 30 favorite destinations near Indianapolis.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Ali Dillingham

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

PlanetWare.com

15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Indiana

Written by Brad Lane Updated May 10, 2023

Author Brad Lane enjoyed traveling throughout Indiana while on assignment for PlanetWare.

Indiana is home to the Hoosiers and a history that runs deep. Entertainment and tourist attractions embed themselves across all corners of the state. From fun things to do in the state capital, Indianapolis, to family-friendly tourist attractions in Fort Wayne, Bloomington, and Lafayette, Indiana has no shortage of exciting places to visit.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Several museums across the state blend fun experiences with educational value. A few of these educational escapes dive into science, Studebakers, and fine art at places like the Snite Museum of Art on the Notre Dame campus. And while the world-famous Indianapolis 500 only takes place once a year in May, the on-site museum celebrates the track's history throughout the year.

And Indiana is big on getting outside. Areas like Prophetstown State Park and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, among many others, provide campsites, hiking trails, and stunning scenery for those adventurous explorers looking to get outdoors.

Plan your visit with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Indiana.

1. Spend the Day at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

2. kiss the bricks at the indianapolis motor speedway museum, 3. eiteljorg museum of american indian and western art, indianapolis, 4. holiday world & splashin' safari, 5. turkey run state park, 6. appreciate the art at snite museum of art, notre dame, 7. discover wildlife at the fort wayne children's zoo, fort wayne, 8. explore the campus of indiana university bloomington, 9. prophetstown state park, west lafayette, 10. experience american manufacturing at the studebaker national museum, south bend, 11. conduct a family-friendly experiment at wonderlab museum of science, bloomington, 12. take in the waves at indiana dunes national lakeshore, porter, 13. tour the lanier mansion state historic site, madison, 14. rv/mh hall of fame museum, 15. first christian church, map of tourist attractions & things to do in indiana.

Dinosphere exhibit at The Children's Museum

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a large and wondrous place the whole family can enjoy. It encompasses 29 acres in the United Northwest neighborhood of the city. And as the largest children's museum in the world, the many different exhibits and hands-on science displays span from the time of the dinosaurs to astronauts living aboard the International Space Station.

The museum is a sure-fire favorite for children of all ages and an incredible learning experience for adults as well. The collection includes thousands of artifacts, photo opportunities, and interactive experiences. A few exhibits at this world-renowned museum include a planetarium, children's theater, and numerous outdoor exhibits, including an eye-catching "Tree of Sports" playground.

Other areas of eye-catching interest include a 43-foot-tall Dale Chihuly glass sculpture; full-size dinosaur skeletons, including one of the world's few mummified dinosaurs; and an interactive playscape designed specifically for preschoolers.

Alongside several full-day family outings, the museum also provides daily events and programs. A sample of scheduled events includes costume-building workshops, a "Secrets of the Lab" series, and Astronaut Training aboard the International Space Station. For even more fun things to do, the children's museum also features a restored 1917 carousel on the fourth level of this nearly 475,000-square-foot facility.

Address: 3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum , or the Indy Racing Museum , is located within the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, also known as "The Track." This world-renowned raceway is home to the Indianapolis 500-miler every May. And this year-round museum commemorates this fastest day in motorsports with a premier collection of automobiles and artifacts.

The museum is open every day of the year, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Its collection includes over 55,000 artifacts, including over 300 cars. And at least 25 past winners of the Indianapolis 500 are on permanent display. Other artifacts include racing memorabilia, photography, and archived video.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Several guided tours are also available through the museum. The two-hour golf cart tour is a popular outing, including an in-depth trip around the track. However, the most popular tour is the Kiss the Bricks Tour , which features a narrated bus ride and an opportunity to get personal with the famous racetrack.

Address: 4750 W 16th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art is situated at the White River State Park entrance in downtown Indiana. It holds a remarkable collection assembled by Indianapolis businessman Harrison Eiteljorg. On display are paintings and sculptures of the West, from the early 19th century onwards.

A few art pieces on display include works by the landscapists Albert Bierstadt and Georgia O'Keefe, and pictures and sculptures by the leading Western artists Frederick S. Remington and Charles M. Russell. The museum's most recent installation, Attitudes: The West in American Art , features a diverse collection of artists and cultures of the American West.

Indiana State Museum and the White River State Park

The encompassing White River State Park contains many other gems of the city . Adjacent to the Eiteljorg Museum, the Indiana State Museum features three floors relating stories of Indiana art, science, and culture through interactive exhibits.

Another great add-on experience to the Eiteljorg within White River State Park is the Indiana Zoo , across the banks of the White River. Resident animals include sea lions, cheetahs, and brown bears. White River State Park also features the NCAA Hall of Champions and Victory Field, home to the Indiana Indians minor league baseball team.

Address: 500 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari is a premier amusement park located in Santa Claus, Indiana. This immersive theme park has a massive collection of rides and slides enticing all sorts of family vacations. It's recommended to spend at least two days exploring the different themed worlds of this Indiana amusement park, from vertigo-inducing roller coasters to kid-friendly attractions.

Holiday World is split between the Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas, and Thanksgiving worlds, each offering unique details and rides. Splashin Safari encompasses its own massive section of the park, offering one of the largest water parks in the state .

Turkey Run State Park

Turkey Run is one of the most popular state parks in Indiana and is located just over an hour's drive west of Indianapolis. Several outdoor activities entice visitors to this natural space, including miles of hiking trails , a popular swimming pool, and other adventures like kayaking and fishing . Much of the landscape comprises woodlands and sandstone ravines along Sugar Creek.

Turkey Run is also a popular spot for overnight adventures. The state park has both indoor and outdoor places to stay, including lodge rooms and campsites. The 60-plus rooms at the Turkey Run Inn are available to book up to a year in advance, and many of the summer reservations go fast. Approximately 23 cabins are also available. Campsites are abundant, with more than 60 sites accommodating tent campers and RVs.

Snite Museum of Art

The Snite Museum of Art offers free admission and a dense collection of 19 th- and 20 th- century artworks on the University of Notre Dame campus . The collection spans different cultures and significant periods of world art history.

The galleries include European paintings and sculptures, Mesoamerican effigies, Native American ceramics, and contemporary works. The museum also hosts a constantly rotating selection of new exhibits, including thesis projects by current MFA students at the university.

The museum is open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays, with more limited hours on Saturdays. The newly instated Charles B. Hayes Sculpture Garden is also operated by the museum a couple of blocks away, allowing visitors to enjoy aesthetic art and nature throughout the year.

University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame offers plenty more to explore for students and community members alike. It's not hard to find inspiration when stepping foot into the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus, as well as the adjacent Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes spiritual shrine.

The nearby Compton Family Ice Arena is a great place to catch a hockey game or get on the ice yourself. For many, attending Fighting Irish football games at Notre Dame Stadium is a way of life and much-anticipated activity every season.

Address: 100 Moose Krause Circle, Notre Dame

  • Read More: Top-Rated Things to Do in South Bend, Indiana

Ostrich at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Celebrating over 50 years as one of the top attractions of Fort Wayne , the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo encourages tourists and residents to experience award-winning animal exhibits.

Spread throughout distinct ecosystems spanning the African Serengeti to an Indonesian rainforest, a few of the hundreds of animals at the zoo include Amur leopards, Tasmanian devils, red pandas, and Komodo dragons.

Other attractions at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo include family-friendly rides like the Endangered Species Carousel . The zoo also facilitates animal experiences that allow visitors to interact with giraffes, goats, and ponies. Recent large-scale renovations to the Children's Zoo have been extremely popular and have given it the national recognition it receives today.

Address: 3411 Sherman Boulevard, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Showalter Plaza at Indiana University Bloomington

Home to the Hoosiers and nearly 200 years of education history, Bloomington hosts the flagship campus of Indiana University . An air of academia defines the historic lecture halls and pedestrian pathways found on campus, including the iconic Sample Gates , leading to other campus attractions like the Kirkwood Observatory .

Hoosier sports intertwine with the identity of the entire state, and both football at Memorial Stadium and basketball at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall provide true community gathering spots and reasons to cheer.

Cultural institutes like the Eskenazi Museum of Art and the IU Arboretum are popular for students and community members alike and help define the community. For dining and local shops near the university, the neighboring Kirkwood Avenue is a popular spot for afternoon storefront perusing and evening entertainment.

Address: 107 South Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana

Read More: Top-Rated Things to Do in Bloomington, Indiana

The Farm at Prophetstown

Steeped in natural and cultural history, Prophetstown is a new addition to the Indiana State Park system and features many ways to interact with the environment. Within the state park, the 125-acre Farm at Prophetstown embodies a 1920s motif, including hands-on experiences with homesteading, gardening, and livestock feeding.

The state park is at the confluence of the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers and features a variety of hiking trails that cater to all abilities of hikers. An extensive Aquatic Center at the park also draws a lot of warm-weather attention with a zero-depth entry pool, lazy river, and 30-foot waterslide. Nearby, interested visitors can learn more about the area at the Tippecanoe Battlefield Park.

Address: 5545 Swisher Road, West Lafayette, Indiana

Read More: Top-Rated Things to Do in Lafayette, Indiana

Studebaker National Museum

The American car manufacturer Studebaker was a defining industry of South Bend and has long roots tied to the city. It once was the headquarters for manufacturing, and today, the Studebaker National Museum displays a wide range of these made-in-Indiana automobiles. Among their exhibits are classic models, military vehicles, and the largest collection of Presidential carriages found anywhere in the country.

The Super Service Center at the museum is an interactive area at the museum designed for children. It enables young visitors to step inside an auto shop to work on kid-size cars. The museum's collection also consists of numerous manufacturing drawings and history relating to the Studebaker Corporation.

Address: 201 Chapin Street, South Bend, Indiana

WonderLab WonderGarden

WonderLab is a children's fun center in Bloomington with a focus on science, health, and technology. It features hands-on and immersive learning experiences alongside popular permanent exhibits.

A few of the favorite exhibits include a Bubble-Airium; the Fitzgerald Hall of Natural Science; and an outdoor WonderGarden, which connects with the nearby pedestrian corridor, the B-Line Trail. Other areas of interest at the museum include a coral reef aquarium, a children's Discovery Garden, and facilities for birthday parties or events.

The museum also runs an active events calendar targeted at both adults and children, including science talks, STEM Sundays, and a "WonderLab After Dark" series.

Address: 308 West Fourth Street, Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore overlooks the shores of Lake Michigan near the Illinois border, presenting a unique landscape found in no other place in the state. The lapping shores and lakeside landscape enable a wide variety of outdoor activities. The adjacent state park of the same name is one of the most popular spots for hiking, biking, and beach-going.

Fishing and boating are also available at the lakeshore, and camping at the seasonal Dunewood Campground is a great way to make a multi-day trip. During the winter, activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing tend to reign supreme. Sunsets at Lake Michigan are a recommended experience for any visit, which often resonate with brightly changing colors and tones.

Address: 1215 IN-49, Porter, Indiana

Lanier Mansion State Historic Site

The Lanier Mansion was built for James Franklin Doughty Lanier, a prominent businessman in the state of Indiana around the mid-1800s. The Greek Revival-style house was completed in 1844 and is one of the finest buildings in Madison's National Historic Landmark District.

The home was designed by architect Francis Costigan. Inside are some of the original furnishings and an impressive three-story spiral staircase. On the grounds are formal gardens showcasing plants and landscape styles of the late 19th century.

Visitors are welcome to tour the historic mansion during daily operating hours, Tuesday through Sunday. Guided tours begin at the top of every hour. The historic mansion is also home to several events and programs throughout the year, including holiday candlelight tours, early childhood programs, and adults-only 1940s Dance Hall celebrations.

Address: 601 W First Street, Madison, Indiana

RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum

The RV/MV Hall of Fame in Elkhart showcases all kinds of recreational vehicles in all shapes and sizes from various decades. It's a must-see for people interested in RVs or anyone who wants to see the classic vehicles that Americans have been driving along the roads and vacationing in for the past 90 years.

Popular vehicles and exhibits on display include Mae West's 1931 Chevrolet Housecar, a "Road Back in Time" walking tour, and a Tennessee Traveler Motorhome. Visitors can also see how the interiors and appliances of recreational vehicles have changed over the years. The museum displays trailers, motorhomes, photos, and memorabilia dating back to the 1920s, all within a huge showroom.

Address: 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart, Indiana

First Christian Church

The First Christian Church in Columbus was designed by Eliel Saarinen and completed in 1942. It has a non-traditional look, with rectangular shapes and a rectangular tower standing 160 feet high. It is noted to be one of the first churches in the United States built in such a contemporary style. The materials, exterior and interior, are mostly buff brick and limestone.

All members of the public are encouraged to check out the regular services hosted by the church. The Sanctuary can seat about 900 people. And this religious establishment provides numerous ways to connect with the surrounding community.

Address: 531 Fifth Street, Columbus, Indiana

instagram logo

More on Indiana

Indiana Travel Guide

  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Exciting Cities
  • Food And Drink
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Where To Stay
  • Skip to right header navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar

Midwest Explored Logo

Learn how to easily plan your dream trip to the Midwest!

city during sunset places to visit in indiana

15 Places to Visit in Indiana for Your Bucket List

August 31, 2023 by //  by  Midwest Explored 1 Comment

Are you planning a visit to Indiana soon? If yes, then you have come to the right place! In this guide, we have prepared a list of the best places to visit in Indiana that you should add to your bucket list.

