Heart of Indiana Tour | Best Western Hotels & Resorts

  

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Heart of Indiana Tour

Take to the open road in central Indiana and check out a selection of premier attractions. As you drive through cities like Muncie, Lafayette, Peru, and Gas City, you'll discover a wealth of historic, cultural, and scenic things to see and do.

Muncie

Make Muncie the launching point for your Heart of Indiana drive tour. Muncie’s a pleasant city, rich in history, culture, and features a wide range of premier attractions. You can check out the David Owsley Museum of Art or visit the campus of Ball State University. Enjoy your tour of Muncie.

Must See
As you begin exploring Muncie, be sure to include a campus tour of Ball State University. Established in 1918, Ball State University is one of the largest public schools in the state. See historic structures and campus art like Daniel Chester French’s “Beneficence” near the middle of campus. Many guests also enjoy a visit to the David Letterman Communication and Media Building.

Local Guide
Enjoy an afternoon with the family when you visit the Muncie Children’s Museum. Opened in 2006, the current edition of the Muncie Children’s Museum features 24,000 square feet for you to explore. Aside from the many rotating exhibits, be sure to let the kids check out the Dino Dig, and the Nutrition Kitchen. In late February, don’t miss out on the Princess & Pirate Party, one of their most popular annual events.

Outdoor
To really make the most of your Heart of Indiana tour, be sure to pack your clubs and play a round at Crestview Golf Club. 18 of the most lush and challenging holes in Muncie, the Crestview Golf Club opened in 1955, and was designed by Bill Williamson. Playing to a par of 71 across 6,198 yards, Crestview Golf Club features a slope rating of 120.

Gas City

From Muncie, head northwest along I-69 into Gas City, you’re next stop on the drive tour. Another shinning example of mid west charm and warmth, Gas City is sure to yield pleasant memories as you explore a variety of top attractions. You can enjoy a tour along the Garfield the Cat Trail, catch a race at the Gas City I-69 Speedway, or learn a bit about local history at the Gas City Museum.

Must See
The Garfield the Cat Trail is a collection of Garfield the Cat statues found at certain locations in central Indiana. Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, was born in Fairmount, a city not far from Gas City, and there are 11 statues to find in total. The Gas City portion of the Garfield Trail is “The Big Boom” and can be found at the Mill Township Public Library.

Local Guide
Found within the old West Ward School near downtown, the Gas City Museum is dedicated to preserving the history and lore of Gas City – you’ll gain insight into the area’s natural gas boom, hence the city name. Don’t miss out on the Thompson-Ray House, or the Holy Family Catholic Church, which was built in 1910.

Outdoor
An ideal destination for race fans, the Gas City I-69 Speedway is one of the premier attractions you’ll find on your Heart of Indiana Tour. Children 12 years old and under always gain free admission to races and events, with those older paying a nominal fee. The racing schedule at Gas City I-69 Speedway varies based on time of year, so be sure to check the local schedule on your visit.

Peru

Whether you visit the International Circus Hall of Fame, shoot for par at Rock Hollow Golf Club, or enjoy a tasting at Oak Hill Winery, your visit to Peru – the next stop on this Heart of Indiana tour – will not disappoint. Peru is northwest of Gas City, through Marion. Make this your next stop and enjoy the sites.

Must See
Enjoy a tour of the Grissom Air Museum when you visit Peru. Opened in 1982, the Grissom Air Museum will showcase more than 20 classic and historic American aircraft. From the B-58 Hustler, A-10 Warthog, and the B-17 Flying Fortress, you’ll find a stunning array of jets and planes. You and the kids can climb to the top of the Observation Tower for a 360-degree view of the Grissom Air Museum and more of Peru.

Local Guide
When your Peru visit is over spring or summer, be sure to check out the Nickel Plate Trail. What was once a railroad track, the Nickel Plate Trail is now a cycling and hiking path, stretching 40 miles. You’ll find the Peru segment of the Nickel Plate Trail almost directly north of downtown. If you visit Peru over the winter moths, the Nickel Plate Trail transforms into a cross-country ski path.

Outdoor
Continue the golf theme on these stops with a round of 18 holes at Rock Hollow Golf Course. One of the premier courses in Peru, Rock Hollow opened in 1994, and was designed by Timothy Liddy. Playing to a max length of 6,994 yards and a par-72, Rock Hollow Golf Course features a course rating of 74, and a slope rating of 132.

Monticello

Continue your drive through the Heart of Indiana with a stop in Monticello. From Peru, head directly west along US-24 and you’ll find Monticello. Intersected by the Tippecanoe River, Monticello is a pleasant and quaint city, with a wealth of historic, attractive, and fun sights to see. You can check out the Indiana Beach amusement park, or take a hike through Altherr Nature Park.

Must See
On any visit to Monticello during the months of May through September, plan on spending a day at the Indiana Beach amusement park, one of the most desirable destinations in Monticello. You’ll find six different roller coasters at Indiana Beach, and a total of 36 unique rides – check out the Big Flush water slide, or enjoy a leisurely float down Lake Shafer on the paddle wheel riverboat, Shafer Queen.

Local Guide
Be sure to check out Monticello City Park. With it’s unique topography, Monticello City Park features two distinct levels – a top level where you can play basketball on lighted courts, a baseball field, and playground equipment for the kids. There’s also a bottom level where you can enjoy nature walks, bird watching, and hikes along a winding creek.

Outdoor
Playing to a max length of 6,849 yards, the Pine View Golf Course is the ideal destination for any golfer visiting Monticello. With 18 holes and a par of 72, Pine View Golf Course presents challenges and plenty of fun with rolling hills and taught greens. It was opened in 1980, and was designed by Wayne Bonnell.

Lafayette

You’re on your way to the final stop on this Heart of Indiana drive tour – Lafayette. Make your way into Lafayette from Monticello; it’s nearly a straight shot south. Home to the only indoor waterpark in the state – Buccaneer Bay – Lafayette is a charming and vibrant city, ideal for your final destination on this tour. You can check out the exciting action of Purdue University athletics, or visit any number of unique, local attractions. Enjoy your exploration of Lafayette.

Must See
As the flagship of the Purdue University system – which spans across six different campuses around the state – Purdue University is one of the largest public schools in Indiana. Founded in 1869, Purdue is named for John Purdue, a local philanthropist and business leader of the time. Be sure to visit the Mackey Arena for Purdue Boilermakers basketball games, Alexander Field for baseball games, and Ross-Ade Stadium, home of the Purdue Boilermakers football program.

Local Guide
Whether you’re a fan of the reds, whites, or blends, make sure you visit the Wildcat Creek Winery in Lafayette. One of the premier area wineries, Wildcat Creek features a slew of unique wines. As you embark on a tour and tasting, be sure to try the Cayuga White, the Lafayette Blush, or Aunt Minnie’s Cherry Tree.

Outdoor
Open during the spring and summer months, the Columbian Park Zoo is an ideal place to spend an afternoon with the kids when you visit Lafayette. You’ll find over 90 species of animals at Columbian Park Zoo, which opened in 1908. By 2007 the zoo had undergone a major renovation, with naturalized exhibits and a discover center added.