15 Best Things To Do In Indiana: Places To Visit 2022
Indiana embodies the quintessential essence of the American Midwest. Home to bustling cities like Indianapolis and adorable little towns like Santa Claus (read more about this town below!), It balances a mix of sophisticated art and refreshing natural getaways to attract visitors worldwide.
Whether you’re dying to break your new hiking boots, hit the prairie on horseback, or experience history face-to-face in its museums and historic cities, Indiana always has something to offer you.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Indiana:
1. Brown County State Park
Affectionately called Indiana’s Playground, Brown County State Park is an ideal destination offering activities guaranteed to please visitors of all ages.
The park is located in Indiana’s Historic Artist Colonies in Nashville County. It offers a variety of vacation options for different budgets and interests! It’s conveniently located an hour from Indianapolis, so you don’t even have to travel far from the city for this quiet retreat from nature.
Stay in a romantic cabin or luxury hotel suite. The lodge in the park center has an indoor water center with slides and a jacuzzi for those more inclined to rest and relax.
Or you can stay at many campsites and reconnect with nature. There are many walking or cycling routes through the Indiana hills. You can also go fishing or horseback riding! You’ll never run out of ways to stay active in Brown County.
2. Old Alley
While many people are interested in seeing something new or looking for different accessories, some consider making something “old” their “new.”
For those who consider antiques a serious hobby and are always searching for something classic rather than the latest fashions, Indiana has the perfect paradise for you: Old Alley in Richmond County!
Hop in the car and explore a 60-mile stretch of historic Richmond-Knightstown National Highway (even that name sounds old, right?). More than a thousand antique dealers line the national highway, with their stores full of treasures awaiting their discovery.
Browse thousands of antiques and experience the peaceful Indiana countryside. The center of this popular route is in the historic city of Cambridge. An antique shopping center and several dealers within a compact three-block radius!
3. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest children’s museum globally, with 472,900 square feet, five display floors, and more than 100,000 artifacts.
There are three different sections: the American Collection, the World Cultural Collection, and the Natural World Collection. You can see a simulated dinosaur in the Dinosphere exhibition or an old-fashioned steam locomotive! The museum is also home to the largest water clock in the world.
Sometimes adults need to become children again, and parents need to connect with their children on a child level. The interactive exhibits at this museum are educational and entertaining – everyone loves an old carousel ride, right?
Bridge that age gap and connect with the younger generation, and keep the Children’s Museum in mind for your next family vacation. You will learn something new and have fun while doing it.
4. Jasper Spirit Train
Today, people jump into their cars without a second thought and run into the distance. We had forgotten how we lived before the automobile, like the invention of the steam engine that revolutionized train travel, a once-popular way of traveling, but a blast from the past for us now.
If you are a train enthusiast or just interested in history, visit the historic train line in Jasper, Indiana, a perfect way to take a trip back in time.
The Spirit of Jasper train departs from the historic Jasper Depot. It allows you to travel in style to French Lick, Indiana, or their organized tours. We recommend reserving your ticket in advance to save a seat in their comfortable, heated lounge cars.
You can even take a romantic dinner train – food and drinks are served locally, and the train takes you on a relaxing journey through rural Indiana. Leave your car in the parking lot and relax; let someone else handle the transportation for once.
5. Parke County Covered Bridges
Parke County calls itself the covered bridge capital of the world and is home to over 30 covered bridges! One of the province’s biggest tourist attractions, people flock to take a self-guided tour of these bridges that span nine counties.
Whether you get to coincide with their fun Covered Bridges Festival in October or not, the county is full of beautiful sights and nature all year long.
Please bring your camera: Parke County prides itself on maintaining its idyllic roads and covered bridges that date back to simpler times. Take your time. Around every bend, a picturesque new world is waiting to be discovered.
Don’t miss the oldest, the Portland Mills Covered Bridge. You’ll find that your photos come out like an old-fashioned postcard! And stop at any of the charming towns along the way – the locals are friendly, and the food is delicious.
6. Turkey Run State Park
Turkey Run State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. You will be in awe of the sandstone cliffs and deep ravines that dot the park, as well as the hemlock forests and old trees that have lived through more history than one might imagine.
Bring your camera and explore nature the way Native Americans saw and experienced hundreds of years ago – not much has changed. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of wildlife; deer and turkey vultures are just two of the animal species that call this place home.