Indiana, popularly known as the Hoosier state, offers a lot of amazing places and activities for you to try in the Great Lakes region.

From visiting the cute towns in Indiana such as Bloomington, Lafayette, Indianapolis, etc. to enjoying the outdoors, there is a lot to do here.

Plus, this state is home to many amazing museums where you can have fun while learning about new things.

The WonderLab Science Museum, the Studebaker National Museum, etc. are a few must-visit museums here.

If you are looking for fun things to do in Indiana, then you can try hiking, camping, etc. in the many national and state parks here. In short, you will find something for all ages here.

So, if you are visiting Indiana soon and confused about what to do here, then we have you covered. Check out this list of the 15 best places to visit in Indiana to add to your bucket list.

15 Places to Visit in IN for Your Bucket List

West beach & dunes succession trail – indiana dunes national park.

Looking for an amazing hiking trail in Indiana ? If yes, then you should check out West Beach & Dunes Succession Trail in Indiana Dunes National Park.

This is an amazing tourist attraction in Indiana that offers you stunning views of Lake Michigan and allows you to relax and play on the beach for some time.

This hiking trail is 1-mile-long that involves climbing over 250 steps. Admire the view of Long Lake and Chicago city from the top.

The highlight of this place in Indiana is that it takes you through the dune development area so you can witness the formation of dunes.

If you are looking for a short and easy hike in IN, then this is one of the top places to visit in Indiana.

boy walking down a staircase places to visit in indiana

Westport is another top tourist attraction in Indiana that you cannot afford to miss.

This small town in Indiana receives visitors from all over the world due to the pretty Westport Covered Bridge that can be found here.

Built in 1880 and spanning 115 feet, this white and green bridge in Westport is one of the best places in Indiana for a short visit.

From here, you can also head to the gorgeous Anderson Falls via a short hike. It is located in a bog and there are many hiking trails to reach here. You can climb the rocks, try fishing, or simply take a dip in the cool water of the falls.

With so many scenic attractions in Westport, it is one of the top places to visit in Indiana.

a covered bridge places to visit in indiana

Turkey Run State Park

Turkey Run State Park is another great attraction in Indiana to add to your bucket list. This state park of Indiana is quite unique and one of the best spots for a weekend getaway in Indiana .

One of the best Indiana attractions for camping, the park features around 213 campsites for visitors to enjoy. If you don’t like the outdoors, don’t worry. There are many rooms and cabins that you can reserve here as well.

Apart from camping, there are many fun things to do at this park such as hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, and so on. There are also a few historical sites and buildings that you can explore around here.

Overall, this is one of the best places to visit in Indiana for both outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs.

sunset over a water creek surrounded by trees

Fort Harrison State Park Is One Of The Best Places To Visit In Indiana

For nature lovers, one of the best places to visit in Indiana is Fort Harrison State Park. It is one of the best things to do in Indianapolis , regardless of which season you visit.

If you plan a trip in spring, then you can enjoy the hiking trails that are filled with wildflowers. On the other hand, a summer trip means enjoying a canoe trip or swimming in the state park. Finally, a visit in winter means that you can experience skiing or ice fishing here.

Apart from these fun activities, there is also the Museum of the 20 th  Century where you can learn about the soldiers who earlier worked at Fort Harrison.

Trust me, this is one of the top tourist attractions in Indiana that you cannot skip.

colorful gum tree with yellow leaves places to visit in indiana

Bloomington

Bloomington is one of the most beautiful places in Indiana where you will find both historic sites and outdoor attractions to explore. There are so many things to do in Bloomington!

This is one of the best tourist attractions in Indiana that is home to Wylie House, a museum that features an heirloom garden and period furnishing.

You can also visit the Indiana University Eskenazi Museum of Art to observe artworks from around the world.

If you are looking for fun things to do in Indiana , then Bloomington also features Charles C.Deam Wilderness, part of the Hoosier National Forest.

Here, you can go hiking, biking, horseback riding, and so much more to enjoy the landscapes.

If you want history plus outdoor fun, then Bloomington is one of the top places to visit in Indiana.

red clock surrounded by a building and trees

Purdue University

One of the top Indiana tourist attractions to visit, Purdue University is located in West Lafayette and was founded in 1869.

The university is popular for its satellite programs, community, and culture. There are a lot of fun events to attend here such as boilermakers sporting events, The Purdue Grand Prix, Spring Fest, and so on.

If you are a sports enthusiast, then you can always catch a game at Ross-Ade Stadium or Mackey Arena too.

One can take a tour of the campus of this university to learn about its history and the values imbibed here.

You will also find many amazing restaurants in West Lafayette , close to the university to try with your friends and family members.

Honestly, this is one of the best things to do in Lafayette and you should definitely include this in your bucket list of the best places to visit in Indiana.

view of buildings places to visit in indiana

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Is Definitely One Of The Coolest Places To Visit In Indiana

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the top Indiana tourist attractions that you must visit in Indianapolis.

One of the best things to do in Indianapolis is watching an Indy 500 race through the track and witness the place where historic races have been conducted in the past years.

It is the third oldest automobile race track in the world and the world’s largest sports venue too.

This Indiana attraction was built in 1909 and has served as a host for Formula 1 and NASCAR races. If you are lucky, you will be able to witness a live race here.

Apart from that, you can also take a guided tour of the race track and the garage here. You can later enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants in Indianapolis .

For sports enthusiasts, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the top places to visit in Indiana.

racecars competing on a course

Renovated 200 Year Old Cabin

Wondering what to do in Indiana? Don’t worry, we have you covered. If all these places and activities sound a bit much, then you can always enjoy a few days off in a cabin rental.

Check out this gorgeous and spacious 200-year-old cabin in Midwest that was renovated in 2019.  Ideal for a family or a group of friends, this cabin features two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a large living room.

Enjoy the lake views from the numerous windows in the cabin or chill on the large wrap-around porch. The best part about this cabin is that it is away from the city but close enough to get all the necessary amenities.

So, if you are looking for a relaxing vacation, then this cabin is one of the best places to visit in Indiana.

Santa Claus

Planning a trip to Indiana during Christmas? Then, Santa Claus is one of the most amazing places to visit in Indiana.

This small town lives up to its name and kicks up the Christmas celebrations every year.

You can visit the Santa Claus Museum & Village which looks absolutely gorgeous in snow and is a great place to learn the history of the town.

One of the top tourist attractions in Indiana, this village features a 22-foot-tall Santa Claus statue with 15 smaller statues placed throughout the town.

If you have a sweet tooth, then don’t forget to visit Santa’s Candy Castle for all the amazing sweets.

If one place in Indiana looks like Christmas, it is Santa Claus! This is why it is the best place to visit for celebrating Christmas in the Midwest .

sign saying 'Santa claus'

French Lick Is One Of The Romantic Places To Visit In Indiana

French Lick is one of the top historic attractions in Indiana to visit and is best-known for its mineral springs which are said to have healing properties.

Earlier it was a French trading post but it was converted into a spa destination soon.

Today, this town has some really beautiful resorts and spas which makes it a popular romantic destination in Midwest .

You can enjoy a stay in a spa and resort and stroll around the streets of this old-world town filled with historic homes and architecture.

For couples, French Lick is one of the most romantic places to visit in Indiana.

French Lick is one of the best destinations to experience fall in Indiana.

a white house

Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park is one of the top attractions in Indiana owing to the fact that it is the largest state park here.

Every year, over a million people visit this park to explore and enjoy the activities here.

Named after the Commanding General, General Jacob Brown, this park is nicknamed Little Smokies as it resembles the Great Smokey Mountains.

There are over 70 miles of trails for horse riding, hiking, and mountain biking.

If you are looking for fun things to do in Indiana, then you can visit this park to enjoy the scenic views here while indulging in several activities.

Make sure to stop at the rare Yellowwood tree on Trail 5 when you are hiking in this park.

With great views, fun activities, and a peaceful environment, Brown County State Park is one of the best places to visit in Indiana.

river with autumn trees in the background

Lake Michigan

Another popular Indiana attraction to visit is the gorgeous Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes of North America.

Since this lake lies entirely in the United States, it is huge and offers many beaches that tourists can explore and enjoy.

The highlight of this lake is that it is connected to many amazing parks and camping sites in Indiana.

If you are visiting Indiana for a camping trip, then you can find amazing campsites in the Indiana Dunes State Park next to Lake Michigan.

Indiana National Lakeshore is also a great place for enjoying the beaches of this lake.

Honestly, if you are looking for fun places to explore, then Lake Michigan is one of the top places to visit in Indiana.

sunset over a lake

Cataract Falls

Another top Indiana tourist attraction to include in your bucket list is Cataract Falls in the Lieber State Recreation Area.

It is said to be the biggest waterfall by volume in Indiana and features two sets of waterfalls – Upper and Lower.

Both these waterfalls are sourced by Mill Creek River and look absolutely gorgeous during the fall season in the Midwest.

The Lower waterfalls have a 15-foot drop while the Upper waterfalls have an amazing 30-foot drop.

Visitors can hike around this park to reach these waterfalls and enjoy the views surrounding them.

If you love visiting waterfalls too, then you should head to Cataract Falls, one of the top places to visit in Indiana.

white water falling down from a series of stones with red color trees in the background

The Ohio River Scenic Byway

Still confused about what to do in Indiana? Well, how about a drive through Indiana?

The Ohio River Scenic Byway is one of the most amazing road trips in the Midwest that you can do. It runs through three states, covers over 300 miles, and includes three historic towns.

You can start your road trip from Vevay, popular as the 4 th  coolest small town in America. You can play in the casino, go zip-lining, etc. here.

Another highlight of this road trip is Madison which is best for trying locally made cider and hiking opportunities.

End your Ohio River Scenic Byway road trip at Newburgh where you can enjoy a walk by the river, explore unique shops, and enjoy the local dishes.

If you are looking for epic places to visit in Indiana, then do include this road trip in your bucket list.

One of the best things to see is the interesting caves in Indiana!

Monon High Bridge

Monon High Bridge is an offbeat Indiana tourist attraction to visit in the small, cute town of Delphi.

This hidden gem in the Midwest was built in 1891 and is said to be the second-highest bridge in the state.

Originally, this bridge was built to transport trains over Derry Creek but it was abandoned in 1987.

However, it is still one of the top Indiana attractions, and visitors can enjoy a walk across this bridge and explore the surrounding trails.

If you are looking for a different and adventurous experience, then Monon High Bridge is a good place to visit.

a high bridge

Packing List For Traveling To The Coolest Places To Visit In Indiana

If you will be traveling, either by plane or by car to the Midwest, here are some tips on how to pack lightly.

A  concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when visiting Indiana attractions. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.

his  unisex RFID-blocking concealed travel pouch is  lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.

You can place it under your hiking clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.

If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these  RFID  sleeves are  the perfect solution.

This configuration comes with enough credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.

If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an  external charging battery .

This  Anker high-speed phone charging battery  is  the exact one  I carry with me on all of my trips.

It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!

I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.

My daughter gifted me with this  FugeTek selfie stick and tripod   setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and so easy to use.

It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking selfies when traveling to the coolest places in Indiana.

You will want to bring your own  refillable water bottle  with you.

I never leave home on a trip without my  Bobble filtration bottle .  The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for hiking and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.

When filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the charcoal filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble.

The replaceable carbon filter ensures clean water when you need it.

Then this collapsible silicone foldable water bottle  would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.

You will want a  backpack or daypack  with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. when hiking This   foldable water-resistant backpack   would be great

It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.

Here I have listed 20 of the best places to visit in Indiana for your consideration. I hope you have so much fun discovering the Hoosier State!

A blue sign welcoming you to Indiana that says 'Crossroads of America'. It is a blue sign with the shape of the state in red with a star over the second i in the word. One of the best things to do in Indiana

Reader Interactions

[…] the name suggests Michigan City Indiana sits on the shores of Lake Michigan, the southern shore to be […]

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Scenic States

20 Awesome Attractions and Things to do in Indiana

' src=

Indiana is the perfect destination in the Midwest.

The things to do in Indiana is so diverse that you can switch from attending basketball events, to exploring vineyards, breweries and distilleries in just one afternoon.

From the Indy nightlife to the lush farmland, Indiana’s mix of urban and rural feel means it’s a destination for all ages.

Weather-wise, Indiana’s late fall is perfect for golfing and hikes, while winter brings out the best for skiers.

If you’re planning a hike at any of the state parks or the rolling hills of southern Indiana, you can visit any time of the year. Of course, summer is ideal for Indiana’s zoos, amusement parks, baseball and basketball games, water parks, wine trails, and visit to the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan.

Attractions You Can Find Only in Indiana

If you’re planning out fun things to do in Indiana, here are my top picks you won’t find anywhere else:

1. White Rabbit Cabaret

Located in the heart of Fountain Square, The White Rabbit Cabaret is home to awesome touring bands, comedy acts & an in-house burlesque troupe.

If you’re coming in May, don’t miss the racing-themed, aptly-named show “Titty 500.”

2. Join Unique Indiana Trails

Aside from the nature-friendly trails of Hoosier National Forest, DePauw Nature Park, or Fortune Woods, Indiana has some cool trails to check out, including:

  • The Garfield Trail – Takes you to see over a dozen statues of America’s favorite chubby cat Garfield, whose creator Jim Davis is a native of Grant County.
  • Indiana Glass Trail – Explore the state’s rich glass history and discover many glass artists, their masterpieces, and venues related to Eastern Indiana’s glass culture.
  • James Dean Trail  – If you’re a fan of the late actor, his life is celebrated all around his hometown: Fairmount, Indiana.
  • Explore Indy’s 6 Cultural Districts – The Canal and White River State Park, Indiana Avenue, Market East, Mass Ave and Wholesale District are all located in downtown Indy, except for Fountain Square , which is found in Shelby Street.

