YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Indiana

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search


Indiana
Location
Indiana in United States.svg
Flag
Flag of Indiana.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Indianapolis
Government U.S. State - Constitutional Democratic Republic
Currency US Dollar (USD)
Area 121,589 km2
Population 6,692,000 (2018 est.)
Language 91.6% English, 4.6% Spanish, 3.8% other languages
Religion 72% Christian, 2% non-Christian, 26% non-affiliated
Electricity 120V/60Hz (North American plug)
Time Zone UTC -6/-5, UTC -5/-4

Indiana [1] is a state in the Midwest and Great Lakes region of the United States. The state is bordered by Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south, Illinois to the west, and Michigan to the north. It is the 38th-largest by area and the 17th-most populous of the 50 United States. It was the 19th U.S. state, admitted on 11 December, 1816.


Regions[edit]

Indiana regions map.png
Central Indiana
The heartland of the state surrounding Indianapolis, its largest cities are West Lafayette, home to Purdue University, and Muncie, home to Ball State University
Nine-County Region
The population core of the state, home to nearly a third of the state's population. It consists of the greater metropolitan area of Indianapolis, home to three out of Indiana's ten largest cities, and acts as the cultural, political, and economic center of the state.
Northern Indiana
A large section of the state, home to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend and the state's second largest city, Fort Wayne.
Northwestern Indiana
"The Region" where Chicagoland spills into Indiana, is the state's second largest urban area after the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area. Its largest cities are the Rust Belt cities Gary and Hammond, both of which are slowly recovering from their sharp industrial declines, and are now seeing a revitalization in jobs and safety. The region's county seat and cultural center is now Crown Point. Northwest Indiana is also home to the beautiful Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan.
Southern Indiana
It is in Southern Indiana that you will begin to see hills, lowlands, and forests. The southern border with Kentucky is marked by the Ohio River, crossing over from New Albany to Louisville, KY. Its largest city is Bloomington, home to Indiana University. This region of the state is also home to Brown County State Park, the largest of Indiana's 24 state parks.
Southwestern Indiana
This area of the Indiana is marked by heavily forested highlands. Its most populous city is Evansville, Indiana's third most populated state, as well as the primary regional hub for the tri-state area, including Kentucky and Illinois. The border is marked by the intersection of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers. It is also home to Lincoln's Home and George Rogers Clark National Park.

Cities[edit]

  • Indianapolis — Indiana's Capital and largest city. Population 867,125
  • Fort Wayne — Indiana's second largest city, founded in 1794 by Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne. Population 267,633
  • Evansville — "River City" - Home of the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana. Population 117,963
  • South Bend — Named after its location at the southernmost bend in the St. Joseph River, South Bend is Indiana's fourth largest city, as well as the economic and cultural hub of Northern Indiana. Home of the University of Notre Dame. Population 101,860
  • Carmel — "The Roundabout Capital of the U.S.," Carmel has often been cited as one of the best places to live in America, as well as one of the safest. It is home to a growing tech and commercial hub. Population 93,510.
  • Fishers — One of the fastest growing cities in Indiana, Fishers regularly competes with Carmel as one of the best places to live in America. Its population has boomed from just 7,500 in 1990, to a current population of 93,362.
  • Bloomington — Home of Indiana University. Population 84,981
  • Hammond — Hammond is one of the oldest cities in Northwest Indiana, as well as currently the largest city in the region, replacing Gary in 2010. Hammond is a slowly recovering Rust Belt city. It has been home to the Calumet campus of Purdue University Northwest since 1946. Population 75,795
  • Gary — The former "City of the Century," Gary is Indiana's premier recovering Rust Belt city, and Indiana's ninth largest city. It is also the childhood home of Michael Jackson. Population 75,282
  • West Lafayette — The Home of Purdue University, West Lafayette is the most densely populated city in Indiana. Population 48,308
  • Muncie — Founded by the Lenape (Delaware) Tribe, Muncie developed as a manufacturing and industrial center after the Indiana gas boom of the 1880s. It is the home of Ball State University. Population 68,529
  • Terre Haute — Located along the Wabash River, Terre Haute is the de facto "capital" of the Wabash Valley. It is the home of Indiana State University, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Population 60,753.

