The Midwest is full of open spaces, beautiful scenery, and kind-hearted folks ready to welcome all visitors. Indiana is no exception. Jake Oakman, director of sales at Visit Indiana, Lisa Wallace, communications manager at Visit Indy, and Mary Huggard, vice president of tourism development at Visit Indy have joined together to give you a peek inside this fun-loving, hospitality-filled destination.
What is your favorite thing to see or do in Indiana?
- JO: My favorite thing to do in Indiana is go back to my old college town, Bloomington, and pretend I am 22 again. I don’t do it often, which is probably a good thing. Bloomington is a culturally rich community that benefits from the strong, international reputation of Indiana University. Other than it’s physical beauty, Bloomington has a number of wonderful restaurants (my favorite is Little Zagreb’s Steakhouse) and some great cultural attractions—the IU Auditorium, Lilly Library and IU Art Museum are just three that immediately come to mind.
- LW: Outside of Indianapolis, I love checking out the architecture of Columbus, which was ranked sixth in the nation for architectural innovation and design by the American Institute of Architects. There are more than seventy buildings and pieces of public art by notable architects and artists such as I.M. Pei, Eliel and Eeor Saarinen, Richard Meier, Dale Chihuly, and more. The Miller House and Garden is a must-see mid-century modern jewel, designed by Eeor Saarinen, Dan Kiley, and Alexander Girard. Nearby is Brown County State Park with beautiful trails for hiking.
- MH: In Indy, my favorite place is White River State Park, because I can hang out with the seals at the zoo, stop into a museum, see a baseball game, or take my power walk along the beautiful canal.
What makes Indiana different from any other state in the Midwest?
- JO: Hoosier Hospitality. Visitors are greeted by friendly, polite faces all across our state.
- MH: Every destination claims friendliness—in Indiana, it is part of our DNA, and truly authentic. If someone has never been to Indiana before, what do you recommend they see or do in order to get a true feel for the state?
- JO: Visit one of our state parks and watch a high school basketball game.
- LW: I would recommend attending a sporting event, exploring the art and thriving neighborhoods via bicycle along the eight-mile Indianapolis Cultural Trail, and dining at local restaurants that source their produce and protein from Indiana farms. Indiana is a state known for sports. Specifically racing and basketball—and especially high school hoops. Take a lap around the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway or visit historic Hinkle Fieldhouse where Bobby Plump made the shot that inspired the film Hoosiers. This state is rich with agriculture, which makes for fresh and delicious farm-to-fork dining options. Favorites include Goose the Market, Patachou, R bistro, Recess, Cerulean, and Traders Point Creamery in Indianapolis, as well as Tallent in Bloomington and Joseph Decuis in northern Indiana.