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Must-Experience list of Indiana Road Trips

Must-Experience list of Indiana Road Trips

Take one final summer road trip with the family to one of Indiana’s great treasures. Mark Newman, Executive Director for the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, highlights fun activities to do in four of Indiana’s cities: 

Holiday World/Santa Claus
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari is a family-owned theme park and water park combo, located in Santa Claus, Indiana. 

Must-Experience list of Indiana Road Trips

* New in 2018:
– Tembo Falls – a water slide complex with eight junior slides, including twisters, a helix, a mini-bowl, and two racing slides 
– Tembo Tides – a junior wave pool plus spray features for younger children 
– Huge Themed Maze for Happy Halloween Weekends 
– All new entertainment, including a stunt show, musical magic show, and strolling brass band 
– Track improvements for The Voyage, the world’s second-longest wooden roller coaster 
– Riverside Retreats – mini cabanas in Splashin’ Safari  

* Do you want the best deals on tickets? “Pick Your Price” online tickets offer the best discounts, which vary throughout the season. Go to to get your tickets today!

Holiday World celebrates Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July with roller coasters, family rides, live entertainment, games and attractions. Thunderbird, the nation’s only launched wing coaster, has been featured on the Travel Channel, HGTV, and in USA Today. TIME magazine named Holiday World’s Voyage the nation’s #1 wooden roller coaster. Splashin’ Safari, named the Midwest’s Best Waterpark by TripAdvisor, includes the two longest water coasters in the world (certified by Guinness World Records), numerous family raft slides and water slides, two wave pools, plus water activities for children. Both parks provide guests with free soft drinks, free parking, free inner tube usage, free sunscreen and free Wi-Fi. 

A few years after his birth in Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln’s family moved to what is now Spencer County, Indiana. He lived and learned there, from age 7 to 21, where he adopted his belief that slavery was unjust. Both Lincoln State Park and the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial give you insight to his formative years. You can also see one of the only pieces of furniture known to have been crafted by him at the museum in Rockport. But it’s not just Lincoln history in Spencer County. You can also enjoy an outdoor concert at the amphitheater in Lincoln State Park and ride the nationally ranked roller coasters and water slides at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

* Columbus is a small city that’s world-renowned for its examples of mid-century Modernist architecture. Take a guided tour to see more than 70 notable buildings and public art installations created by famed architects, designers and artists such as Eero Saarinen, Harry Weese, Kevin Roche, I.M. Pei, Henry Moore and Dale Chihuly. Seven buildings in Columbus have been cited for the National Historic Landmarks program, ranking its collection alongside much larger cities like Boston and San Francisco.
Located within one city block in beautiful downtown Columbus are attractions that will amaze kids and parents alike, and won’t break the bank.  Walk around and take in the world-class architecture. 

Must-Experience list of Indiana Road Trips

* Explore the indoor playground at the Commons. The centerpiece of this no-cost play experience is the 35-foot-tall Lucky Climber, which truly must be seen to be believed! The playground features three separate zones, each with activities geared toward toddlers, little kids or big kids.
Right across the street, spend hours exploring kidscommons , a three-story children’s museum featuring a rock-climbing wall, a room dedicated to blowing giant-sized bubbles and the world’s largest toilet, where kids can “flush” themselves down the pipes!

* In the same block on historical Washington Street, grab lunch and a sweet treat at Zaharakos , a meticulously restored ice-cream parlor and soda fountain dating from 1900. A favorite place of generations of parents and kids, Zaharakos is home to the Welt Orchestrion, a self-playing pipe organ that provides the rich sound of a full orchestra complete with bass and snare drums, triangle, and cymbals!

* While you’re in town, spend a day on the river at Blue’s Canoe Livery, just a short drive from downtown Columbus. Offering camping, kayaks, rafts and canoes, the friendly folks at Blue’s can help you pick a trip to suit any age and ability level.

* The Elkhart region of northern Indiana promises both a rural and urban experience for visitors. Take a self-guided driving tour of the Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail, brought to life with a million colorful blooms. Take in a concert at the renovated Lerner Theater or the garage-turned-record-store called Ignition Music Garage. Eclectic shops, Four Diamond dining and local breweries complete your getaway.

Must-Experience list of Indiana Road Trips

* The Heritage Trail includes all of Elkhart County and parts of Shipshewana. Pick up your FREE self-guided Heritage Trail audio CD from the Elkhart County Visitors Center and most lodging facilities B&Bs and Chambers.

* Voted a USA Today Readers Choice and named one of America’s “Most Scenic Drives”, this scenic winding loop explores welcoming communities, area attractions and Amish life.

* Goshen- Indiana Chamber City of the Year

* Food and Brew: South Side Soda Shop, Venturi, Olympia, Goshen Brewing 

* Things to do: Pumpkinvine Trail, Arts, Ignition, Sauder, Shopping downtown, Heritage Trail

South Bend
* Named for its location on the St. Joseph River, South Bend invites adventure seekers to tackle the challenges of whitewater rapids right in the center of its downtown. You can take a raft along the Midwest’s only manmade urban whitewater rapids, the East Race Waterway. All the equipment you need is available for rent, and you should plan to get wet! 

Must-Experience list of Indiana Road Trips

* Be sure to head back to the river in the evening to view the River Lights display. The only one of its kind in the world, the tall glowing sculptures actually shoot colorful light across the river when you interact with them. 

* Since the South Bend Cubs arrived in 2015, Four Winds Field has set record attendance numbers in each of the past three seasons. In 2017, the Cubs played in front of 354,070 fans and reached their one-million-fans milestone since the team became a Cubs affiliate.  In 2018, the Cubs are looking to break their single-season franchise attendance record for a fourth-straight year with new additions being added to the ballpark this offseason. 

* NEW in South Bend– Just beyond the outfield walls, a new multi-million dollar, mixed-use apartment project is being built with plans to be ready to open in May of 2018. Along with 120 apartments, 28 of which with balconies overlooking the field, there will also be 10,000 square feet of ground floor space that will include retail space, restaurants, and bars. Most notably the buildings will feature rooftop bleachers overlooking the field similar to the rooftop bleachers overlooking Wrigley Field in Chicago.
These additions will entice even more fans to catch a ball game while they are in town and they will also connect Four Winds Field to the community of South Bend not only during baseball season, but year-round. 
The South Bend Cubs open their 2018 home schedule on Saturday, April 7 against the West Michigan Whitecaps.

Go to for more fun adventures in the Hoosier state.