Other destinations[edit]

Monument Circle in Indianapolis

Understand[edit]

Indiana is primarily rural, dotted with large urban centers in the center and northern parts of the state. Its landscape is mostly flat in the north, characterized by vast stretches of green farmland, with hills and woodlands beginning to pop up in the south. Indiana residents, who fondly refer to themselves as "Hoosiers," are very friendly and welcoming, with an abundance of hospitality to go around.

Endless regular square plots of Indiana farmland


History[edit]

The first inhabitants of modern-day Indiana were nomadic Paleo-Indians, who arrived around 8000 BC. Throughout the next nine thousand years, Indiana would be part of the heartland of the Archaic and Woodland periods, and would be home to the Adena and Hopewell people. These people would introduce ceramics, pottery, burial rituals, agriculture, and trading networks to the area. Between 1000 AD to the arrival of the first Europeans in the 15th century, Indiana was inhabited by the Mississippian culture. The Mississippians built the first large urban settlements in Indiana, centered around large platform mounds where leaders lived or conducted rituals. One of these can be found at Angel Mounds State Historic Site, occupied between 1100 AD to 1450 AD.

By the early 17th century, Europeans began trading with Native Americans in Eastern North America. The Kingdom of England and the Dutch Republic primarily traded with the Iroquois, while the Kingdom of France primarily traded with the Algonquians and their allies. As different European and Native American nations began competing over trade and commerce, the Beaver Wars broke out between the Iroquois and Algonquians, supported by their respective European allies. From 1629-1701, the Beaver Wars consumed modern-day eastern Canada and United States.

It was during the Beaver Wars that the first Europeans crossed into Indiana. In 1679, French Explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle reached present-day South Bend at the St. Joseph River. He encountered Native American tribes of the Algonquian family. At that time, the tribes that inhabited Indiana included the Shawnee, Miami, and Illini. The following year, French-Canadian fur traders began trading blankets, jewelry, tools, whiskey, and weapons to trade for skins with the Native Americans. By the time the Beaver Wars ended, the Iroquois had effectively destroyed several large tribal confederacies, including the Mahicans, Huron, and northern Algonquians. From 1670 onward, the Iroquois Confederacy held supremacy over Indiana and the Ohio River Valley.

The first permanent French trading post was established at Vincennes in 1702, by Sieur Juchereau. Fort Miami was built in 1715 by Sieur de Vincennes near the site of present-day Fort Wayne. French forts began popping up throughout Indiana, bent on controlling trade routes on the Wabash and Mississippi Rivers, as well as Lake Erie. For the next few decades, English colonists began arriving from the East, directly contending with the French-Canadians for control of trade in the region. Fighting between the English and the French exploded in the region throughout the 1750s and 1760s with the breakout of the Seven Years' War, known as the French and Indian War in the American colonies. The Native American tribes of Indiana sided with the French-Canadians during the War, but were ultimately defeated by the British victory in 1763.

While the French surrendered all their lands in North America east of the Mississippi River to the British Crown, the tribes of Indiana took the opportunity to capture Fort Ouiatenon and Fort Miami during Pontiac's Rebellion. In exchange for betraying the French, the British crown designated all land west of the Appalachians for Native American use, calling it "Indian Territory" and excluding British colonists from the area.

A decade-and-a-half later, the American Revolutionary War began when the thirteen British colonies sought self-governance and independence from the British Crown. While the majority of the fighting took place in the colonies, Patriot officer George Rogers Clark brought the War to Indiana, capturing Vincennes and Fort Sackville in his 1779 campaign. His Indiana campaign greatly weakened the British stance in the West, cutting off British reinforcements and changing the course of the War. When the Treaty of Paris ended the War in 1783, the British Crown ceded all claims to the land south of the Great Lakes, including Native American lands.

