Indiana Vacation Ideas

Indiana Vacation Ideas #1: For a country vacation try renting a cabin at Wasatch Lake, located an hour southwest of Indianapolis. This private retreat on 250 acres is perfect for getting away for some quiet time.

You can fish on the lake which is stocked with bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish. You can hike or mountain bike on the 14 miles of trails around the 50 acre lake. Enjoy bonfires, hayrides, horseshoes or tennis. Nearby is Cataract Falls, the largest waterfalls in Indiana.

Indiana Vacation Ideas #2: Amish Acres Historic Farm, in Nappanee, is the only Old Order Amish farmstead listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy buggy rides, countryside tours, theater & restaurants.

Interpreters are on hand and you can learn about various crafts like broom making, candle dipping, weaving, blacksmithing, and horse shoeing.

The Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival has been selected as one of America's Top 100 Events.

Indiana Vacation Ideas #3: Fastimes Indoor Karting, in Indianapolis, offers the popular European sport of karting.

You race nine horsepower mini cars on an indoor race track, testing your skills at speeds of 30 m.p.h.

It's similar to go-cart racing but more exciting on this two-level track boasting hairpin turns. You've got to be eighteen to race so the kids can only watch.

Indiana Water Park Roller Coaster
Indiana Vacation Ideas #4: Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, in Santa Claus, Indiana has rides and shows for the whole family. Ride the wooden roller coaster voted #1 in the world.

Rudolph's Reindeer Ranch has rides for the little kid's. Lots of live shows provide old-fashion family-style entertainment from gospel to country music to high-dive thrills. Everyone can cool off on the family water rides at the Water Park.

Their water rides will get you wet and have you laughing. Splashin' Safari is one of the top water parks in the U.S.A.

Indiana Vacation Ideas #5: If you enjoy experiencing history try the 1838 canal town of Metamora. Strolling through the quaint streets is like walking back in time. You can watch grain being stone ground in the old gristmill. Relax on an old fashioned buggy ride. See the last wooden aqueduct in the United States from the deck of a canal boat. There are special events throughout the year like The Matemora Music Days, The Strawberry Daze and Spring Festival or The Old Fashioned Christmas Walk.
Indiana Vacation Ideas #6: Indiana makes a great vacation destination for it's idyllic scenery and there is no better place to enjoy the countryside than the Amish communities in north-central Indiana. Located in Elkhart and LaGrange counties, this area is home to the largest population of Amish in the United States.

See how these peaceful and hardworking people live a simple life without phones, electricity and most other modern conveniences. In Amish country, particularly in Shipshewana, you will find many shops where you can buy homemade Amish quilts and various handicrafts.

If you are planning a drive through Amish country, look into the Quilt Gardens Tour offered through This driving tour guides you to 23 stops along the nationally recognized Heritage Trail. These spots include 12 gigantic and colorful gardens and 11 huge outdoor murals which are all quilt-themed and hand-painted.

Indiana Vacation Ideas #7: Fishers, Ind., is home to Conner Prairie, an outdoor living history museum that takes visitors back in time to an early-1800s Lenape Indian camp, a mid-1800s pioneer settlement and a late-1800s Victorian-era home. Conner Prairie doesn't just show you history; it puts you in the middle of it.

Visit the school house, get a check-up from the town doctor, help with the farm chores, play a game of 19th Century baseball or help build a canoe. My kids love to go to Connor Prairie, even if it is just to roll down the hill behind the Connor house.

And I love taking them there - they get some exercise and get to exercise their imagination all while they are learning. (Shhh...Don’t tell them that they are learning. To them, it's all about the fun.) - Contributed by Lisa Sirkin, proud resident of Fishers, Indiana.

If music is more your thing, Conner Prairie is also home to Symphony on the Prairie, a summer-long series of concerts by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. It's not all Bach and Beethoven either. This summer we went to see the orchestra back the ABBA tribute show.

Indiana Vacation Ideas #8: As the price of traveling goes up, more and more people are looking for trips that can combine several destinations into one vacation.

Hamilton County, Indiana, located just 20 minutes north of Indianapolis, has eight vacation stops all rolled into one trip that offers both urban sophistication and quaint, small town atmosphere. Our first stop, Noblesville, Ind., has all the history you’d expect from the county seat.

