Anyone from Indiana knows that it's highly underrated. It's more than farmlands and the Indianapolis 500! Indianapolis has the iconic Canal Walk promenade, Fort Wayne has the beautiful botanical gardens, and the state has some of the best national and state parks.
While the bigger cities attract more tourists, nobody should discount the smaller towns in the state. You are missing out on some charming and adorable towns with just as much to offer. Besides, sometimes you really just want to get away from people and traffic.
So make your next getaway a small town! This list has a range from all over the state and is just waiting for you to make a day trip there or make it a weekend excursion. It doesn't matter which place you choose, you know you're going to get an unique experience that other people are missing out on just because it's not a big city. Well, that's too bad for them because there's no FOMO here!
Waterfalls and wineries? Yes, please. Spencer is home to McCormick's Creek State Park that has over 10 miles of hiking trails that are well-marked and range from easy to moderate. The trails will take you to Wolf Cave, Twin Bridges, and the reason why everyone goes: the Falls on McCormick's Creek. While most people walk on the trails, you can also take guided trail rides and pony rides!
After a long day of pretending you can survive out in the wilderness, you can head over to Owen Valley Winery and drink wine in the tasting room or out on the porch that looks over the winery. Not a bad itinerary at all!
Food is the reason why you need to visit. The Chocolate Moose is a fun diner that's decorated to make it look like the '50s. Apparently, the tenderloin sandwich is to die for so order that for your main. And then when you're stuffed, you order the brownie sundae!
After you feel like you can't eat anymore, head over to the Farmland General Store where they sell a variety of old timey candy and chocolate all in glass jars. It's perfect for completing your experience of jumping back in time to the '50s.
Come here for some serious fall vibes. Trees line the streets in Williamsport and with the changing colors of the leaves, it makes for the perfect backdrop against the red bricked City Hall. So get busy stepping on those crunchy leaves and bundle up in your peacoat and your coziest scarf.
Williamsport is also a great destination if you want to take a brisk walk to see a waterfall and a gorge. Williamsport Falls is the second highest waterfall in the state at 90 feet and it's right by the town center. Falls Creek Gorge is a must-see natural attraction with tumbling waters against sharp walled canyons.
New Harmony was Indiana's attempt at utopia! So... that failed. But what's left is still a quaint town that's worth visiting. The town is known for the Roofless Church, built under the idea that the only church with a roof big enough for all worshippers was the sky! And if you have time and want to challenge yourself, head to the Cathedral Labyrinth. It's a hedge maze with the cathedral in the center. Of course, if you can't be bothered to get lost, there's a direct shortcut to the cathedral through the gate.
It's Christmas all year round here! So you definitely need to head here if you are that person counting down to Christmas on the 26th of December every year. This town seriously has it all. There are Christmas shops open all the time so you can always buy ornaments and tree toppers.
But if you find yourself here, you need to go to Holiday World. People, wake up! There are rides called Rudolph's Round-Up and Reindeer Games. OMG coming here would be a Christmas miracle!
Small towns always have the funniest attractions. Franklin is known for the Garden of Gas Station Signs, which is amazing. It's some place you go to because you just have to do it for the photo evidence.
But take your time walking around the town because the buildings are beautiful downtown. You have to see the courthouse because it's stunning. So just stand outside and take a look at it. You don't want to be mistaken for someone who has to actually go inside for something.
Munster is home to some great parks for picnics. So if you're visiting the town when the weather is nice, pack a picnic lunch and sit by the water and contemplate life. Really talk about life's important things like why you're frustrated with some celebrity couples or why that guy refuses to like your pics on Instagram.
You definitely need to stop by the Carmelite Shrine. It's located in the church and is open to visitors every Sunday from 9:30-5:00. After you walk around inside, make sure you check out the grounds to look at the grottos made from sponge rock.
Nature lovers, this is the place for you! Walk the Zionsville Rail Trail that spans over 3 miles on paved pathway that runs along the main part of the town. The trail is also great because it connects to other trails and will take you to different parks in the community.
And if that doesn't satisfy you, head to Creekside Nature Park to get a look at Eagle Creek. Just take some time to sit and listen to the water before you head back into town.
In the mood for some turkey? Well, Big Turkey Lake is waiting for you in Stroh! Walk around the lake and see if you can spy catfish in bass in the water. Stroh is great for driving around with the windows down and looking on each side to see what there is. So crank up the music and let the wind flow through your hair. And since you're pretty far from all the major cities, find a spot to watch the sunset and take some time to go stargazing.
