11 Interesting and Beautiful Places to Visit in Indiana

Whether you call it “The Crossroads of America” or “The Racing Capital of the World”, Indiana is definitely a charismatic state that boasts cornfields for days, Caribbean-like water views and so much to do and see, you will need a while to explore it all.

Top this off with more NBA players produced than any other state and you will be wishing you were a Hoosier.

No matter what you call this state, Indiana is a dynamic and interesting state with plenty to keep you occupied. So, let’s see what makes Indiana fun, interesting and beautiful!

Read on for a list of the most interesting and beautiful places to visit in Indiana.


Indianapolis is a place where you can do it all. There’s nightlife, parks, great dining experiences and a peaceful river that runs through it. What more could you ask for in this capital city that welcomes and entertains.

Start your visit on Mass Avenue and have a cupcake or stop by the neighborhood chocolate shop. Who says you have to wait for dessert? Boutiques and cute quaint shops line this street that will give you a taste of what the great state of Indiana has to offer.

Later, visit a place where you can see art, gardens and have a beer. Can’t beat this combination at Newfield’s Art and a tasty beer from The Garden Terrace. Peruse famous installations such as the Monet exhibit and follow up with a tour of the gorgeous and historic Lilly House.

This 20th century estate will have you swooning for all things whimsical and grand.

Indianapolis by Josh Hild on Unsplash

Indiana Dunes National Park

One of my favorite places to visit in Indiana is Indiana Dunes National Park. Once merely a state park, Indiana Dunes was elevated to its important national park status by the federal government in 2019. Since then, 3 million visitors per year flock to one of the newest national parks in America.

Caribbean-like waters, white sand beaches and gorgeous scenery abound when you spend a day here in one of the best places to visit in Indiana.

I am here to tell you that lying on the beach is not the only great way to spend your time here. Running down the sand dunes at full speed is a favorite past time of mine along with hiking the many trails around the park.

With over 50 miles of trails to traverse, you will find a trail through the dunes, forest or wetland areas that is right for you and your crew.

My favorite is the Cowles Bog Trail. This takes you through all three of the above features of the park and ends at the shoreline.

Take an afternoon and conquer one of the trails here and you’ll feel accomplished and fulfilled after seeing Indiana’s only natural national park.

Indiana Dunes State Park by Sri Gowda on Unsplash

Market Street Catacombs

Although Market Street Catacombs has its own level of creepiness, you won’t find skeletons in this 100-year old basement.

Instead, you’ll find one of the most intriguing things to see in Indiana, with plenty to fofer visitors.

You can join a guided tour of this labyrinth of archways and catacombs where its past lives saw it as a homeless shelter during winter, an underground market for turn of the century shoppers and a storage area for goods sold at the above ground Tomlinson Hall during market days.

But, what is it about this place that draws interest to explore its alleys and passageways? It is said to be haunted and has the stories and legends to back that up.

One such story details a horse-drawn carriage that has been moved overnight with no tracks to be found. Another tells of a tour group taking pictures that caught an entity on camera.

So, come to what is now City Market, grab a picnic lunch and then plan to go down below and take a tour of this fascinating part of Indiana history and lore.

Blue Spring Caverns

Blue Springs Cavern is a mystic and unexpected place that will add such a fun twist to your Indiana vacation.

Descend 400 feet into the cavern where a winding underground river awaits your exploration. This is one of the best memories I have of my time in Indiana as this was a new experience for me and my crew.

See cave dwelling frogs, salamanders and the rare sightless cavefish on this three mile, hour-long journey that endeavors to teach you the wonders of the bowels of the earth. This is the longest subterranean river in the United States, so it is definitely something to see.

After your tour, take a walk in the half mile Ruth & Emery Bolton Natural Area. This trail features Indiana’s largest sinkhole, which is 90 feet deep and covers ten acres. In addition, you can mine for semi-precious gems at the sluice at Myst’ry River Gemstone Mine.

There is so much to see and do at this little gem in Indiana that you will want to plan a full day. You can also plan an overnight adventure and spend the night in the underground spring in Canyon Hall. Now that’s an adventure!

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

I have such fond memories of walking this interactive street that looks as though the clock has been turned back by almost 200 years. Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is just what the name implies in every sense.

Walk back in time as you stroll down a bustling town street right out of the 19th century.

At 1836 Prairietown, you can experience everyday Indiana life by the “set” settlers who made it their home. Town folk are fully dressed in period clothing and interact with you as if it were 1836. Shop in the General Store, have tea with the ladies of the town at the Tea Room or play one of the many games that the town children play in the street and yards of town.