3. Watch a Movie at the Tibbs Drive-In

Enjoy the 60s vibe at the Maywood double-feature drive-in theater.

With only $6/kid and $13/adult, the whole family can enjoy two movies back-to-back for four hours straight.

Just make sure to bring plenty of snacks to munch on.

4. Join Bourbon Tastings at The Rural Inn

If you’re a fan of great beer, fine wines and premium spirits, The Rural Inn is a must-visit.

This Englewood, Indianapolis-located inn has an impressive selection from local craft beers to cold imports, you’ll be up for a surprise as you enjoy hibiscus tequila or some must-try bombers.

And it’s tasty enough that it would deserve a spot on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail if it were in the right state, of course.

5. Visit the legendary candy-makers of Schimpff’s Confectionery

The Schimpff family has been making candy in Jeffersonville since at least the 1850s and their store remains a well-loved, local treasure.

6. Say Hi to Santa Claus at America’s Christmas Hometown

Santa Claus’ headquarters, where letters from kids all over are sent.

Volunteers respond to  each and every  letter to Santa that comes through the post office.

Don’t miss going to Santa Claus’ Candy Castle, or Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari (if you’re visiting during Christmas season).

7. The Labyrinth in New Harmony

Enjoy an afternoon challenging yourself around the shrub labyrinth and discovering the stone Rappite temple smacked in the center.

Located on main street of New Harmony, Indiana, the Labyrinth is open publicly admission-free.

Things to do in Indiana for the Sports Fans

Indy 500

Indiana residents are serious sports fans, from basketball to racing, supporting the pros, collegiate, high school, and even recreational sports.

If you come to Indiana for the sports, don’t miss:

  • Going to an Indy Eleven Game at the Lucas Oil Stadium – While Indianapolis is known more popularly for the Colts and Pacers, locals love cheering for the Indy Eleven’s soccer games.
  • Watching the Pacers – Visit the Wholesale District and enjoy a Pacers game live.
  • Embracing everything about the Indianapolis motor sports – If you’re here around May, don’t miss the Indy 500 , but if you’re visiting during other months, check out the,  Speedway Indoor Karting and 500 Museum – all of which feature the state’s racing history.
  • Playing games at the Tappers Arcade Bar – Bring your kid-at-heart self to this awesome arcade and play everything from traditional pinball to modern arcade games. Don’t forget to try out local craft beers too – the place serves them here.

While the Indy amusement parks cannot compare to the best amusement parks of America , the smaller, local amusement parks (such as the Indiana Beach in Monticello) still has its unique charm.

5 Must-See Nature-Friendly Things to do in Indiana

1.  empire quarry ( bloomington, indiana).

The state sits atop one of the richest concentrations of limestone on the planet, which is why for a time, Indiana’s limestone built many iconic structures, including the Empire State Building, Pentagon and the National Cathedral, among others.

The Empire Quarry is a spectacular, abandoned limestone quarry in southern Indiana.

It is named after the Empire State Building, since this area provided 18,630 tons of stone needed to construct the New York City architectural landmark.

2. Downtown Indy Canal Walk

There’s no fee to pass through this awesome spot at the White River Park.

Walk around the canal or rent a paddleboat so you can focus on its beauty.

Joggers flock in the morning, but this becomes a popular spot for romantic proposals at nighttime.

3. Indianapolis Zoo

Go to Stringtown and have fun with the kids and kids-at-heart at this fantastic zoo.

It’s got everything from an overhead cable car ride, dolphin and orangutan shows, and many more.

4. City West Ghost Town at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

In Chesterton, Indiana, a 19th century “dream city” still stands today.

It was supposed to compete against Chicago, but it was swallowed by the Indiana sand dunes even before the plan for the city turned into reality.

5. Indy Salt Cave

This man-made salt cave is quite a sight to see.

It isn’t included in my list of the best caves in US , but it definitely is breathtaking.

At the Indianapolis Salt Cave, the company claims that tiny particles of pink salt in the air is therapeutic and beneficial to a person’s mental and physical health. True or not, the location is a fantastic spot for photo-ops as well.

Top Museums in Indiana

1. museum of psychphonics.

Home to oddities and weird artifacts and vintage memorabilia without explaining its origins and connection to Indy culture.

2. Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

Features an impressive collection of hand-built art deco cars

3. Indiana Medical History Museum

This museum isn’t for the faint of heart.

There are some gross exhibits here, but it still pretty interesting for the right crowd.

4. The Children’s Museum

Definitely the go-to museum if you only have time to visit just one Indiana museum.

It boasts of 29 acres of activities for all ages, from the massive dinosaur bones exhibit to the 43-foot-tall Dale Chihuly glass sculpture and “Tree of Sports” playground, I promise you it will be a memorable stop.

If you’re staying in downtown Indy and you love arts and culture, don’t miss passing by the Indianapolis Artsgarden (where lunchtime concerts, exhibits and other events are held free of charge), as well as Harrison Center’s “First Friday Art Tours,” which showcase local artists of past and present.

BONUS: If you’re visiting Indiana in July and still have time to roam around, go out of your way to visit Peru (or the “Circus City), so you can watch the world’s greatest amateur circus.

It only happens 10 days of July every year, and when you can experience it, you’ll be enthralled by its own world of rides, games, crafts, food and other circus activities.

Did I miss any more fun things to do in Indiana? Share your recommendations below…

Featured Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston

Go Out and Explore

awesome places to visit in indiana

Top 9 Resorts for Skiing Near Pittsburgh

awesome places to visit in indiana

Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona – Was It Scary?

awesome places to visit in indiana

8 US Zoos With Red Pandas to Add to Your List

awesome places to visit in indiana

Sightseeing In Los Angeles – 2 Perfect Days And A Celebrity Sighting

awesome places to visit in indiana

6 Stunning Hilo Waterfalls You Must Visit this Year

awesome places to visit in indiana

5 Ghost Towns in Ohio Worth Exploring

VacationIdea

  • Destinations

25 Best Places to Visit in Indiana

Last Updated By VI in Indiana on June 16, 2024

25 Best Places to Visit in Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

South bend, indiana, bloomington, indiana.

  • Complete List & Map

Indianapolis, Indiana

Families should visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Zoo and the Dallara IndyCar Factory. More romantic weekend getaways in Indiana

South Bend, Indiana

A tour of the South Bend Chocolate Company is a must-do for everyone. South Bend also offers a variety of outdoor activities including golf, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, cycling and even white-water rafting right in the center of downtown.

Bloomington, Indiana

Outdoor enthusiasts have 200 miles of hiking and cycling trails to explore and families can enjoy the WonderLab Museum of Science or head to Monroe Lake swimming, boating and castle-building.

Evansville

There are also excellent attractions for children including Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden and the Kock Family Children’s Museum.

Fort Wayne

The city also offers a variety of water sports on the rivers – canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding – there are several outfitters to supply all you need. Less hands-on but equally enjoyable, you can go on a scenic river cruise.

Brown County, Indiana

Brown County, Indiana

Children will enjoy the Pioneer Village and Museum and everyone can see how fudge and popcorn is made at Carmel Corn Cottage – tastings are part of the fun.

Carmel

Shoppers can head to Main Street or the fabulous Art and Design District, and for some exercise you can go walking, jogging or cycling the 25-mile Monon Trail or explore some of the city’s many parks and gardens. More things to do in Carmel

Chesterton, Indiana

Chesterton, Indiana

However, outdoor pursuits in the wonderful Indiana Dunes State Park are Chesterton’s primary draw-card – here you can enjoy three miles of beach and over 16 miles of trails – picnic areas and campgrounds are available. More day trips from Indianapolis

Columbus, Indiana

Columbus, Indiana

Around every corner you will get the chance to admire sleek buildings, a stunning garden and many outdoor art installations. The best way to ensure you see everything is to join a guided Architecture Tour. More things to do in Columbus

Elkhart

The Wellfield Botanic Gardens provide a colorful and serene escape from the city and everyone will enjoy a visit to the Nibco Water and Ice Park for skating in winter and water fun in summer. More things to do in Elkhart

French Lick, Indiana

French Lick, Indiana

The list of exhilarating activities is exhausting – you can visit the year-round water park, take a ride through Hoosier National Forest on the French Lick Scenic Railroad, try zip-lining, hiking, cycling, horse-back riding and golfing in summer and a full range of snow sports in winter. The resort offers great dining, shopping, a spa, lake cruising and much more.

Gary

You can also arrange a charter fishing trip, rent equipment for sail boarding or wind surfing or simply relax on the beach and soak up some sun. Marquette Park is a great outdoor area which has walking trails, a beach area and a children’s playground.

Hoosier National Forest for Couples

Hoosier National Forest for Couples

Hoosier National Forest, 811 Constitution Ave, Bedford, IN 47421

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for Families

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for Families

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, 1100 North Mineral Springs Rd, Porter, IN 46304

Jeffersonville

Jeffersonville

Town highlights include the Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River, the Jefferson Aquatic Park (which includes a skate park and walking trail) and the Ohio River Greenway where locals and visitors can walk, cycle or simply relax and enjoy the views.

Kokomo

Recreational activities include canoeing and kayaking at Kokomo Reservoir Park, water fun at the Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center and hiking and biking several city trails. More things to do in Kokomo

Lafayette, Indiana

Lafayette, Indiana

More ideas: Best Indiana Campgrounds

Madison

Outdoor enthusiasts can spend a few days camping in Clifty Falls State Park which offers hiking, biking, boating, fishing and more against a beautiful backdrop of gorges and waterfalls. Try and be in Downtown on the Fourth Friday of each month for great shopping, dining, music, trolley rides and other entertainment.

Michigan City, Indiana

Michigan City, Indiana

Back in the city you can take a gallery tour to admire the thriving local art scene, visit the historic Barker Mansion, take on Lady Luck at the Blue Chip Casino or take a scenic cruise on the Lake Michigan.

Nashville

For a break from all things arty you can go hiking or biking in the Brown County State Park or prospecting at the Copperhead Creek Gem Mine.

Santa Claus

Santa Claus

You can bring along your RV and make the Lake Rudolf Campground and RV Resort your base for exploring all the fun in Santa Claus. More day trips from Indianapolis

Shipshewana

Shipshewana

More ideas: Best Flea Markets in Indiana

Terre Haute, Indiana

Terre Haute, Indiana

For outdoor fun you can head to Griffon Bike Park, Deming Park (disc golf, pool and sports fields), Fairbanks Park (boating and fishing) or Dobbs Park (walking and hiking).

Valparaiso

More ideas: Best Lakes in Indiana

White River State Park, Indiana

White River State Park, Indiana

More ideas: Best Waterparks in Indiana

  • 1. Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 2. South Bend, Indiana
  • 3. Bloomington, Indiana
  • 4. Evansville
  • 5. Fort Wayne
  • 6. Brown County, Indiana
  • 8. Chesterton, Indiana
  • 9. Columbus, Indiana
  • 10. Elkhart
  • 11. French Lick, Indiana
  • 13. Hoosier National Forest for Couples
  • 14. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for Families
  • 15. Jeffersonville
  • 17. Lafayette, Indiana
  • 18. Madison
  • 19. Michigan City, Indiana
  • 20. Nashville
  • 21. Santa Claus
  • 22. Shipshewana
  • 23. Terre Haute, Indiana
  • 24. Valparaiso
  • 25. White River State Park, Indiana

More Getaways in Indiana:

  • Places to Visit in Indiana
  • Things to Do in Indiana
  • Southern Indiana
  • Indiana with Kids
  • Lakes in Indiana
  • Carmel, Indiana
  • Best Day Trips in Indiana
  • Nashville, Indiana
  • Indianapolis

More Features

Resort Spa Baths and Pools

16 Most Beautiful Resort Spa Baths and Pools

14 Best Things to Do in Columbus, IN

10 Best Things to Do in Columbus, Indiana

7 Best Things to Do in Kokomo, IN

8 Best Things to Do in Kokomo, Indiana

  • --> Conclusion
Vacation Idea

VacationIdea

  • About Us/Contact Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service

Touropia Logo

Touropia Travel

Discover the World

10 Best Places to Visit in Indiana

By Alex Schultz · Last updated on February 4, 2024

Although it is often disparaged and overlooked for being ‘The Crossroads of America,’ Indiana has a lot going for it once you get off its busy interstates. Part of both the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions, it has numerous sides to it, with major cities such as Indianapolis and Fort Wayne found alongside Amish communities and lively college towns.

While the south of the state’s rugged hills and valleys are riddled with caves, caverns, and quarries, the northwest boasts the astounding landscapes and scenery of Indiana Dunes National Park.

Map of Places to Visit in Indiana

Places to Visit in Indiana

Lovely countryside and farmlands are also on display, with important memorials and historic sights dotted about. Perfect for both city slicking and country living, this list of the best places to visit in Indiana certainly has something for everyone to enjoy.

10. Columbus

Columbus

Home to a large number of artistic and architectural treasures, the small city of Columbus can be found some 40 miles (60 kilometers) or so to the south of Indianapolis. Since the 1940s, phenomenal public and private buildings and artworks have sprung up around town, earning it the nickname ‘Athens on the Prairie.’