No, not the country music capital of the country. Nashville in Indiana isn't producing the next Taylor Swift or Tim McGraw, but it does have Brown Country State Park. There are plenty of easy loop trails that will take you down to see Ogle Lake. The wooden boardwalk area is the spot to take a rest and stop to take photos. If you find yourself nearing the end of the trail and you want to delay going back to your car, just sit down on one of the park benches! They are scattered throughout the park for you to sit and enjoy the view.
This historic riverside town is known for antiques, wineries, adorable b&bs. Come take a walk downtown and pass by the Broadway Fountain that's only 1 of 4 left in the world. And if you're up for a different kind of trail, the town has a wine trail that will take you to 7 wineries closeby. Another staple of downtown is the Lanier Mansion that's a historic house that was built in the 1840s that's open to the public.
But you'd be missing out if you didn't head to Madison to visit Clifty Falls State Park. Did you know that Clify Creek is still filled with fossil remnants like ancient corals, squids, and more? It's prohibited to collect them at the park, but it's pretty cool if you get to see one!
Vincennes is a town that's rich in history. It's the oldest town in the state! There are several historical buildings that are worth hitting up. You can also check out the visitor center and embark on a guided walking tour to make sure you don't miss any important buildings in the town.
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park has a huge memorial that's 100% Instagram aesthetic approved with the white columns. And you can't miss Grouseland, the home of William Henry Harrison when he was governor of the Indiana Territory.
Yorktown is right in between White River and Buck Creek. It's a small town that kind of gives off Pawnee vibes from Parks and Recreation. You can go there and try to find a Leslie Knope type! You can rent kayaks and go on a guided tour down the White River or hang out in Morrow's Meadow park and sit by the water. For food, Osborn's Country Kitchen is on the cheaper side, but sells good comfort food. Oh, and the sunsets in Yorktown are supposed to be gorgeous so catch that while you're at the park too!
Merom Bluff Park is a hidden gem in this town. Hike up to the top of the bluff and you get an incredible view of Wabash River and of Merom. You can also hike down to the river itself if you want to tack on some extra physical activity to your day. It's recommended that you spend around 1 to 2 hours here. If you get hungry, The Downtown Diner is supposed to serve the best coffee in town and goes great with the steak sandwich.
Bridgeton is famous for its... covered bridge! It's the most famous one in Indiana and sits over the mill pond and waterfall. The mill that overlooks the bridge is also one of oldest continusouly operating mill. Covered bridges are known to be very romantic, so take bae here for a little photoshoot. Really show people who defines #CouplesGoals, you know?
Knightsbridge is famous beause Hoosiers filmed there. If you really loved that movie starring Gene Hackman, you can visit the Hoosiers Gym they filmed it. But really, Knightsbridge should be for hanging at Lake Haven or walking along the Big Blue River that runs along the town.
It's a town worth visiting if there's a state park in it. Tippecanoe River State Park is the place to be if you love to canoe. It's literally right there in the name! But even if you're not into water activities or it's too cold for that, the state park has 10 trails that range from easy to moderate. The trails will take you through an oak forest, over sand hills, to a fire tower, a railroad, and bluffs.
Make sure you go check out the fire tower because you will get a breathtaking view for only 111 steps. So it's definitely worth walking up all those stairs!
Can't make it to the other covered bridge? Don't worry, there are plenty in Indiana! Mansfield has one too and while it might not be the most famous in the state, it certainly is the longest that's left standing in Parke County at over 270 feet! So grab your S/O tight and kiss them right on the bridge. Feel the sparks fly as you act out a scene right out of a romantic comedy.
Being below the earth's surface will never not be cool. Check out the cave tours at Squire Boone Caverns or Indiana Caverns. Both are close to Corydon! They offer tours that let you see rushing streams and underground waterfalls. But if you want something a litle less adrenaline driven, walking around Corydon historic district is a calming experience. You'll get to see Corydon Capitol State Historic Site. It's the site of Indiana's first state capital and where it developed from territory to state!
Stopby Mecca to see what it's all about. You can drive past it or drive through it. Either way, stop by and go see the Mecca Bridge. Yup, another covered bridge. You might as well see them all since they're all over Indiana and seem to be only in small towns. It goes over Big Raccoon Creek that flows through the town. You can also walk through town and see the school and the church.
Rising Sun is known for its colorful outdoor art. The staircases are painted, the park benches are all done up, and it all feels like one big playground. But the main reason you'll want to come here is beacuse of the Red Wolf Sanctuary. In the sanctuary, you will see wolves, coyotes, bobcats, black bears, and more. They provide tours if you want to go meet these animals that they rehabilitate.