Visit at various times of the year and experience 1819 Lenape Indian Camp, 1859 Balloon Voyage or 1863 Civil War Journey. There is an experience for everyone at Connor Prairie Interactive History Park where you can experience the uniqueness of Indiana.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Museum

From May to September every year there is one place to be in Indianapolis that you can’t pass up. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Museum is one of those iconic places in Indiana that put it on the map.

Plan to go to the world famous Indianapolis 500, where 33 cars compete on a 2.5 mile track for the fastest 500 miles in the world. If you can’t score tickets for this event, try one of the practice rounds that promises almost as much excitement as the real thing.

The museum is also a “must see” while you are there. Located in the famed oval of the track, you will see almost a century of memorabilia, artifacts and history on all types of car racing . Even if you aren’t into racing, you will be after this visit to one of the best places to visit in Indiana.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway by Levi Olmstead on Unsplash

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Lincoln City, Indiana really lives up to its name as one of the best places to go in Indiana. Here, you can immerse yourself in all things Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln lived his formative years in Kercheval from age seven to twenty-one. It wasn’t until 1881 that the town name was changed due to a petition by the postmaster general.

Today, you will find Lincoln State Park, Lincoln Amphitheater and Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial as well as the Lincoln Boyhood Home. That’s a lot of Lincoln!

The Lincoln Boyhood home will be a fascinating find on your tour of Indiana. Watch the short video in the visitor center to orient yourself, then take the stroll up the Lincoln Boyhood Trail to the cabin and the homestead where he and his family spent so much time.

Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner on Unsplash

Studebaker National Museum

What helped shape early America? Was it the farmer? Was it the horse? What about the covered wagon? Henry and Clement Studebaker helped America flourish starting in the 1850’s with their covered wagon.

By the 1880’s the first electric wagon was being sold with the tagline, “a child might drive it as easily as the family horse”. Therefore, the family Studebaker was born and changed the way America, lived, worked and traveled.

Come to one of one of the coolest places to visit in Indiana and spend a day at the Studebaker National Museum where you’ll see plenty of the automobile’s history.

Artifacts like the Lincoln Carriage that took the President to Ford’s Theater and countless, priceless cars are there to explore.

Make sure you check out the numerous national treasures awaiting you at the museum that will be fun for everyone in your group.

Studebaker by George Eiermann on Unsplash

Park County’s Covered Bridges

When you think of old country lanes and dusty roads you probably think of covered bridges, as well. There is one place in America that has more covered bridges than anywhere else. In fact, Park County has 31 to be exact. Not only are they a means from this side to the other, but pieces of history and works of art.

Park County thinks so much of their covered bridges that they are celebrated every October when there is a festival held in their honor. Come to the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival and help the county and its community celebrate the covered bridges, along with arts, crafts and superb fall foliage.

This festival is not to be missed and should be included in your itinerary for traveling Indiana’s back roads and intriguing finds in this great place to visit in Indiana.

South Bend

If you like football and old cars, then South Bend is a great place to visit to get your fix in Indiana. This college town has a lot to offer and you would be missing out if you didn’t stop by for at least a couple of days.

Spend some time at the beautiful and historic campus of The University of Notre Dame. Stroll around and step inside the majestic Basilica of the Sacred and take in the beauty of the stained glass, artfully covered by the arched ceiling. Get the full Notre Dame experience by stopping by the Main Building and see this historic architecture from 1879.

The next day, wake up early and catch the South Bend Farmer’s market for a great breakfast at the cafe and then some shopping for the freshest produce and the best meat selection around.

Next, you may want to spend the day at the Potawatomi Zoo or catch a show at the Morris Performing Arts Center. Wrap the day up with a nice meal in the downtown area and call this a successful day in one of the best vacation spots in Indiana.

Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana by Steven Van Elk

Turkey Run State Park

This state park is a fabulous way to reconnect with nature as well as your family. There is a treasure around every corner in the form of a ladder to climb, a bridge crossing or grand crevices in the earth that narrow to slots.

My family and I had the best time in this state park exploring and getting to know this amazing part of Indiana. Who would have known that such a magical place existed in a lush green forest filled with cliffs, gorges and everything in between.

If you want to continue your adventure the next day, check out the campgrounds, cabins or inns, in and around the park. There is a reason why Turkey Run State Park is consistently voted the number one state park in Indiana!

Did we miss anything you would like to see in Indiana? We’d love to hear from you!

Leave what you’d like to see in the comments!

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