The new United States began rapidly expanding West, designating the modern states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, as well as parts of Montana, as the Northwest Territory in 1787. American frontiersmen began occupying the territory, regularly coming to blows with the Native Americans that inhabited the area. After nearly 1,500 cases of murdered settlers came to the attention of the Federal Government, the newly formed First American Regiment and 1,133 militiamen from Kentucky and Pennsylvania were led into the territory by Brigadier General Josiah Harmar to make the area safe for American settlers. However, in a series of battles between 7-22 October 1790 around modern-day Fort Wayne, Harmar and the survivors of his army was defeated by the Western Confederacy of Miami, Shawnee, and Lenape. The battles are collectively known as "Harmar's Defeat."

The next year, Revolutionary War hero Arthur St. Clair led another campaign into the Northwest Territory against the Western Confederacy. The two sides met at the Wabash River just a few miles from where Josiah Harmar was defeated the year before. What followed quickly became a slaughter, as the Western Confederacy quickly surrounded and closed in on St. Clair's disordered units of regulars and militia. Of the 1,000 Soldiers that followed St. Clair into Indiana, only 24 escaped, a casualty rate of 97.4%. The battle became known as "St. Clair's Defeat," and is still remembered as the most decisive defeat in the history of the American military. The defeat was humiliating for the young United States, and convinced many that America needed a well-trained, disciplined standing Army.

Three years later in 1794, General Anthony Wayne returned with the newly-reformed U.S. Army, determined to meet the Western Confederacy one last time. The two sides met at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, where Anthony Wayne and his army finally avenged Harmar's and St. Clair's defeat. The Western Confederacy was broken, and the 1795 Treaty of Greenville began the long push of Native Americans out of Indiana by American settlers.

Five years later in 1800, Ohio was separated from the Northwest Territory, designating the remaining territory as the Indiana Territory - "the land of the Indians." President Thomas Jefferson appointed William Henry Harrison as the first Governor of the Indiana Territory, with Vincennes as his capital. For the next decade, Native Americans and Indiana settlers continued to compete with each other for space. This competition came to a head in 1810, when Shawnee tribal chief Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa formed a confederacy of Indiana's tribes to resist American settlement, centering their movement in Prophetstown. Tecumseh was supported by Great Britain, a fact that enraged Americans.

Tensions rose between Tecumseh's Confederacy and the United States, and in 1811 the U.S. Congress authorized William Henry Harrison to launch a preemptive expedition. Harrison gained an early victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe on 7 November 1811, effectively breaking Tecumseh's Confederacy and putting it constantly on the defensive for the rest of the War. Seven months later, the War of 1812 began between the United States and Great Britain. Great Britain stepped up its support of Tecumseh's wounded confederacy, resulting in Harrison leading a campaign against both Natives and the British.

Hundreds of American settlers continued to be killed by Natives, motivating Harrison to activate the Indiana Rangers, formerly an undisciplined militia force, as a professional asset to his Army, paying them a Soldier's salary and supplying them with legitimate military ranks. He authorized two companies to be raised in 1812, with four more companies following in 1813. The Indiana Rangers became instrumental in Harrison's campaign, augmenting his forces during battles by harassing enemy armies and implementing hit-and-run tactics aimed to confuse.

Over the next three years, Harrison dealt defeat after defeat to the British and Tecumseh's Confederacy. Tecumseh was killed in 1813 during the Battle of Thames, leading to a near-immediate end of Native armed resistance to United States control of the region. Tecumseh's Confederacy fell apart without his leadership, and the British were soon pushed out of the area. After Tecumseh's death, Harrison designated Corydon as Indiana's new capital. The War of 1812 ended in 1815, with William Henry Harrison becoming both a state and national hero, matched only by Winfield Scott and Andrew Jackson.

