How to get away in the Hoosier StateLocated in the Great Lakes regions, Indiana is the ideal choice in state for a weekend getaway. Especially if you are looking for just a little bit of that small town charm, and Midwestern welcome. Here you will find lake-side havens, and amber waves of R&R all wrapped up into one exciting state. Indiana is home to some of the best hidden gems and tours in the country. To find your perfect slice of paradise, check out this list of the top 10 weekend getaways in Indiana.
Indianapolis, affectionately referred to as “Indy” is the bustling city center of Indiana. If you want to go somewhere with things to do, Indianapolis is the place for you. A better question is ‘what isn’t there to do’? Activities here range over just about every interest. Arts, culinary, history, family-friendly, adults-only, museums, parks, sports, games, speedways, and so much more.
Speaking of speedways, Indiana is actually home to the largest auto racetrack in the world. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is famous not just in Indiana, but the nation, and the world at large. After taking part in the thrill that is this speedway, be sure to check out the impressive downtown area. Here you can find some of the best food in Indiana, and more than enough shops to fill your suitcase.
Maybe the waves are what is calling you to a much-needed weekend getaway. If so, there are few better spots in all of Indiana than the Dunes national lakeshore. Here you can enjoy a wide stretch of 15 miles of pristine beach shore, golden sunshine, and gently lapping waves. Take a dip, go for a swim, or just lay out and get your fill of vitamin D for the weekend. There is no shortage of outdoor activity in the iconic Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Even if swimming isn’t your forte, there are plenty of things to keep your interest piqued here. For example, there are miles upon miles of prime hiking trails located at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Simply find a path and follow it for an adventure you’ll never forget. Or, sleep under the stars at the Dunewood Campground and keep the fun rolling from day to night. Whatever you choose to do in this national lakeshore, you’ll always remember this as the best weekend getaway to date.
Known predominantly for art, Columbus is one of the best weekend getaways for lovers of beautiful things. Be it painting, building, or any size canvas in between. When it comes to the expression scene, Columbus is often cited among big names like New York or Chicago. And much of the architecture here is famously ranked top in the United States. There are indoor, outdoor, and interactive museums and galleries all around the city, and more than enough tours to keep you busy. Columbus is the perfect place for an Indiana weekend getaway for those looking for a little bit more color in their lives.
Bring the whole family to Fort Wayne! This is one of the best spots in North America for some all ages and interest’s fun. Here you can go from museum to park with a simple stroll down the street. There is even a zoo and a science center all within the immersive downtown district. And for those looking to get their adrenaline pumping: check out some of the water sports offered on the rivers. You can paddle board, kayak, canoe, or simply enjoy the day on the banks of the water. Whatever you choose to do in Fort Wayne, the whole family is sure to love it.
Take the weekend to really get away! Madison, Indiana is the perfect small town to really take that R&R you’ve been needing. It is the kind of place where the tempo is slow but welcoming, and you can just genuinely enjoy the day free of stresses. From cute, mom and pop stores around the city, to exploring some of the natural wonders, Madison is the paradise you’ve been dreaming of.
If you are interested in answering the call of the wild, there are plenty of options. Clifty Falls is by far the most popular outdoor attraction in the area for hiking. Here you get some of the top viewing spots in the state for things like waterfalls and lush, vibrant wildlife. If you want something a bit more thrill-inducing, check out some of the iconic Rockin Thunder River Tours. They ride out to the best spots on the river, and make for one fast paced and unforgettable memory.
While you may not have known the name of the city, you definitely know it! This is the iconic home to the University of Notre Dame. And while that is far from ‘all it is’, there are several legendary landmarks you’re going to want to see. Basilica of the Sacred Heart is one of the most inspiring, jaw-dropping works of American architecture to this day and can only be found on campus. Speaking of which, the entire grounds of the University if a sight to behold. Take a walk through academic and national history, and make South Bend your weekend getaway.
Not much into the collegiate lifestyle? No worries, South Bend is still sure to deliver. The Potawatomi Zoo is Indiana’s oldest zoo to date. Old on the grounds, but young at heart and so much fun packed into every step. Or try your hand at some of the notable museums, like the Studebaker National Museum or the Snite Museum of Art! There is so much to explore in this Indiana gemstone.
You learn something new every getaway! Here in Bloomington, there is so much to explore you’ll want to keep coming back for more. It is a city known for some of the best indoor and outdoor attractions in all of Indiana. Monroe Lake is a top tier place in the Midwest to go boating, soak in a few sun rays, or even take a path around the lake that provides the best views in Bloomington. McCormick’s Creek State Park is another great idea for those who want to check out lush forests, rushing waterfalls, and plenty of fishing. The weather is always welcoming in Bloomington.
But for those days you’d like to spend indoors: few lists of the city are complete without the WonderLab Science Museum. This is an interactive museum that has people coming from far and wide to experience wonder like this. And it’s fun for the whole family! Not with the family and/or need a break? The Oliver Winery has you covered! Sample some of the best regional wines and toast to a great weekend getaway spent in Bloomington, Indiana.
Just a little slice of everything! The French Lick is the ideal place to go if you’re interested in one of their world-class luxury hotels, and bit more of a refined weekend getaway. Spend the day clearing your pores, or horse-back riding through Indiana. Or, if you’re in the market for low cost, adventure packed fun: French Lick is still in the running. Try zip lining, hiking, swimming, and finish off the day at one of the wallet-friendly hotels in the area. French Lick can do it all!
Kokomo is one of the iconic art and cultural hubs of Indiana. It is named after a brave Indian Chief, and still holds some important historical pieces from the tribes that have inhabited the land for centuries. It is also a prominent site for any and all architecture buffs, with a historic downtown walking tour and takes you to some of the most unforgettable sites. The Giant Sycamore Stump ranging at just about 57 foot diameter can even be seen here, as one of the oldest monuments known to the city.
Just on the border to Ohio lies a true Indiana treasure. Richmond has been a popular destination for tourists and locals alike to gather for a relaxing weekend. There are numerous fun, well-maintained, and interesting sites to explore here. From public access adventures like the Glen Miller Park or the Thistlethwaite Falls to well-loved community staple marks like the Hayes Arboretum and the Richmond Art Museum, you will find all the fun you need in one city.
Looking to save a pretty penny? Richmond is the place for you! There are so many options in the city for adventures that don’t cost a thing but the gas to get there. Check out the Fossil Park, the Cardinal Greenway, or the Clear Creek Disc Golf on West Main Street. Or peruse city centers new and old with the likes of the Depot District Market or the Clay Township Museum. From natural beauty to historical wonders, Richmond is one of the top weekend getaways in Indiana for a reason.
Final ThoughtsIndiana is a beautiful, interesting, and lively state that will make for one of the best weekend getaways you've had to date. The only question now is, where will you go? From wide expanses of lush greenery to the architectural feats of geniuses, Indiana is one place you won't want to miss!