Take Your Pick
Bedford, IN
Underground Myst'ry River
Bluespring Caverns Park - At Bluespring Caverns Park you are escorted by electric boats on an underground Myst'ry River Voyage that is over 100 feet below the surface. The river winds through 21 miles of a subterranean cave system that features blind fish, blind crawfish, and an assortment of other creepy crawlies. The cave was first discovered in the 1800s, but it wasn't until a sinkhole formed in 1940 that the cave was easily accessible. The park has a visitor center, gift shop and offers over-night adventure tours for the young monkeys.
Evansville, IN
Art and Trains
Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science - The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science was established in 1904 and houses a comprehensive collection of artwork and historical exhibits. The permanent galleries feature paintings and graphic works dating back to the 1500s and the temporary galleries feature regional artist's works. Highlights of the museum are the Kock Planetarium (the state's oldest), the brick paved 19th Century American Rivertown and the Evansville Museum Transportation Center (EMTRAC).
Fairmount, IN
Where Cool Went to School
James Dean - James Dean (1931-1955) was born in Marion, IN just a few miles from Fairmount, but as they say in Fairmount, this is "where cool went to school". James Dean moved to town at the age of nine and lived with his aunt and uncle until he graduated high school in 1949. Dean went on to star in three Hollywood box office successes, "East of Eden", "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant". On September 20, 1955 while driving his new Porsche 550 nicknamed "Little Bastard", the promising career of the coolest man in the world came to an end. Fairmount honors their famous former resident with a James Dean Festival every September which features look-alike contests, live music, and a James Dean Run car show. Other sites of interest in Fairmount include the James Dean Gallery, the Fairmount Historical Museum and his grave in Park Cemetery.
Fort Wayne, IN
Historic Fort Wayne
Historic Fort Wayne - Historic Fort Wayne is a recreation of the third fort of that name which was constructed in 1816 and abandoned in 1819. The fort stood here primarily as a defense against Native Americans. Today visitors can watch costumed soldiers go about their duties in preparation of an attack. Also in Fort Wayne is the final resting place of John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman (1774-1845) the folk hero who planted apple trees for west-heading pioneers. There is some dispute where in Fort Wayne he is buried, but chances are he is buried in Johnny Appleseed Park.
French Lick, IN
Fun in French Lick
Indiana Railway Museum - The Indiana Railway Museum displays several steam and diesel locomotives along with passenger cars, trolley cars and cabooses from Indiana's past. Board a two hour train ride through the Hoosier National Forest and a 2,200 foot long tunnel that departs the main terminal every weekend from April through November. On special weekends even enjoy a staged train robbery. If you are looking for a fantastic place to stay while in the area, the West Baden Springs Hotel is exceptional. Once dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World", the hotel boasts one of the largest free-spanning domes in the world.
Huntington, IN
Vice Potatoe Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle Vice Presidential Museum - James Danforth Quayle (Dan Quayle) who served under George H W Bush from 1989 to 1993 is the only Vice President to have his own VP museum. He is probably most remembered for his misspelling of the word "potatoe" in an elementary school spelling bee. The Dan Quayle Vice Presidential Museum with the slogan "second to one" is located in the town's old Christian Science Church. The museum displays the famous "chewed" law degree, which was partially eaten by the 2nd family's dog Barnaby, and other VP memorabilia.
Indianapolis, IN
Indiana Museum on the Canal
Museums and Central Canal - There are few things that add to the character of a city, like a canal or river walk, and Indianapolis has a really nice one. The Central Canal was originally intended to stretch 300 miles through the heart of Indiana, but due to funding cuts, only a portion was built. Today it is a peaceful walk or boat ride through an otherwise bustling city. Near the canal are some great museums, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis (the largest children's museum in the world), the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the Indiana State Museum.
Indianapolis, IN
State Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Monument Circle - Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis is Monument Circle, a brick round-about containing the 284 foot tall Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The monument, completed in 1901, is dedicated to the Indiana veterans who died in wars before WWI. The structure was created by world-renowned architect Bruno Schmitz (1858-1916) who created a towering obelisk with a series of pools, fountains, and sculptures. The obelisk, to the delight of monkeys who like to climb, can be ascended via a set of stairs or an elevator. The structure also contains the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum dedicated to the Hoosiers of the Civil War.
Indianapolis, IN
The Brickyard Trophy
Indianapolis 500 - The Indianapolis 500 is the largest single-day sporting event in the world and has been entertaining these huge crowds since its opening in 1911. Called "the greatest spectacle in racing" the open-wheeled IndyCars exceed 230 mph as they buzz around the 2.5 mile oval track. The track itself is sometimes called "the brickyard" because it was originally paved with 3.2 million bricks. If you can't make the race, visit the Hall of Fame Museum or take narrated tours (available on select non-race days featuring a tour of the track, media center, Gasoline Alley and the Yard of Bricks). If you can make the race, you'll love it, and it is held annually on Memorial Weekend.
Indianapolis, IN
Hoosier State Capitol Building
State Capitol Building - The Indiana State Capitol Building was completed in 1888 and is the forth statehouse for the Hoosier State (the first state house in Corydon is the only one still standing of the other three). It is designed in a classical Renaissance Rival style with marble floors and columns, beautifully designed stain glass windows, and intricately designed hand-painted details. The skylights and art work are the highlights of the tour. The grounds surrounding the Capitol contain several monuments including Christopher Columbus and George Washington.
