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17 Indiana towns/cities to visit in 2017

17 INDIANA TOWNS/CITIES TO VISIT IN 2017
17 INDIANA TOWNS/CITIES TO VISIT IN 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, I’m (unsurprisingly) already plotting my travel moves for 2017. What better way to start the process than by choosing 17 Indiana towns/cities I’d like to visit/revisit in the upcoming year. Check them out and tell me what you think of my list.

South Bend

Way up north on the border of Michigan stands South Bend, Indiana. I’m mostly excited to see the city in 2017 because of the city’s multitude of amazing instagrammers who make the city look really cool. Plus, there are tons of wineries in the area which I’m always excited for. Oh yeah, it’s also where Notre Dame is.

Bloomington

Hard to believe, but after a year of living in Indiana I still haven’t made it down to the hipster haven of Bloomington! Just an hour south of Indy, Bloomington is a vibrant town with plenty of great food, beer, and scenic beauty. Until I go, I’m obsessively stalking the Bloomington CVB’s Instagram account as well as local blogger Em’s on the Road.

Columbus Indiana

Columbus

Columbus (Indiana!) is amazing little city packed full of unbelievable art and architecture. From Chihuly glass installations to seven national historic landmarks to a perfectly intact, 117-year-old ice cream parlor, there’s more than enough to do in Columbus for a long weekend visit.

Terre Haute

I passed through Terre Haute briefly but would definitely go back in 2017. Terre Haute is only an hour and fifteen minutes west of Indy, located on the border of Illinois. I’m especially excited to visit the very first brewery in Indiana which was re-opened this year in honor of the state’s bicentennial. For more about Terre Haute: although the focus is on family fun (and I’m more of hedonistic, adult-only kind of fun!), Haute Happenings is a great resource for upcoming events in the area.

Marengo

Marengo is a teeny-tiny town under 1000 people but it’s got a great reason to visit: Marengo Cave, a U.S. national natural landmark. Since 1883 (after some kids discovered the entrance!) Hoosiers have been exploring the massive underground space. I’m all about taking a walking tour through the cave in the next year!

French Lick West Baden

If you haven’t heard of French Lick yet, check it out and then come back. Absolutely epic, right?! I’m all about it not just for the beauty, but because the spa was originally set up as a mineral spring health spa. The two towns surrounding the massive resort complex also has plenty for explorers who are able to drag themselves out of the opulence.

Muncie, Indiana: Elm Street Brewing

Muncie

I went to Muncie in late November and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Not a bustling city by any stretch of the imagination, Muncie still has several cool features on offer that make it worth the hour drive from Indy. They’ve got a couple of breweries, a lovely park, a gorgeous cafe, and some mind-bogglingly cheap antique places.

Kokomo

I’d honestly thought nothing at all about the city north of Indy until I saw a stunning picture of the Seiberling Mansion and decided I need to plan a trip. I don’t know a whole lot more about Kokomo, but their tourism site makes it seem like a visit should be in the cards for 2017. (Plus, it went from America’s 3rd fasted dying town in 2008 to one of the best cities for jobs in 2011 – talk about a turnaround!)

Nashville

My husband and I made the mistake of visiting Nashville on Labor Day weekend, when tourists were so thick you could barely push your way down the sidewalks. In 2017 we’ll go back on a slow mid-week day to truly get the vibes of this tiny historic artist colony. Located right next to Brown County State Park, Nashville and the surrounding areas are the perfect scenic getaway.

Monon High Bridge in Delphi, Indiana

Delphi

I stopped by Delphi very briefly on my way to check out the endangered historic abandoned Delphi bridge. (Think I could have stuck a few more adjectives in there?) The town itself, while small, is ridiculously charming and was bustling on the weekend morning I was there. A happy contrast to many sleepy small towns, Delphi offers shopping and dining opportunities as well as the option to ride a canal boat down the Wabash and Erie Canal!

Delphi, Indiana: the Monon High Bridge

Richmond

Sitting just on the border of Ohio, Richmond, Indiana is a great place to visit if you’d like to see some of Indiana’s Amish culture. Once you’ve got your fill of that, they’ve also got two microbreweries to hang out in. Even better, there was a huge push for public art creation in 2016 which is now proudly displayed around the city!

Elkhart

Elkhart has the traditionally charming downtown main street chocked full of museums, restaurants, and plenty of local shops.

Madison Indiana Guide: downtown

Madison

Eat, See, Do: Madison, Indiana Guide

Peru

I pushed off my Peru trip until too late; now I’m going to wait until spring 2017 to visit the Seven Pillars of the Mississinewa, a natural structure formed “over the centuries as wind and water eroded the limestonecreated over the centuries as wind and water eroded the limestone”.

Lafayette

Aside from being able to yell out “Lafayette” like the Hamilton song, the northwest city which houses Purdue University offers plenty to do. With several breweries and a winery, I think Lafayette will be a perfect spot for one of my 2017 pub crawls. After that, I’ll be ready to wander along the Wabash River and check out some of the many art galleries in the city.

Fort Wayne Weekend: Karpeles Museum

Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne has the distinct honor of being the only city/town in Indiana which I’ve visited twice! After a two-hour drive north, you’ll be in Indiana’s second-largest city with plenty of options for everyone. I love the flourishing small business community and have a feeling you’ll love eating/shopping your way through them all too! Check out my 36 hour trip for more inspiration:

How to spend 36 hours in Fort Wayne

Shipshewana

I mean, do I need to go any further than the name alone? Aside from the awesome name, the teeny-tiny town of Shipshewana is at the heart of Indiana’s Amish country. The area also offers miles and miles of quiet nature preserves and secluded nature trails. Win-win!

Which cities have you visited/do you want to visit? Do you have any other cities you’d add?
  • Thanks for the shout out! Would love to show you around Bloomington some time. I made the mistake of visiting Nashville in October our first year in Indiana… epic mistake. Much easier to explore in the spring or during the week.

    • For sure! I am trying to arrange a nice long weekend for Bloomington because I feel like just a day won’t be enough!

      I will 100% take you up on that offer, though 🙂

  • Looks like a pretty cool State!

  • Ray

    The John Wayne Museum is also somewhere halfway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. I remember seeing signs for it when I drove from Toronto to Indianapolis earlier this year for the Indy 500. My friends had zero interest to go, but I wouldn’t mind checking it out one day! BTW, are you going to check off any of the crazy road attractions that Indiana is known for when you visit these town next year?
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    • I’m definitely planning to check out the giant ball of paint as well as a few other oddities. Can never go wrong with a good, bizarre roadside attraction!

  • I’ve only driven through Indiana once, and that was on my way to Chicago. I’ve also gone there for a conference. I can’t believe I haven’t visited more, especially since I lived in Cincinnati for five years! I also haven’t been to Canada (6 hours from Cleveland) and I’ve only been to Pennsylvania a handful of times and it’s only an hour and a half from where I live. You are definitely giving me inspiration to travel more locally when I go back!
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    • Well, I haven’t been to Ohio yet, so it’ll happen eventually!

      • Wait until I go back to go to Cleveland. I’ll give you a personal tour. 🙂
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  • So many amazing places to add to my ever growing travel bucket list. I do hope to visit South Bend soon. My husband and I drove through last year and were disappointed to arrive just as lunch ended at the Tippecanoe restaurant. We did tour the property, but I’d love to dine there as well.

    • Yeah, South Bend looks like a lot of fun. Happy travels in 2017!