Over the years, renowned architects such as Cesar Pelli, IM Pei, and Richard Meier built a myriad of magnificent modern edifices – ranging from schools and hospitals to libraries and churches. Many of these delightful designs were commissioned by the Fortune 500 engine company Cummins, which is based in town. Seven of the buildings are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.

Besides the captivating and creative designs on display, the city also boasts many fantastic public art and sculptures which are dotted about its parks and shared spaces. A visually arresting place to visit, Columbus certainly lives up to its motto ‘Unexpected. Unforgettable.’

9. Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Tucked away in a remote and rural corner of the state, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial protects and preserves the farm site on which the former president spent much of his childhood. From 1816 to 1830, the illustrious Abraham Lincoln lived here with his family, growing from a small seven-year-old boy into a twenty-one-year-old man.

Visitors to the memorial can now learn all about these fascinating and formative years at the site’s marvelous museum. Besides perusing several exhibits on the president and various artifacts and artworks relating to him, there is also a 16-minute film on the great man’s life in Indiana.

In addition to this, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial also has a working pioneer farm where you can find the archaeological remains of the original Lincoln cabin. Here too is a wooden replica farmhouse, complete with costume-clad park rangers who cultivate crops, raise livestock, and teach visitors about life on the farm.

8. New Harmony

New Harmony

Set right in the southwest of the state, the small and sophisticated town of New Harmony lies on the banks of the Wabash River on the border with Illinois. The site of two attempted utopian communities, it was founded in 1814 by a German Christian sect before later being bought by the British social reformer Robert Owen.

Much of the town’s pietist past is still on show today; while walking around, you’ll come across important historical landmarks and elegant architecture. While many of its beautiful houses and churches were erected by the Harmonist and Owenite communities, others, such as the striking Roofless Church and Harmonist Labyrinth, date to more modern times.

Although neither of the utopian communities lasted long, the town’s residents did play an influential role in the fields of both science and education. Visitors can learn all about these accomplishments as well as New Harmony’s unique history at the Atheneum – an arresting, angular building that acts as the town’s visitor centre.

7. Amish Country

Amish Country

After Pennsylvania and Ohio, Indiana is home to the largest Amish population in the States, with lots of farms, families, and communities found around Shipshewana and Middlebury. While the nearby interstate is full of cars and lorries whizzing by, off the main roads, you’re more likely to see and hear horses and buggies passing by.

Visiting this pleasant and picturesque part of the state is like stepping back in time as you see members of the devout and distinctive religious community go about their lives. Wearing simple clothes and eschewing much of modern technology, the Amish work their fields themselves by hand or plough and build their own houses, barns and churches.

As they place a lot of value on rural life, humility, and manual labor, the Amish produce most of their food and necessities themselves. While traveling around the region, you’ll often come across families selling fresh produce and home-made household items; it is well worth stopping off to buy some before continuing on your way.

6. George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

Lying on the banks of the Wabash River is the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, which commemorates the famous general’s career and the celebrated and successful Illinois Campaign. Set on the site of what is believed to be Fort Sackville, it is here that one of the most memorable feats of the American Revolution took place.

Respectively authorized and dedicated by Presidents Coolidge and Roosevelt, the circular memorial exhibits grand granite columns and a saucer dome, with the green gardens of the riverside park lying around it. Inside are seven exquisite murals depicting General Clark’s remarkable journey and his important victory over the British.

At the heart of the memorial is a brilliant bronze statue of a young Clark, which basks in the famous feats played out on the walls around him. Visitors can learn all about his life and campaigns through the adjacent visitor center’s exhibits, interactive displays, and a 30-minute film.

5. Bloomington

Bloomington

As it home to the main campus of Indiana University, Bloomington has a lively and youthful feel, with much of life in the city revolving around the institute and its sizeable student body. Lying around 80 kilometers to the southwest of Indianapolis, it is a very pretty and picturesque place to visit that boasts a thriving arts and culture scene.

While its art centers and university venues regularly put on theater productions and music shows, excellent art exhibitions can be enjoyed in its handful of museums. Courthouse Square is the central hub of activity: you can find university bookshops lying alongside relaxed bars and cafes and cheap restaurants serving up world cuisine. There is also a large Tibetan community in town if you want to go on a retreat or visit one of their monasteries and temples.

While Bloomington has more than enough to keep you entertained for a couple of days, the city is also known as the ‘Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana’. This is due to the abundance of natural riches that lie nearby, with Lake Lemon, Lake Monroe, and Hoosier National Forest all offering superb outdoor recreation opportunities.

4. South Bend

South Bend

Set on the southernmost bend of the St. Joseph River, South Bend lies right in the north of the state, not far from the border with Michigan . Home to some large corporations and companies – and an important economic and cultural hub – the city is most known for the University of Notre Dame and its Fighting Irish football team.

Come game day, fanatical fans pack into its 77,000 seat stadium, which is strikingly presided over by a 40 meter-high mural known as Touchdown Jesus. While watching a match and taking in the festive atmosphere is a must when in South Bend , its enormous university campus also has lots of great art galleries and museums for visitors to check out.

Although Notre Dame and its wealth of sights attracts the most attention, in recent years, Downtown South Bend has spruced up a lot, with many renovations and refurbishments taking place. Now, its formerly dilapidated buildings house captivating cultural centers, cosy cafes, and exciting entertainment venues, with the Century Center one of its standout sights.

3. Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park

Running for almost 25 miles (40 kilometers) along Lake Michigan’s scenic southern shores, Indiana Dunes National Park protects a wealth of diverse and delightful landscapes and ecosystems. Easily accessible from Chicago, the state’s only national park is a very popular place due to its sublime scenery and plethora of beautiful beaches and hiking trails.

Only established in 2019, the park encompasses everything from huge dunes and expansive wetlands to prairies, rivers and forests, with lovely views to be enjoyed over the lake. Hidden away among the untouched natural bounties are many different species of fauna and flora, with bird watching very popular during the spring and autumn migrations.

The outstanding wilderness and natural beauty of the national park lends itself perfectly to all kinds of outdoor recreation activities. Besides hiking and swimming, visitors can go fishing and boating on the lake or horseback riding and camping alongside its wonderful rivers and forests.

2. Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne

The second-largest city in the state, Fort Wayne lies in the northeast of Indiana, not far from the border with Ohio. A lively yet laidback place, it is an important economic and cultural center, with lots for visitors to see and do in the city.

Founded way back in 1794 by the United States Army, the former fort has flourished into a sizeable city, with arresting architectural styles spied around town. Due to its abundance of Italianate, Greek Revival, and Postmodern buildings, it is well worth taking a tour of its numerous historical and cultural landmarks. Of these, two of the most impressive are the imposing Lincoln Bank Tower and spectacular Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Away from its historical sights and architectural wonders, the city has some delightful outdoor spaces for visitors to enjoy. While you can stroll peacefully around gorgeous gardens and pretty plants at the botanical conservatory, Fort Wayne’s Children’s Zoo has more than 1,500 incredible animals on show, as well as some fun rides and attractions.

1. Indianapolis

Indianapolis

Set slap bang in the center of the state, Indianapolis lies on the banks of the White River and is the capital and largest city of Indiana. While it is known as the ‘Racing Capital of the World’ (it hosts the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400), there is much more to the city than just fast cars and fumes.

A mesmerizing mix of small-town Midwest community and large metropolitan city, Indianapolis boasts astounding architecture and magnificent monuments. Hidden away among its lofty skyscrapers, you can find historic and artsy districts home to world-class museums and countless restaurants and cafes serving food from all around the globe.

While Newfields’ extensive and exquisite art collection and the wonderful White River State Park are a treat to explore, Indianapolis’ standout symbol and sight is undoubtedly its Motor Speedway. Whether you are into racing or not, it is well worth going to one of its exhilarating events so that you can see what the city is all about.

Share this post:

Metamora

12 Most Charming Small Towns in Indiana

Best Things to Do in Indiana

23 Best Things to Do in Indiana

Top Tourist Attractions in the USA

25 Top Tourist Attractions in the USA

Glacier National Park

25 Most Beautiful Places in America

Best Cities in Indiana to Live and Visit

9 Best Cities in Indiana You Should Visit

Best Things to do in Carmel, Indiana

12 Best Things to do in Carmel, Indiana

Things to Do in Bloomington, Indiana

12 Best Things to Do in Bloomington, Indiana

Best Things to do in Indianapolis

15 Best Things to do in Indianapolis

Best Things to Do in South Bend, Indiana

12 Best Things to Do in South Bend, Indiana

Things to Do in Lafayette, Indiana

12 Best Things to Do in Lafayette, Indiana

Reader interactions, leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Indianapolis   Travel Guide

Courtesy of Aaron Yoder | Getty Images

awesome places to visit in indiana

18 Best Things To Do in Indianapolis

Updated Jan. 13, 2023

Besides the Indianapolis Motor Speedway  and Hall of Fame Museum (which is a must-see for most visitors), the city offers the truly wonderful Newfields that's home to the  Indianapolis Museum of Art . If you're traveling with kids in tow,

  • All Things To Do

awesome places to visit in indiana

White River State Park White River State Park free

Anchoring the west side of Indianapolis, the White River State Park offers 250 acres of green space dotted with memorials and museums as the Central Canal and the White River offer waterways in the park. The White River bisects the park from north-to-south. On the west side of the river sits the Indianapolis Zoo , which can be accessed by the White River Pedestrian Bridge. On the east side, you'll find the Indiana State Museum , the Eiteljorg Museum  and the Military Park. Additionally, Victory Field is within White River State Park, providing visitors and locals a chance to relax and catch a baseball game. Want to get active? The park features five walking and biking trails (fully paved), like the Canal Walk and Cultural Trail, the River Promenade and Waterfront Trail.

As the central park in Indianapolis, most find it close to many attractions and hotels. Recent visitors were amazed by White River State Park, and one recent visitor called it a "treasure." Some explored the park on foot, while others rented bikes or kayaks. If you plan on driving, note that parking entrances can be hard to find, according to past visitors.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Central Canal Central Canal free

In the 1830s, the Indiana state government conceived a plan to build a 296-mile waterway through the state to increase commerce. Though the Central Canal never came to full fruition, sections of the canal were developed. Today, the Canal Walk – a refurbished portion of the Central Canal – is a 3-mile loop that flows by the Indiana State Museum  and  Eiteljorg Museum , among other popular attractions. You can walk alongside the canal or rent of the bikes from the two different Pacers Bikeshare Stations along the canal. If it’s a special occasion, hire a singing gondolier or rent a pedal boat or kayak.

Whatever mode of transport you choose, you'll enjoy a spectacular view of the Indianapolis skyline, not to mention a 17-foot waterfall, some of the city's best contemporary architecture, and the USS Indianapolis Memorial and Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial. Keep your eye out for colorful murals on the canal underpasses, too. According to recent reviewers, this is the spot for quiet relaxation in Indy. Aside from the peaceful atmosphere, travelers also love how clean the area is. Other visitors were delighted when they found the Central Canal by accident on their trip.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Newfields Newfields

Spread out across 152 acres, Newfields is a complex dedicated to the arts and nature including gardens, a green house, a nature park and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Featuring more than 50,000 works of art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is an impressive institution. Not only does the IMA offer an impressive collection of neoimpressionist paintings and Asian art, but it also boasts one of the largest contemporary art parks in the U.S. Stroll through Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park for an acclaimed outdoor space that features a 35-acre lake and art installations set amidst woodlands and wetlands. While you're outside, consider visiting the Lilly House and The Gardens, an early 1900s French-inspired estate that is a National Historic Landmark.

Recent visitors highly recommended including Newfields your itinerary and said it was a great way to spend a day in Indy. Some particularly loved the gardens and the special events and exhibits, like the harvest and holiday displays.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Popular Tours

Indianapolis Ghosts Tour

Indianapolis Ghosts Tour

(22 reviews)

from $ 30.78

Top Shelf 14-Passenger Party Bus Rental

Top Shelf 14-Passenger Party Bus Rental

(41 reviews)

from $ 599.00

All Inclusive Indianapolis Mobile Pub Tour and Experience

All Inclusive Indianapolis Mobile Pub Tour and Experience

(20 reviews)

from $ 49.99

awesome places to visit in indiana

Eiteljorg Museum Eiteljorg Museum

If you're interested in learning more about the art, history and cultures of the American West and Native Americans, then a stop at the Eiteljorg Museum is a must. Another selling point: The Eiteljorg Museum is the only museum of its kind stationed in the Midwest, and one of only two museums east of the Mississippi that explore both Native America and American West art.

Its permanent collection includes works from Andy Warhol, T.C. Cannon, Georgia O’Keefe and Frederic Remington, among many others. But the real star is the museum's collection of contemporary Native art, which has been ranked among the world's best. And then there are the special exhibitions, which have covered subjects like the history and development of contemporary Native art. Plus, each year the museum hosts the Indian Market and Festival

awesome places to visit in indiana

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

If you're in Indianapolis with kids, a visit to this museum is a must. Spanning 472,900 square feet and boasting 11 galleries, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis lives up to its title as the world's largest children's museum. Exhibits at the highly praised facility include a planetarium, the "Dinosphere: Now You're in Their World" (featuring eight different species) and the "National Geographic Treasures of the Earth" exhibit, which showcases re-creations of three archaeological sites, including an Egyptian tomb, a pirate shipwreck and China's Terra Cotta Warriors. Beyond these standouts, there are also several more floors of exhibits and even some Chihuly glass for decoration. Plus, the museum boasts an impressive 12,500-year-old mastodon skeleton and a carousel. Seasonal outdoor exhibits about sports are also available.