Kendallville, IN
Lot's of Old Timey Windmills
Mid-America Windmill Museum - The Mid-America Windmill Museum displays over 50 windmills and is the nation's only outdoor windmill museum. The museum collects, restores, and displays numerous varieties of windmills including an 1854 Halladay Standard Windmill. Begin your tour with a short film on the history of windmills that starts with the earliest designs up through the present day. Photographs and informational displays also detail the evolution of the windmill. Additional museum exhibits include a covered bridge, museum barn, restoration building and gift shop.
Lincoln City, IN
Honest Abe's Boyhood Home
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial - In 1816 at the age of 7, Abraham Lincoln's parents Thomas and Nancy moved young Abe and his sister Sarah from their home in Kentucky to the new state of Indiana. It is in Indiana where Honest Abe became an avid reader and first became interested in politics. The future President remained in Indiana until the age of 21, at which time the family packed up and headed for Illinois. The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial contains a Visitor Center with relief sculpture panels surrounding the entrance. Inside enjoy a film on Lincoln's life, a small church and museum. Outside are trails that connect to Nancy Lincoln's grave and a cabin site memorial.
Mitchell, IN
Gus Grissom Memorial
Spring Mill State Park - Spring Mill State Park is this monkey's favorite Indiana State Park. There are several caves to explore, sink holes, hiking and biking trails, fishing lakes, a gorgeous inn, picnic areas and a Pioneer Village. In the Pioneer Village are several shops, houses and structures all attended by "authentic" pioneers dressed in 1800s period clothing. The park is a perfect place to spend a family weekend. Spring Mill State Park also houses the Grissom Memorial in honor Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom (1926-1967), one of the astronauts killed in the Apollo 1 command module fire.
Nappanee, IN
Step Back in Time
Amish Acres - The Amish population in Indiana is made up of roughly 20 settlements and nearly 40,000 members, making it the 3rd largest in the US behind Pennsylvania and Ohio. Amish Acres preserves an 80 acre 1870s farm and homestead which contains all nine of the original buildings and nearly a dozen other buildings which were relocated to the farm. Guided tours take you back to a simpler time which is still part of the Amish culture. In the Round Barn see the entertaining musical "Plain and Fancy" and then take a narrated wagon ride around the property. After you work up a hunger, join up to 400 others for a Threshers Dinner which includes home-cooked beef and noodles, bread dressing and shoofly pie.
Needmore, IN
Wonderful World of Limestone
Pyramid Ruins - Back in the 70s this area of Indiana was considered the "Limestone Capital of the World". To attract tourists and build awareness of its limestone quarries, it was decided that a pyramid and section of the Great Wall of China be built. The project began with a large grant from the government with more funds promised in the future. So the construction began. Unfortunately for the park, William Proxmire gave his Golden Fleece Award (an award given for wasteful government spending), and the project was shutdown. Today all you can see are limestone blocks covered with trees and grass.
Notre Dame, IN
Fighting Irish Campus
University of Notre Dame - Founded as a small independent Catholic college in 1842 by Rev. Edward F. Sorin of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the University of Notre Dame has grown to be a top 20 university. Notre Dame is known as much for its academic excellence as its athletic excellence. The "Fighting Irish" football team has won 11 national championships and have produced over 60 college hall of famers. This is probably why the College Football Hall of Fame is also located in South Bend. The Notre Dame Campus is one of the nation's best, with a perfect combination of wide-open spaces and everything within walking distance.
Porter, IN
Huge Sand Dunes
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore - Stretching nearly 25 miles along southern tip of Lake Michigan and encompassing over 15,000 acres are the incredible sand dunes of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. During the summer months thousands flock to the cool Great Lakes water and the hot sandy beaches. Other activities include horse back riding, picnicking, hiking and dune climbing. The largest dune to climb in the park is Mt. Baldy, which stands over 125 feet tall. The National Lakeshore surrounds the 2,000 acre Indiana Dunes State Park which also has great beaches, a pavilion and bath houses.
Terre Haute, IN
Home of the Contoured Coke Bottle
Terre Haute - Terre Haute's claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of the world famous contoured Coca-Cola bottle. The bottle was created in 1915 here at the Root Glass Company after the design was selected in a national competition. To see a large variety of original Coca-Cola artifacts visit the Historical Museum of Wabash Valley. Other sites of interest in Terre Haute include the towering Vigo County Courthouse and the extraordinary art collection at the Swope Art Museum.
Vincennes, IN
The Lesser Known Clark Brother
George Rogers Clark - George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) is usually over-shadowed in popularity by his younger brother William Clark of the duo Louis and Clark. But this Revolutionary War hero is no less significant to American history. In July of 1778, at the height of the Revolutionary War, Lieutenant Colonel Clark and less than 200 men made a surprise attack on a British outpost in Vincennes, capturing the Lieutenant Governor of British Canada. This successful attack is considered the turning point of the war. To commemorate this great accomplishment an 80 foot monument was erected.
West Lafayette, IN
Tippecanoe Battlefield Memorial
Tippecanoe Battlefield - On Nov 7, 1811 the battle between the United States and the American Indian Confederation took place and forever altered the path of US history. The Native Americans were led by Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa (the Prophet) who were trying to stop the spread of white settlements. The US forces were led by Indiana Territory Governor William Henry Harrison hoping to move west to more fertile grounds. A two hour battle ensued with the US pushing out the Native Americans. A monument and museum are dedicated to this battle at the site.