Fun things to do in Indiana

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    Exterior of Hyde Brothers Books
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  • Indianapolis Soldiers and Sailors Memoria
    Indianapolis Soldiers and Sailors...
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  • Indiana Railway Museum
    Indiana Railway Museum
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Indiana

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    The Chase Tower

    by traveldave Updated Sep 13, 2012

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    Formerly called the Bank One Tower, the Chase Tower, with a total height of 830 feet (253 meters), is the tallest building in Indianapolis.

    The building was constructed between 1988 and 1990, and was designed by the architectural firm of KlingStubbins. Its stepped-pyramid cap mirrors the design of the Indiana War Memorial, located three blocks to the north. The roof of the 48-story tower reaches a height of 700 feet (213 meters) and sprouts twin 130-foot (40-meter) spires. One of the spires is a functional transmission antenna, and the other is merely decorative and was added so as to give symmetry to the building.

    The Chase Tower is the Indianapolis headquarters of the JPMorgan Chase Bank, which occupies most of the building's 1,050,000 square feet (97,550 square meters) of office space.

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    The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument

    by traveldave Updated Sep 13, 2012

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    Located in the center of Monument Circle, a circular plaza in the middle of downtown Indianapolis, the 285-foot (87-meter) State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument was built between 1889 and 1901 to commemorate Indiana's war heroes who died in the the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the American Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. It was the first monument in the United States dedicated to the common soldier.

    The monument was designed by Bruno Schmitz, Germany's foremost designer of national monuments, and is his only commission outside of Germany or Switzerland. His neo-Classical design, called the Symbol of Indiana, was the winning entry in an international design contest. The limestone sculptures are the work of sculptor Rudolf Schwarz of Vienna.

    The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument features an observation deck that can be reached for free by climbing 331 steps, or by elevator for a small charge. It has a basement which houses the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum.

    Since 1962, the monument has been decorated at Christmastime as what is billed as "the world's largest Christmas tree," with cables and garlands stretching from its top to the ground. Called the Circle of Lights, the "Christmas tree" has 52 strands of garland and 4,784 lights.

    The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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    The State Capitol Building

    by traveldave Updated Sep 13, 2012

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    The Indiana State Capitol Building was built to house all three branches of state government, including the office of the governor, the Indiana General Assembly (consisting of the Senate and House of Representatives), and the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The 70,000-volume Supreme Court Law Library is also located in the building.

    The current capitol is actually the fifth building to serve as Indiana's capitol building. The first was located in Corydon, which was Indiana's first capital. The building still exists and is maintained as a state historic site. The Marion County Courthouse served as the second capitol and housed the state government for 12 years after Indianapolis had become the state capital. The third was a large building whose design was inspired by the Parthenon in Athens. However, the foundation soon began to crumble, and part of its ceiling collapsed. The building was condemned and demolished. In the interim period before the current capitol building was built, the state government worked out of an office building that already housed the Surpeme Court. During this period, Indiana in effect did not have a capitol building.

    Construction began on the current state capitol building in 1880 and was completed in 1887. It was designed by architect Edwin May in the Corinthian style of architecture with an Italian Renaissance interior. Soon after construction began, however, May died and architect Adolph Sherrer took over the project. The four-story building is in the shape of a cross with a large central rotunda with a glass domed ceiling connecting all four wings. The building was constructed of Indiana limestone, and whenever possible, materials native to the state were used in its construction.

    The Indiana State Capitol Building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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    The Indiana State Museum

    by traveldave Updated Sep 12, 2012

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    What is now the Indiana State Museum began in 1862 as a natural history collection amassed by then-state librarian R. Deloss Brown. Over the years, the collection was housed in various buildings in the State Capitol Building. In 1967, the museum moved into its first permanent home in the former Indianapolis City Hall building. The new, state-of-the-art facility for the Indiana State Museum opened in 2002, providing over 40,000 square feet (3,716 square meters) of exhibition space on three floors.

    The museum's collections contain more than 400,000 artifacts covering the subjects of science, art, culture, and history as they pertain to Indiana. Its exhibits and displays depict all aspects of the state, from its geological past, its natural history, its American Indian past, its rich cultural heritage up to the Golden Age of its growing industrial economy between 1880 and 1920, its present, and its future.