Bring your hiking shoes and hit the trails, or hop on a horse and head out into the desert. You can camp and enjoy the outdoors or stay at the Turkey Run Inn if you don’t want to have a bad time.
Take a canoe on Sugar Creek or go fishing. Cool off in the summer in your pool or take a dip in the river. Reconnect with Mother Nature when she is at her best, and let the time here rejuvenate you.
7. Indiana Dunes State Park
Indiana Dunes State Park sits at the southern tip of Lake Michigan and features more than 15 miles of shoreline, 70 miles of hiking trails, and more than 300 species of birds.
It attracts millions of visitors each year for a myriad of reasons – whether you are a beach bum, hiker, or wildlife enthusiast, the dunes are full of surprises that are sure to keep you busy.
Explore the Little Calumet River Trail and stroll through the Mnoke Prairie. You can cool off on the beach at Central Avenue Beach or schedule an excursion to Mount Baldy.
Bring your fishing rod and hire a boat to check if the fish are biting Lake Michigan – Latitudes Waterfront Dining will clean up and prepare your catch! Whether you want to relax on the beach or in a natural paradise, Indiana Dunes State Park offers plenty of opportunities.
8. Vacation World Safari and Splashin’ Safari
Many people dream of it being the holidays all year long, and here in Indiana, that dream has come true. This theme park and water park is located in Santa Claus, Indiana. Suppose the name is not enough to convince you. In that case, it will be its four sections dedicated to Thanksgiving, Christmas, the 4th of July, and Halloween.
Initially conceived as a retirement community idea in the 1940s, it soon became a theme park for people of all ages when founder Louis Koch decided to make Christmas a reality for children visiting the city. from Santa Claus, only to be disappointed that he wasn’t home.
Pick your favorite holiday and start in that section. Each offers rides, live entertainment, games, and attractions for children and adults of all ages. Take a ride on its famous wooden roller coasters, El Barranco, La Leyenda, and El Viaje.
It’s also a perfect place to cool off in the summer: the water park features the two longest roller coasters in the world, the wildebeest and the mammoth, as well as slides and raft rides. You can see Santa Claus wandering around the park or chat with George the Eagle in the 4th of July area!
9. Indy 500
Ask most people what comes to mind when they think of Indians, and they will usually say NASCAR or Indy 500. Founded in 1911, Race 100 was held on Memorial Day 2016.
The race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Racing car drivers complete 200 laps for 500 miles. Indy 500 is the biggest one-day sports event in the world!
Whether you arrive in May for the actual race or not, visit the stadium affectionately dubbed the Brick Court that seats 300,000 people on race day – enough space to fit the entire Vatican City!
If you decide to challenge it on race day, find a place to park and participate in the biggest party in the world – a quarter of a million people drinking beer and eating burgers at the epicenter of the race car mania. You can even pay $500 and have a professional driver take you for a ride around the track!
10. Ohio State Park Falls
Located in Clarksville, Indiana, the Ohio State Park Falls sits on the banks of the Ohio River and across from Louisville, Kentucky, and was the meeting point for Lewis and Clark before embarking on their expedition.
Keep your eyes peeled while you are here. The park is known for having rare wildlife visitors like crocodiles and crocodiles!
The most popular attraction in the park is its fossil bed at Jeffersonville Limestone, dating back to the Devonian period.
Bring your camera to capture the beautiful limestone formations along the Ohio River. The park also has an interpretation center that takes you through the natural history of the fossil beds and the history of human pre-settlement and early settlements in the surrounding areas.
11. Tour des Lakes
Whether you are a professional cyclist or a bicycle enthusiast, this is an event worth looking out for. Leave the car behind and discover the rural scenery and beautiful lakes that Indiana offers.
Visit magnificent Kosciusko County and help raise money for the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail System – you can help a good cause and have a rich cultural experience at the same time!
Three routes depend on your experience level: the 25k, the 50k, and the 100k. In any of them, you can cycle around the county and see some beautiful lakes such as Lake Webster, Lake Winona, and Lake Wawasee.
They even put on a pro BMX show and offer a family-friendly Parks Tours Scavenger ride for the little ones. Stay tuned and participate in the next June issue!