The next year, Indiana petitioned for statehood. President James Madison approved Indiana's admission on 11 December 1816 as the 19th state in the Union. Following its admission to the Union, European immigrants began settling Indiana, largely consisting of German, English, and Irish settlers. People who settled the northern half of Indiana were primarily from New York and New England, while the southern half was largely settled by people from Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1825, the capital of Indiana was changed to Indianapolis, where it remains today.

The new state government desired to transform Indiana into a developed state, initiating the Mammoth Internal Improvement Act in 1836. This Act commissioned the building of roads, canals, railroads, and public schools. However, the Act quickly bankrupted the state, despite increasing land and produce value by nearly four times. In 1851, a second Indiana constitution was adopted. By far the most important aspect of this new constitution was the expansion of suffrage to African-Americans, making it one of the few states to do so prior to the Civil War.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Indiana quickly became politically influential in the nation. It was the first western state to mobilize, providing 126 infantry regiments, 26 batteries of artillery, and 13 regiments of cavalry to the Union. Soldiers from Indiana participated in all of the war's major engagements, contributing over 200,000 Soldiers to the Union Army. One of the most famous of these units was the 19th Indiana Infantry Regiment, one of the original regiments in the Army of the Potomac's Iron Brigade, and one of the most famous Union regiments of the War.

With the Union victory in 1865, Indiana emerged a powerful state in the Union. New industries began popping up, including limestone extraction, ironworks, and mining. In the 1880s, massive natural gas reserves were discovered in Northern Indiana, resulting in an economic boom. The cheap natural gas attracted heavy industry, and provided hundreds of thousands of jobs. Indiana's population skyrocketed, and the cities of South Bend, Gary, Hammond, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne rapidly expanded their population and industry. In the following decades, Indiana became instrumental to the production of steel and automobiles, with Gary directly rivaling Detroit at their heights. Haynes-Apperson, founded in Kokomo, became the nation's first commercially successful auto company. Indiana's part in expanding the U.S.'s automobile industry culminated with the construction of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With industrialization, Indiana became a leading state in the early development of labor unions and women suffrage movements. But a decade later, Indiana, like the rest of the nation, was hit hard by the Great Depression. In its struggle to help its overwhelmed citizens, Indiana's government was completely reorganized. Prohibition was ended, and the state's first income tax was enacted. Worker strikes were shut down with martial law at times, with the state government desperate to keep the factories open to avoid bankruptcy.

With the outbreak of World War II, however, Indiana's economy saw a boom. The War required steel, food, and other goods, all produced in Indiana. With America's entry into the War in 1941, 10% of Indiana's population joined the Armed Forces, with the remaining population worked in the hundreds of industries that operated within the state. In total, Indiana singlehandedly produced 4.5% of the U.S.'s total amount of military armaments throughout the War, ranking 8th among the 48 states.

The post-war years saw Indiana rebound to pre-Depression levels of production, with industries becoming the state's primary employer. Urbanization during the 1950s and 1960s led to further growth of the nation's cities, with Gary being dubbed "The City of the Century" when its population peaked at just under 200,000. Indiana continued to be a leader in social progressive movements, desegregating schools in 1949.

However, the 1973 oil crisis hit Indiana especially hard, hurting the state's oil and automotive industries. High unemployment rates began appearing in Indiana's cities as its many large industries were forced to downsize. Rapid industrial downsizing and closures created what the U.S. knows as the Rust Belt. The Indiana cities of Gary, Hammond, South Bend, Muncie, and Kokomo were hit especially hard, and have been in recovery since the 1980s.

Present-day Indiana is a mostly-agrarian state with large cities dominated by industry. Indiana's main export is corn, soybeans, steel, and pharmaceuticals. It has been the home of two U.S. Presidents: William Henry Harrison, and his grandson Benjamin Harrison. Its governor is currently Eric J. Holcomb. Its former governor, Mike Pence, is currently the Vice President of the United States.

Geography & Climate[edit]

Indiana is mostly rural, with high concentrations of its population in its major cities. It is a heavy agrarian state, with vast farmland covering most of its area. Due to the prehistoric glaciers that reached down as far as Indiana during the Ice Age, Northern Indiana is almost entirely flat. Highlands and hills become much more common south of Indianapolis.