Recent visitors said you can't leave Indy without taking a spin through this museum. Some reviewers even said it's worth adding to your itinerary if you don't have kids in tow thanks to the museum's well-designed exhibits. Plus, parents who visited felt the museum's fun, educational environment encourages interaction not just for little ones, but for teens and parents, too.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Indiana War Memorial Plaza Indiana War Memorial Plaza free

Considered an historic district, the Indiana War Memorial Plaza comprises Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Indiana World War Memorial and Museum, University Park, American Legion Mall, Veteran's Memorial Plaza and USS Indianapolis CA35 Memorial. In all, the historic district offers 25 acres dedicated to the veterans. So, if you're a fan of the National Mall in Washington, D.C ., you'll likely enjoy spending a few hours here. In fact, Indianapolis is second only to D.C. in acreage and number of monuments and memorials dedicated to veterans.

With its 30,000 square-feet, you'll want to spend the majority of your time in the Indiana War Memorial Museum, especially the Shrine Room. Described by recent visitors as "breathtaking" and "peaceful," the Shrine Room is dedicated to fallen soldiers of World War I and features materials hailing from around the globe, which symbolizes the worldwide effort it took to end the war. The main floor showcases the history of Indiana's veterans, from the Battle of Tippecanoe through the present. Among the artifacts on display are the USS Indianapolis gallery, military firearms and uniforms, and an AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been around since 1909, and every Memorial Day weekend drivers start their engines for the Indianapolis 500: 200 laps around the famed 2.5-mile oval. This epic track is actually on the National Register of Historic Places. With a host of racing events throughout the year, there's more to see than the Indy 500. Other races include the GMR Grand Prix, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational and the NASCAR Cup Series. 

Also at the complex is the 37,500-square-foot Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Located inside the famous oval track, the museum was established in 1956 to showcase the importance of motorsports. The museum features over 25 cars that have won the Indianapolis 500 along with additional cars (some antique), photographs, racing memorabilia and even fine art depicting racing. The Tony Hulman Theatre shows an 8-minute film about the track. Visitors have the choice to see the complex by purchasing race tickets, visiting only the museum or taking the very popular (and comprehensive) grounds tour.  

awesome places to visit in indiana

Indiana State Museum Indiana State Museum

Within the White River State Park and close to downtown Indianapolis, the Indiana State Museum tells the story of Indiana from the Ice Age to present day. Part of the permanent exhibits, visitors can explore a replica of an ice cave along with animal skeletons, including the saber-toothed tiger and the dire wolf. Other exhibits include the rocks and minerals found in Indiana along with Indiana's animal species from mounted birds to hoofed animals, some in real-life settings.

Another permanent exhibit tells the story of Indiana's Native Americans. "First Nations" explores artwork, traditional pottery, recipes, navigation techniques and other innovations of pre-Columbian Native Americans as well as the Potawatomi people. 

awesome places to visit in indiana

Massachusetts Avenue Food Tour

(16 reviews)

from $ 73.00

Axe Throwing in Indianapolis

Axe Throwing in Indianapolis

(8 reviews)

from $ 26.98

Indy Walking Tours

Indy Walking Tours

(33 reviews)

from $ 55.00

awesome places to visit in indiana

Conner Prairie Conner Prairie

Located northeast of Indianapolis in the suburb of Fishers, Conner Prairie is a 800-acre property that guides visitors through history with hands-on exhibits and demonstrations. Visitors explore indoor and outdoors areas like the 1836 Prairetown, where costumed interpreters go about life as if it is still 1836, cooking, blacksmithing and pottery making included. The Lenape Indian Camp takes visitors to the earliest period presented at Conner Prairie, 1816. Learn about the Lenape Indians' relationship with settlers as well as the impact of Indiana's statehood on the local economy and environment. The property also includes the William Conner house, the former home of the man who once owned the area. Children will want to see the farm animals at Conner Prairie as well.

Some recent visitors compared Conner Prairie to Williamsburg, Virginia . Others commented that they had remembered more demonstrations on previous visits. Most were impressed by the history they learned while visiting, even if they lived in the Midwest. A recent visitor advised the traffic to Connor Prairie was more than they had anticiapated.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Lucas Oil Stadium Lucas Oil Stadium

Home to the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium is a must-see for sports fans, according to recent travelers. With the capacity to hold 67,000 fans and a retractable roof that features unbeatable views of the downtown Indianapolis skyline, visitors consistently describe the stadium (which opened in 2008 and hosted the 2012 Super Bowl) as a "beautiful sports venue." The Colts regular season runs mid-September until mid-January with preseason games starting in the end of August. The official Colts schedule is released in the spring along with ticketing information on its website . If football isn’t your thing, then keep a look out for the stadium's concert lineup.

Recent fans who visited said the stadium was clean and noted that the design is easy to navigate. Sports hounds who caught a game during some warm Indy weather particularly appreciated the retractable roof. Wintertime spectators said the stadium was cold.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Victory Field Victory Field

As the home to the Indianapolis Indians, Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Victory Field offers some the best views of the Indy skyline and can accommodate more than 14,000 visitors. Even if you're not a fan of baseball, you should consider attending a game at Victory Field, especially if you've got kids in tow with its Knot Hole Kids Club and kids programs (best for families seeing a few games).

Recent visitors with kids especially liked that there is ample grass space for children to play and families can spread out blankets to enjoy the game. Reviewers also reported that the crowd and staff are friendly and fun. Victory Field was praised by locals and travelers alike for its cleanliness and affordable prices.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Eagle Creek Park Eagle Creek Park

As the largest park in Indianapolis, Eagle Creek Park's 3,900-acre property never feels crowded to visitors. During the warmer months, Eagle Creek Park offers visitors activities like over 16 miles of hiking trails, a 36-hole golf course, a summertime concert series on Wednesday evenings and even a dog park. For visitors wanting to get out on the water, rent a paddleboard, canoe, kayak, pedal boat or rowboat. Fishing is allowed in Eagle Creek Park (adults must have a valid Indiana fishing license). For those who want to explore the park from its treetops, the Go Ape Treetop Adventures offers a 2 to 3 hour experience combining zip lines, rope ladders, crossings and swings. Winter sports enthusiasts can cross-country ski on ungroomed loops.

Recent visitors did many of the activities, like kayaking, hiking and fishing, and all enjoyed their time in the park. Other visitors said they spotted plenty of wildlife. Most commented the park and its facilities were well-maintained. Another visitor suggested grabbing a park map at the entrance since the park is large.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden

The 10,000-square foot Garfield Park Conservatory hearkens back to another era. Inside the art deco structure, visitors can explore a tropical oasis with palm trees, bananas, orchids, vanilla vines, coffee trees, and cacao trees. In addition to the conservatory, a 3-acre sunken garden pulls design features from European formal gardens, including springtime tulip plantings and fountains. If visiting with children, explore Blake's garden (dedicated to a local boy and cancer patient) located next the conservatory. Its garden displays encourage children to explore with their senses. In addition to the gardens, the 122-acre Garfield Park features an outdoor pool and a performing arts center along with playing fields, tennis courts and a playground. 

Nearly all recent visitors appreciated the reasonable admission fee to enjoy the Garfield Park Conservatory. Many travelers visited the conservatory in the winter to escape the cold weather and learn about the tropical plants. Other visitors commented on the knowledgeable staff.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Fountain Square Food Tour

(12 reviews)

Smartphone-Guided Walking Tour of Downtown Indianapolis Sights & Stories

Smartphone-Guided Walking Tour of Downtown Indianapolis Sights & Stories

(19 reviews)

from $ 27.50

Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Indianapolis by Wacky Walks

Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Indianapolis by Wacky Walks

from $ 10.00

awesome places to visit in indiana

Indiana State Capitol Indiana State Capitol

As a centerpiece of downtown Indianapolis, the Indiana State Capitol was constructed in 1888. It is a Renaissance Revival-style building and includes a stained glass dome and highly decorated rotunda. It houses all three branches of the Indiana state government and offers free tours of the building. The 30 to 45-minute guided tour takes visitors through the building, including chambers that aren't in use by officials, and guides discuss the Indiana government along with the architecture of the building.

Most recent visitors commented on the beauty of the rotunda and the nice and knowledgeable staff. Some visitors took the guided tour and raved about it, others choose a self-guided tour and enjoyed discovering the Indiana State Capitol on their own.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Tour the home of the only U.S. president from Indiana, Benjamin Harrison, who served from 1889 to 1893. Historic house fans will enjoy touring the 10,000 square-foot Italianate home and its original furnishings. History buffs will appreciate the Harrison family artifacts as well as pieces from 21 other U.S. presidents, including political memorabilia like ribbons, medals and awards.

 The Harrison family built the home on a double lot off West Delaware Street in 1874 in the Italianate style. The home featured luxuries like running water, a coal furnace and gaslights throughout in the 10,000 square-foot home. Benjamin Harrison and his first wife Caroline oversaw much of the construction of the home. After Harrison’s death, it was home to Harrison’s second wife and child before changing hands several times. It was declared a National Historic Landmark and underwent a restoration. Now, visitors can take guided tours of the home and view an extensive collection of Harrison’s belongings.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Indianapolis Zoo Indianapolis Zoo

Spread across 64 acres and home to more than 1,200 animals from 230 different species and 47,000 plant species, the Indianapolis Zoo is a favorite among families visiting Indy. The zoo is separated into five biomes: Oceans, Deserts, Plains, Forests and Flights of Fancy. Each of these areas have their own animals and plants that represent the biome. Highlights for recent guests were the underwater dolphin viewing dome in Oceans (be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before start time) and the orangutan center. The zoo also offers special zoo experiences (not included in admission) ranging from swimming with dolphins to watching a zoo animal paint a work of art (that you get to take home).

Recent visitors raved about the zoo and noted that it was clean and the guides were friendly. The only downside: visitors felt the special zoo experiences were a little pricey, and not reasonable for families on a budget. Reviewers also cautioned against eating at the zoo, as some felt the menus expensive; other visitors wanted more water bottle filling stations. 

awesome places to visit in indiana

Rhythm! Discover Center Rhythm! Discover Center

Read More »

awesome places to visit in indiana

Fort Harrison State Park Fort Harrison State Park

awesome places to visit in indiana

Private Arrival Transfer from Indianapolis Airport IND

(4 reviews)

from $ 72.00

Top Shelf 14-Passenger Brewery Tour

Top Shelf 14-Passenger Brewery Tour

(3 reviews)

Holiday Scavenger Hunt in Indianapolis by Holly Jolly Hunt

Holiday Scavenger Hunt in Indianapolis by Holly Jolly Hunt

from $ 20.00

Explore More of Indianapolis

Bottleworks Hotel

Best Hotels

World Map

When To Visit

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 28 Best Water Parks in the U.S. for 2024

Holly Johnson|Timothy J. Forster May 8, 2024

awesome places to visit in indiana

The 18 Best Napa Valley Wineries to Visit in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Sharael Kolberg April 23, 2024

awesome places to visit in indiana

The 25 Best Beaches on the East Coast for 2024

Timothy J. Forster|Sharael Kolberg April 19, 2024

awesome places to visit in indiana

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2024

Christina Maggitas February 6, 2024

awesome places to visit in indiana

The 32 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Gwen Pratesi|Timothy J. Forster February 1, 2024

awesome places to visit in indiana

9 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in Florida for 2024

Gwen Pratesi|Amanda Norcross January 5, 2024

awesome places to visit in indiana

24 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S. for 2024

Erin Evans January 4, 2024

awesome places to visit in indiana

26 Top Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts for 2024

Zach Watson December 28, 2023

awesome places to visit in indiana

Solo Vacations: The 36 Best Places to Travel Alone in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Erin Vasta December 22, 2023

awesome places to visit in indiana

26 Cheap Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget

Kyle McCarthy|Sharael Kolberg December 4, 2023

awesome places to visit in indiana

Wade through creeks, see native snakes, watch birds: Get outdoor this weekend in Indiana

awesome places to visit in indiana

Hoosiers looking for some peace and quiet after Fourth of July fireworks and celebrations have ended can look forward to a weekend in nature with these upcoming events.

Wade through creeks, discover fossils, participate in a sand castle contest and learn about foraging for wild edibles around the state.

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis is calling for some isolated showers and storms on Friday and Sunday with highs near 86, so don’t forget to bring the raincoats and maybe an extra pair of dry socks. Saturday should be mostly sunny with temperatures in the lower 80s.

Wade through a creek or hike a nature preserve Friday, July 5

Tiny Water Critters, 10 a.m. at Paynetown SRA (Monroe Lake) in Bloomington: Wade into the shallow water along the shoreline to search for aquatic macroinvertebrates ― little water-loving critters hiding in plain sight such as “baby” dragonflies, water pennies, caddisflies, and more.

Insect Investigations, 10:30 a.m. at Potato Creek State Park in North Liberty: See small six-legged creatures up close in this easy, 1-mile walk with a naturalist starting from the park’s Nature Center.

Nature Preserve Hike, 1 p.m. at Fort Harrison State Park in Lawrence: Join a park naturalist for a guided 1-mile hike along Lawrence Creek Trail. Learn about the variety of flora and fauna found in the area. Participants will also discuss the importance of Nature Preserves. Meet at the Walnut Trailhead parking lot.

