Top 10 Places to Visit in Indiana: The Best Indy Vacation Spots

Updated on June 4, 2015
Indianapolis skyline
Indianapolis skyline | Source

Vacationing in Indiana—Just What Exactly Is There to Do?

Traditional wisdom tells us that Indiana's filled with nothing but corn, farmers, and more corn. Maybe a few soybeans now and then.

But there is another side to Indiana! From quaint Amish villages to adrenaline rushing roller coasters to the world-famous Indy 500, Indiana has plenty of tourist attractions for any type of vacation!

Here is my list, as a Hoosier, of the top 10 vacation spots in Indiana. They are listed in no particular order.

The 10 Best Vacation Spots at a Glance

show route and directions
A marker1. Lucas Oil Stadium and Conseco Fieldhouse -
Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46225, USA
get directions

B marker2. Indianapolis Motor Speedway -
4790 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222, USA
get directions

C marker3. Holiday World and Splashin' Safari -
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, 452 East Christmas Boulevard, Santa Claus, IN 47579, USA
get directions

D marker4. Amish Acres (Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market is nearby) -
1600 West Market Street, Nappanee, IN 46550, USA
get directions

E marker5. Indiana Beach Amusement Resort -
Indiana Beach Amusement Resort, 5224 East Indiana Beach Road, Monticello, IN 47960, USA
get directions

F marker6. Indiana Dunes State Park -
Indiana Dunes State Park, 1600 North 25 East, Chesterton, IN 46304, USA
get directions

G marker7. Nashville, Indiana (Brown County State Park is nearby) -
Nashville, IN 47448, USA
get directions

H marker8. Bloomington, Indiana and Indiana University -
Indiana University, 107 South Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
get directions

I marker9. Hoosier National Forest -
Hoosier National Forest, 811 Constitution Avenue, Bedford, IN 47421, USA
get directions

J marker10. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis -
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA
get directions

1. Lucas Oil Stadium and Conseco Fieldhouse

Lucas Oil Stadium

The Lucas Oil Stadium replaces the now-demolished RCA Dome as the home of the Indianapolis Colts NFL team. Located in the heart of Indianapolis, here you can come watch the Colts play in their home arena. When the Colts aren't in town, the stadium is host to a variety of events.

Conseco Fieldhouse

The Conseco Fieldhouse, also located in downtown Indianapolis, is the home of the Indianapolis Pacers NBA team. Aside from basketball, the stadium hosts big-ticket concerts (such as Metallica), trade shows, ice shows, and much more!

These two stadiums are great vacation destinations for not only the sports fan in your family but also people with an assortment of other interests.

2. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indy Car
Indy Car

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the world-famous Indy 500 and Brickyard races, as well as the occasional Formula One Grand Prix. The Motor Speedway attracts many international vacationers to Indiana, and it's a top Indiana vacation spot due the historical nature of the race.

As a testament to the history of the Indy 500, there is a racing museum located on site filled with a slew of race cars to please the speed demon in your family.

3. Holiday World and Splashin' Safari

Indiana is home to one of the greatest vacation spots in Indiana—Holiday World amusement park and Splashin' Safari waterpark. Holiday World is fun for the whole family! At this holiday-themed amusement park, you can meet Santa year-round, ride thrilling roller coasters such as The Voyage, and ride a variety of other attractions!

Adjoined to Holiday World is Splashin' Safari, one of Indiana's top waterparks. Along with some intense water slides, you can take a lazy cruise along the Bahari River or experience some tubular waves in the wave pool!

4. Amish Acres and Shipshewana

Amish horse and buggy at Shipshewana.
Amish horse and buggy at Shipshewana.

Located in Nappanee, Indiana, Amish Acres is a quaint Amish community. The historical and education nature of Amish Acres makes it one of my top Indiana vacation spots. The Amish live a simple lifestyle, void of electricity and many modern conveniences. At Amish Acres, you can witness this way of life first hand, tour a round barn, and purchase many fine Amish products.