    In addition to its exhibits, the museum also offers an interactive learning center, a six-story IMAX Theater, and the 92 County Walk which features a unique sculpture for each of the state's 92 counties.

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    All things cows

    by staindesign Written Nov 13, 2011

    Being a big day trip person, I would recommend Fair Oaks Dairy. Located about an hour and 20 mins north of Indy on I-65. It isn't an expensive experience, but the bus tour through the dairy is pleasantly interesting. They work hard at harvesting the methane for the electricity and they are proud of the quality of life they provide for their cows. The merry-go round milker is very interesting. Apparently, some of the cows think so and take a second ride. The cheese and ice cream is the freshest you'll have. Seriously, becareful, it can make you a little sick because it is really rich. And if you can stomach seeing a birth, the birthing barn shows the miracle of life several times a day!

    Related to:
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    • Museum Visits
    • Road Trip

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    Only Operating Rotary Jail in Crawfordsville, IN

    by pabertra Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Old Jail Museum was built in 1882. It was the first of seven rotary jails constructed in the United States and is currently the only rotary jail in operating condition.

    The rotary cellblock consists of a two-tiered turntable divided into pie-shaped wedges, with a total of 16 cells. The turntable is housed within a stationary steel cage with one opening per story.

    The jailer would simply rotate the mechanism to bring a particular cell to the opening, and in this way, prisoners were put into and let out of the cells. The turntable remained in operation until 1939.

    The jail was used as the Montgomery County Jail until it closed in 1973 and became a museum in 1975, operated by the Montgomery County Cultural Foundation. The museum exhibits items related to the history, culture and art of Montgomery County as well as artifacts from the jail itself.

    Some interesting stories about the jail include that a notorious biker gang that came to Crawfordsville was arrested for their suspicious looking long hair and were only released after they had been given burrs and were clean shaven.

    Also one man who was incarcerated here had a peg leg and when he was feeling cantankerous he would wedge his peg leg between the bars preventing the jailer from rotating the cells.

    Also, the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    c*

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    The Tibetan Cultural Center

    by traveldave Updated Oct 19, 2010

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    The Tibetan Cultural Center was established in Bloomington due to the large Tibetan community in the city. Bloomington has one of only two Tibetan restaurants in the United States, and the nephew of the Dalai Lama calls Bloomington home. (The Dalai Lama visits frequently).

    The purpose of the Tibetan Cultural Center is to promote Tibetan culture and history, and to support Tibetans, both those in Tibet and those in exile. It also strives to preserve the Tibetan culture through educational and philosophical programs, including teachings, workshops, meditations, seminars, retreats, and ceremonies relating to Tibetan religious practices.

    The 90-acre (36-hectare) grounds of the Tibetan Cultural Center include the Jangchub Chorten, the Kalachakra Stupa, and the Chamtse Ling Temple.

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    The Indianapolis Zoo

    by traveldave Updated Oct 19, 2010

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    The Indianapolis Zoo is affiliated with the White River Gardens, which is right next door to the zoo. The Indianapolis Zoo opened in 1964, and moved to its present facility in 1988. The zoo houses 3,800 animals of 320 different species.

    The Indianapolis Zoo is divided into five separate biomes: the Waters Biome features aquatic life of the world's oceans, rivers, and ponds; the Deserts Biome features life of desert habitats; the Plains Biome features animals of the African and Australian plains; the Forests Biome features animals of temperate and tropical forests; and the Encounters Biome provides children the opportunity to pet and touch domestic animals from around the world.

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    The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians

    by traveldave Updated Oct 19, 2010

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    Only one of two museums east of the Mississippi River with both Indian and Western art, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art seeks to inspire an appreciation of the art, history, and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America.

    The museum features permanent exhibits, including Mihtohseenionki (The People's Place) and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Its permanent art collection includes The American Western Gallery; the Taos, New Mexico Artists; the Contemporary Collection; and the Native American Collection. Special exhibits also contribute to an understanding of the art and culture of the American Indians and the West.

    The museum's unique building was inspired by the land, people, and cultures of the American Southwest.

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    White River State Park

    by traveldave Updated Oct 19, 2010

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    Located just west of downtown Indianapolis, White River State Park is the only state park in the nation found in the heart of a major city. Over 2,000,000 visitors per year visit the park and its attractions and events.

