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3 Unexpectedly Awesome Places to Visit in Indiana (Beside Indianapolis)

Although many Indiana visitors are attracted to Indianapolis, other notable areas worth exploring exist in this diverse state. An Indiana getaway offers countless options for a girls’ weekend.

Hamilton County 

If you’re staying in Indianapolis, take a day trip to Hamilton County. It’s 20 minutes away and is home to the communities of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, and Westfield. While you’re in Hamilton County, stroll through the Carmel Arts & Design District; it’s been called one of America’s best Main Streets. Fishers is home to the Nickel Plate District and Conner Prairie outdoor museum. Noblesville offers canoeing, horseback riding, and a lovely historic square.

Plan to spend several days in Westfield when you book a hotel in the area. A tremendous sporting complex featuring Grand Park spans 400 acres. One of its highlights is the Monon Trail, a scenic 23-mile asphalt path for running, walking, and bicycling. Outdoor explorers can also head to Westfield’s beautiful MacGregor Park and delight in its woodlands, rolling hills, creeks, prairies, and wetlands.

Westfield’s Restaurant Row is an up-and-coming neighborhood with culinary adventures such as Chiba for superb sushi and sake, The Italian House on Park, and a farm-to-table experience at Rail Epicurean Market. Other dining and drinking options include Big Hoffa’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que on Main Street and Urban Vines Winery and Brewery.

Madison, Indiana

Located about 40 miles from Louisville, Kentucky, Madison, Indiana, is a favorite weekend getaway spot. Five art galleries feature local and regional art, with Rembrandt’s Gallery having its own wine bar. Its 133-block downtown business district is a National Historic Landmark; it has eight house museums, plus Lanier Mansion State Historic Site.

During the warmer months, you must visit Madison’s beautiful riverfront at the Ohio River. It is a relaxing place for picnics, volleyball, and people watching. But if you’d rather get in on the action, rent a boat at Rivercrest Marina or take a thrilling jet-boat tour with Rockin’ Thunder Jet Boat Rides.

Parke County 

Parke County is about 90 minutes west of Indiana and maintains its title as the covered bridge capital of the world. It is known for its amazing annual festivals, including the Covered Bridge Festival in October, the Mansfield Village Mushroom Festival in April, and the Parke County Maple Syrup Fair in February and March. You can also shop for art, antiques, food, crafts, antiques, and other treasures along the way.

The Old Jail Inn and Drunk Tank Winery is a hoot: From 1879 to 1998, it was an actual sheriff’s office and jail. In 2009, it was converted into a tourist destination. Guests can try on the original jail clothes, take tours, and down some Old Jail Inn Red Wine during their stay here.

An atypical Indiana getaway serves up stunning landscapes, vibrant towns, endless food and drink options, and a good shot of history. Call up your sense of adventure and pack your bags. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much besides Indianapolis this Midwestern gem brings to the table.

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