- Relaxing by the lake in the Indiana Dunes
- Golf, hiking, and casinos at French Lick
- Watching the Colts in the NFL
- Great museums in Indianapolis
- Scenic drives in the Wabash Valley
- Small town music festivals like Bean Blossom
Indiana's coast is a great family destination, with casinos, golf courses, beaches, and water parks aplenty. And it's also home to some incredible vacation rental options. You'll find roomy cabin properties that sleep up to 8 or 9 people, with large yards, wi-fi, TVs, and other amenities, as well as excellent access to Lake Michigan.Stay Inland Near Indiana's Most Beautiful Areas
The attractions and vacation rental options in Indiana aren't limited to the shore. There are also plenty of rural cabin or ranch houses in regions like the Hoosier National Forest or Lake Monroe. Often featuring bikes and boat moorings, these properties offer space to relax and privacy at the same time, usually accompanied by a stunning natural setting.
Located east of Illinois and west of Ohio, Indiana is at the heart of the Mid West, and offers a brilliant blend of shoreline resorts, big city appeal, and rural beauty. Whether you explore charming small towns like South Bend, hike in the Hoosier National Forest, or visit family-friendly lakeshore resorts like Michigan City, the state has so much to offer.Understanding Indiana's Geography
Indiana is a big place, measuring around 250 by 140 miles, so it helps to understand where to base yourself. The capital, Indianapolis, is the largest city, and is centrally located. Resorts like Cheboygan or Michigan City are the best locations for beach fans (and for visiting Chicago). The south is more hilly, forested and full of lakes - so it's the best place for hiking and fishing enthusiasts.Getting to Indiana
Many people fly into Indianapolis International Airport, around two hours from the lake. Driving is easy as well. Take I-65 from Chicago or the South, or I-70 from the east. Greyhound buses run into the larger cities offer a handy budget option.
For spectators, catching a Colts or Pacers match in Indianapolis is a must, while the motor sports calendar has few bigger events than the Indy 500. College sports are also a big attraction, especially Notre Dame, based in South Bend.Great Fun for Beach and Water Sports Fans
The Lake Michigan shore is an underrated gem for beach fans. Virtually all of Indiana's coast is sandy, and the lake can be great for sports like windsurfing or boating.A Delicious Foodie Destination
Food is a massive deal in Indiana, and we're not just talking about pork tenderloin sandwiches. From biscuits and gravy for breakfast, to artisan charcuterie companies, and award-winning breweries, it's a great place to eat and drink.
Although everyone knows that Indiana is also called the "Hoosier state", no-one really knows where the word "Hoosier" comes from. Some say early settlers said "Who's there?" to strangers when they knocked. Others trace it to boatmen on the lake shore, but it's still a mystery.
If you're in Indianapolis, watch the Colts in the NFL, or the Pacers in the NBA. Or pay a visit to one of the state's passionately supported college teams. Few states have as many representatives in the NCAA elite.2. Visit Indianapolis
The state capital is crammed with attractions, from the historic Motor Speedway, to the excellent Museum of Art, the family-friendly Children's Museum, and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art.3. Relax in the Indiana Dunes
Towering as high as 200 meters, the dunes on Lake Michigan are a remarkable sight, and a great place to unwind. Sunbathe, hike and swim, and visit the charming string of lakefront towns.4. Have fun at French Lick
The premier resort in the Hoosier State Forest, French Lick features high-quality golf courses, wellness spas, casinos, and hiking trails into the beautiful wooded region.5. Drive in Historic Parke County
Located just west of Indianapolis, Parke County is famous for its covered wooden bridges which span the Wabash River. Driving the valley is a magical experience, particularly in the fall.
When you travel depends on what you want to do. Summer is definitely the time to visit the shore. Football fans won't want to travel outside the season, while motor sports fans can catch the Indy 500 in May. Fall is a great time for scenic driving and hiking, and is usually much less busy than high summer.Some Key Dates for Travelers to Indiana
Indiana has attractive events throughout the year. For instance, there's the massive State Fair in August, and the more modest but equally enjoyable Covered Bridge Festival in October. Other highlights include small town music festivals like the Bean Blossom Blues Festival.