The Hamilton County Courthouse and the surrounding business district are on the National Register of Historic Places; so are the 1876 Hamilton County Museum of History and Old Sheriff’s Residence and Jail. (John Dillinger was once a “guest” here.)

The Indiana Transportation Museum, down the street in Forest Park, takes you back in time as you ride the rails on a steam or diesel train and tour more than 50 rail cars.

A few minutes south is Fishers, Ind., named one of the top places in the U.S. to raise a family. Parents and kids can find plenty of activities to share here.

A trip to Conner Prairie, a 250-acre nationally recognized living history museum is a must. Speaking of must-sees, the eight square blocks of the Carmel Arts & Design District offers art galleries, antiques shops, home-furnishings and interior-design studios, a winery and more.

From Carmel, Ind., you can ride your bike on the Monon Trail, a "rails to trails" greenway, to Westfield to experience that city’s Quaker heritage. Westfield today is a growing community with niche boutiques such as Stitches & Scones, a store full of knitting supplies, yarns …and if you get there early enough, scones warm from the oven.

Speaking of arts and crafts, Crop-A-Doodle-Do, a combination spa/scrapbook retreat nestled within a recently renovated 1865 farmhouse in Arcardia, Ind., offers a custom-designed scrapbooking room as well as massages, manis, pedis and other spa treatments.

A few miles north is Atlanta, Ind., best known for its annual Atlanta New Earth Festival in September. Atlanta also welcomes music lovers to the Atlanta Music Hall and shoppers at the unique Atlanta Mercantile, packed with items made right here in Indiana.

If you are looking for an Indiana vacations destination with more outdoor activities, try Cicero, Ind., for fun on the water of Morse Reservoir or a hike at Strawtown Koteewi Park. If you’re lucky, you might see an archaeological dig in progress; this land was once home to the Koteewi Native Americans.

The final town in Hamilton County may keep a low profile but it boasts a pair of local restaurants full of Hoosier hospitality at its down-home best. At Casey’s Bar & Grill in Sheridan, Ind., you can sample a breaded tenderloin—an Indiana culinary tradition. You’ll find the tasty sandwiches at The Red Onion as well, along with steaks, seafood and chicken.

With all of this and more to be found in Hamilton County’s eight great towns, you might just have to book an extra-long weekend to take it all in! - By Lisa Sirkin

Indiana Vacation Ideas #9:
Historic Lantz House Richmond Indiana
If you are seeking a vacation full of history and heritage, then I invite you to Richmond, Indiana. It's a history buffs haven! Here are just a few sights and sounds from a vacation in Richmond. The 1840 Levi Coffin House known as the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad is open to the public for tours.

People will see the actual hidden garret which fugitive slaves sought refuge and learn about their journey to freedom. We have architecture not found elsewhere in Indiana with 1830s brick row houses and connecting archways. Five of the eleven brick archways remain and are now protected.

If you like antiques, then Richmond is the place to go! We have two antique loop trails with more than 1,300 antique dealers. It will keep you busy for a couple of days! We have mummies, dinosaurs, two antique car museums, and the Gennett Recording Studio Walk of Fame.

There are many exterior murals throughout Richmond that depict our rich historic past. We have several great restaurants located in vintage buildings and many beautifully restored Bed and Breakfasts. I would love to share my hometown with you! - By Nancy Sartain

Indiana Vacation Ideas #10: In Santa Claus, Indiana, you can celebrate Christmas during your whole week’s vacation! Start out by taking photos with various huge Santa statues scattered around town. Next visit the Santa Claus Museum where you will learn how our small town got its name and see lots more Santa replicas.

You will definitely want to enjoy a couple fun-filled days at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, a theme park with its own Santa Claus Land. Yes, you can even visit with Santa Claus himself there! While in town I also suggest that you enjoy breakfast or lunch at Silent Night Café, sample some of the many flavors of candy canes at Santa’s Candy Castle, play putt-putt or video games at Frosty’s Fun Center, and mail your cards from our famous Santa Claus, Indiana, Post Office.

You can spend your nights either in Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort (named after Santa’s head of transportation) or in Santa’s Lodge, the local Christmas-themed hotel. Lastly you can begin or end your week by attending services at St. Nicholas Catholic Church or Santa Claus Methodist Church. - By Sylvia Seger

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