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Explore the Most Popular Cultural Sites in Indiana
The growing number of cultural sites in Indiana provides a wealth of memorable experiences for visitors to the Hoosier State. Whether you want to tour art museums, visit a sports hall of fame, or attend a concert at a storied music venue, you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy your leisure time.
Art lovers won’t want to miss the Massachusetts Avenue Arts District in Indianapolis. Nicknamed Mass Ave, the five-block area features art galleries, theaters, eateries, and eclectic shops. The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art in the Fountain Square Cultural District offers more than 8000 square feet of exhibits. Gallery 42 is housed in the city’s oldest commercial building and home to several local, national and international artists. Browse the second-floor gallery for a contemporary art education. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art features high quality western art, Native American art and sculptures. View the works of famous artists like Georgia O’Keefe and Ansel Adams. Indianapolis Art Garden is a showcase for visual and performing arts. Works of Indy-based artists are showcased in the glass dome while the Arts Garden features other exhibits in the public space connecting to nearby buildings.
The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette offers a permanent collection of 19th and 20th century American art with an emphasis on artists from Indiana. See rotating exhibits with works from local and regional artists. Fort Wayne Museum of Art is well known for its sculpture walk on the museum grounds. See contemporary works from Mark di Suvero, Lyman Kipp, and David Black among other artists. The indoor collection includes American fine art, decorative arts, and a hands-on learning center for children.
At South Bend Museum of Art you’ll see a range of styles from the 19th century to the present. The Carmichael Gallery includes historic paintings by Hoosier impressionists and creations from modern day artists.
Indiana is home to several sports museums. The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle showcases the history of basketball in the Hoosier State. Athletes and coaches from high school to pro levels are honored. The Indiana Football Hall of Fame in Richmond features historic artifacts, photos, and memorabilia on football from the early 1900s to the present. Exhibits pay tribute to football players, coaches, officials, and the media.
Hostetlers Hudson Auto Museum in Shipshewana is a must-see for car enthusiasts. Featuring the largest collection of Hudson automobiles in the world, the museum displays models from the 1900s-1950s. Take a self-guided tour from April through December (Tues-Sat.). Visit the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart and see classic recreational vehicles and motorhomes on display. Showcased in a simulated campground setting, the carefully restored vehicles provide a glimpse at the earliest models and iconic vehicles like the Mae West RV, 1954 Spartan and a 1958 Airstream.
Mid-America Windmill Museum in Kendallville features 52 windmills made by local company Flint & Walling. The museum is housed in an 1889 barn reassembled by Amish workers in 1994. View exhibits on wind power, the history of windmills and a retrospective on the Flint and Walling Company. The museum is open daily from April through November.
Hall of Heroes Museum in Elkhart is heaven for comic book fans. View the collection of 60,000 comic books and over 10,000 action figures and toys. Other exhibits feature props from TV shows and movies. You’ll see a replica of the Bat Cave from the original Batman TV show and other memorabilia used in superhero flicks.
Ogle Center at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany is a showcase for both visual and performing arts. View student and faculty art work at the Barr Art Gallery. Live music performances have featured the Indianapolis Symphony and Louisville Orchestra, plus nationally known acts including Allison Kraus, Chuck Mangione, Tommy Dorsey, the Oak Ridge Boys, and the Vienna Boys Choir.
Melody Inn is one of the most popular small venues in Indianapolis and it’s one of the oldest bars in the city. Hear live original music, play the classic jukebox, and enjoy a cocktail or locally-brewed beer. HiFi at the Murphy Art Center in Indianapolis hosts art shows, concerts, and a variety of special events. The Fountain Square venue has featured artists like the Lumineers, Walk the Moon, and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. MPA Opry Barn in Metamora presents a variety of live performers and seasonal events. Enjoy Bluegrass Night on the third Saturday of the month from March to November and other performances by local artists on weekends.
The Vogue Theatre is one of the most famous music venues in the Midwest. Opened as a movie theater in 1938, it has evolved into one of the most popular concert halls Indianapolis. See top-name artists on tour along with up and coming regional artists.
Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Noblesville is the largest outdoor music venue in the Indianapolis metro area. Featuring big name acts on summer tours as well as outdoor music festivals, the venue has hosted Dave Matthews, Mumford & Sons, Ozzfest, and the Vans Warped Tour among others.
The Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park offers a scenic setting for outdoor concerts. See performances from summer through fall. Past performers have included Cake, Florence & The Machine, Bob Dylan, Earth Wind & Fire, and The Moody Blues.