Discover the Fossil Beds Hike, 1 p.m. at Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville: Discover the wonders of fossil beds with a park naturalist. Participants will look at Devonian marine fossils and discuss how they lived, what they ate, and how / why they were preserved. This free hike lasts 60 minutes. Meet on deck. We walk down 60 steps to fossil beds and return via ramp. (Or use ramp if participants have problems with steps.) Please wear shoes suitable for walking on rocks.

Creek Crawl, 2 p.m. at Charlestown State Park in Charlestown:  Meet at the Oak Shelter for a 2-mile off trail adventure. Be prepared for waist deep water as we hike up the creek. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Creek Peek, 2 p.m. Central at Lincoln State Park in Lincoln City: Meet at the Nature Center to pick up some tools then follow the naturalist to Little Pigeon Creek to learn about aquatic ecosystems and get the chance to collect critters from the water.  Bring rubber boots or old shoes because participants will be wading in the water. This location is in the Central Time Zone.

Independence Day: Everything to know about celebrating the Fourth of July around Indianapolis

Look for bluebirds or volunteer to clean a park Saturday, July 6

Cool Creek Bird Hike, 8 a.m. at Cool Creek Nature Center in Carmel: Join expert birder Keith Starling and Amos Butler Audubon members each Saturday for a hike through Cool Creek. No registration is required. Meet in the north parking lot past the Nature Center.

Lake Lincoln Hike, 8 a.m. Central at Lincoln State Park in Lincoln City: Meet at the Nature Center for a nice, easy jaunt around the lake. This 2-mile hike promises wildlife and historical sites. This location is in the Central Time Zone.

Park Lovers Cleanup, 10 a.m. at Douglass Park in Indy: Join a group of dedicated volunteers, the Park Lovers, for a morning of cleanup, trash removal and weed wrangling. Prepare to roll up your sleeves and get to work by dressing for the weather — and don't forget your gloves.

Bluebird Walk, 10 a.m. at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison: Join the naturalist at Clifty Shelter to check our bluebird boxes for nests, eggs and babies on this 45-minute easy walk.

Sand Lake Stroll, 10 a.m. at Chain O'Lakes State Park in Albion: Meet outside the Nature Center and enjoy an easy, 1.3 mile walk on Trail 5. Closed-toed shoes are recommended.

Sandcastle Contest, 10 a.m. at Raccoon SRA (Cecil M Harden Lake) in Rockville: Meet at beach house. Teams of up to 6 people will have 2 hours to complete their sand creation. No fee to enter contest.

Moth Mysteries, 10:30 a.m. at Potato Creek State Park in North Liberty: Meet to the Nature Center to discover more about these fascinating insects. A short exploratory walk around the Nature Center will show you their diversity.

Crane Field Skills: Tracking and Banding, 11 a.m. at Goose Pond FWA: A representative from the International Crane Foundation will be leading programs for kids and families at Goose Pond this summer. Participants will learn where cranes live, how they use their habitat and how that leads to the research and monitoring questions crane biologists ask. Following the discussion, kids will learn about monitoring techniques, band their own paper crane, try real tracking technology used by biologists to find hidden crane tracking devices, and record their field notes. Please register to attend this free event.

Powerful Pollinators, 11 a.m. at Fort Harrison State Park in Lawrence: Who’s helping produce the beautiful flowers in our community? Join the park naturalist in the Visitor’s Center for a program on pollinators and how they play an important role in our community.

Cultivating Minds Garden Series - Weeds or Wildflowers, noon at Garfield Park Conservatory: Join park staff in the Children's Garden to learn about various gardening and nature topics you've always wanted to know more about. Learn how to grow new plants, make healthier gardens, support local wildlife and make healthy lifestyle choices.

Learn how to forage or meet native snakes Sunday, July 7

Wild Edibles Hike, 8 a.m. Central at Lincoln State Park in Lincoln City: Join the park naturalist for a short hike and learn about different edible plants that you might find in your own backyard. This location is in the Central Time Zone.

Eagle Creek Bird Hike, 9 a.m. at Eagle Creek Park in Indy: Enjoy bird hikes each Sunday year-round at Eagle Creek Park. Meet at the Ornithology Center. This event is free, though a gate fee to Eagle Creek Park applies.

Fall Creek Guided Hike, 10 a.m. at Fort Harrison State Park in Lawrence: Join the park’s naturalist for a morning hike along Fall Creek Trail and come back on Camp Creek Trail. The hike will be 2 miles long and last for about 2 hours. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water. We will meet in the Delaware Lake parking lot.

Fire Tower Chat and Hike, 10 a.m. at Tippecanoe River State Park in Winamac: Ever wonder when or why our Fire Tower was built here at Tippecanoe River?  Come for a short chat about the tower, then an easy hike to the tower, where you can climb to the tallest outlook in the area. Meet at the Bulletin Board at the Fire Tower Parking Lot.

Guided Hike, 10 a.m. at Patoka Lake in Birdseye: Join the park’s naturalist for a hike along Trail 4 to learn plant identification and some area history. The hike will start at the Nature Center and roughly take an hour and a half.

Lovely Lichen, 10 a.m. at McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer: On this hike, learn about the symbiotic relationships lichen has with the trees they grow on. Lichen powers the food web in rocky environments like those found on Trail 2. The hike will be in a tornado-impact area to learn about lichen. Meet Naturalist Jessie at trailside shelter begin this 1-mile hike.

Parkemon GO!, 10 a.m. Central at Lincoln State Park: This program combines Pokémon Go with Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ version called Parkemon.  Catch park wildlife with cameras and score them with power points. This game can be played anytime, not just in the park.

Waterfall Hike, 10 a.m. at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison: Meet at Clifty Shelter for a 1-hour, moderately rugged hike through one of the most scenic sections of Clifty Canyon. There’s a chance to see 5 waterfalls along the way.

Snake Meet and Greet, 11 a.m. at Brown County State Park in Nashville: Visit the Nature Center for an up close and personal look at one of Indiana's native snakes. Learn about their unique traits, the threats they face and how snakes affect your life. Participants may pet the snake at the end of the program.

Go birding and learn about native wildlife later in July

Wednesday, July 10 - Cool Creek Beginning Bird Hike, 8:30 a.m. at Cool Creek Park in Carmel: Join a Hamilton County Parks naturalist and other guest leaders Sunday and Wednesday mornings. This will be a great opportunity for birdwatchers of all levels. You may begin anytime during the season and come as often as you like. Pre-registration is not required. Don’t forget your binoculars. These hikes meet in the north parking lot of Cool Creek Park past the Nature Center.

Wednesday, July 10 - Feeding Time, 3 p.m. at Eagle Creek Park in Indy: What's on the menu for the animals living at the park’s Earth Discovery Center? This is your opportunity to find out. Throughout feeding time, nature center staff will be feeding the turtles, fish, snake, toads, frogs and salamanders that live on the upper level of the nature center.

Karl Schneider is an IndyStar environment reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter  @karlstartswithk

IndyStar's environmental reporting project is made possible through the generous support of the nonprofit Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.

  • SI SWIMSUIT
  • SI SPORTSBOOK
  • Mountaineering
  • National Parks

5 Best Hiking Parks in Indiana

Evan massey | jul 3, 2024.

Jeff Stant, Executive Director at Indiana Forest Alliance, hikes in a remote part of Brown County, Indiana, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. Senator Mike Braun has introduced a bill that would double the size of the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area, and designate land near Lake Monroe as a National Recreation Area.

The state of Indiana is not one that a lot of americans take much notice of when it comes to potential vacation destinations. There is no beach, there are a lot of cornfields, and there is not much to do from an entertainment perspective.

While the state is relatively slept on, there are many different things to do outdoors.

Hiking is a favorite passtime in Indiana. Thankfully, there are many different parks and trails throughout the state that offer amazing hiking for those who love the outdoors.

Let's take a look at the five best hiking parks throughout the entire state of Indiana.

5. Mounds State Park

One of the best-kept surprises in the state of Indiana is Mounds State Park. The quite, sprawling park offers many different hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

Mounds is known for the Native American presence that still is obvious to this day. The centerpiece of the park is a giant mound that was created by the prehistoric Indian tribe called the Adena-Hopewell people. The biggest mound in the park was estimated to have been constructed around 160 B.C.

4. Clifty Falls State Park

Another amazing park that doesn't receive as much publicity as it deserves is Clifty Falls. Located in Madison, Indiana, the park offers beautiful hiking, nature, wildlife, and waterfalls.

One of the most interesting aspects of the park is Clifty Creek, which is a place littered with fossils from a former marine ecosystem that has since disappeared. While the collecting of fossils is prohibited at the park, there are many different entertaining things to do and see while hiking the trails.

3. Indiana Dunes State Park

While there might not be a single ocean beach in Indiana, residents and tourists can visit Lake Michigan while in the state. Indiana Dunes State Park gives people a taste of hiking and water.

Currently, the park boasts 140 camping sites and beautiful hiking trails through the dunes. If it gets too hot, visitors can enjoy the "beach" of Lake Michigan. The Dunes are truly one of Indiana's best tourist attractions.

2. Shades State Park

Next up on the list is Shades State Park. While located close to the No. 1 hiking park on this list, Shades offers incredilby beautiful scenery.

Visitors will hike alongside sandstone ravines and Sugar Creek as well. Shades is more of a rustic park, which is certainly appealing to many avid hikers. It's a place to visit if you enjoy long, tough hikes.

1. Turkey Run State Park

For those who have visited Turkey Run, no one leaves disappointed. Turkey Run is by far the best hiking park in the state of Indiana.

There are 11 different hiking trails at Turkey Run. On the more rugged trails, you will walk through a sandstone gorge and also weave around Sugar Creek. In addition to the rustic hiking, there is a beautiful inn called the Turkey Run Inn that is available to stay at during the trip.

Evan Massey

EVAN MASSEY

Your browser is not supported for this experience. We recommend using Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari.

You Won't Believe the Charm in These 20 Small Indiana Towns

Indiana is home to numerous incredible small towns. These 20 towns and cities, all home to 25,000 people or less, are a must-visit for anyone interested in experiencing the hospitality and charm of Indiana's small towns.

This list was part of The 20 IN 20 . Even though 2020 is behind us, you still have to see our 400 must-see, must-do Indiana experiences ! Find images shared by visitors and the full small towns list below!

Franklin, Small Towns

Voted as the home of Indiana's best main street , Franklin is the county seat of Johnson County (just south of Indianapolis) and is home to 25,000 Hoosiers.

Madison, Small Towns

Home to one of the country's largest National Historic Landmark Districts , Madison finished second in our Best Main Street voting and is home to incredible shopping, history and much more. USA Today readers voted it among America's best small town food scenes. Read More.

Angola, Small Towns

Named by USA Today as one of America's Best Historic Small Towns , Angola is an incredible place full of history, shopping and fun. Visit nearby Pokagon State Park for year round adventure!

Corydon, Small Towns

Serving as the first capitol of Indiana until 1825, there is a lot of history in Corydon . There are many historic properties , caves , and landmarks easily found in the little town! Did you know that Corydon was the site of the only Civil War battle on Indiana soil?

Wabash, Small Town

Known to be the first electrically-lighted city in the world , Wabash is the aptly named county seat of Wabash County. If you are looking for a fun date night or family experience, catch a show at the Honeywell Center and/or stay at the historic Charley Creek Inn!

Aurora, Small Towns, The 20 IN 20

Aurora holds just under 4,000 citizens but is full of life. It's home to a Top 10 Main Street and a Top 10 Brewery !

Auburn, Small Towns

Home to four epic car museums and a history of making amazing automobiles, Auburn draws car lovers from around the world .

Nashville, Small Towns

Nestled in the hills of Brown County, Nashville is a tiny town with amazing shopping , art history and lots of charm!

James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home Museum, Greenfield, Small Town

A vibrant historic district with a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and amazing architecture welcome you to Greenfield . You can visit the boyhood home and birthplace of James Whitcomb Riley and enjoy tons of family fun at Tuttle Orchards .

Huntingburg, Small Towns

Huntingburg

Did you know that Hungtingburg is known as the " Hollywood of the Midwest? " A League of Their Own , Hard Rain , and Soul of the Game were all filmed in the 6,000-person town. In fact, you can watch a game at the at the stadium where A League of Their Own was filmed.

Greencastle, Small Towns

Greencastle

A trip to Greencastle is a must if you want to experience art, great food , and culture. It is also now home to one of the most spectacular murals in Indiana ! Home to DePauw University, this small town is also home to a great dining scene .

Winona Lake, Small Towns

Winona Lake

On the shores of a beautiful lake in Kosciusko County sits the small town of Winona Lake , a vibrant destination steeped in history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places , this former summer retreat is now a shopping destination , with unique retail and service shops and a variety of restaurants and eateries.

Fortville, Small Town, The 20 in 20

Nestled in Hancock County, Fortville is one small town with lots of charm, and an incredible dining scene. Among all of the great food is Taxman Brewing Co. , voted as  one of the best breweries in Indiana .

Goshen

This entrepreneurial hub along the Heritage Trail has a lot to be proud of. Whether you're visiting for the weekend with friends or there with family, there is always something fun to do in Goshen . From one of America's best diners , to authentic wood-fired fig pizza and incredible candies , Goshen is a foodie's dream!

