Vacations and weekend getaways are all about honest to goodness fun when it comes to the lively Midwestern state of Indiana. Whether you’re eager to pay a visit to quirky attractions like world’s largest high school gym, explore historic sites like Amish communities, or venture into the great outdoors, the Hoosier State definitely delivers satisfaction in spades. There are incredible attractions to visit to suit every itinerary, interest and age group from the banks of the Ohio River all the way to the National Lakeshore. Best of all, good old Indiana hospitality waits at every stop along the way. Not sure where to start your trip? Check out these incredible destinations to visit at Indiana.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Known as the racing capital of the world, Indianapolis has a lot to offer to fans of all kinds of racing. For racing enthusiasts, the top attraction to visit is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Opened in 1909, the speedway was originally home to hot air balloon races before eventually transition to motorcycle then automobile races. The museum is now recognized as one of the best in the world of its kind and displays precious race memorabilia and vehicles that have reached legendary status in the world of the Indianapolis 500 race. Fans and race car buffs can view race cars from several series up close such as NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar, Spring, Midget and more, while other vehicles such as motorcycles and dragsters can also be viewed.
4790 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46222; Phone: 317-492-8500
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Immerse yourself in spectacular art and culture for hours on end at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Home to over 54,000 mind blowing works of art, the museum is housed in an early 20th century estate and promises an experience pleasing to both mind and heart. When visiting the Indianapolis Museum of Art, guests are invited to peruse through a permanent collection that features African, Asian, European, and American art as well as contemporary and design collections. Even works from community organizations can be found inside the museum’s Bret Waller Gallery. After exploring both the permanent and visiting exhibits, guests can spend some time enjoying nature within the 152-acres of gardens, nature parks and outdoor art galleries at the museum.
4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 462208-3326; Phone: 317-923-1331
Home to the Indianapolis Indians, Victory Field is a top baseball hotspot in the state where legends are known to grow. While there’s no denying that the excitement at Victory Field during a baseball game is electrifying, there is also a beautiful calm that comes with exploring the premier baseball stadium on a quiet day. Baseball fans and curious visitors alike are welcome to tour the field, which includes learning about the highlights of premium seating areas, visiting the clubhouse, walking through the training room and even standing inside the indoor batting cages. Fans can even walk the grounds and walk up to the pitch to get a feel of the jitters and nerves that even pro baseball players could experience on game day. This is definitely a must-see for avid lovers of the sport.
501 West Maryland Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46225; Phone: 317-269-3542
Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum
Admire impeccably preserved automobile classics from Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg at the aptly named Auburn Corn Duesenberg Automobile Museum. The museum is dedicated to models from the classic era between 1925 to 1937 and all of the cars are presented in a vibrant art-deco exhibit housed within the original company showroom. Car lovers will enjoy spending hours on end browsing the historic and luxurious cars, which were symbolic of the technological innovation back in the day. Apart from seeing the golden age of motoring first hand, visitors can also learn about the automobile industry in the past in other of the museums exhibits such as the Hall of Technology, the Education Center, and the Gallery of Excellence and Innovation.
1600 Wayne Street, Auburn, Indiana 46706; Phone: 260-925-1444
A gem in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne and a famous attraction for baseball fans in Indiana, Parkview Field is ranked as the top Minor League Baseball Experience in the country. The field is home to the Fort Wayne TinCaps and serves as a fantastic example of what a great ballpark should look and feel like. Apart from exploring what the grounds have to offer, visitors to Parkview Field can also spend their mornings at the concourse, which is open to walkers and runners from morning to sunset. It’s a great way to add physical activity to a memorable trip. Guests can also visit the Robert E. Meyers Park, which is located within Parkview Field. At the park, guests can stop by the Splash Pad for some enjoyable recreation with the whole family.
1301 Ewing Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802; Phone: 260-482-6400
Lucas Oil Stadium
A sports mecca in the heart of Indianapolis, the Lucas Oil Stadium is a must-visit attraction for lovers of any sport under the sun. Having played host to big shows like the Super Bowl XLVI, the Big Ten Football Championships and even sold out concerts, the first class amenities of the stadium are bound to wow any visitor on any given day. Come by the stadium to soak up the intense atmosphere of game day, or come by when the stands are empty to see the stadium in all of its glory. Don’t forget to stop by the Colts Pro Shop to pick up exclusive team memorabilia or to commemorate your visit to the iconic Lucas Oil Stadium.
