It’s 2022. After canceled plans and travel delays due to COVID, Americans are ready to hit the road this summer.
But what is that? A gallon of gasoline can cost you $5 or more? Airfare prices rise?
It sounds like a summer vacation is going to be a bull’s eye. But if you do want to get out of the city, there are some options that allow you to relax while sticking to the budget.
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Of course, cities like Chicago, Louisville, and Cincinnati are close by, but there are plenty of great travel destinations in the state of Hoosier.
Here are some options for relaxing this summer and still staying close to home.
Stay in Indianapolis
Who doesn’t love a staycation? All the relaxation of a vacation without having to drag your stuff to the airport, deal with canceled flights or traffic congestion.
The Bottleworks Hotel, at 850 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 100, was recently named one of Tripadvisor’s “Hottest New Hotels” in the world in the annual Traveler’s Choice “Best of the Best” awards. The hotel is a local option for a cool Indianapolis vacation experience.
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The hotel has many amenities, including the in-building Woodhouse Spa and dining and entertainment throughout the Bottleworks District.
Farther from downtown, Ironworks Hotel, 2721 E. 86th St., offers an industrial-luxury getaway for locals and travelers alike.
There are also many public swimming pools and water parks within just a few miles of Indianapolis, including the Water Park in Carmel, Splash Island in Plainfield, and more. Find more public pools and water centers here: bit.ly/3mS7G8g.
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Day Trips in Indiana
Bring out your inner forest artist in the town known as part of Brown County’s historic Hoosier art colony. The quaint town has much to offer, including Brown County State Park for hiking, camping, and fishing.
There are also plenty of places to shop, eat and see the arts and entertainment scene.
This charming northern Indiana town is home to a vibrant Amish community. The famous Shipshewana Trading Place flea market, which bills itself as the largest flea market in the Midwest, is a must-see when open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
There are also plenty of unique Amish experiences, such as a buggy or carriage ride, a quilt bee, or more.
Shipshewana has many local places to eat and stay, including the local Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery, where you can enjoy home-cooked Amish meals and pastries.
Shipshewana is also the birthplace of the award-winning Rise’n Roll Bakery. In 2001, a young Amish couple began selling baked goods from their front porch, eventually opening the first Rise’n Roll bakery in nearby Middlebury in 2004.
A true day trip just over an hour away, Bloomington has great dining options and a lot to offer.
Explore the campus of Indiana University, spend a day at one of the city’s three lakes, or simply enjoy the city’s vibrant and expansive food scene.
There is also the Bloomington Community Farmer’s Market, a popular Saturday destination, as well as the downtown plaza with many local shopping options.
If you want to stay overnight, there is also the Stranger Things themed suite in the Graduate hotel. Visit before the final two episodes of Season 4 air on July 1, availability permitting.
Progress:The first I-69 lanes in Marion County are nearing completion. This is when they could open.
If you are driving from Indianapolis, avoid the lingering I-69 construction and take I-65 south through Johnson County and take State Road 46 through Brown County. It’s a little longer, but offers the chance to stop at the outlet mall in Edinburgh and small shops in Nashville along the way!
The city is famous in Indiana and beyond for its architecture and artistic atmosphere† Just over 40 miles south of Indianapolis, it’s worth the trip for its unique buildings alone. In the city you can see the work of famous architects such as Eero and Eliel Saarinen.
There are many tours of the city’s impressive architecture that you can book here: columbus.in.us/tour-options/#tour-app. For $25 per person, you can take a tour of the historic Miller House and Garden to get a closer look at its mid-century modern style and architecture.
There is also a vibrant public art scene in Columbus. Check out a guide here: columbus.in.us/public-art/.
It’s always Christmas, even in July, in this southwest Indiana town.
Perhaps the most famous attraction is Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari theme park, where it’s always a party of sorts.
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The park is located at 452 E. Christmas Boulevard. While prices may vary, a day ticket for a specific date costs $49.99 online, and kids 3 and under get in for free. You can buy tickets here: bit.ly/3NUw70T.
For more information about Holiday World, visit the website: holidayworld.com.
Indiana Beach Boardwalk Resort
Indiana Beach Boardwalk Resort is located northwest of Indianapolis, in Monticello. The amusement and water parks are located at 5224 E. Indiana Beach Rd.
A single day ticket for people 4 feet (48 inches) or taller is $39.99, for people 4 feet and under it’s $29.99. For people 60 and older, it’s $19.99.
For more information about the park and season passes, visit indianabeach.com.
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The wide nature
Get outside this summer! Indiana offers many locations to enjoy the great outdoors. Be sure to pack water, sunscreen, and bug spray.
Brown County State Park
While the popular destination, located at 1801 Indiana State Rd. Widely known for its fall foliage, 46 E. in Nashville has plenty to offer in summer, too.
There is a daily entrance fee of $7 for cars with Indiana license plates and $9 for cars with out-of-state license plates, as well as a $2 fee for pedestrians, bicyclists, or horse riders five years of age and older entering the park. Gates are open daily from 7am to 11pm
The “Little Smokies” comprise nearly 16,000 acres of land. You can go hiking, swimming, cycling, fishing, horseback riding or use the playground or nature center.
The park, as well as the Indiana Dunes, is a stop on the Indiana Birding Trail: indianabirdingtrail.com. To camp you have to make a reservation.
Of course, when we talk about day trips in Indiana, the only national park in the state of Hoosier should be included. There are both state and national parks in the dunes, and both are worth a visit.
Indiana Dunes National Park, located at 1215 N. State Rd. 49 in Porter, is a beach destination off the shore of Lake Michigan. There are opportunities for hiking, swimming, birdwatching, camping, and boating, and that’s just the beginning.
Daily entrance fees per car to the state park are $7 for Indiana license plates and $12 for out-of-state plates. From March you need a pass to enter the national park. It’s $25 per vehicle or $15 per person for hiking, biking, and boat-ins.
There is a national park annual pass option, as well as a state annual pass option that is accepted at all Indiana state parks. Since the parks are segregated, the State Park Pass is not accepted at the National Park entrance and vice versa.
Both the state and national parks have campgrounds. To book a campground in the state park, visit here: bit.ly/3zDqUpN. For the national park you can book here: bit.ly/3Qsys4C
Hoosier National Forest
The forest contains Indiana’s only officially designated wilderness area, the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area. Located in Southern Indiana with headquarters in Bedford, the forest contains miles of trails for hiking, camping, horseback riding, and biking.
Most of the forest is free to the public, but there are some fees depending on the activity. The cost to enter Hoosier National Forest includes a daily use permit for a trail for $5 per day if you are horse or bike. A day pass is required for some recreational areas and developed camping areas.
For more information about the Hoosier National Forest, visit the website: www.fs.usda.gov/hoosier.