12 Magnificent Hidden Gems To Discover In Indiana This Year
Indiana is a much, much more fascinating and enriched state than most folks tend to think of it as. Truth is, there’s no real end to the list of things to do, see, and experience, and we’ve gone ahead and created a handy-dandy list of one dozen of those hidden gems in Indiana to add to your to-do list for the next year! You can visit one per month, or create a road trip out of them and do ’em all in a day or two… it’s up to you!
Life in Indiana is beautiful: let us show you how.
1. Urban Vines Winery & Brewery
We bet you didn't realize there are actually numerous
wineries in Indiana,
but there are - and this one is one of our all-time favorites! Visit Urban Vines Winery & Brewery and experience wine and beer in a totally different way. In the winter, there are awesome outdoor igloos to wine and dine from, and overall they offer incredible amounts of magic year-round.
Urban Vines Winery & Brewery, 303 E 161st St, Westfield, IN 46074, USA
2. Angel Mounds State Historic Site
Fans of Native American history will love a visit to the lesser-known but 100% amazing
Angel Mounds State Historic Site
, which consists of more than 600 acres of gorgeous, emerald green hills that are holding a fascinating historical secret: these hills are actually human-made, ancient Native American mounds, and they possess all sorts of symbolism and purpose. Come learn about the mounds and the people who made them!
Angel Mounds State Historic Site, 8215 Pollack Ave, Evansville, IN 47715, USA
3. Jug Rock
This is probably one of our favorite
offbeat attractions in Indiana
. It's a bizarre geological wonder that certainly stands out against the landscape it exists in: it's the largest free-standing table rock formation in the United States east of the Mississippi River, and it's incredibly difficult to miss. It's such a beloved staple of the town it exists nearest to (Shoals) that it's the high school mascot.
Jug Rock Nature Preserve, 722 Albright Ln, Shoals, IN 47581, USA
4. Grannie’s Cookie Jar & Ice Cream
Oh, boy. Dessert lovers and owners of sweet teeth, this one's for you: Grannie's Cookie Jars & Ice Cream is an amazing homage to all the best things about dessert. This is one of the downright best
ice cream parlors in Indiana
, and it's also home to an enormous collection of cookie jars. Of course, there are plenty of cookies to be had, too - just leave room for some in between the huge gobs of ice cream you'll no doubt be indulging in.
Grannie's Cookie Jars & Ice Cream Parlor, 19041 Lovers Ln, Metamora, IN 47030, USA
5. Cataract General Store
Cataract General Store is a hidden gem in the Hoosier State that all too many people tend to forget is there. It's pretty special because it's the
oldest general store in Indiana
, still going strong after well over 160 years (it was built the year Lincoln was elected president). Come on inside and enjoy all sorts of fun stuff from grocery basics to candy, a pharmacy, and everything in between.
Cataract General Store, 2799 S Cataract Rd, Spencer, IN 47460, USA
6. WHO North America
Dr. Who is one heck of a special television show. If you've never watched it, you're in the minority: Dr. Who is the single longest-running television series in history, and can easily brag over a billion viewers over the decades it's aired. Did you know the
largest Dr. Who museum in the world
is right here in Indiana? Yep - head out to Camby and experience this delight for yourself. Don't let the exterior fool you: it's bigger on the inside.
Who North America, 8901 South State Rd 67, Camby, IN 46113, USA
7. The Pirate Cat memorial
The story of
is enough to bring tears to anyone's eyes. This handsome feline was a staple of his favorite hiking trail in an Indy suburb, thrilling hikers, bikers, and walkers for years. One day, he disappeared, and when he returned... well, he wasn't in good shape. When he crossed the rainbow bridge surrounded by people who loved him, the town put their resources together and erected this charming, heartwarming monument to the little guy. He will never be forgotten, and he will always be loved. Pirate Cat, this one's for you.
Pirate Cat Memorial, 1430 E 96th St, Indianapolis, IN 46240, USA
Have you ever wanted to experience
waterfront dining in Indiana
but lamented the fact that we have no coast to speak of? If so, you need to experience RiverWatch at least once. This fantastic restaurant is nestled right up on the Ohio River and offers amazing dining experiences. It closes for the winter and reopens in the spring, so be sure to plan accordingly.
RiverWatch, 1 Walnut St, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025, USA
9. The Geode Grotto
This absolutely breathtaking
geode grotto in Indiana
is an incredible experience even for the non-religious folks out there. Painstakingly (and lovingly) constructed over ten years with thousands of locally-sourced geodes, found objects, rocks, and more, there were no blueprints - just inspiration. Come experience the incredible Geode Grotto in Jasper on the grounds of the Providence Home.
Geode Grotto, West 9th Street, Jasper, IN, USA
If you've ever wanted to visit Switzerland but just can't quite swing it, no worries: the town of Berne is also known as "Little Switzerland," and it's an experience to be had! Easily one of the
most charming small towns in Indiana
, Berne has a large Amish population that not only walks the walk but literally talks the talk: they speak Bernese German, a Swiss German dialect, and make some of the best furniture in the world right here in the Hoosier State. This one's a delight for the entire family - especially if you're in the mood for shopping for new furniture that'll last.
11. Pinhook Bog
Indiana's kind of weird, if you think about it. It's home to so many different landscapes: dunes, plains, hills, lakes, and... a bog? That's right: a bog.
is incredibly unique thanks to its being, well, a literal bog - complete with carnivorous plants! It's one of the only places you'll find these strange little organisms growing naturally in the United States, and we promise it's well worth a visit just for the experience. But please, always remember: take only pictures, leave only footprints.
Pinhook Bog, Coolspring Township, IN, USA
12. Nick's Chili Parlor
Finally, let's get some grub! The 12th and final
hidden gem in Indiana
we'll mention is Nick's Chili Parlor: home of the best chili in the world since 1974. And yes, of course, there are hot dogs - including a gargantuan foot-long chili dog that's to die for. Hungry? Make it Nick's!
Nick's Chili Parlor, 2621 Lafayette Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46222, USA
How many of these delectable hidden gems in Indiana have you visited already? Which ones are you planning to check out over the next year? Let us know!
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