Shelbyville, Small Towns

Shelbyville

Only 30 miles east of Indianapolis , Shelbyville is the perfect place for a quiet getaway. You will find over 4.5 miles of paved trails downtown, and you can try your luck at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino .

Vincennes, Small Towns

As Indiana's first city, Vincennes is the perfect getaway for history enthusiasts. The hometown of legendary comedian Red Skelton features a museum in his honor . Visit the simply incredible George Rogers Clark National Memorial (It is the largest national monument outside of Washington, D.C.). And don't miss the Indiana Military Museum , which features more US military artifacts than you can even imagine!

Richmond, Small Town, The 20 in 20

Richmond might classify as a small town, but it is great for a family trip.   Thistlethwaite Falls is incredible, and the Starr-Gennett Walk of Fame pays tribute to legends of Jazz, Blues, Country and more, who once recorded in Richmond!

Danville, Small Towns

Anchored by the Mayberry Cafe , Danville features a vibrant downtown square with numerous shops and restaurants. The small town is home to the Mayberry in the Midwest festival each year, transforming the downtown square into the setting of the Andy Griffith Show. Visitor favorites include the Bread Basket Cafe & Bakery and Beasley's Orchard .

Jasper, Small Towns

Since the first settlers to Jasper came from the Black Forest area in Germany, there has been a strong admiration for Deutschland. You can get an authentic taste of Germany at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant . And, the Spirit of Jasper excursion train is a must ride!

Whiting, Small Towns

Just a stone's throw away from Chicago, Whiting is a thriving community with unique attractions. The National Mascot Hall of Fame just opened last year!

Plan your #The20IN20 trip by checking out this map of Indiana small towns!

Visit Indiana

Advertise with us.

Boost your listing's visibility to 200,000+ monthly views! Talk to our team about purchasing an advertisement with…

Indiana has 24 state parks. Here are the 10 that have the most visitors.

awesome places to visit in indiana

With summer in full swing and the Fourth of July holiday coming up, we are taking a look at the top state parks in Indiana. 

There are 24 state parks that the Indiana Department of Natural Resources manages, along with several small satellite locations, eight reservoir properties, two state forest areas and two off-road riding areas. 

For this story, we compared state park designated properties only with the top ten visitation numbers. These numbers are from the DNR fiscal year 2023 (July 1 2022-June 30 2023). The numbers are estimates only based on a combination of factors, including revenue and estimated numbers of guests per car. Not all park gates are operational year round. 

Here is how the numbers fall out.

More: Canoe, kayak and SUP rentals return to St. Pat's park after pandemic hiatus

More: Indiana seeks input on deer hunting rule changes. Plus hike, clean up and parade into May.

10. Clifty Falls State Park 

This park, situated near Madison, Indiana, has entrances on state roads 56 and 62, and had just under 500,000 visitors last year. As the name implies, the park is renowned for its waterfalls, which exhibit varying characteristics depending on the weather and season. They can range from powerful torrents to delicate mists or even frozen spectacles in winter.  

In addition to its waterfalls, Clifty Canyon offers rugged terrain that's ideal for year-round hiking, providing visitors with breathtaking scenery throughout all seasons. 

A unique feature of Clifty Falls State Park is its geological significance. Clifty Creek, which runs through the park, exposes a stony bed that contains fossil remnants. These fossils offer glimpses into a long-lost marine ecosystem, once teeming with life such as ancient corals, squids, brachiopods, and more. While fossil collecting within the park boundaries is prohibited, there are accessible locations nearby where enthusiasts can explore and collect fossils. 

9. Mounds State Park 

Mounds State Park, located off I-69 east of Anderson, had approximately 510,000 visitors last year. It offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the Adena-Hopewell people through its 10 distinctive earthworks. These ancient mounds, believed to be constructed around 160 B.C., served as gathering sites for religious ceremonies and provided vantage points for observing astronomical alignments. 

For visitors, the Nature Center at Mounds State Park is a must-visit destination. It features a wildlife viewing room where you can observe local fauna, as well as engaging animal displays and interactive games. The Nature Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering ample opportunity to explore its exhibits. 

Additionally, the park organizes naturalist-led hikes and interpretive programs every weekend throughout the year. These activities are designed to enhance your understanding of the park's natural and historical features, providing an enriching experience for visitors of all ages. 

8. McCormick Creek State Park 

McCormick’s Creek State Park, Indiana's first state park and located in Spencer, Ind., had approximately 635,000 visitors last year. It boasts a stunning limestone canyon, meandering creek, and picturesque waterfalls. Visitors can explore diverse forest trails adorned with spicebush and native wildflowers, including accessible paths around the nature center. Historical highlights include a climbable fire tower, shelter houses, a stone arch bridge crafted by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Statehouse Quarry, which supplied limestone for the Indianapolis Statehouse. 

For accommodations, the Canyon Inn offers a welcoming lobby open to all guests, with a dining room porch ideal for birdwatching while dining. Cultural events such as concerts in the park amphitheater and annual special events enhance the park's appeal throughout the year. 

7. Spring Mill State Park 

In Mitchell, Ind., approximately 665,000 visitors went to Spring Mill State Park last year. It serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness between nature and humans. The park's history traces back to the early 1800s when the flow of water from cave springs fueled the establishment of an industrial village. This constant water source, resistant to freezing, powered several essential facilities including gristmills, a wool mill, a sawmill, and even a distillery. This industrial activity was pivotal in shaping the surrounding landscape as early settlers cleared land for agriculture and timber. 

Today, Spring Mill State Park continues to showcase the ongoing dialogue between nature and human influence. It features a mix of old-growth timber and regenerated forests, highlighting the dynamic nature of ecological succession. The man-made lake within the park faces challenges from silt brought in by cave-fed systems. 

6. Potato Creek State Park 

Potato Creek State Park, in North Liberty, about 15 miles southwest of South Bend, had about 700,000 visitors last year. It offers a diverse range of activities and amenities for visitors throughout the year. It's advisable to make reservations, especially for those interested in utilizing the park's popular facilities. 

The park boasts a variety of natural habitats, including the 327-acre Worster Lake, old fields, mature woodlands, restored prairies, and diverse wetlands.  

New at this park, is the recent announcement of new state-of-the-art lodge to be built for those who prefer not to camp.

5. Pokagon State Park 

Pokagon State Park, a little over an hour east of South Bend off of I-69, in Angola, Ind., had about 710,000 visitors last year and is Indiana’s fifth state park. 

Constructed during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Pokagon State Park boasts stunning stone and log structures. These buildings are interspersed throughout the park, blending harmoniously with its rolling hills, wetlands, meadows, and the lakes created by ancient glaciers. 

Lake James and Snow Lake are central to the park's allure. These natural lakes offer many recreational opportunities such as boating, swimming, fishing, and breathtaking sunset views. Steuben County, where the park is located, is renowned for having more lakes than any other county in Indiana. 

4. Turkey Run State Park 

Turkey Run State Park, located along State Road 47 in Marshall, Ind., southwest of Crawfordsville, had nearly 800,000 visitors last year. 

It's known for its stunning sandstone ravines, old-growth forests, and scenic views along Sugar Creek. The Colonel Richard Lieber Cabin there is a significant historical site, honoring his role in establishing Indiana's state park system. It's a great spot for hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of the area. 

3. Fort Harrison State Park 

Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis exceeded the 1 million visitor mark last year and spans 1,700 acres. It offers a wealth of attractions throughout the year, making it a favorite destination for patrons in all seasons. Here's a breakdown of what the park offers during each season:  Winter : Fort Harrison is particularly popular in winter due to its large sledding hill, one of the biggest in the area; Spring: As spring arrives, the park becomes a vibrant display of woodland wildflowers in full bloom; Summer: Summer brings opportunities for canoeing down Fall Creek, the prominent waterway that flows through the north side of the park; Autumn: During autumn, Fort Harrison State Park dazzles visitors with warm, sunny days and the spectacular colors of fall foliage.  

2. Brown County State Park 

This massive park, located in Nashville in the heart of southern Indiana, is nearly 16,000 acres and had over 1.5 million visitors last year. The park offers large campgrounds, hiking trails, mountain biking, and interpretive services. Horse enthusiasts can explore 70 miles of horse trails, and there’s a saddle barn for guided horse rides. 

Nicknamed the “Little Smokies,” the park boasts rugged hills, ridges, and fog-shrouded ravines. Glaciers from past ice ages shaped the landscape, creating narrow ridges, steep slopes, and deep gullies. 

It is a traditional fall color hotspot. Its nearly 20 miles of tree-lined roads offer stunning vistas overlooking miles of uninterrupted forestland. 

The rustic Abe Martin Lodge provides accommodations, including motel rooms, cabins, dining facilities, and even an indoor water park. 

1. Indiana Dunes State Park 

This park, in Chesterton, Ind., about an hour west of South Bend on Lake Michigan, had about 2 million visitors last year. 

It is a 2,182-acre piece of wild, picturesque, historic, and one-of-a-kind Hoosier terrain. Located at the north end of State Road 49 in Porter County, it features approximately three miles of  beach along the lake’s southern edge. The park’s highlights include large towering sand dunes, formed over thousands of years that rise nearly 200 feet above Lake Michigan. Visitors can explore trails, enjoy the beach, and even visit the beautifully restored Dunes Pavilion for event space, dining, and beach supplies. 

Indiana Beach Amusement Park

Hours updated 1 week ago

Photo of Indiana Beach Amusement Park - Monticello, IN, US. Frankenstein's castle

Review Highlights

indiana-beach-amusement-park-monticello photo Lak8MBidF8H_jJqO9crVAA

“ We love riding all the rides, splashing at the water park, and cruising around the lake on the Shafer Queen . ” in 2 reviews

Paul R.

“ Well since I have an annual pass I have returned twice thus far in 2021. ” in 2 reviews

Samantha A.

“ As for the rides, the cornballer is better than the hurricane. ” in 2 reviews

Location & Hours

Suggest an edit

Map

5224 E Indiana Beach Rd

Monticello, IN 47960

Amenities and More

About the business.

Business owner information

Photo of Chris P.

Traditional Americana amusement park entertainment with a lake side twist. Live entertainment. Summer fun. Thrill rides. Roller coasters. Fine dining. Camping. Night life. Cottage rentals. …

Ask the Community

Ask a question

Got a question about Indiana Beach Amusement Park ? Ask the Yelp community!

People also searched for

Camping Sites

Things To Do

Fun Things To Do At Night With Kids

Playgrounds

Recommended Reviews

Photo of Username

  • 1 star rating Not good
  • 2 star rating Could’ve been better
  • 3 star rating OK
  • 4 star rating Good
  • 5 star rating Great

Select your rating

Overall rating

184 reviews

Photo of Avery H.

Great park just the all American triple loop is horrible your neck will be sore afterwards I dislike the design throwing you all over and rattling your head

Photo of vernon c.

I've seen and read all the bad reviews so I guess I got lucky...lol I went for the first time on Memorial Day and expected the worse but every ride was open except for that frog looking scrambler type ride and I rode everything including the newest steel coaster. I was disappointed that the mine train ride was closed when I got there but after a few hours it opened in the afternoon and I got to ride that as well. All the workers were nice and the food wasn't that bad for carnival food. I probably won't come back because there are so many better amusement parks in the USA but I had a fun getaway from Chicago and for that I'm grateful.

Photo of Taylor F.

Great little place with a decent amount of rides (though they always tend to have a good 4-7 rides that are down). The lazy river is a great touch though I was bummed that the pool was only like 3ft deep like a wading pool. I think the lazy river was deeper to be honest. The food is reasonably priced and relatively decent taste/quality with adequate portions. We bought season passes and drive down from NWI so it's pretty worth it, and at their busiest I've never waited more than 20 minutes for their bigger rides.

Photo of Aaron B.

I still like Indiana Beach. It's a historic landmark in Indiana, and that board walk is full of so much old timey charm. The shops, rides, and buildings are all antiques and throwbacks to a bygone era. I get why some of the other reviews are upset at the rides being closed. I don't do rollercoasters or waterslides, and neither do my kids. So we didn't mind. We came to get some fun eats and laze on the lazy river. And that was great. All the park staff were friendly and helpful. The food we got from every vendor was fantastic, and I was really surprised how clean all the antique restaurant buildings are. Everything felt much more hygienic than your average carnival. The price is arguably a bit high for what you get. It's comparable to the rate on daily tickets at King's Island, which is about the same distance from Indianapolis. However, I also understand that Indiana Beach is a historic landmark fighting to continue existing. Hopefully they can run some of that money into fixing the rides that are having trouble. Closing rides rather than running them with safety risks gets an A+ in my book. I think the current owners are doing their best to give people a great time in a piece of Hoosier history.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Indiana beach is fun!! Don't let all the negative reviews pursued you otherwise. Through all of the financial issues and new ownership, the park is still almost the same as it was when I was a kid. There is maybe 1-2 new rides that have been installed, but that's not a negative. It's nostalgic and it's cheap fun. 35.99 for an adult ticket (used a promo code) is a steal. I have been to county fairs that charge more for a wristband. FREE parking, short wait lines to ride, and very good tacos at the IB taco stand. I went on a Saturday morning from 11am -7pm and rode eveything multiple times. Every single ride was up and operating besides the triple loop coaster. I know a lot of the reviews say all the rides are always closed, but I didn't experience that at all. The amusement park is an awesome first park for kids, as alot of the rides are small and beginner friendly. Even the coasters are pretty mild with no crazy tall drops. Plenty of the rides offer amazing views of the lake. recommend this park to anyone for a fun weekend trip.

awesome places to visit in indiana

See all photos from Gage M. for Indiana Beach Amusement Park

Photo of Jason L.

this place was great the food was good i bet you if ryan Trahan came here he would have the time of his life. the rides look old but they are great

Photo of Mabel G.