Nearby Amish Acres is Shipshewana, Indiana. Shipshewana is home to the Trading Place of America, the Midwest's largest fleamarket. You can also shop at over 100 stores, many of which also carry Amish products. Shipshewana shops are open year-round, six days a week.

5. Indiana Beach Amusement Resort

Northern Indiana's Monticello is home to Indiana Beach Amusement Resort. Indiana Beach has been a top vacation spot for Indiana residents since 1927. Here, you can boat around Lake Shafer, ride one of the six roller coasters and scores of other attractions, and watch the fantastic Fourth of July fireworks!

Indiana Beach has a nice waterpark with slides that cater to every audience, as well as a man-made beach along the lake! Indiana Beach is a great vacation spot, and with its proximity to the Chicago area, it is extremely popular. Read this article for more information on Indiana Beach.

6. Indiana Dunes State Park and National Lakeshore

The Indiana Dunes State Park (located in Chesteron, Indiana) and National Lakeshore are located along the Indiana coast of Lake Michigan in Porter, Lake, and LaPorte Counties. The natural beauty of the area and its proximity to Lake Michigan make the Dunes a top vacation spot. Here you can take a boat ride, wade in the fresh waters, build a sandcastle on the beach, and hike the dunes.

7. Nashville, Indiana and Brown County State Park

Number seven in my list is Nashville, Indiana. Known as "the artist colony of the Midwest," Nashville is home to dozens of stores of knickknacks and art. It's beautiful in the fall and a great place to visit.

Right next door is Brown County State Park. Brown County is Indiana's largest state park, featuring numerous trails for people of all hiking ability, beautiful fall colors, and historic covered bridges. These make Brown County and Nashville top vacation destinations for the naturalist and artist in you.

8. Bloomington, Indiana and Indiana University

Named by National Geographic as on of the top 50 adventure towns in the United States, Bloomington, Indiana is a beautiful college town, home to the renowned Indiana University. Bloomington has a variety of shops that are found nowhere else in Indiana, including herbal stores and a plethora of bike shops. Home of the Little 500 bicycle race and the setting for the movie Breaking Away, Bloomington is an Indiana vacation spot to hit for sure. There is always something to do in this town, with bands visiting nearly every weekend and a host of festivals.

9. Hoosier National Forest

The Hoosier National Forest covers a good portion of the southern tip of Indiana. The national forest is a must for hunters, equestrians, fishers, and hikers vacationing in Indiana. It has some of the best horse trails in the state, as well as open hunting and fishing. Come camp in the Hoosier National Forest on your next vacation!

10. Indianapolis Children's Museum

Last, but not least, on my list is the Indianapolis Children's Museum. The children's museum is repeatedly chosen as one of the best children's museums in the country and has a variety of educational and fun activities for your children. They also have a large IMAX theater that shows both feature films and educational documentaries.

Traveling Indiana

I hope my list helped give you an idea of places to visit and exciting things to do in this great state. Have a good time on your Indiana vacation!

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Sharon Petross 14 months ago

        Please send me a map and catalogue so we can plan our vacation.

        Sharon Petross

        21201 N 716 PRNW

        Prosser, Washington 99350

      • profile image

        21 2 years ago

        love it

      • Suhail and my dog profile image

        Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

        My family and I always wanted to visit Indiana, but didn't know where to go except for Indiana Dunes State Park, which is comparatively closer to Chicago and to our city of Mississauga. Now we know what to look for.

        Thanks for sharing a beautiful and an informative article on this state.

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        silly 5 years ago

        this best place for my project and help me

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        Jane 5 years ago

        Indiana is a very beautiful state with so much to do. And for the people

        who are saying it is boring, it is because you are not getting out to do

        things. There is things to do you just have to go do them. I really love

        it here. And I'm glad that I live here, it is the best place I have ever lived.

        I have lived other places, but they do not compare to here. I have never

        liked any of them, like I do here. Indiana is AWESOME!!!