The Northern half of the state's climate is humid continental, while the Southern half is humid subtropical. The climate of Northwest and Northern Indiana is heavily affected by Lake Michigan: the temperature is cooler during the summer and winter, and snowfall is heavier than most other parts of the state. However, the Lake Effect does protect the northern parts of Indiana from tornadoes and hyper-violent storms. However, tornadoes and large thunderstorms are uncommon, but not rare in the other regions.

Indiana weather is also infamous for being largely unpredictable. It is not uncommon to hear of snow one day, and the next day will be warm and sunny. While this may be irritating to some, Hoosiers are quite fond of this unpredictability, as you can see all sorts of beautiful weather in Indiana.

One of the best aspects of Indiana weather is that all four seasons are very distinctly experienced. Spring is rainy and green, Summer days tend to be between the eighties and nineties Fahrenheit, Autumn is chilly, and Winter is cold and snowy. Layered clothing is heavily suggested between the months of October and April, with first snowfall sometimes arriving as early as Halloween.

Even in the cities, Indiana is covered with life, plants, grass, and trees. As such, Spring, Summer, and Autumn are gorgeous months, with vivid colors and crisp, clean air. Winter is pretty barren, as is to be expected, but the blankets of snow that occasionally fall are some of the prettiest in the country.

Get in[edit]

Crossroads of America

Indianapolis International Airport [2] is Indiana's primary airport, connecting Indiana with dozens of major cities around the United States. Other major airports include Fort Wayne International Airport, Evansville Regional Airport, and South Bend International Airport.

Indiana also has seven interstate highways that cross through the state, four of which converge on Indianapolis. I-80, the U.S.'s transcontinental freeway, converges with I-90 across the Indiana-Michigan border to form the Indiana Toll Road in northern Indiana, running through Gary and South Bend. I-94 hugs Indiana's border with Lake Michigan, connecting Chicago and Detroit. I-65 is the major north-south route in Indiana, beginning in Gary and heading south through Indianapolis, and further south to Louisville, KY. I-70 is an east-west route linking St. Louis, MO, heading through Indianapolis, and continuing east to Columbus, OH. I-74 runs east from Champaign, IL, runs through Indianapolis, and continues on to Cincinnati, OH. I-64 runs across southern Indiana, connecting Evansville with St. Louis, MO and continuing on through Louisville, KY. I-69 runs northeast from Memphis, TN, through Evansville, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne, and continuing through to Detroit.

Indiana also has more than two-dozen old U.S. Highways and Routes, originally built during the 1920's and 1930's, which connect major Indiana cities with each other and other states.

Get around[edit]

  • Indiana's motto is "The Crossroads of America," and not without reason. In the early days of settling the American Frontier by horse and wagon, thousands traveled by the old National Road, the first improved highway built by the federal government in the United States. The road connected the Potomac and Ohio Rivers, travelling through Indianapolis and Terre Haute. In 1926, it was re-designated in Indiana as U.S. Route 40, which still exists to this day. At the same time, U.S. Route 41 was constructed to connect Chicago, IL, to Miami, FL, passing north-south through Indiana. Both U.S. 40 and U.S. 41 meet in Terre Haute (known in the city as Wabash Ave. and Seventh St., respectively), effectively connecting Terre Haute to much of the eastern United States. In addition, Indianapolis itself is known as the Crossroads of America, due to its central location at the junction of four major Interstate Highways: I-65, I-69, I-70, and I-74.
  • Amtrak offers a daily train service between Indianapolis and Chicago. Ticket fare is inexpensive (about 15-25 dollars each way), and many still use this method of travel. The train also passes through Lafayette as well as a few other towns along its way to Chicago.
  • South Shore Line links Northern Indiana to Chicago, stopping at Hammond, East Chicago, Gary, Ogden Dunes, Beverly Shore, Michigan City, Hudson Lake and South Bend. It terminates at Chicago's Millennium Station. The line utilizes a zone-based fare system, with prices rising based on the distance, and the prices drop slightly on the weekends. The prices range from $3.80 - $10.75 on weekdays and $3.00-$9.00 on weekends. This method of travel to Chicago is very popular in Northern Indiana, with hundreds of people using it each day for visits or business.

