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Visitors to the Hoosier State have a wide selection of Indiana attractions to choose from. Whether you’re a history buff, automobile enthusiast, or movie fan, you’ll find popular and off-the-beaten path destinations to make your visit more fun.
Indiana has been the setting for many memorable movies. Gary’s abandoned City Methodist Church was used in several scenes for A Nightmare on Elm Street. U.S. Steel Garyworks subbed for industrial Toyko in Pearl Harbor, and many scenes for Rudy were filmed at Notre Dame University. Basketball fans will remember that Hinkle Fieldhouse at Butler University and the Historic Hoosier Gym in Knightstown were featured prominently in Hoosiers. Tom Hanks, Madonna, and Geena Davis filmed A League of Their Own at League Stadium in Huntingburg.
The Wabash & Erie Canal was the longest canal ever built in North America and served as a shipping link between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River. View a preserved section of it at Delphi in northern Indiana. Browse exhibits at the interpretive center, take a boat tour and explore the reconstructed pioneer village.
Take a self-guided tour of the Tombstone Trail in Kendallville. Notable as the first historic cemetery trail in the U.S., the trail covers 85 miles and includes 10 cemeteries. The trail is accessible from US-6 and SR-9. Pick up a map at the Noble County Visitors Bureau in Kendallville. Menno-Hof in Shipshewana features multi-media displays and 24 exhibits on the history of the Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites. View a replica 17th century sailing ship, a 19th century print shop, and experience destructive forces of nature in the Tornado Theater.
Drive along The Ohio River Scenic Byway and take in spectacular views of Southern Indiana from Lawrenceburg to Madison, New Albany, and Evansville. Stop at Lanier Mansion, Culbertson Mansion, and Lincoln Pioneer Village and Museum for lessons on Indiana history.
The Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory is the oldest glass company in the U.S. Take a tour Monday-Friday and shop for beautifully crafted vases, ornaments, paperweights, and jewelry in the OP Shop. Lavender Lane in Rome City is a family-owned lavender farm. Marvel at the view during peak blooming season from mid-June through early July and shop for lavender scented oils, soaps, candles, and gifts in the year-round gift shop.
Pokagon State Park in Angola is a fun family destination in winter. Home to the state’s only refrigerated toboggan run, the park also offers cross-country skiing, sledding, and ice fishing on Lake James.
Indiana offers several zoos but it is also home to unique animal farms and sanctuaries. Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion is a refuge for over 100 displaced exotic animals that have been surrendered, abandoned or confiscated. Tours and special events are offered throughout the year. Visit the Wolf Den for animal-themed gifts and souvenirs. Hoosier Heartland Alpacas in Seymour is a working alpaca farm. Take a tour, see alpacas up close, and watch wool spinning demonstrations. The country store offers a variety of alpaca products including yarns. Bugle Valley Elk Farm in Roachdale is an off-the-beaten path destination in northern Putnam County. See a herd of elk from a safe distance, take a farm tour, and watch demonstrations on everything from antler shedding to calf birthing.
See how automobiles are produced at the Toyota plant in Princeton. Take a tour of the manufacturing facility, learn about the Toyota production system and see exhibits on southwest Indiana’s industrial heritage.
Don’t miss a walking tour of Indiana’s two historic universities. Notre Dame in South Bend and Purdue in West Lafayette both offer guided tours of their legendary campuses and sports venues.
Spelunking enthusiasts have plenty of underground wonders to explore in the Hoosier State. Marengo Cave is one of the most visited natural wonders and it’s been designated a National Landmark. Located in the heart of Cave Country, it’s easily accessible from SR-64, just 25 miles from Georgetown. Choose from two walking tours, or sign up for a unique crawling tour. Gemstone mining and hiking are other options.
Bluespring Caverns in Bedford offers 60-minute boat tours. Traverse underground passages and waterways surrounded by darkness. Pockets of light from the boats provide glimpses of cavefish, bats and rare salamanders. A half-mile nature trail leads to the Bolton Nature Area and a 15-acre sinkhole.
Indiana Caverns in Corydon is the state’s longest cave system. Take an 80-minute tour that combines walking with a 20-minute boat ride. View ice age fossils, cave formations, waterfalls, and interpretive trails. Advanced kayaking tours are also available. Train enthusiasts won’t be disappointed in the state’s railway attractions. The French Lick Scenic Railway travels 20 miles through the Hoosier National Forest and into the 2,200-ft. Burton Tunnel, Indiana’s second longest railroad tunnel. View historical sites along the way or sign up for themed tours offered throughout the year. Before or after your train ride, see exhibits at the Indiana Railway Museum. The Spirit of Jasper train offers ride and dine trips from Jasper to French Lick on three beautifully restored lounge cars. At Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science you’ll see railroad exhibits including a 1908 steam switch engine, a 1900 caboose, and a 1926 tavern lounge car.
Taltree Arboretum and Gardens in Valparaiso features a railway garden. The 2.5-acre outdoor model railroad is a delight for both children and adults. Learn about the history of America’s railroad system and watch Thomas the Tank Engine leading the model train through the railways. For other railroad exhibits visit the Depot Railroad Museum in Salem, the Princeton Depot, and the Panhandle Depot in Hebron.
Every region of Indiana offers a wealth of fun attractions just waiting to be explored. You’ll find many of them are just a short drive from Best Western Hotels.