12. Conner Prairie Interactive Historical Park
Conner Prairie is an interactive experience in a historic park located in Fishers, Indiana. Preserves William Conner’s home at the National Historic Place (William Conner was a prominent Indiana politician and businessman in the mid-1800s). Conner Prairie has created a way for visitors to experience life in Indiana in the 19th century interactively.
The motifs are divided into different sections to represent periods that follow a life timeline. Staff wear period clothing and carry out everyday activities while explaining these facts to visitors, who are often invited to participate.
Plan your visit around its events, such as “Savor the Past,” candlelight walks, a country fair, or its Civil War reenactments. What better way to learn about our history than by living it in person?
13. Eiteljorg Museum
Located in downtown Indianapolis, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is a must-see if you’re in the area. Internationally recognized for its fine collection of contemporary native art, the pieces were collected by philanthropist Harrison Eiteljorg. He wanted people to understand and appreciate Native American and Western art, history, and culture.
The museum covers a wide range of diverse topics, from the intersection of Native Americans with African Americans, the evolution of guns and motorcycles in the West, and Jewish life in the West.
It has even explored the presence of LGBTQ in Western films, the roles of women. It welcomes Western and native artists in residence each year.
It’s a fascinating opportunity to see one of the few museums that deal with Native American and Western history. You will make sure to enrich your mind and discover something new and fascinating.
14. Circle of Monuments
The next time you come to Indianapolis, stop by Monument Circle, a must-see attraction in the heart of downtown. Whether you come at noon or for a specific event, it is always full of life.
You cannot miss the Monument to the Soldier and the Sailors. Go up to the observation deck for a spectacular view of the sprawling metropolis – take the stairs if you’re feeling energetic, or pay $1.00 to take the elevator. After taking a few photos of the sight, head to Colonel Eli Lilly’s Civil War Museum to complete the experience.
15. Historical Metamora
This Indiana city is the only canal city in the state and a haven for shoppers and those looking for a cozy getaway. When you’re here, take a ride on America’s only wooden aqueduct, or pick up a bag of freshly ground cornmeal at your local corn mill. Take a beautiful ride on the Whitewater Railroad, or walk through the Whitewater River Valley!
Metamora is also a shopper’s paradise – enjoy the backdrop of this picturesque and historic city while browsing the quaint shops of the city center.
There are more than 40 businesses, and they can all set their hours! The best time to visit is on weekends. Lighten your wallet, and be sure to stop by for a sweet treat at Grannies Ice Cream to complete the experience.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Things To Do In Indiana
What is the number 1 attraction in Indiana?
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, Indianapolis. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art is situated at the White River State Park entrance in downtown Indiana. It holds the remarkable collection assembled by the Indianapolis businessman Harrison Eiteljorg.
Is Indiana a bad state?
The Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in downtown Indianapolis. If you’re unhappy living in Indiana, you’re not alone. Indiana ranked the fourth most miserable state, according to the financial news and opinion web site 24/7 Wall St.
Does Indiana have a beach?
Let’s just get this out of the way first: yes, Indiana does have beaches. Pokagon Beach is located in the eponymous Pokagon State Park, a place of seemingly endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Pokagon Beach is a beautiful little spot with a sandy little shore that’s perfect for enjoying some fun in the sun.
Are there hills in Indiana?
Although Indiana isn’t a particularly mountainous state, it does contain 377 named high points, the highest of which is Hoosier Hill (1,553ft/382m), and the most prominent of which is Hickman Hill (1,004ft/306m).
What is Indiana famous for food?
Indiana is known for some signature foods – persimmon pudding, pork tenderloin sandwiches, sugar cream pie, among others. Submit your favorite Indiana recipe to our online database of “Hoosier favorites.” Food in Hoosier History Corn and hogs have played a significant role throughout the history of the state.
Why should I visit Indiana?
The state of Indiana offers hundreds of exciting vacation experiences. From world-renowned museums to awe-worthy state parks, Indiana boasts cities that appeal to nature enthusiasts, sports fans, food lovers, and history buffs.
- Things To Do In Indiana For Adults
- Things To Do In Indiana This Weekend
- Things To Do In Indiana During Covid
- Fun Things To Do In Indiana For Couples
- Indiana Attractions Map
- Things To Do In Illinois
- Things To Do In Ohio
- Things To Do In Southern Indiana