      • profile image

        Country girl 5 years ago

        I hate when my computer does that. I was trying to say, did you know squire 's brother is daniel boone?

      • profile image

        Country girl 5 years ago

        I actually live in indiana and it has a bunch of neat places. Even though I haven't went to half of them.Yeah, Squire Boone is a really neat place. Did you know Squire's

      • profile image

        ATHENA08 5 years ago

        calm your self down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • profile image

        athena08 5 years ago

        Did you ever visit indiana city?

      • profile image

        Indiana girl 6 years ago

        Don't forget to visit the beautiful Marengo Caves and also Squire Boone caverns in Corydon area. Corydon has a very beautiful downtown historical area also. First State capitol. Patoka lake in southern Indiana. Beautiful Spring Mill State Park in Bedford. I could go on and on. Love my state!!!

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        Troy 6 years ago

        Everyone go on a trip to Arizona or California.

      • profile image

        keelly mrozikingh 6 years ago

        nice hub i enjoyed it very much thanks jack:)

      • profile image

        Brettious Halonious 6 years ago

        Three Floyd's Brewpub in Munster, Indiana!!!

      • athena08 profile image

        athena08 6 years ago

        Nice hub. I see one of the people who left a comment mention a Hubtrail. What is a Hubtrail?

      • profile image

        nikki 6 years ago

        just visited indiana to get away from NYC for a while wat there for 2.5 months stayed in JW marriott and i cant believe it but indianapolis is wayyyyyyy better than i thought i was only supposed to be there for 2 weeks but i didn't want to leave the people actually act with sense, people work hard not all about play and games, the hotel cost was a quarter of the cost in NYC and half the cost of CHI which i was in CHI last month and had to rebuid my bank account and was only there in that arrogant hell for a week and a half ...i read up on indianapolois before i came just to see what there is to do so i wouldn't be bored out my mind it was up and down and down and up comments (for the most part it was good) i like the fact they don't baby you there you get out and do something couse fun isn't going to come knocking ...the only downfall for me which was made easy by the exttttreeeemly affordable cab rides was the transportation...WILL DEFFINATELY BE GOING BACK TO INDIANAPOLIS VERY SOON

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        wants out  6 years ago

        Indiana is ok if you are just visiting but living here does get old.. Holiday world is great. but since i live here i don't go as often cus it does get old.. santa claus is a small town. holiday world, a gas station, and a few little store behind the gas station is about it when it comes to that town.. ohh i cant forget the hotel.

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        SallyAnn 6 years ago

        Well if your coming North Indiana don't miss out on the Ft.Wayne Childrens Zoo, and Science Central and if you go just a little West you can go to Paiges' Crossing a.k.a. Fun Spot. All of these places are great just for adualt or adulys and kids..

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        joe 6 years ago

        Can't believe you left out Notre Dame in South Bend. It is a world class ever growing campus. More tradition here than in Bloomington's existence.

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        Jeff 6 years ago

        I agree, Bloomington..must me an IU grad/fan. Nashville and Shipshewana are both about the same...small shops with a lot of junk. Amish Acres is a joke.

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        Plowboy 6 years ago

        Well....Bloomington???? Other than that, your picks are ok. The racing stuff is blah...not everyone likes that type of thing. After that, well, it shows Indiana is a very blah state, not much to do.

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        Scarecrow 6 years ago

        I live in indiana and just love holiday world . i have a season pass.(i live 3 min away in gentryville) nice hub. you hit all the important stuff. Go Harvard!

      • Jokylu profile image

        Jokylu 6 years ago from Waratah North, Victoria.

        Great hub, I would really love to visit Indiana and you have given me a good reason to do just that


      • profile image

        hearing ads 7 years ago

        Wow i love you blog its awesome nice colors you must have did hard work on your blog. Keep up the good work. Thanks

      • profile image

        Kara 7 years ago

        Love this website so much! It helped me plan the perfect vacation to Santa Claus, IN. My family loved it! We stayed for about 5 days and everyone thought it was the best vacation we had ever been on!!!!