    Although the park has features common to all state parks, such as grassy expanses, waterways, and tree-lined boulevards, it also boasts such attractions as the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indianapolis Zoo, the White River Gardens, the NCAA Hall of Champions, and Victory Field.

    Popular events held in the park include Jazz Fest, the Indian Market, and Taste of Indiana.

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    The Indiana Historical Society

    by traveldave Updated Oct 19, 2010

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    Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has worked to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the stories of Indiana's history. The Indiana Historical Society has the world's largest collection of Indiana materials, and offers programs, special events, and exhibitions to promote an awareness of the history of the state.

    Visitors can get a bite to eat in the Stardust Terrace Café, purchase souvenirs in the History Market, or enjoy music in the Cole Porter Room, which features music and memorabilia of one of Indiana's most famous and beloved song writers.

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    Canal Walk

    by traveldave Updated Oct 19, 2010

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    Extending from 11th and Senate streets on its north end to the NCAA Hall of Champions on its south end, Canal Walk is a pedestrian greenspace with water features and landscaped parks. It is a popular place to walk, bike, rollerblade, take lunch, rent a paddle boat, or just people-watch.

    Canal Walk has been listed as an American Water Landmark, and is on the Indiana State Register of Historic Places. In addition, the American Society of Landscape Architects awarded its 1999 Medallion Award to Canal Walk for excellence in landscape architecture.

    Canal Walk follows the general path of the old Central Canal, built in the 1830s to connect the Wabash Canal to the Erie Canal, and promote trade and commerce along its length.

    Pictured here is the fountain at the Ohio Street Basin.

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    The Indiana War Memorial Plaza

    by traveldave Updated Oct 19, 2010

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    It has been said that Indianapolis has more memorials than any American city other than Washington, D.C. A five-block area to the north of the downtown area consists of the Indiana War Memorial Plaza.

    Dominating the plaza is the 210-foot (64-meter) Indiana World War Memorial (visible in the background). Indiana soldiers killed in the First World War, Second World War, Korean War, and Vietnam War are honored here. The memorial was constructed of Indiana limestone in the neo-Classical style of architecture. Each side of the structure contains six Ionic columns, above which are figures sculpted in stone representing Courage, Memory, Peace, Victory, Liberty, and Patriotism.

    The Veteran's Memorial Plaza (visible in the foreground) features a 100-foot (30-meter) black granite obelisque capped with gold. Near its base are four bronze bas-relief panels representing Law, Science, Religion, and Education. The plaza contains an American flag, as well as flags from each of the 50 American states.

    The Indiana War Memorial Plaza also contains the American Legion Mall, and individual memorials for Indiana soldiers killed in the Second World War, Korean War, and Vietnam War.

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    Awesome Town in the Heart of the Country

    by DueSer Written May 3, 2010

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    Columbus, Indiana is a cute little town about halfway between Cincinnati and Indianapolis (maybe a little closer to Indy) that has a very unique feature. Evidently, some clever person got a grant for the city that paid any architect's fee for the design of public buildings. Then, an even cleverer person thought to go out and get MAJOR architects (I'm talkin' I.M. Pei etc.) to come design buildings for their town. And the coolest part - they came and they designed and what we're all left with is a small-ish town in the middle of the country that is in all the Top 10 lists for Best Architecture, Most Architecturally Important, and the like. And because these are public buildings, a visit to Columbus makes for a great budget trip because you don't have to pay to enjoy the outside of a building.

    There are older buildings and very modern and everything in between. There are bridges and hospitals and churches. There's public art as well, by famous artists, like Henry Moore. And it's all in this town that's small enough you can just park your car (or leave it at your hotel) and walk around with your camera enjoying everything.

    The city does offer walking tours if you don't want to do it on your own.

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    Canyons of the Midwest - Turkey Run SP

    by Toughluck Updated Jan 21, 2010

    Southern Indiana is rolling hills, but amongst those hills are several step canyons, cut by the power of small streams. Turkey Run State Park (West Central, Indiana) is a hour or more from Indianapolis. Here, you'll find narrow winding hollows. In the summer, the water is cool and the mud refreshing. In the spring and fall, the water can be nearly gone or running deep and fast. Each season finds a difference. In the winter, the hollows may be to slippery to hike, but there are plenty of boardwalks above and below to let you peak in for a winterly look. Any time of year, it's fun. But in the heat of summer, the dark, wet hollows offer relief from the heat.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

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Indiana Things to Do

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