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Indiana

Photo by Jane Simon Ammeson

Indiana Itineraries

Indiana’s Cave Trail

Indiana’s Underground Railroad

Milling Around: Visiting Indiana’s Historic Mills

Morgan’s Raiders: A Civil War Road Trip

Discover Indiana beyond cornfields

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Indiana’s two lane backroads twist and turn over wooded hills, crossing meandering streams (sometimes over covered bridges dating back to the mid-1800s). They run rhrough a rural patchwork dotted with woodlands and 19th century villages and hamlets. Stop to watch an old mill continue to grind grain into flour as it did almost 200 years ago. Or walk along a flowing creek as it cascades into a waterfall and eat at a roadside diner, in business for 100 years.  Get extra helpings of fried chicken and hot biscuits slathered with preserves made from freshly picked berries and, of course, a slice of sugar pie–the state’s official pie.


Visit Amish Communities

On Northern Indiana backroads see young girls dressed in bonnets and matching homespun cotton dresses. They are steering horse-pulled buggies. Watch Amish women hang their laundry out to dry on clothes lines. Stop at their baked good sales to buy pies, breads and those oh-so-wicked cinnamon rolls that only the Amish know how to make so well.

Follow the freedom routes used by escaping slaves moving along on Indiana’s Underground Railroad. Follow the trail General John Hunt Morgan took when he plunged across the Ohio River to raid Southeastern Indiana during the only Civil War battle fought in the state.


Tour Canal Towns

Other byways trace Lake Michigan’s southern shoreline with stops at the beautiful white sand beaches and towering dunes as well as a lighthouse said to be haunted by the woman who tended it for more than 50 years. For those who like historic architecture, there are  90-plus wooden covered bridges, most in Parke and Putnam Counties. Also,  numerous round barns are in the part of Indiana known as  the Round Barn Capital of the World.

Stroll canal towns where horses once pulled barges along the water – back when that was the quickest way to travel.


Enjoy Sophisticated Cities and Small Towns

Join the main roads that lead to sophisticated cities like Indianapolis, Lafayette, Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, Evansville and South Bend with their world class museums, restaurants, sporting venues and shopping.

Sample artisan candies in small towns like Jeffersonville and Dana and big cities like Indy and Fort Wayne.  Follow winding roads along the Ohio and Wabash Rivers and stop in river port hamlets and cities with Victorian-era downtowns. Visit a decisive battleground in the Revolutionary War in Vincennes. Paddle along the Blueways–a series of connecting waterways that wind their way through ancient Oak Savannas and prairies. Or hike and bike on old railroad trails repurposed for outdoor recreation.

Explore caves on foot or by boat in Indiana’s limestone country and visit the area settled by Daniel Boone’s brother Squire. Rent a Segway and tour White River State Park, the only urban park in Indiana. It is located on the Whitewater Canal and the National Road, the nation’s first thoroughfare from east to west. Scramble among the Cambric era rocks along the river shores where Lewis & Clark started their long journey to the Northwest. Climb aboard historic stern wheelers and see such sights as where Al Capone spent the night. Rent a houseboat and cruise and stay on Patoka Lake.

 


Food and Festivals

Get a taste of Hoosier cuisine (don’t laugh) by attending such wonderful events as the Pierogi Festival. It’s homage to those little stuffed pockets of fried dough which has morphed into one of the largest fests in the country. Watch sorghum made the old fashioned way during the Crawford County Sorghum Festival.  Celebrate persimmons, the ripe tart fruit that becomes sweet when cooked at the Persimmon Festival, one of the oldest celebrations in the country. Or join a half million people during Indianapolis 500 weekend for parades, carousing and watching the cars whiz by at tremendous speeds.

Sit on a rooftop garden enjoying James Beard award winning fare as the stars twinkle above. Take a carriage ride through the busy streets of downtown Indianapolis or the very quiet ones of New Harmony, a hamlet on the Wabash River that was once a commune.

Dine at an old stage coach stop in business since 1825. Abraham Lincoln ate there in 1844 and part of the interior–with its chinked logs–remains much as it was when he supped there.