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        Josie  7 years ago

        I love Santa Claus, IN! I went on vacation there and loved all the fun things to see and do. I recommened it to everybody.Holiday World is great and so is Lake Rudolf, a camp site. I also love the museum there. If you go to Holiday World, be sure to watch the dance and singing shows there because they are amazing! Those singers should be famous. Really!

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        Lori 7 years ago

        Love, love, love, Indiana. Especially Centerville, the antique capital, along with the beautiful towns of Cambridge City, and Hagerstown. Cope Environmental Center shouldn't be missed in Centerville.

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        Karen 7 years ago

        I was born and raised here in Indiana. I enjoy Shipshewana and attending Pacers games. I look forward to attending a colts game soon. The Passion of basketball in this state, is like no other! :-) Been to Shipshewana couple times and want to go back, taking a cooler with me and bringing back home alot of Amish food! I live in Muncie, Indiana, city of Ball State University.

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        Cheap suite Austell GA 7 years ago

        I would definitely visit the Indiana Dunes State Park.

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        kefalonia holidays 7 years ago

        Indianapolis Motor Speedway has to be the biggest attraction.

      • bd160900 profile image

        bd160900 7 years ago from San Diego

        loved this post! great job!

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        Maci 7 years ago

        What about jelly stone park it is fun so many things to do

      • Phillyfreeze69 profile image

        Phillyfreeze69 7 years ago

        I live across the river from Clark and Harrison counties and have visited Indiana many times.I remember staying in Corydon where my childhood friend parents had a farm. I have a lot of fond memories from many visits to southern Indiana.

      • mulberry1 profile image

        Christine Mulberry 7 years ago

        Nice hub. I've been to all of these places...but then I live in Indiana so I guess that's just natural.

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        Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

        Please contact me about adding this hub to the new Hubtrail!

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        5656541 8 years ago

        I had to do a report on Indiana and this website helped me so much

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        Lolur 8 years ago

        NO it doesn't suck! It rocks! I have found loads of AWESOME places to go!

      • Allen Douglas profile image

        Allen Douglas 8 years ago from Midwest USA

        The Indianapolis Children's Museum is the best kids' science museum I have been to out of the 20 or so I have visited.

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        oqqincbgdscncv 8 years ago

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        the street sign guy 8 years ago

        The most wonderful state to be in this time of year...I would recommend Corydon and Madison Indiana also

      • Ladybird33 profile image

        Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

        I am from Indiana and you certainly hit the very best parts. Great hub.

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        buckeye 8 years ago

        I enjoy visiting Indianapolis for a weekend. The zoo has an incredible dolphin, yes-dolphin, show! Feeding the giraffe is also a highlight. The last time I was there, I stayed at the Crowne Plaza downtown in a real train car. We walked to Palomino for dinner- great food! The children's museum is incredible, the best one I have been to. I spend many summers in Madison with family and went to many regattas. Clifty Park is very nice, also. I spend a year at Franklin College and regret not exploring the area more! I love, love, love Indiana!

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        Julia 8 years ago

        I live about 20 minutes from bloomington and I have been all over the state! :D and I'm not even that old yet. I live in a really rural part of indiana and I used to think it was soo boring but I wouldn't really want to live anywhere else!

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        Pierre 8 years ago

        Sounds like a great destination - thanks for sharing and for an interesting, informative Hub.

      • lumberjack profile image

        lumberjack 8 years ago

        Folks, I'm really glad you guys like this. I'm surprised at the response it's been getting.


        yeah you sure do, you've got some nice hubs! :)

        @ k@ri

        Haha it's such a weird name for a town.

        @Ron Montgomery

        !!!!!! I've never thought of that lol!!!!

        @Red Elf

        Thanks! :)

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        puppy♥r 8 years ago

        this helped me plan my vacation it was great !!!!

