Indiana

This farm in Prophetstown State Park is emblematic of Indiana's rural charm and America's breadbasket heritage

Indiana is a state in the heart of the Midwest region of the United States. It is bordered by Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Michigan. Indiana is more than a fly-over state with one large metropolitan area, rural farmland, and cozy college towns.

Regions

Indiana regions - Color-coded map
Central Indiana
A crescent in the center of the state surrounding the capital region, home to one of the nation's premier science and technology universities, Purdue
Nine-County Region
The largest in terms of population, dominated by Indianapolis. The majority of nightlife, shopping, and monuments are here.
Northern Indiana
The second city of Fort Wayne and Notre Dame campus South Bend.
Northwestern Indiana
The pristine Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan bleed into the industrial Gary and further into Chicagoland.
Southern Indiana
Home of Indiana University in Bloomington, farmland, and the large Brown County State Park border Louisville
Southwestern Indiana
Hilly highlands and caves, on the border with Kentucky. Includes Evansville and Lincoln's boyhood home.

Cities

Other destinations

Monument Circle in Indianapolis—a city full of monumental memorials

Understand

Endless regular square plots of Indiana farmland

Geography & Climate

Indiana is mostly rural with high population concentrations in a few major cities/towns. The majority of Indiana is open farmland, though this is changing with expansion.

Get in

By plane

Indianapolis International Airport is the major airport in the state with flights to many cities around the country. Small airports in Fort Wayne, Evansville and South Bend offer flights to nearby hub cities. Air service is also available from nearby airports in Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisville.

By car

Numerous interstate highways enter and leave the state. Interstates 80 and 90 form the Indiana Toll Road in northern Indiana, linking Gary, South Bend and Ohio. Interstate 94 hugs most of Lake Michigan from Illinois to Michigan. Interstate 65 is the major north-south route from Gary south to Indianapolis then entering Kentucky at Louisville. Interstate 70 is the busiest east-west route linking Illinois (at Terre Haute) with Ohio (at Richmond), passing through Indianapolis midway. Interstate 74 does the same thing, except it enters near Danville, Illinois and leaves near Cincinnati. Interstate 64 crosses southern Indiana from Illinois (25 miles northwest of Evansville) to New Albany. Interstate 69 runs from northeast Indiana, out of Michigan, through Fort Wayne to Indianapolis, where it ends (there are plans to extend it to Evansville and eventually to Texas). Interstate 275 (the Cincinnati bypass) briefly enters Indiana for about five miles. US 41 extends from Gary to Evansville and is the major north-south route through western Indiana.

By train

Amtrak's Cardinal provides service between Chicago and New York City via Indianapolis. The Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited serve South Bend and a few other stops along Indiana's northern border.

By bus

Greyhound and/or Miller Trailways serve Indianapolis and most of other major cities of Indiana, on a very basic schedule. Megabus runs between Chicago, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati.

By foot

Get around

See

Your traditional sightseeing in Indiana belongs in Indianapolis, which is flush with big museums, an inordinate quantity of giant monuments and memorials, and a very nice canal walk with paddleboats and public art.

Outside the cities, and outside of the seemingly endless farmland in the plains, are a host of parks and outdoor recreation areas worth visiting. Without a doubt, the one to see, if you must choose, is Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (and Indiana Dunes State Park). The dunes are enormous, the water crystal clear, the swampy forests beautiful, and the far-off industrial views intriguing.

State Parks

Do

Festivals and Events

Sports

The beautiful beaches at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan

Eat

Cuisine throughout much of the state is typical Mid-western, with the occasional odd dish like Corn Casserole. Outside of the main cities most of the restaurants are diners or family-style, while in the bigger cities you can find all sorts of varied cuisine. Indianapolis, in particular, has a very cosmopolitan selection of ethnic restaurants from around the world, as do major campus towns (Bloomington, West Lafayette). Lake County, as in most everything, diverges from the norm in Indiana, and is a better place to find Chicago-style food like hot dogs and pizza.

Drink

Hoosiers know how to drink! Wherever you are, you would be hard pressed to not find a bar. The trendiest part of the state for a drink is probably Broad Ripple in Indianapolis, but you will find streets packed with bars and pubs throughout the cities of the state, especially near major universities in Bloomington, West Lafayette, and South Bend. Micro-breweries are present in all the major cities, Upland from Bloomington is especially popular and available throughout the state. Note too, that drink prices can be very low in Indiana—especially out of the Nine-County Region. It's not uncommon to find domestic bottled beer for $1 during the week, with other varying specials.

For dancing and nightlife, the main options are in and around Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, as well as by the major universities.

By law, liquor stores are closed on Sundays throughout the state. Depending on what part of the state you are in, a short jaunt across state lines can solve this problem. Along many major routes in and out of the state, one can often find "state line" liquor stores that cater to Sunday customers from Indiana.

Bars and restaurants are allowed to serve beer, wine, and liquor seven days a week, between the hours of 7AM and 3AM (the following morning), local time. Hours for bars can vary by population density and owner preference, but the vast majority of full-service "chain" restaurants with alcohol sales will not remain open beyond 11 pm or midnight. In most localities however, one can always find a neighborhood bar or nightclub that will serve drinks right up to 3:00. In all substantial cities, almost all bars will remain open until this time.

There have been many rumors about a liquor law in Indiana that prohibits the "take home" sale of cold beer. This is absolutely false. Throughout the state in any liquor store, Village Pantry service stations, and some grocery stores it can be purchased cold. Liquor stores that sell hard alcohol cannot sell pop or soda cold, rather it must be at room temperature.

Stay safe

Largely rural, Indiana has a fairly low crime rate per capita. In 2006 (the latest year for which data is available) it ranked 29th in crimes per 100,000 population. Large urban areas are exceptions like the former steel town Gary and the outlying Chicago area in the Northwest and certain segments of Indianapolis.

While outside of Tornado Alley, Indiana has a fairly high occurrence of tornados. You might want to check the Tornado safety page if you are visiting Indiana.

High incidence of HIV and hepatitis C infection have been reported in 2015 in certain areas of southeastern Indiana, centered on the town of Austin in Scott County. (See official press releases here: HIV outbreak in southeastern Indiana.)

Connect

The vast majority of Indiana is on Eastern Time and began observing Daylight Savings Time in 2006. The five counties of Northwestern Indiana (near Chicago) as well as several counties around Evansville are on Central Time.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 08, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.