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Your guide to Indiana
All About Indiana
Although best known for its agriculture, the state of Indiana is home to high-profile sporting events, cultural attractions, and some of the most beautiful national parks in the Midwest. With its flat, fertile plains, northern Indiana is widely recognized for its iconic cornfields. However, the farmland is not what draws outdoor enthusiasts here. Spread across the state, you’ll find an array of lakes, forests, and nature reserves with hiking and biking trails, giant waterfalls, and plenty of spots where you can park a boat and spend the day fishing. From the sand dunes near Lake Michigan to the deep canyons and sandstone cliffs in Turkey Run State Park, Indiana has plenty of natural attractions to explore.
Indiana’s cities exert their charms on visitors as well, whether you’re in the densely urban corridor that stretches along the northern edge of the state or ambling from small town to village amid the rustic rolling hills of the south. In the middle of it all, Indianapolis, the capital city, has become a Midwestern cultural powerhouse, drawing people for its museums (the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum), musical performances, and vibrant restaurant scene.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Indiana
The best time to visit the state of Indiana may be the fall. This is when the weather is mild and dry, the skies are typically clear, and the temperature is brisk yet ideal for enjoying the outdoors. Leaf-peepers from major cities come to Indiana to drive through the stunning foliage at this time. Summer is another popular time to visit, particularly if you’re headed for lakes and rivers, although outdoor activities can be interrupted by more frequent showers and high humidity.
Winter can get quite cold and snowy in Indiana. Temperatures vary considerably between the north and south of the state, and snow falls reliably in the northern areas, with cold winds blowing east from the Great Lakes. This is an ideal time for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Spring can bring quite unpredictable weather, including storms and strong winds, but it’s also a perfect time to spot new growth in the trees and new wildlife in the state’s parks and forests.
Top things to do in Indiana
Indiana’s capital city, Indianapolis, has a fast-growing artistic scene, which is on display at its cultural center, located at Massachusetts Avenue, or “Mass Ave.” Here you’ll find some incredible street art, community art projects, huge murals on the sides of buildings, and live music. At certain times of the year, Mass Ave. also hosts a series of festivals that are well-worth a visit.
Brown County State Park
The state’s most picturesque park, located one hour south of Indianapolis, was formed by the retreating glaciers as the Ice Age ended, and the meltwaters molded the landscape into hills and valleys now covered in old-growth forest. Plenty of hiking and biking trails snake through the 16,000-acre park, and if you’d like to view the tree canopy from on high, you can climb up the 90-foot Fire Tower. Near the park, you’ll find the old artist colony of Nashville, still a destination for art lovers.
Indiana Dunes National Park
Skirting the bottom rim of Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes National Park exerts a resort-like pull on this otherwise landlocked state. Several trails wind through the park through beaches, bogs, and prairies. The sand dunes in the park’s name can reach heights of 200 feet above Lake Michigan, and running down them at top speed is one of the great joys of being a Hoosier kid.