Start with these itineraries:

Indiana’s Underground Railroad
Indiana’s Historic Mills
Indiana’s Cave Trail
A Civil War Road Trip


When To Go

All seasons, all fun. From skiing in French Lick (yes there’s skiing and snow sports in Indiana) in the winter, to following the winding roads in the fall when autumn colors explode, spring in the many botanical gardens dotting the state and glorious summer on the beaches of Lake Michigan and the seemingly countless small lakes, boating and fishing, all seasons offer plenty to do.

What it Costs

Abstract Pricing at a Glance

Prices often fluctuate dynamically depending on capacity, seasonality and deals. We don’t want to lead you astray by quoting exact prices that quickly become wrong. To give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes, though, we have indicated general price ranges for all points of interest.

Price ranges are quoted in $US.

See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
Free
$ => Tickets less than $10 per person
$$ => Tickets $11-25 per person
$$$ => Tickets $26 per person

Sleep
$ => Rooms less than $100 for a double
$$ => Rooms $200 for a double
$$$ => Rooms $300 for a double

Eat
$ => $1-15 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$ => $16-40 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$$ => $41 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)

Shop
N/A => Not applicable

Tours
$ => Tickets less than $10 per person
$$ => Tickets $11-25 per person
$$ => Tickets $26 per person

Background

History

Travel back into the past–to a place where horse and buggies navigate dirt roads, women in bonnets and plain dress make their best pies and breads to sell by the road raising money for one room school houses. It’s here along the back roads of Indiana where old mills still operate turning out flour, grits and pancake mixes and covered bridges take you across streams and rivers. Follow the Underground Railroad routes where escaping slaves, aided by Quakers and Abolitionists who believed in freedom more than their own liberty, made their way north to freedom. Learn about the financial success of Chief de Richardville who built the first brick Greek Revival style home in the state from his earnings from controlling the waterways of the northern section of the state. Indiana is full of history and stories. Take one of our road trips to learn more.

Amish Backroads
Beck’s Mill
Billie Creek
Bonneyville Mill
Chief de Richardville Trail
Covered Bridges
Das Essenhaus
Eleutherian College
Fountain City
Historic Forks
Historic New Harmonie
Huddleston Farm
Huffman Mill Covered Bridge
John Dillinger

Culture

Brown County
Carmel
Cole Porter’s Peru
Columbus
Gene Stratton Porter
Grouseland
Indiana Glass Trail
Indiana Transportation Museum
Indianapolis Athenaeum
Kokomo Opalescent Glass Co.
Madison Museums
Noblesville
Notre Dame
Ruthmere
Vincennes State Historic Sites
War of 1812

Cuisine

Sure pork tenderloins are the state sandwiches (and before you laugh–the  hand-pounded and breaded  cutlets from Indiana pigs are delish) Indiana cuisine is much more than that. From small producers including goat cheese makers to family farms, in business for generations, as well as the charming towns and urban restaurants all focused on farm to fork cuisine, there’s a lot going on in this state–culinary wise. Still not convinced? Consider this–Indiana is the top producer of the duck sold in restaurants and popcorn is king here are well. So get ready to hit Indiana’s culinary trails.

Chesterton European Market
Das Essenhaus
Evansville’s German Specialty
Fair Oak Farms
Indianapolis Chocolates
Johnny Appleseed
Sechler’s Fine Pickles
Traders Point Creamery

Other

From the beaches and sand dunes stretching along the southern coast of Lake Michigan, through the lake counties of Northern Indiana where both small and large inland lakes–perfect for boating, water skiing and swimming–dot the landscape to the rolling hills of Southern Indiana, there’s more than enough outdoor adventure for those who like their comforts even out in the wild whether it’s a gentle horseback ride through the woods and cruising a cave in a boat to those who want to whiz down a ski slope (yep, we do have them here) or mountain bike though ruggedly wooded terrain, welcome to Indiana.

Blue Springs Cavern
Brown County State Park
Caves
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Indiana Dunes State Park
Lincoln State Park
Madison Clifty Falls
Marengo Cave
Mauckport
Mongo
Pokagon State Park
Rawhide Ranch
Spring Mill State Park
Squire Boone Caverns
Turkey Run State Park

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