See[edit][add listing]

Most Indiana cities have many attractions, consisting of museums, art, culture, and historical monuments. Due to the state's rich history with Native Americans, the American frontier, the U.S. military, the automobile industry, scientific advancements, and American traditional living, many of Indiana's attractions center around these topics.

  • The Indiana State Soldiers and Sailors Monument — Located in Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis, this 284'6" neoclassical monument is the largest outdoor monument of its kind in Indiana. Dedicated in 1902, its original purpose was to honor Hoosiers who had fought in the Revolutionary and Civil War. It was the first monument in the United States dedicated to the common Soldier.
  • The Children's Museum of Indianapolis —Located in downtown Indianapolis, it is the world's largest children's museum.
  • Eskanazi Museum of Art — Indiana University of Bloomington's premier art museum, filled with art and artifacts throughout the ages.
  • Eiteljorg Museum — The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, located in downtown Indianapolis, houses an extensive collection of visual arts by indigenous peoples of the Americas, as well as Western American paintings and scultures.
  • Evansville Museum — The Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science houses over 30,000 objects, including art and historical artifacts presented through regional and international exhibitions displayed each year.
  • Basilica of the Sacred Heart — Located in Notre Dame, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic church on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. It houses 44 large stained glass windows and murals, completed by Vatican painter Luigi Gregori. The bell tower is 230 feet high, making it the tallest university chapel in the United States. It is annually visited by more than 50,000 tourists.
  • Tippecanoe Battlefield Park — The 16-acre site preserves the location of the Battle of Tippecanoe fought on 7 November 1811 between William Henry Harrison and Tecumseh's Confederacy.
  • Ropkey Armor and Aviation Museum — Located in Indianapolis, it is the lead military museum in Indiana for pieces of historic tanks and aircraft.
  • Historic Forks of the Wabash — A museum near Huntington, it is the site of the signing of the historic Treaty of the Forks of the Wabash in 1838. The site features several historic builds, trails, and remnants of the Wabash and Erie Canal.

Do[edit][add listing]

Festivals and Events[edit]

  • late April Thunder Over Louisville Clarksville and Jeffersonville. [3] The opening ceremonies to Louisville, Kentucky's Kentucky Derby Festival. Thunder Over Louisville is the largest annual fireworks show in the country, and the best viewing is along the Indiana shore of the Ohio River. If you plan to get a good seat, prepare to come the day before and camp. In the afternoon, private and military aircraft provide a magnificent airshow. After sunset, the fireworks begin and last nearly half an hour.
  • Early-Mid August Indiana State Fair State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis. [4] The biggest summer event in the state. A trip to Indiana isn't complete without a trip to the fair. Animals, crafts, art, rides, dancing, eduation, enviromentalism, Hoosier Pride and FOOD!! I go at least 2-3 times within the two week period. They also have live music and concerts. Prairie Home Companion comes every other year.
  • Mid-September Lanesville Heritage Weekend Lanesville. [5] A fall festival typical of many in southern Indiana. Is similar to a county fair, but later in the year. Local food and crafts are available, while rides and tractor and truck pulls provide entertainment.
  • Early October West Side Nut Club Fall Festival Evansville. Called the second largest street festival in the United States after Mardi Gras. It takes place on several blocks of Franklin Street on the west side of the city during the first full week of October. The main attraction of the festival is its food booths which sell a large variety of foods including brain sandwiches and chocolate-covered grasshoppers. The festival draws over a hundred thousand visitors every fall.
  • Early-mid October Harvest Homecoming Festival New Albany. [6] The largest festival in southern Indiana brings participants from miles around. The festivities begin with a Saturday morning parade through the streets of New Albany. THe festival lasts for several weeks, and includes vendor booths downtown and carnival rides.
  • Mid October Feast of the Hunters' Moon Lafayette, [7] The Feast re-creates early 18th century life near the site of Fort Ouiatenon, a French trading outpost.

