Indiana is awesome. I don’t just say that because I have deep Indiana roots and adore a good tenderloin sandwich. Our family loves to explore and learn about the people and places of our home state and summer is the perfect time to do it.
Indiana is home to ancient seafloors and modern beaches. It is home to amusement parks, sacred spaces, gangster hideouts, and the never-ending I-69 project! It boasts some of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls, canals, lakes, and rivers and it’s rolling hills, underground caverns, gardens, and forests make a majestic, natural backdrop to the farms, factories, quarries and ports that have forged the state’s vast and varied history. Native American mound-builders intersect with modern-day astronauts, Indiana is truly “The Crossroads of America”.
Celebrities are a great way to connect with Indiana.
Hoosiers have kept America laughing for generations with the humor of James Whitcomb Riley, Red Skelton, David Letterman, and Jim Gaffagin. The funny pages wouldn’t be the same without the Hoosier wit and wisdom of Abe Martin in the early 1900s or the more recent lazy ponderings of Garfield, the lasagna-loving cat!
Grab your favorite jokester or that friend with the great laugh and visit the home of some of these famous Indiana humorists or why not make some popcorn for a night in with Kimmy Schmidt or Leslie Knope and giggle at their fictional Hoosier antics.
While the popcorn (from Popcorn, IN, population: 42) is hot, stream an Indiana-inspired movie like Hoosiers or Breaking Away – then go shoot a basketball at the Milan gym or ride your own bikes around the IU campus.
Visit Indiana’s world-famous sporting events like the Indianapolis 500 or Madison Regatta this summer or choose an experience with a little slower pace like the Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous or the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival.
Many of your favorite things have roots right here in Indiana.
Wonder Bread? Converse sneakers? BACON!! Yes….even sliced bacon hails from Indiana. When you sit down to a delicious BLT this summer, thank a Hoosier.
Turn that love of Hoosier ingenuity into a road trip.
Take a factory tour or visit a local winery. We love the Albanese Gummi Factory in Merrillville, Indiana. (If you visit there, be prepared for delicious samples and sticky teeth! Maybe pack some Crest toothpaste – developed right here at Indiana University!)
Hoosiers are also key players in the soundtrack of American life.
From Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael and Wes Montgomery to Michael Jackson, Axl Rose and John Mellencamp – imagine a world without “Anything Goes” or “Jack and Diane”?! Make an Indiana playlist for your kids and spend an afternoon teaching them all the steps to “Thriller” just for fun.
I could go on and on about the natural beauty and fascinating history and achievements of our Hoosier heritage. In May there is a whole week devoted to exploring some of the fun, mysterious, historical and even tasty experiences that Indiana has to offer for free or discounted prices: https://visitindiana.com/blog/index.php/2019/04/10/visit-indiana-week-2019/
I hope you will take time to enjoy what’s right outside your door and share some Indiana moments with your favorite (native or adopted) Hoosiers.