500 S. Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46225; Phone: 317-262-8600
Indiana War Memorial
Unbeknownst to many, Indianapolis actually devotes the most public space to honoring veterans of the armed forces than any other city in the country. When it comes to monuments for veterans, it is second only to Washington D.C. For tourists or visitors who want to see these monuments, a trip to the Indiana War Memorials, located in the Memorial Plaza Historic District, is in order. Monumental in scale, the memorial spans five blocks and features a gorgeous urban planning concept. The top draw in the plaza is none other than the Indiana War Memorial Museum, which is housed in a 30,000 square foot building. Here, visitors can take a chronological trip through the history of the American military starting at Revolutionary War all the way to present day.
431 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204; Phone: 317-233-0529
Studebaker National Museum
With a passion for the colorful industrial history of South Bend, the Studebaker National Museum displays, conserves and preserves Studebaker vehicles within a state-of-the-art facility that spans over 55,000 square feet of land. Considering the fact that South Bend’s industrial heritage is extensive, it only makes sense that the museum has a wealth of things to see in their permanent collection. Among the top draws of the museum is the 1st Source Bank Presidential Carriage Collection, which is home to the largest collection of United States Presidential Carriages in the world. Some of the carriages featured in the exhibit include the Barouche that was used by President Lincoln on the night of his assassination and the Studebaker Brougham used by President Harrison. Other collections to see include the 33-vehicle Original Collection and the Military Collection featuring items produced by Studebaker for the nation’s defense.
201 S. Chapin Street, South Bend, Indiana 46601; Phone: 574-235-9714
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians
Founded by Harrison Eiteljorg, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian is dedicated to the appreciation and understanding of the history, culture and art of the indigenous peoples of North America and the American West. The museum’s permanent collection features work by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Russel, Andy Warhol while their Native art collection is ranked among the best in the world. Guests to the museum can expect a truly immersive experience through engaging exhibits and even offers educational programs and cultural exchanges for those who are curious to learn more. Not to be missed are the museums special exhibitions, which cover quite a diverse range of subjects such as Jewish life in the West, histories of pistols and motorcycles as well as the parallel and intersecting experiences of African and Native Americans through America’s history.
500 West Washing Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204; Phone: 317-626-9378
National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
Devout Catholics or travelers interested in religious shrines will enjoy a visit to the serene and contemplative grounds the envelope the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. Devoted to the Blessed Mother Mary, the shrine is a sanctuary for worship, evangelization, reconciliation and pilgrimage atop a mountain. Apart from being a great destination for the rejuvenation of the spirit, the shrine is also home to spectacular replicas, the most treasured of which is the oldest American replica of the Lourdes shrine in France. Visitors are also welcome to see and touch the stone from the Grotto of Lourdes in France, which had been gifted by Bishop Perrier in 2007. Grotto Water taps are situated around the fountain pool for visitors to drink from. Blessed by several priests in the past including the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, many have reported favors and graces from drinking the Grotto Water.
16330 Grotto Road, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727; Phone: 301-44705318
Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Located in the iconic Indiana War Memorial Plaza District, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument is a massive 284-foot neoclassical monument built in honor of Hoosier Veterans. Situated in the center of Monument Circle, the monument became a beloved symbol of the state capital, Indianapolis, after its public dedication in 1902. Easily accessible, the best way to enjoy a visit to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument is to simply walk around it. Several outdoor sculptures are situated around the monument for public appreciation such as the limestone groupings of Rudolph Schwarz known as “War” and “Peace”. Among the other sculptures to see are the bronze statues of James Whitcomb and William henry Harrison by John H. Mahoney and three astragals by Nikolaus Geiger and George T. Brewster.
1 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204; Phone: 317-232-7615
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
No visit to Indiana is complete without a trip to the Bakers Life Fieldhouse in the Hoosier state’s capital. The entire 750,000-square foot arena pays tribute to the elaborate basketball history of Indiana through the retro-style and traditional Indiana Basketball Fieldhouse design. While most visitors are likely to explore the fieldhouse on game day or during one of the hundreds of other events it plays host to, guests can actually schedule a behind-the-scenes tour of this iconic sports hub. As the home of the Indiana Pacers, fans of the sport’s team can pick up collectibles and exclusive merchandise from the gift shop after exploring the ins and outs of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
125 S Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204; Phone: 317-917-2500
There’s no better place to get active and enjoy the wonders of nature in Marengo, Indiana, than the Marengo Cave. With a range of activities suitable for all ages and fitness levels, this U.S. National Natural Landmark has been amazing visitors since 1883 through spectacular its spectacular formations and a thriving ecosystem. Easy walking tours allow families to explore Marengo Cave in all its glory. The Crystal Palace trail, for example, features huge flowstone deposits and formation filled rooms, while the Dripstone Trail is home to a mile of totem pole stalagmites, soda straw formations and the breathtaking Penny Ceiling. Children can make unforgettable memories at the winding maze known as the Crawl or canoe at the nearby Blue River, Indiana’s first state designated Scenic and Natural River.