Sports[edit]

The beautiful beaches at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan
  • College sports- Indiana is home to many Division I NCAA schools, including: Ball State University (Muncie) Butler University (Indianapolis), IUPUI (Indianapolis), Indiana State University (Terre Haute), Purdue University (West Lafayette), University of Evansville (Evansville) and University of Notre Dame (South Bend).
  • Racing- The Indianapolis 500 race is the most attended sporting event in the world. It's common to see many vendors and spectacular displays during the pre-race (most notably the singing of "Back Home Again In Indiana" by Jim Nabors and the overfly of the stealth bomber at the conclusion of the National Anthem). Also don't forget the Allstate 400 (formerly the Brickyard 400) NASCAR race held every summer in Indianapolis. IRP (Indianapolis Raceway Park) also holds the grand nationals of drag racing at it's facility. IRP is located about 10 miles west north-west of Indianapolis in Hendricks County
  • Racing- Salem Speedway. [8] Home to many small-circuit races throughout the year, Salem is often called the "fastest half mile in the world." With only a chain-link fence separating the pit lane from the infield, Salem offers a more interactive fan experience than many larger tracks.

Eat and Drink[edit]

Cuisine throughout much of the state is Mid-western in nature. Pork Tenderloins, Corn on the Cob, Blueberry Pie, and other American classics can be easily found.

Hoosier cuisine that can be found throughout the state includes:

  • Persimmon Pudding, a traditional American dish that was adopted from traditional English dessert puddings.
  • Deep-fried Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches are essentially the unofficial state sandwich. It is similar to a hamburger, just with a massive Pork Tenderloin in the place of a beef burger. It is well-seasoned, served with pickles, mustard, and a toasted bun that is usually comically small compared to the pork - but that's part of the charm.
  • Sugar Cream Pie is a popular dessert, adopted from the French settlers that once inhabited the area centuries ago. It is also popular in French Canada, known as tarte au sucre in Quebec. It is seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla.
  • Biscuits and Gravy, a true southern classic, always served with biscuits baked in-house, topped with hearty sausage gravy, and often piled with two eggs, home fries, and crumbled bacon and cheese.
  • Indiana is home to several top national companies of Popcorn, second only to Nebraska. Classic, cheddar cheese, caramel kettle, spicey - there are countless ways Hoosiers enjoy their popcorn.
  • Sweet corn-on-the-cob is especially popular due to Indiana's huge annual yield of corn. Boiled, seasoned with butter, salt, paprika, parmesan cheese. Truly delicious, and a classic staple that can be found at any summertime event.
  • German sausage and cabbage is widely popular throughout Indiana, due largely in part to the Germans being the largest immigrant group to settle in the state. Served with horseradish, German mustard, sauer kraut, and spices.
  • Due to its large border with Lake Michigan, Great Lakes fish, such as Walleye and Perch, are common dishes in Northern and Central Indiana.

Individual cities also have their own unique dishes, absolute must-haves if you are visiting.

