When most people think of the top travel destinations in the United States, hotspots like Florida, New York, and California come to mind. While all of those places are great, too many states don’t get the love that they deserve.
One of those is Indiana.
The truth is that the Hoosier State has so much to offer visitors, from waterfalls and ravines to lakeside beaches. Planning a trip to the state requires some research beforehand, which is why we’ve put together this guide on the best places to visit in Indiana.
Interested in learning more?
Keep reading to discover some of the can’t-miss Indiana destinations.
1. Brown County State Park
If you’re looking for somewhere that you can spend all day exploring, Brown County State Park is your destination. Named after a United States Army general, the park is the largest in Indiana.
With hiking and mountain bike trails, horseriding trails, and tons of opportunities to fish, Brown County State Park is a nature lover’s dream. Stop by for the day or stay in one of the park’s cabins.
Many people refer to the park as “the Little Smokies” due to how much it resembles the Great Smokey Mountains. One thing’s for sure: the views won’t disappoint.
2. Kesling Wetland and Farmstead
Wetlands are some of the best places to see wildlife up close, and Kesling Wetland and Farmstead is no different. A visit there is a great way to learn about Indiana’s environment, as well as the creatures that reside in it.
The community has over ten acres of wetlands and marshes. While there, you’ll be able to see all kinds of exotic birds, as well as other local animals, like deer and beavers.
For a truly magical visit, consider visiting Kesling Wetland and Farmstead around sunrise or sunset. If you do, the colors you’ll see will look like something out of a Renaissance-era painting.
3. Turkey Run State Park
Located in Parke county, Turkey Run is another one of Indiana’s plentiful and beautiful state parks. The park is unique in that it has a little bit to offer everybody.
If you enjoy hikes that make you break a sweat, then Turkey Run State Park could be the perfect place to visit while visiting Indiana. The 14-miles of trails that loop their way around the park are beautiful yet challenging to hike.
Besides taking in the beautiful sights, make sure that you find a quality local restaurant. There are several options to choose from, including a few that specialize in fine-dining.
4. East Pierhead Lighthouse
Most people who imagine lighthouses think of the coast of Maine or Massachusetts. Remember that part of Indiana touches Lake Michigan, which means that you can see beautiful lighthouses without heading to the East or West Coast.
East Pierhead Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful lighthouses that the state has to offer. Located right in Michigan city, the lighthouse has been lighting up the lake since 1837. Since its original unveiling, it’s received numerous repairs and renovations from the local government.
Today, it’s a must-see if you’re in the Michigan City area. It even features a spiral staircase that whisks you up to the lantern room.
5. Lake Michigan
Aside from seeing East Pierhead Lighthouse, you also want to make sure that you stop and appreciate the beauty of Lake Michigan in general. The lake is so large that Europeans who stumbled upon it believed it to be an ocean.
There are tons of great trails to hike around or near the lake. If you want to camp beside it, look into staying at Indiana National Lakeshore or Indiana Dunes State Park.
If you visit the state in the summer, you can even hit up some of the beautiful Indiana beaches. Visiting during the winter will still be beautiful, albeit frigid.
6. Hemlock Cliffs Falls
Stopping at Hemlock Cliffs Falls is one of the best things to do in Indiana, and for good reason. The spot looks like something out of a National Geographic magazine.
The park is in Hoosier National Forest and gets its name from the tall evergreen trees that grace the mile-long trail. While beautiful, you learn the true magic of the trail when you get to the end of the hike.
There, a waterfall cascades off the edge of a rugged and jagged cliff. Everywhere you look is green except for the sandstone rocks that jut out in front of you.
7. Cataract State Park
If you’re looking for a larger and even more impressive waterfall to visit, then make sure to add Cataract State Park to your itinerary. With a drop of 86 feet, the waterfall is the largest that the state of Indiana has to offer.
The hike to get to the falls is only around three-miles. However, if you’re not an experienced hiker, you might find it to be a bit challenging.
While you can appreciate Cataract State Park at any time of the year, the best time to visit is during fall. Hiking the trial during late September or October will allow you to see a sea of red, orange, and yellow leaves.
Be Aware of the Best Places to Visit in Indiana
Whether you’re planning a trip to Indiana or just plan on driving through it to get somewhere else, you should know what the state’s top destinations are.
Make sure to stop by the different spots mentioned in this guide. All of them are some of the best places to visit in Indiana and are sure to live on in your memory for years to come.
Did you enjoy reading this article on the top Indiana destinations? If you did, spend some time exploring the rest of our site for more travel guides and tips.
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