400 East State Road 64, Marengo, Indiana 47140; Phone: 888-702-2837
Indiana State Capitol
Oozing history and featuring awe inspiring architectural beauty, the Indiana State Capitol is the center of civic life in the Hoosier state. With about 50,000 guests a year, the state capitol is the go-to destination for those who want to learn more about the history of Indiana and the three branches of state government. Develop a deeper understanding of the role you play in a representative democracy or simply take in the 19th century neo-classical architecture of the capitol. Without a doubt, the best way to get the most out of your visit to the capitol is to take one of the free tours offered by the Statehouse Tour Office. Knowledgeable guides will share little known facts about the buildings history and the inner day-to-day workings of the government.
200 W. Washing Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204; Phone: 317-233-5293
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Take your kids on an exciting and memorable journey at Conner Prairie, a wonderland that allows everyone to bond and connect through history, nature, science and art. As a nationally acclaimed history destination, Conner Prairie is, essentially, an outdoor museum with the mission to inspire curiosity and promote learning about Indiana. Engaging and unique experiences are individualized, making each experience one-of-a-kind. Kids and adults alike are invited to explore the natural and cultural heritage of the state through interactive galleries and immersive activities, man of which are historically themed. Travel back in time to the American Revolution or get up close and personal with farm animals, whatever you decide to do at Conner Prairie, it’s bound to be brilliant.
13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers, Indiana 46038; Phone: 317-776-6000
USS LST Ship Memorial
Step aboard the USS LST Ship, a fully functioning naval vessel that participated in pivotal moments in history like the Invasion of Sicily and Salerno, the landings at Omaha Beach and Normandy during World War II, as well as North African operations. Operational since 1943, tours aboard the vessel are perfect for history and navy buffs. While on board, visitors will be taken through the Main Deck, the Troop Berthing, Tank Deck, Mess Deck, Galley and the stern of the ship where the guns and anchor is located. The tour also includes a visit to the Wheel House, Officer’s Country and the Captain’s Cabin. Tour guides are ready to answer the questions of even the most curious minds, and guests can take all the photos they want to all throughout the tour. Happy sailing!
840 LST Drive, Evansville, Indiana 47713; Phone: 812-435-8678
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Championing the ideals and legacy of the United States’ 23rd President, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site shares the life stories, culture and art of President Harrison with the public by inviting you into his Delaware Street home. Trace President Harrison’s genealogy or learn about his early years at various exhibits in the home. Additional exhibits also take visitors through President’s Harrison’s experiences during the Civil War, during his time as a Lawyer then to his experiences as POTUS. Special collections like Caroline Harrison’s Art, Women’s Suffrage and the Research Library are also open to visitors. Don’t forget to stop by the extensive collection of photographs to see images of the president, his wife, children and more.
1230 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202; Phone: 317-631-1888
Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park
Largely regarded as one of the best zoo experiences in the country, the Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park is a favorite amongst Indiana locals as well as the visitors that pass through each year. The Amish family run farm features a beloved petting zoo where visitors can hand feed most of the animals. One of the highlights of the park is taking a safari-style horse-drawn wagon ride around to feed all the big animals that call the park home. From sheep, to deer to camels, visitors can get up close and personal with the animals, which not only deepens a child’s understanding about the beautiful creatures of the world, but also helps them develop a greater appreciation for them.
6255 N 1000 W, Shipshewana, Indiana 46565; Phone: 260-768-4416
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
There’s no denying that Abraham Lincoln is and always will be one of the world’s most respected leaders. A native of southern Indiana, President Lincoln spent his most formative years here, developing the moral traits and character that he is so well known for today. Today, a re-created version of his 1820s homestead can be found and explored in the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, which is located on the original 160-acres of land that was owned by Thomas Lincoln. Additionally, a bronze casting of the sill logs and fireplace hearthstones are situated at the Cabin Site Memorial, symbolizing a cabin that the Lincolns had started building back in 1829. Be sure to drop by the Memorial Building, Indiana’s memorial for Abraham Lincoln, which was completed in 1943 and features sculptured panels.