  • Coney Dogs are served at Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island, and have been for nearly a century. Served with savory meat sauce, yellow mustard, white onion, and cheese.
  • St. Elmo's Steakhouse is an international favorite in Indianapolis, attracting people and celebrities from all over the world. The shrimp cocktails are topped with St. Elmo's notoriously fiery cocktail sauce, and the steaks are some of the best in the Midwest.
  • Up in Lake County, Munster is the home of 3 Floyds Brewery. They produce dozens of uniquely-named types of beer - including names such as Zombie Dust, Robert the Bruce, Gumball Head, Yum Yum, etc. - and is one of the most popular breweries in the Midwest, with 3 Floyds beers being sold throughout Indiana and its bordering states.
  • In addition to Indiana University, Bloomington is home to some of the most famous bars in the state. Kilroy's, Nick's English Hut (which is also the founding place of Sink the Bismark drinking game), Upstairs, etc. The main bar road, Kirkwood Ave is the unofficial commercial center of the city.
  • Just outside of Bloomington is Oliver Winery & Vineyards, the largest and oldest winery in Indiana. It has a beautiful campus that includes trails, a manmade lake, and an indoor bar and shop that offers historic tours and wine tastings. Oliver's produces nearly a million gallons of wine each year, and can be found throughout Indiana.
  • County Line Orchard in Hobart grows its own apples and pumpkins, makes its own apple butter and honey, and bakes fresh apple and pumpkin doughnuts daily. It also has several trails and historic barnyards to enjoy.
  • Due to its close proximity to Chicago, Lake County also sports a great deal of Chicago-style Italian dishes. The most famous of these locations is Cafe Borgia in Munster, specializing in Venetian-style pasta and meats.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Hoosiers know how to drink! Wherever you are, you would be hard pressed to not find a bar. The trendiest part of the state for a drink is probably Broad Ripple in Indianapolis, but you will find streets packed with bars and pubs throughout the cities of the state, especially near major universities in Bloomington, West Lafayette, and South Bend. Note too, that drink prices can be very low in Indiana—especially out of the Nine-County Region. It's not uncommon to find domestic bottled beer for $1 during the week, with other varying specials.

Micro-breweries are present in all the major cities; Upland from Bloomington is especially popular and available throughout the state. Triton Brewing Company (Indianapolis) has a variety of beers that are worth trying. Most gas stations (even those in Indianapolis and other large cities) do not sell craft beer. If you want to take home a local beer you should go to a liquor store or a grocery store.

For dancing and nightlife, the main options are in and around Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, as well as by the major universities.

Carry out alcohol sales are prohibited on Sunday in Indiana, expect at microbreweries and wineries. Alcohol sales are allowed on Sunday at locations that also serve food, such as restaurants and bars. Sale of packaged cold alcohol is only permitted at liquor stores, other locations such as groceries or pharmacies can only sell alcohol at room temperature. Hard alcohol can only be purchased at liquor stores or pharmacies.

Bars and restaurants are allowed to serve beer, wine, and liquor seven days a week, between the hours of 7:00 am and 3:00 am (the following morning), local time. Hours for bars can vary by population density and owner preference, but the vast majority of full-service "chain" restaurants with alcohol sales will not remain open beyond 11 pm or midnight. In most localities however, one can always find a neighborhood bar or nightclub that will serve drinks right up to 3:00. In all substantial cities, almost all bars will remain open until this time.

Stay safe[edit]

Crime - Largely rural, Indiana has a fairly low crime rate per capita. In 2006 (the latest year for which data is available) it ranked 29th in crimes per 100,000 population. Large urban areas are exceptions like the former steel town Gary and the outlying Chicago area in the Northwest and certain segments of Indianapolis.

Weather - While outside of Tornado Alley, Indiana has a fairly high occurrence of tornados. You might want to check the Tornado safety page if you are visiting Indiana.

Contact[edit]

The vast majority of Indiana is on Eastern Time and -- as of 2006 -- does now observe Daylight Savings Time. The five counties of Northwestern Indiana (near Chicago) as well as several counties around Evansville are on Central Time

Get out[edit]

  • Illinois - Chicago, the largest city in the Midwest, is located just across Indiana's western border, making it an ideal day-trip destination.
  • Kentucky - Indiana's neighbor to the south is known for its rolling hills, horses, and rural inhabitants, offering travelers a less-visited but tremendously beautiful destination.
  • Ohio - Located to the east of Indiana, the city of Cincinnati is a short drive from southeastern Indiana.
  • Michigan - Indiana's northern neighbor borders four of the five Great Lakes and features stunning natural beauty.


This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



Create category