My first time at Indiana Beach Amusement Park with my family. It's a nice scenic drive of cornfields from Michigan City, Indiana. I've never been to such a beautiful lake before. It gave me Cousins Beach vibes from The Summer I Turned Pretty Episode Love Game where the cast went to the Boardwalk and played games. The gift shops are touristy with cute tshirts such as TJ's Tshirt Shop. The lines were not too long since school was back in session. The rides went by pretty fast. I think only waiting for the train and the water bumper boat ride we're the longest wait time. Crow's Nest eatery- do not recommend the veggie chicken bowl. The veggies are frozen or overcooked 1000 times such that the carrot and broccoli were purple and black. The schezwan sauce was pure salt. Super $$$ at $12 for a tray of salty rice and chicken bits. The elephant ears and Indiana Beach pineapple Whip was delicious. Highly recommend. You have to pay $3.50/person for Frankenstein maze. It was super dark. Bring a flashlight. Very dangerous and narrow path unlit, hot and claustrophobic because of the dark and narrow corridors. Huge trip hazard. It's endless and full of terror. Overall a fun experience and will have to splurge and get a Indiana Beach tshirt when I return.

awesome places to visit in indiana

Clean Rides are inspected every morning. We know this as both days we came and the crew was inspecting rides prior to opening. South entrance has porta potties for those needing to go to the bathroom before entering park. That's a plus! Many food options, fun shops! Only downside is a few rides are always shit down.

Photo of Bonita W.

The new owner seems to be making improvements and it does show. We were there during the week and the park opened at 10 am however the only thing open at 10 were the concessions, no rides opened until 11, or after depending on what time the workers got to their ride, and if there was a problem then they had to call maintenance. Workers should be at their rides at 9 for testing 930 at the latest if you open at 10. Other then that we had a great time, keep up the improvements.

Photo of Becca N.

Love this place for the memories only. It's really over priced and nothing ever working . They have employees shortages. Over charging on everything . Renewing your passes won't honor a discount that they have advertised.

31 other reviews that are not currently recommended

Collections Including Indiana Beach Amusement Park

"There's (Not Much) More Than Corn In Indiana!" (Trip Report #2)

"There's (Not Much) More Than Corn In Indiana!" (Trip Report #2)

People Also Viewed

High Speed Go Kart Racing on Yelp

High Speed Go Kart Racing

Indiana Beach Camp Grounds on Yelp

Indiana Beach Camp Grounds

Carousel Cass County on Yelp

Carousel Cass County

Frankenstein’s Castle on Yelp

Frankenstein’s Castle

France Park on Yelp

France Park

Indiana Beach Amusement and Water Park Resort on Yelp

Indiana Beach Amusement and Water Park Resort

Monon Park on Yelp

Logansport Skate World & Fun Center

Tig’rr Coaster on Yelp

Tig’rr Coaster

Steel Hawg on Yelp

Best of Monticello

Things to do in Monticello

People found Indiana Beach Amusement Park by searching for…

Best Great Wolf Lodge in Monticello

Best Indiana Beach Theme Park in Monticello

Monticello In in Monticello, Indiana

Top 10 Cabins At Indiana Beach in Monticello

Top 10 Kids Activities in Monticello

Top 10 Mini Golf in Monticello

Top 10 Teen Activities in Monticello

Browse Nearby

Restaurants

Other Amusement Parks Nearby

Find more Amusement Parks near Indiana Beach Amusement Park

IMAGES

  1. The 15 Most Awesome Providence Places For Single Guys To Visit

    awesome places to visit in indiana

  2. Awesome beginners classes!

    awesome places to visit in indiana

  3. Best in family fun and value.

    awesome places to visit in indiana

  4. El Maguey, 3225 Warrick Dr, Boonville, IN

    awesome places to visit in indiana

  5. GracePoint Church, 11 West Iowa Street, Evansville, Indiana

    awesome places to visit in indiana

  6. St Joe Inn, 9515 Saint Wendel Rd, Evansville, IN

    awesome places to visit in indiana

VIDEO

  1. Must visit Indiana botanical park

  2. Most beautiful places in Indiana #travel #indiana #usa #travelusa #nature #explore

  3. by khumaw reh visit Indiana state park 2024 karenni people talkshow video

  4. Wintertime In Pokagon Produced by the Steuben County Tourism Bureau. Telly Award Winner

  5. Visit Indiana Levi and Catharine Coffin House

  6. by khumaw reh visit Indiana state park 2024 karenni people talkshow video

COMMENTS

  1. 20 Things To Do In Indiana: The Ultimate Bucket List

    Hiking Monon Trail Is One Of The Best Things To Do In Indiana. The Monon Trail was once a railroad trail that is now open to the public. As it is no longer a rail line, the trail is safe for pedestrians to enjoy. In Northwest Indiana, there are almost eight miles of trails, and in Indianapolis, there are about 24 miles of trails.

  2. 41 Fun Things To Do & Places To Visit In Indiana

    There's a reason why it's one of the most popular places to visit in the entire state. It's that amazing. Address: 1050 N Mineral Springs Rd, Chesterton, IN 46304, United States. 2. Children's Museum of Indianapolis. James Kirkikis / Shutterstock. It's impossible to miss the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

  3. 147 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in Indiana

    5 Incredible Trees You Can Find Only in Indiana. Once upon a time, the forests of Indiana were endless. Or that was how it seemed in the 19th century, when the state produced more lumber than ...

  4. 15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Indiana

    Indiana, nicknamed The Hoosier State, is located in the Great Lakes region and therefore of course has lots of awesome places to visit and see. Be amazed by these beautiful pictures of places in Indiana! 1. Cataract Falls Source: Kenneth Keifer / shutterstock Cataract Falls

  5. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Indiana

    4. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. 2,890. Speciality Museums. Minibus tours and museum exhibits trace over a century of auto racing heritage, featuring a vast array of historic race cars and the iconic brick finish line. See way to experience (1) 2024. 5. Indianapolis Museum of Art.

  6. 20 Hidden Gems in Indiana: Unique and Quirky Places to Visit

    Since then, the layers have continued, and the ball now holds the title of the 'Largest Ball of Paint in the World.'. Admission is free but visitors are asked to call (765) 724-4088 to schedule a visit. Visitors will find the giant ball of paint surrounded by paint buckets, hanging from a steel beam in a custom-built 'Ball House' next ...

  7. 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Indiana

    Plan your visit with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Indiana. 1. Spend the Day at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. 2. Kiss the Bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. 3. Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, Indianapolis. 4. Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.

  8. Hoosiers Must Visit These 20 Uniquely Indiana Attractions

    From food to covered bridges, there are so many things that make Indiana unique. We’ve come up with a list of things to do and see in Indiana that you can’t find anywhere else. Every Hoosier should put these uniquely Indiana attractions on their Bucket List! This list was part of The 20 IN 20. Even

  9. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Indiana (UPDATED 2024)

    See way to experience (1) 2024. 5. Indianapolis Museum of Art. 1,477. Art Museums. With a collection of more than 54,000 works of art, an early-20th-century estate, 152 acres of gardens and grounds, including an outdoor art and nature park, the IMA campus offers experiences that…. 6. Indianapolis Zoo.

  10. Things To Do IN Indiana

    Check out our unique shopping venues, from popular outlet malls with designer clothing to local artisan and antique shops. If romance is in the air, see what's playing at a theater, meander an Indiana wine trail, hit the links or try your luck at a casino. Start planning your getaway here! There's endless things to do IN Indiana. Let our detail ...

  11. Attractions IN Indiana

    Find Awesome Attractions IN Indiana. No matter what makes you curious there are some "big ticket" attractions IN Indiana waiting for you! Browse our many unique locations and thrilling experiences all across the state! Save Your Favorites. Our list of top things to do IN Indiana include attractions such as amusement park, zoo, museum, and more.

  12. 15 Places to Visit in Indiana for Your Bucket List

    Monon High Bridge is an offbeat Indiana tourist attraction to visit in the small, cute town of Delphi. This hidden gem in the Midwest was built in 1891 and is said to be the second-highest bridge in the state. Originally, this bridge was built to transport trains over Derry Creek but it was abandoned in 1987.

  13. 20 Awesome Attractions and Things to do in Indiana

    1. White Rabbit Cabaret. Located in the heart of Fountain Square, The White Rabbit Cabaret is home to awesome touring bands, comedy acts & an in-house burlesque troupe. If you're coming in May, don't miss the racing-themed, aptly-named show "Titty 500.". 2.

  14. 147 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in Indiana

    Discover 147 hidden attractions, cool sights, and unusual things to do in Indiana from Indiana Medical History Museum to Exotic Feline Rescue Center . ... See all 5 Places to Eat in Indiana

  15. 12 of the Coolest Places to Visit in Indiana: Top Hoosier Attractions!

    South Bend's Studebaker Museum is one of the coolest places to visit in Indiana. Check it out - an entire museum dedicated to the classic American automobile! Dozens of vehicles spanning 150 years are on display across three floors at the Studebaker Museum, including the Studebaker used in The Muppet Movie from 1979.

  16. 25 Best Places to Visit in Indiana

    There are an abundance of outdoor opportunities for walking or cycling including the eight-mile Indianapolis Cultural Trail, the 26-mile Monon Rail Trail and many other scenic inner-city trails. Families should visit the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Zoo and the Dallara IndyCar Factory. More romantic weekend getaways in Indiana.

  17. 12 Best Places to Visit in Indiana

    Indianapolis is the most well-known city in Indiana and a logical starting point for many visitors to the state. Top things to see and do here include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the famous Indy 500 and Brickyard races, the Lucas Oil Stadium where the Indianapolis Colts NFL team plays, and Conseco Fieldhouse where the Indianapolis Pacers NBA team plays.

  18. Top 25 Indiana Attractions You Must See

    1: Indianapolis Zoo. Flickr/Ryan Summers. Rate this attraction: 361. 36. Map. The Indianapolis Zoo is one of the top family-friendly places to go in Indiana. The zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals that belong to 320 species and subspecies. The park opened to the public in 1964.

  19. 20 Natural Wonders in Indiana That Will Amaze You

    From canyons and caves to waterfalls and wildlife, Indiana’s wilderness is simply breathtaking. We’ve created a list of 20 Natural Wonders in the Hoosier State that you’ll need to see to believe. This list was part of The 20 IN 20. Even though 2020 is behind us, you still have to see our 400

  20. 10 Best Places to Visit in Indiana (+Map)

    1. Indianapolis. Set slap bang in the center of the state, Indianapolis lies on the banks of the White River and is the capital and largest city of Indiana. While it is known as the 'Racing Capital of the World' (it hosts the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400), there is much more to the city than just fast cars and fumes.

  21. 18 Best Things to Do in Indianapolis

    Kyle McCarthy|Sharael Kolberg December 4, 2023. Ranking of the top 18 things to do in Indianapolis. Travelers favorites include #1 White River State Park, #2 Central Canal and more.

  22. Explore Indiana outdoors this weekend with these events

    Wednesday, July 10 - Cool Creek Beginning Bird Hike, 8:30 a.m. at Cool Creek Park in Carmel: Join a Hamilton County Parks naturalist and other guest leaders Sunday and Wednesday mornings. This ...

  23. 5 Best Hiking Parks in Indiana

    Indiana Dunes State Park gives people a taste of hiking and water. Currently, the park boasts 140 camping sites and beautiful hiking trails through the dunes. If it gets too hot, visitors can ...

  24. Top Things to Do in Indiana (with Photos)

    Features beautiful gardens, a café, and a gift shop. 6. Indianapolis Zoo. 2,534. Zoos. The Indianapolis Zoo is located in White River State Park, conveniently located in beautiful downtown Indianapolis with easy access to walking and biking trails into the city. The Zoo is also just…. See way to experience (1) 2024.

  25. The 30 things everyone should do at least once in Indiana in 2024

    - Rating: 4.5/5 (670 reviews) - Address: 1501 Green Road Madison, Indiana - Read more on Tripadvisor You may also like: Counties with the highest rates of high blood pressure in Indiana

  26. You Won't Believe the Charm in These 20 Small Indiana Towns

    Whiting. Just a stone's throw away from Chicago, Whiting is a thriving community with unique attractions. The National Mascot Hall of Fame just opened last year! Plan your #The20IN20 trip by checking out this map of Indiana small towns! Categories: Statewide , The 20 IN 20 , Franklin , Madison , Johnson County , Angola , Steuben Countuy , Brown ...

  27. Here is a look a the top-10 visited state parks in Indiana

    10. Clifty Falls State Park This park, situated near Madison, Indiana, has entrances on state roads 56 and 62, and had just under 500,000 visitors last year.

  28. Welcome to Ulta!

    Web site created using create-react-app

  29. INDIANA BEACH AMUSEMENT PARK

    184 reviews and 245 photos of INDIANA BEACH AMUSEMENT PARK "So it took me almost 2 years to visit Indiana Beach after buying a weekend home in Monticello. For what it's worth, this review is written by a 35 year old, Chicago woman who grew-up not far away from Magic Waters, Great America and Wisconsin Dells. I was a little shocked and put-off by the prices.