        -katherin langenburtsky ???

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        blah abah  8 years ago

        this is really awsome

      • RedElf profile image

        RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

        Congratulations on your hub nugget nomination!

      • Ron Montgomery profile image

        Ron Montgomery 8 years ago

        If you go, be sure to send a bunch of Christmas cards from town to get the coveted Santa Claus postmark.

      • k@ri profile image

        Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

        I want to go to Santa Claus. Then when people ask where I am going on vacation, I can tell them to visit Santa Claus. LOL!

        Indiana looks beautiful! I never knew there was so much to do. Thanks for all the information!

      • travelerhubs profile image

        travelerhubs 8 years ago from USA

        great hub... I have not been to Indianapolis yet. i like to write top 10 hubs too... check them out when you get a chance.

      • Ron Montgomery profile image

        Ron Montgomery 8 years ago

        Great places, but like any top ten list you out of necessity have to leave out a few: Cypress swamps in the Evansville area, Ponderosa Sun Club, Shades State Park, Bonge Tavern in Perkinsville....maybe it needs to be a top 100 list.

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        lumberjack 8 years ago

        @Ripplemaker, sweet thanks about the hubnugget wannabe stuff, bro

        @jami420, that's awesome that you'll be living in Indy, it's a great town!

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        jami430 8 years ago

        I'll be living in Indianapolis in July, so I'm glad I discovered this to help me discover a bit more of the state! Thanks!

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        Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        This is an official announcement: Your hub has been chosen to be one of the 15 Hubnugget Wannabes for this week! Yay…congratulations!!!

        This link will take you to the hub where you can see all the juicy details about Hubnuggets, the other nominees and of course, where you can vote!!! The top 5 hubs with the most votes will get the chance to be part of the Hubpages newsletter. So click the link now and join the Hubnugget fun!

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        Eaglekiwi 8 years ago from -Oceania

        My sister visited Indianna a few years back now ,loved the people and the state. Sounds a fantastic place with variety and beauty. I wrote a hub today on my home country ( which would be about the same size as Colorado ) lol...

      • lumberjack profile image

        lumberjack 8 years ago

        Actually, while making my newest hub I've just realized I have been to Spencer if that's where McCormick's creek is at!

      • lumberjack profile image

        lumberjack 8 years ago

        MzJme, can't say I've ever been to Spencer, but I'm happy you liked the hub!

      • MzJme profile image

        MzJme 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

        Great Hub!! I lived in Spencer bout 45min west of Bloomington..Makes me miss Indiana & all the great people!!!

      • lumberjack profile image

        lumberjack 8 years ago

        Thanks meo Mio, glad you like B-town!

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        meo Mio 8 years ago

        Born in Alaska, raised in Northern MI, very similar to southern Indiana, just no glacial remnents, I love the Bloomy area, nice folks, all genuine people, nothing fake about them, just like back home, I could move there and feel comfortable.

      • lumberjack profile image

        lumberjack 8 years ago

        Thanks man, Indiana the shizzle

      • Hup Challenge profile image

        Hup Challenge 8 years ago

        Wow -- I'm from Indiana and this is right on! Great Hub!!

      • lumberjack profile image

        lumberjack 8 years ago

        Thanks guys! And the free Pespsi at Holiday World is great lol

      • nms profile image

        nms 8 years ago from Cochin

        cool photos and definetly would like to visit this place!

      • Tom Cornett profile image

        Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

        Cool hub....I'm originally from Indiana....good choices! :)

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        Janetta 8 years ago

        I've spent many a weekend at Holiday can't beat free drinks and sunscreen :D

      • lumberjack profile image

        lumberjack 8 years ago

        Glad you liked it!

      • chicamom85 profile image

        chicamom85 8 years ago

        I grew up in Wisconsin and live in Michigan now and I love Indiana! Shipshewana is one of my favorite places to go. Nice hub, thanks.