6 Top Rated Attractions of Indiana (2022)
The beautiful state of Indiana has a rich history and colorful culture that can be seen even today. With many attractions found in every corner of the state, there are many fun things to do and beautiful places to see in the state, right from the capital city of Indianapolis to the beautiful towns of Bloomington, Fort Wayne, and Lafayette, amongst others. There is no shortage of incredible places to visit in Indiana.
Indiana is home to some of the weirdest and most amazing museums in the entire country that blend fun experiences with an educational twist. Some of the fantastic educational places you must check out include the WonderLab Science Museum, the Studebaker National Museum, and the Snite Museum of Art on the Notre Dame campus. Not to forget the Indianapolis 500 (Indy 500) that takes place once every year in May, there are so many things to see in Indiana that you will be left wanting more.
And if you are an adventurer, Indiana won’t disappoint as it is home to many exciting outdoor areas like the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Prophetstown State Park, among many others. From camping sites to hiking trails, all combined with stunning scenery.
6 Top Rated Attractions of Indiana
Here are the top attractions of Indiana you must check out.
1. Indianapolis Zoo
One of the most popular and family-friendly attractions to visit in Indiana is the Indianapolis Zoo. Located in the capital city of Indiana, the zoo opened its gates to the public in 1964, and since then, it has expanded and grown into a place that is synonymous with the city of Indianapolis. Today the zoo is home to over 3,500 animals belonging to 320 species and subspecies. This is a huge number of animals that not many other city zoos can boast of.
The Indianapolis Zoo is the perfect place to visit with children to let them discover and see animals from different ecosystems. And it is the ideal attraction for people of all ages who can spend the day at their own pace, wandering through the various exhibits and trying out new experiences like swimming with the dolphins at the zoo.
In fact, this is the only zoo in the entire Midwest where you can get up close with dolphins in the water.
You can also check out the White River Gardens to find out about what all you can do to help conserve plants and animals through their Conservatory Show.
Apart from this, the major attraction of the zoo is the five different biomes, with each biome consisting of plants and animals that are from the same habitat. The five biomes include Oceans, Deserts, Forests, Plains, and Flights of Fancy.
Visiting the Indianapolis Zoo is a great experience for the entire family, and you also get the opportunity to visit a zoo, an aquarium, and even a botanical garden all under one roof.
2. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Overlooking the stunning shores of Lake Michigan near the Illinois border, Indiana Dunes is one of the most unique landscapes in Indiana. As you watch the gentle waters lapping the shores and lakeside landscape, making it possible to indulge in a wide range of outdoor activities, this is one of the most common picnic spots and attractions for visitors and locals of Indiana. What’s more, the nearby state park of the same name also provides many opportunities for biking, hiking, and beach-going.
Visitors to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore can also enjoy fishing and boating at the lakeshore, while camping is possible at the seasonal Dunewood Campground. In the winter months, these activities change over to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. And if you simply want to sit and relax, then the best time to come here would be at sunset to see the golden rays of the sun disappearing into Lake Michigan.
3. Indianapolis Motor Speedway
For those who have a need for speed, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the best place to visit in Indiana. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the famous IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Cup Series, and many other leading races in the US. Unlike other states that have many rules about visiting race tracks, you can head over to this motor speedway to watch many famous races, including the popular Indy 500. Not many people know that you can even take a test drive with an on-track experience with the Indy Racing Experience Driving Program that lets you take a car for a spin.
At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you get to sit behind the wheels of a near NTT IndyCar Series car, which is a car that has actually taken part and competed in the Indy 500 race. While the speed is up to you, but imagine being able to power up to 180 miles an hour.
After spending some time on the track, you can take a full Indianapolis Motor Speedway tour that is offered by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Here you get access to many behind-the-scenes landmarks at the speedway, including learning about the detailed history of this complex.
At the museum, you will also get to check out several rare sports cars, trophies, and many other unique and unusual artifacts from the world of motorsports that are all showcased here in Indianapolis.
4. Indianapolis Children’s Museum
A wondrous place to visit with the entire family is the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This large and fascinating place is spread over 29 acres in the United Northwest neighborhood of the city. It is known as the largest children’s museum in the world, being home to many different exhibits and hands-on science displays that range from the astronauts living on the International Space Station to the time when dinosaurs roamed the planet.
This museum is a favorite with children of all ages, but at the same time, it provides an incredible learning experience for the parents as well. Out of the many collections housed here, you will find thousands of artifacts, interactive experiences, and photo opportunities. Some of the popular exhibits you can check out at this famous museum include a children’s theater, planetarium, and many outdoor exhibits, including the hugely awe-inspiring Tree of Sports playground.
Some of the other must-see exhibits here include the 43-foot tall Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, and an interactive playscape that is designed just for preschoolers, and many full-sized dinosaur skeletons, including one of the few mummified dinosaurs in the world.
Apart from offering full-day family outings, the museum also arranges numerous daily events and programs. Some of these exciting events include costume-building workshops, Astronaut Training aboard the International Space Station, and a Secrets of the Lab series where children get to indulge in many do-it-yourself science projects.
Another unique feature of this children’s museum is a restored carousel that dates back to 1917, located on the fourth level of the facility.
5. Prophetstown State Park in West Lafayette
Prophetstown is the newest addition to the Indiana State Park system. Full of natural beauty and cultural history, Prophetstown State Park is a beautiful park to enjoy and interact with the environment. Located inside the state park is the 125-acre Farm at Prophetstown, which provides you with a full hands-on experience in gardening, livestock feeding, homesteading, and you get to learn what all is involved in living on a farm.
The state park is located in a beautiful location, at the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers, and also features a vast network of hiking trails that are ideal for all levels of hikers. The park also has a huge Aquatic Center that draws a lot of visitors owing to its 30-foot waterslide, zero-depth entry pool, and lazy river. Interested tourists can also find out more about the overall area at the Tippecanoe Battlefield Park.
6. Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Located in Fishers, the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is literally a living history museum. For history buffs, this is the best way to dive into the past. Conner Prairie is a unique recreation of how local life used to be like in the 19th century. Not only is this an educational visit, but you will also find many fun and engaging activities to take part in here.
While here, you must check out the William Conner home, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are numerous exhibits, activities, and interactive fun to be had for people of all ages here. This is the perfect attraction to visit in Indiana to take a step back in time and find out what life was like so many decades ago.
Apart from these popular attractions, there are many other incredible places to visit in the beautiful state of Indiana, including the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Indianapolis, the Holiday World & Splashin Safari in Santa Claus, the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the Marengo Cave National Landmark in Marengo, the Brown County State Park in Nashville, and many others. So make sure you spare at least a week’s time to explore this exciting state.