Indiana, despite its reputation as “America’s Crossroads,” has a lot of going for it once you get off the state’s congested interstates. It is a part of both the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions, with major metropolises like Indianapolis and Fort Wayne coexisting with Amish communities and vibrant college towns.
While the state’s rocky hills and valleys are filled with caves, caverns, and quarries in the south, Indiana Dunes National Park in the northwest offers breathtaking views and scenery. There are also beautiful scenery and farmlands to see, as well as major memorials and historic sites. This list of the greatest locations to visit in Indiana is ideal for both city slickers and country slickers, with something for everyone to enjoy. Also, read 8 Best Places to Visit in North Carolina.
Indianapolis, Indiana’s capital and largest city, is located in the heart of the state, on the banks of the White River. It is known as the “Racing Capital of the World” (hosting the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400), Indianapolis offers much more than just fast cars and fumes.
Indianapolis is a fascinating blend of small-town Midwest community and major urban city, with stunning architecture and spectacular monuments. Among the city’s towering skyscrapers are historic and artsy areas with world-class museums and a plethora of restaurants and cafes serving cuisine from all over the world.
2: Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, Indiana’s second-largest city, is located in the state’s northeast, near the Ohio border. It is a vibrant yet laid-back city that serves as a key economic and cultural hub with many things to see.
The former fort, which was founded by the United States Army in 1794, has grown into a sizable city with eye-catching architectural styles. It is well worth a tour of its numerous historical and cultural sites due to its plethora of Italianate, Greek Revival, and Postmodern architecture. The massive Lincoln Bank Tower and the majestic Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church are two of the most remarkable.
3: South Bend
It is in the northern part of the state, near the Michigan border, on the southernmost bend of the St. Joseph River. The city is famous for the University of Notre Dame and its Fighting Irish football team. It is home to some significant firms and companies and serves as an important economic and cultural center.
On game day, the 77,000-seat stadium is thronged by adoring spectators, who are greeted with a 40-meter-high mural known as Touchdown Jesus. While attending a game and soaking up the atmosphere is a must while visiting South Bend, the city’s vast university campus also has a number of excellent art galleries and museums. Also, read Best Places to Visit in Oklahoma.
4: Indiana Dunes National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park protects a multitude of different and attractive landscapes and ecosystems along Lake Michigan’s gorgeous southern beaches, stretching about 25 miles (40 kilometers). The state’s only national park, which is easily accessible from Chicago, is a popular destination due to its breathtaking scenery and abundance of incredible beaches and hiking paths.
The park, which opened in 2019, includes everything from massive dunes and broad wetlands to prairies, rivers, and woodlands, as well as beautiful views of the lake. Many various species of animals and plants can be found hidden among the undisturbed natural wonders, with bird viewing being particularly popular during the spring and autumn migrations.
5: George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
The George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, located on the banks of the Wabash River, honors the great general’s career as well as the celebrated and successful Illinois Campaign. One of the most famous exploits of the American Revolution took place here, on the site of what is thought to be Fort Sackville.
The circular memorial, which was authorized and dedicated by Presidents Coolidge and Roosevelt, features magnificent granite columns and a saucer dome, surrounded by the lush gardens of the riverside park. Seven beautiful murals represent General Clark’s incredible expedition and crucial triumph over the British on the inside.
Bloomington has a dynamic and youthful feel, as it is home to Indiana University’s main campus, with most of the city’s activities centered around the institute and its large student populace. It is a really attractive and picturesque place to visit, around 80 kilometers southwest of Indianapolis, with a booming art and culture scene.
While its art centers and university venues often host theater and music performances, its few institutions host exceptional art exhibitions. Courthouse Square is the center of the action, with academic bookstores coexisting with easygoing bars and cafes, as well as inexpensive eateries serving international cuisine. If you wish to go on a retreat or visit one of their monasteries and temples, there is a big Tibetan community in town. Also, read Best Places to Visit in Alabama.
7: New Harmony
New Harmony, a small and sophisticated village on the banks of the Wabash River on the Illinois border, is located in the state’s southwest corner. It was founded in 1814 by a German Christian group before being purchased by British social reformer Robert Owen. It was the scene of two attempted utopian communities.
Much of the town’s pietist past is still visible today; you’ll come across notable historical landmarks and magnificent buildings while roaming around. While the Harmonist and Owenite communities built many of the stunning residences and churches, others, such as the spectacular Roofless Church and Harmonist Labyrinth, were built later.
The small city of Columbus, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Indianapolis, is home to a vast variety of artistic and architectural masterpieces. Since the 1940s, the town has been dubbed ‘Athens on the Prairie,’ thanks to the spectacular public and private buildings and artworks that have risen up around it.
Architects such as Cesar Pelli, IM Pei, and Richard Meier have designed a plethora of spectacular modern structures, ranging from schools and hospitals to libraries and churches, over the years. Many of these charming designs were commissioned by Cummins, a Fortune 500 engine manufacturer situated in town. Seven of the structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.