3027 E S Street, Lincoln City, Indiana 47552; Phone: 812-937-4541
Grissom Air Museum
History and Air Force buffs are in for a treat at the Grissom Air Museum. Home to dozens of historic aircrafts like the 323rd FBG, the 319th FIS and the 434th ARW, visitors can delve deep into the history of aircraft. Exciting and informational exhibits on the various aircrafts are available at the hands-on and modern museum. For the best view of the whole Grissom Air Museum, head to the Observation Tower and climb to the top. Apart from aircrafts previously mentioned, guests will be able to see attack aircraft, bombers, cargo and transport aircraft, fighter jets, refueling and command. Experimental aircrafts and the GTD-21 Tagboard Drone are also part of the museum’s permanent collection. Plan a visit with your family, your school or history loving buddies and begin your ascent into the thrilling world of the Air Force.
1000 West Hoosier Boulevard, Peru, Indiana; Phone: 765-689-8011
Snite Museum of Art
Free admission isn’t the only thing to be excited about when it comes to the visiting the Snite Museum of Art. Located inside the University of Notre Dame, the museum is rich in opportunities to enjoy original works of art and to be inspired and moved by them both emotionally and educationally. The museum’s permanent collection features over 27,000 works of art and is still expanding through gifts, financial support and endowment income. While the collection is quite varied, visitors to the Snite Museum can expect to see major collections of Mesoamerican art, old master drawings and paintings, 19th century French art, 19th century photography and the art of the Ivan Mestrovic. Impressively, the museum also hosts up to 12 special exhibits a year as well as an old master collection of art featuring subjects related to western religion, contemporary art and more.
1133 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7509; Phone: 812-855-5445
Indiana University Art Museum
With more than 45,000 works of art in their permanent collection, the Indiana University Art Museum is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The museum, which is housed in the heart of the Bloomington campus of the Indiana University, is brilliantly curated into nine separate curatorial areas. This curation of the work allows visitors to take an extraordinary and inspiring around the globe. Visitors can see hieroglyphs on an Egyptian mummy case up close or see one of the largest jade hei tiki pendants in existence. Fans of Picasso can even peek into his studio and view a seminal portrait of him and his mistress. The museum building in itself is a fantastic work of architectural art to explore as the triangular building is iconic in Bloomington.
1133 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7509; Phone: 812-855-5445
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
One lap around the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is enough to deliver one of the most memorable and educational experiences for your kiddos. As the world’s largest children’s museum, there are over a dozen exhibits for the young (or young at heart) to walk through and learn from. Put your balancing skills to the test and see if you’re fit to join the circus at “Circus-Starring YOU!” or travel 65 million years back in time at “Dinosphere”. Why not explore the infinitely galaxies at the “Beyond Spaceship Earth” exhibit or experience the culture of the East at “Take Me There: China”? With so much to fun to be had at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, your kids might never want to leave.
3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-4716; Phone: 317-334-4000
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari
Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies are in for the ride of their lives at Indiana’s Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari. There’s a ride for every kind of visitor with thrill levels ranging from child, mild, to wild. For the brave-hearted and seasoned veterans of amusement parks, the Bakuli and Hyena Falls water slide delivers maximum speed and thrill at the Splashin’ Safari. Meanwhile, coasters like the Thunderbird or rides like the Mayflower will have you screaming your lungs out. Not keen on possibly losing your lunch? Rides like the Eagles Flight, the Firecracker, or water attractions like the Jungle Racer or the Bahari Wave Pool might be more up your alley. For guests who want to make the most of the park, there’s also the option to stay an extra day or two with onsite camping options and accommodations.
452 E Christmas Boulevard, Santa Clause, Indiana 47579; Phone: 812-937-4401/877-463-2645
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
There’s something incredible about being able to interact with animals or to see them up close. With so many beautiful creatures calling Mother Earth home, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo offers kids and adults alike the opportunity to learn more about these interesting and awe-inspiring animals at 4 awesome exhibits: African Journey, Australian Adventure, Central Zoo, and Indonesian Rain Forest. Why stop at just looking at the animals when you can get up close and personal with them? Let stingrays swim up to you and slurp up some food from your hands or get nose to nose with the zoo’s resident orangutans. Penguin lovers can even stand amidst a flock of these featherless birds while guests with a soft spot for giraffes can pay a visit to the barn and stand toe to toe with these gentle and towering giants.
3411 Sherman Boulevard, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808; Phone: 260-427-6800